Common Errors that
Kill Search Engine Ranking
Tricking the search
engines just does not work. The search engines do not look kindly
upon webmasters who attempt to deceive the search engines about the
content contained on a webpage.
Cloaking a website is a stealth technique used to provide a copy of
a web page to search engines while providing an alternate copy to
website visitors. The website copy provided to the search engine is
optimized and not always reflective of the real content contained on
2. Hidden Text
Another deceptive tip that will result in a search engine ban, is
done by incorporating text into a website that is not visible to the
naked eye, but is visible to search engine spider. There are two
ways that underhanded webmasters might attempt this, the first is by
changing the font color to match the web page's background color.
The second fallacious way of deceiving the search engine using
hidden text is by using a single character like a '.' period as a
link. Black hat webmasters might attempt this as a way to increase
their websites link popularity.
3. Bad Links
While this is not as much a deceptive practice as an indication that
the webpage content has been abandoned, links to webpages that no
longer exist is an indication to search engines that the content is
no longer relevant.
4. Lack of Meta Tags
A website that does not make use of title and description tags, will
not result in a ban but could impact the ability for a website to
rank well. The title and description of a website should be
different on each and every web page.
5. Navigation Mistakes
site map link is just not good enough, if you do not use
conventional navigational techniques, the pages within your website
will not always be indexed by the search engines. Navigation should
be logically structured, links should not be hidden too deeply
within the website or the content contained on the buried pages will
not be considered relevant and will not rank well.
6. Non-Valid Code
Observing the conventions of HTML are a necessity, if a webpage's
code is invalid, search engines might 'choke' and be unable to
follow the links or code. Be sure to properly open and close all
HTML code. Valid HTML is critical.
7. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a technique where a long list of repetitive
keywords, sometimes related sometimes unrelated to the webpages
content is used to trick search engines into thinking the webpage is
relevant. Rarely is this effective and it is unlikely that it will
artificially inflate a websites ranking for any length of time.
8. Session IDs
Webpages within a website that uses session IDs or "ID=" in the
links will not always be recognized by search engines. It is assumed
by many search engines that when ID= appears in the URL, that the
webpage does not contain unique content and that the webpage is not
in need of indexing. Avoid using ID= on dynamic or static web pages.
9. Bad Neighbors
Avoid listing the website in link farms. Search engines are firm
believers that you are like the company that you keep, links should
be solicited from reputable sources. Links from spammy websites will
not help a website rank well.
Many will say that there are no rules to search engine optimization,
they might be right, but the fact remains that webmasters can
influence their search engine ranking through the tips above.
Attempting to trick or fool the search engines is a sure fire way to
become banned. Search engines have the ability to provide a
consistent and steady stream of traffic to websites, that stream can
become a trickle if you attempt to deceive.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.