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6 Bad SEO Habits That Could Hurt Your Google Ranking

 

 

If there’s one thing that’s constant in the world of SEO, we can say it’s the change in Google’s algorithm. Nothing stays for long, I must say.

The biggest and broadest social engine always takes us by surprise when it modifies the rules that oversee how we should code and design our websites. As if we need more complications with its algorithm, Google is continuously upping its game and even our tech geeks are left behind. 

 
Correspondingly, most of us might be practicing tactics that used to work without knowing that they could now penalize our websites. With that in mind, it is of high importance that you get out of the old and break your outdated routines.
 

Here are 7 bad SEO habits that could hurt your Google ranking.

 
1. Poor Link Building Strategies

Backlinks should bring good to a website. But not when they are spammy.
The genius search engine knows everything, even those things you try to hide. Poor link building strategies like purchasing and manufacturing links are not going to give you any good. 
 
Yes, I know, I know. Buying is one quick way to build up your links and up your rank. But hey, Google crawlers are not as “easy go lucky” as before.
 
Remember those times when crawlers won’t care about the quality of the links in your website and look at the quantity instead? Well, those were the days. Google’s algorithm now makes sure that only websites with quality backlinks make the cut.
 
As a matter of fact, if you engage in poor link building strategies, it will backfire the soonest time. Google can track them. And once it does, be ready to be penalized.
 
2. Failure To Optimize Content
 
By now we all know that contents boost the traffic in a website. So what better way to evolve from your rank than to stuff your page with whatever contents you can get, right? Hmm, semi-wrong.
 
Back in the old days, we paid attention to keywords or keyword phrases in optimizing contents. The formula [keyword x 20] or [keyword phrases x 10] worked just fine and we were extremely happy with the boost it gave to our page rank.

But things got better now. Though it is still a good SEO strategy to fill your website with contents, new guidelines have been put in place.

Google is now encouraging everyone to write for the audience, the users or the readers, instead of writing merely for the search engine. Meaning, keyword stuffing no longer works. Making a connection and impact on your readers does.

To optimize contents, we must put the users in mind. What do they want to read? What’s the buzz among the locals? Do a research and start writing contents that matter.

Additionally, another factor that we must be critical about when it comes to contents is originality. Yes, we can be wowed by the superb writing of the blogger but the question is, is it original?

Having said that, it really pays to invest in responsible and professional writers who’ll never rip off another work and effort to earn the credits. Also, it’s best to have a dependable plagiarism-checker tool just to be on the safe side, you know.
 
3. Neglecting Mobile User Experience
 
One thing that we unknowingly neglect when setting up a website is the mobile user’s experience in visiting our page. In case you missed it, queries using mobile devices comprise more than half of the total Google searches. Though the giant search engine has not specified the number of searches it generates per year, current statistics say it is at two trillion. 
 
The increase in mobile searches brought Google to launch a mobile-friendly update in 2015, which is dubbed as the mobilegeddon or mobilepocalyse. The update gave a boost to mobile-friendly pages and prioritized their ranking in mobile search results. Websites with no mobile version were also penalized.
 
So as I mentioned above, more than half of Google searches are coming from mobile users. Just think of the potential loss you’ll incur if you fail to optimize your website for mobile browsing.
 
We are in 2018 and in this highly technological era, it is an SEO sin not to have a mobile-friendly website. The trend of user searches performed on handheld devices is continuously growing. Would you let your Google ranking slip because of this miss?
 
4. Forgetting Google Analytics Tool
 
Forgetting Google Analytics tool is similar to ignoring the status or success of your SEO techniques. All business owners use data to identify what the audience like or what needs to be improved. And these important details are made easily available by Google Analytics tool.
 
Google Analytics allows us to track the who, what, where, when, and how of our users. Who are the website visitors? What they do on the site? Where are they from? When do they commonly visit the page? How long do they stay on the website? 
 
Apart from displaying data about the users, the tool also reveals your page’s bounce rate (percentage of people who left or clicked off your page), where traffic comes from, the number of new visitors, and the top contents in your site. By accessing all these information, you’ll know if your website has achieved your expected outcome. If not, then you can align your next goals in generating better results.
 
5. No Google Webmaster Tools Installed
 
I know SEO is so broad that there are already a lot of tools in your hand that you have to learn. But if you want to hit the first spot in Google ranking, you must embrace the duty of mastering these many tools, such as the Google Webmaster tools.
 
Google Webmaster tools provide lots and lots of crucial page insights such as keyword search queries, crawling errors, backlinks quality, and more. To maximize its advantages, it is recommended that you pair it with the Google Analytics tool. With the fusion of the powers of these two, you’ll be standing on a much better platform, overlooking the statistics of your website.
 
6. Ignoring Technical SEO

Before reaching where your page is at right now, you once started from scratch. Learning techniques, following tips, and optimizing your website for SEO. 
 
But in order to continuously enjoy the fruits of your labor, you must constantly check your strategies and align them with the new updates and guidelines. And most of the time, because of the huge workload behind SEO maintenance, it is not a surprise to fail at spotting specifics that matter to your Google ranking. One of which is your website’s technical SEO.

Technical SEO is not about your contents nor the quality and quantity of your links. It is about the optimization of your website URL, proper HTML formatting and coding, HTTPS encryption, page speed and the like. It is actually not so easy to monitor the technical. However, webmasters should always pay attention to it as it can directly impact a website’s Google ranking. 
 
Page speed, for one, is a Google ranking factor. Slow website loading because of improper coding or non-matching web design will lead you down the road. If page speed is suffering from poor technical SEO, it is a must that you fix it and do not wait until search engines derank your site because of it.

The above is just one example of the many technical SEO misses. So first things first. Code a website and perform everything technically right. Then, sustain what works and don’t forget to do an audit from time to time.
 
Your Takeaway
 
In the past years, we have met the Panda, the Hummingbird and now the Penguin algorithm, which is constantly updating. Google will not stop improving its zoo, oh, I mean its algorithm, and penalize who must be punished! So in this SEO journey we are riding with the giant search engine, we must always be updated and stay in the new.
However, if you think you are practicing the 6 bad SEO habits we have discussed above, there’s no need beating yourself up. You still have time and now is always the best time to leave those bad habits behind.

 
About the Author

 

Scott Donald is Chief Strategist at Creativ Digital an agency specializing in eCommerce website optimization.  He designs, builds and provides marketing for websites to perform at their best.  Head over to his site to get a free digital success plan for your business. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.

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