The term SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is often thought of as a secretive set of practices that, if done right, can miraculously and quickly propel your website to the first page and, possibly, to the very top of Google’s search results.
That’s not true and anyone who tells you otherwise is either inexperienced or suggesting black hat techniques—methods used to game the system to rank higher (these are against the guidelines and rules provided by search engines).
Black hat SEO methods may initially show positive results, but they are not sustainable and the risk of your website landing on Google’s naughty list is not worth it. The truth is that search engine rankings do not improve overnight, whether you’re a big brand or a small brand (even if you hire the best SEO consultants in the world).
You want more traffic to your website and more sales, but don’t fall into the trap of striving for quick rankings. In this post we will share the four risky SEO mistakes that businesses make while trying to boost their rankings.
- They Hire Shady “SEO Consultants”
By shady, we mean SEO consultants or firms that have no portfolios and are not very keen on transparent communication. They just promise quick boosts in search rankings with their special monthly “packages.”
Most of these unknown and often outsourced SEO consultants and firms use techniques such as Private Blog Networks (PBNs) or link farms to pass on some link juice to your site from other sites which have good standing in Google.
Once they do this, you will likely see a rise in your rankings. However the problem with this method is that your ranking is not organic or natural. And it’s and definitely not sustainable. As soon as you stop paying them per month, they will remove your links from their network and your rankings will plummet.
Secondly, Google is always cracking down on black hat linking methods and it is very likely that they will penalize the link farm and your website.
- They Hire Cheap, Inexperienced SEO Writers
Likely you’ve heard the saying “content is king.” But that doesn’t mean you can publish whatever you want. You need to focus on what goes on behind the scenes, such as bounce rate, time spent and repeat traffic, all of which are contingent on high-quality content that engages human traffic.
Companies that hire cheap SEO writers to churn out keyword stuffed content do so at great cost to the viability and integrity of their sites. Google and other search engines constantly analyze all content they crawl to evaluate whether it is over optimized. Google also analyzes human behavior and interaction with the content as a key factor behind ranking.
- They use Cloaking
Have you ever clicked on a search engine result only to land on a web page that has nothing to do with what you wanted? That’s called cloaking, when companies try to fool search engines and human visitors by showing different content in search and then directing them to their ecommerce store or any other different page.
This method of ranking high is very unethical and can lead to your site being banned once it is reported for lack of relevant content or when Google’s own algorithm figures it out.
- They use Content Spinners to Increase Content
A lot of businesses are told that they can boost their rankings by increasing the volume of their content. That’s partially true. But it all goes wrong when they resort to content spinners in order to achieve that.
Content spinners’ sole aim is to reword existing content by using synonyms and making it “unique” to search engines. However, spun content looks very unnatural and is difficult to read. Such content gets very poor results and only harms your site’s rankings in the long run.
You can see that there is no magic pill to improve your search engine rankings overnight and you would do best to stay away from some of the “tricks” or black hat methods people may advertise. Organic improvements take time but are lasting and build your brand the right way.