Four SEO Mistakes a Web Developer May Make
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Jul 1, 2012

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Four SEO Mistakes a Web Developer May Make

Generally, there are numerous types of websites based on their achievements.
  • Some have high ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs) yet have low conversion rate.
  • Some have low ranking, which means lesser traffic and low conversion rate.
  • Some have high ranking and fantastic analytics data.

So, which is your site here? Is it the first, second, or third?

If it is the latter, this indicates that you are optimising your pages effectively. But if it is the second, this means that you may be applying the wrong strategies. Now, the scenario is much worse if your website is the first type because this indicates that you may be practising “black hat” search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques.

The term usually refers to unethical Web practices such as breaching search engine regulations and creating a poor experience for the users. The latter may include irrelevant and uninformative content, sluggish page loading speed, and difficult navigation.

Before Google launched its Panda and Penguin updates, those webmasters who have been applying bad methods have landed on top SERPs. But after a series of algorithm changes, which started in early 2011, they have catapulted to the bottom of search results.

If you have yet to work on your site, you need to avoid certain SEO strategies.

So, which tactics do search engines consider unethical? Here are four of the most prevalent.


1. Cloaking

You must never show separate content or links to search spiders and users. Additionally, you should not display a hypertext markup language (HTML) formatted page to algorithms, while presenting a webpage full of Flash graphics or images to the people.

If you go against these standards, search engines may see your website as “spammy” or deceptive. When this happens, they may lower your ranking or remove your URL entirely from their index.

What to do instead:
Knowing that your portal contains certain elements, which spiders cannot crawl (e.g. images, JavaScript, and other rich media files), you can follow these ideas.

  • Create alt text or brief image descriptions for users who have the images on their browsers turned off or for those who have screen readers.
  • Come up with a text code and tag for JavaScript content to allow easy indexing and crawling.

2. Keyword stuffing

 You must not load a certain webpage with too many targeted words in the effort of manipulating your ranking in SERPs. If you breach this guideline, the most probable result is bad user experience, which can affect your bounce and conversion rate.

What to do instead:
Before anything else, conduct keyword research to help you create a list of ideal high-ranking search terms.

Afterwards, concentrate on producing content with following characteristics:
  • Original
  • Fresh
  • Useful
  • Informative
  • Compelling

At the same time, you must integrate relevant search phrases in the following areas:
  • Meta description
  • URL
  • Title
  • Article body

Finally, review the page for keyword misuse or excessive repetition.

3. Link schemes

You should not sell or buy links, connect to spam sites, and engage in excessive reciprocal linking. While doing these greatly increases your backlinks, such methods can affect your website’s relevance and quality. In turn, your site’s bad image will put it in the bottom of search results.

What to do instead:
According to Google Webmaster Guidelines, 

“the best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community”.

The more you can present valuable and compelling information, the higher likely of a credible and authoritative websites linking to your site. You must ensure this aspect since getting significant and high-quality inbound links increases your page rank.

4. Too much Flash

You must not depend heavily on this element for making your webpages visually appealing. This applies mostly if you integrate the images or graphics on the homepage or embed these with keywords.

If you violate this rule, all the spiders will see is a blank webpage or a few text, which is not good for your ranking given that search engines prefer websites with relevant and informative content. Additionally, placing too much Flash can slow down your page loading speed.

What to do instead:
One simple solution is to lessen image file sizes. You must also avoid excessive use of Flash graphics. And, when it comes to your website’s homepage content, it is best to combine text and related pictures to make it more appealing enticing the users to browse through the inner pages.

So, there you have four of the top SEO mistakes and their respective solutions. Other than these, you can find several blunders, which greatly affect your ranking in search results.

Additionally, you can come across other appropriate optimisation strategies. And, by “appropriate”, it refers to ethical tactics. But how do you know if you are using decent methods?

You will know that you are not breaching any regulation by referring to search engine guidelines while optimising your website. And, in the process of doing so, you must analyse your website’s performance by using analytics tools.

This way, you can tell whether your techniques have been effective or not. If it is the latter, you can develop better methods to earn more credibility, higher ranking in SERPs, and more quality traffic. 


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Ritesh Warke