Published July 01st, 2022 by

These 7 Deadly SEO Sins Could Make Your Site Fall From Google’s Grace

In our digitally driven world, your site’s Google ranking matters. For many businesses, just a small amount of movement in search results can make the difference between profit and potential disaster.


As such, you might be willing to do just about anything to ensure that your site receives its share of web traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a great way to showcase your site’s value and relevancy to both Google and human users. 


But it’s important to remember that there are no real shortcuts with SEO. Because SEO is meant to be a long-term solution, it takes time to develop meaningful results. Unfortunately, some business owners are looking for a quick fix — and that might make them more likely to commit a deadly SEO sin out of desperation.


Of course, you want your business to get a fair shake. But committing one of these sins can come with major consequences. If you want your site to end up in SERP Heaven (also known as page one of search results!), you’ll need to obey Google… and avoid the following seven deadly SEO sins. Otherwise, you could risk being banished from SERPs forever to spend an eternity in Internet You-Know-Where. 


LUST: Writing Only For Search Engines

It’s easy to become obsessed with how well your site is ranked by Google. But be careful not to get tunnel vision! While you do want to provide essential context so that search engines can understand what your content is about, you really need to focus on writing for real live humans. 


Don’t become so fixated on appealing to Google that you forget who your actual customers are. Instead of worrying about how many variations of a keyword to use, concentrate on the value the content provides for your target audience. Google is designed to recognize great content — and if the page isn’t useful to your site’s visitors, they’ll make it known. That, in turn, can hurt your rankings (despite your best efforts to optimize). Optimization is important, but it’s not more important than creating posts that people want to read.


GLUTTONY: Keyword Stuffing

While this has been an outdated practice for a while, you might be surprised by how many people still believe that more = better. Overdoing it with your keywords can backfire. Not only can over-optimization be off-putting to readers and make your content harder to understand, but Google can actually penalize your site for it. 


Using keywords is essential for establishing context and relevancy. But being too ravenous for rankings can hurt your site. The “everything in moderation” rule applies to both keyword usage and your daily diet. By avoiding keyword overindulgence, you’ll have a healthier site overall.


GREED: Buying Backlinks

Building high-quality backlinks to your site can allow you to improve your domain authority in the eyes of Google. When you get an endorsement (via a backlink) from another reputable site, this can allow your own site to be perceived in a more positive light. 


But there is a dark side to backlink building. Google has made it known that purchasing backlinks isn’t allowed, as it’s underhanded and could give preferential treatment to businesses that have the cash to buy highly valuable links from top-ranking websites. Some people are willing to take the risk of getting caught just to help their website rank well in search results. However, penalizations for this greedy practice can be steep. Rather than take the ultimate risk, focus on acquiring backlinks organically or through techniques like relevant guest-posting.

SLOTH: Lazy Content Habits

Content is king — but not just any content will do. It needs to be unique, fresh, and helpful in order for your site to rank well in search results. That sounds all well and good in practice, but many business owners forget just how much time and effort it takes to create high-quality content. As such, they might be tempted to publish new posts on a sporadic basis or, worse yet, duplicate content from other websites.


Because Google wants to see new content published on your site with regularity, you should stick to a content creation schedule for best results. Without putting consistent effort into your site, you’re not going to see consistent results. As for publishing duplicate content, steer clear. Don’t ever copy content you see elsewhere on the internet or repost content from your own site. Updating old posts can be a good way to utilize previously published content, but taking the easy way out can teach you some hard truths about what Google wants to see. 

WRATH: Cloaking

Some people believe that search engines are out to get them. That really isn’t true; Google just wants to provide the best results for web users. But if you’re mad at the Powers That Be due to your perceived lack of progress, you might be tempted to try even more deceptive tactics to get what you want (and fool Google in the process).


Cloaking refers to presenting different versions of a given webpage to search engines and human web users. One common example of this is showing a page of images to web users, while search engine crawlers would see only a page of HTML. Another example is serving a page with keywords to search engines, while web visitors see a version without any keywords. Ultimately, it serves a different page than users expect to see — which is why cloaking goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Instead of taking your anger out on Google, consider putting those efforts to good use by following SEO best practices and discovering why your site rankings don’t align with what you’d expect to see.


ENVY: Negative SEO Attacks

It’s easy to become jealous of a competitor, especially if they seem to be doing everything right in the eyes of Google. There’s nothing wrong with some friendly competition, of course; it can motivate you to use your creativity when developing your marketing strategy. However, your strategy needs to center around building your own site up — not tearing another site down.


Negative SEO attacks typically involve malicious techniques that can make a competitor’s website look like they’re trying to cheat their way to better rankings. These techniques can also be used to hurt another site’s performance. Building spammy links to a competitor’s site, slowing down their site loading speed, manipulating duplicate content, and other negative SEO tactics can sometimes be effective — but is that how you really want to get ahead? If you’re putting all that effort into hurting your competitor, ask yourself what you could be doing to actually help your business succeed in a more ethical way. Don’t let the green-eyed monster get the better of you. 


PRIDE: Insisting on DIY

As a business owner, you’re probably accustomed to wearing many hats. What’s one more DIY task? The problem here is that SEO can be extremely complex and it changes all the time. That can make it difficult to keep up with evolving best practices — and this could mean you’re taking a risk without even realizing it.


They say that pride goeth before a fall. And if you let your pride get the best of you here, you could end up paying the price. Rather than insist on taking the do-it-yourself approach to SEO, you’ll ultimately save time, money, and frustration by working with the best managed seo provider. By outsourcing your SEO needs to the professionals, you can gain peace of mind and benefit from expertise. That means you won’t have to worry about developing and executing a strategy (or about potential penalization!) and can concentrate on the other crucial aspects of your business. 


When it comes to search engine optimization, it’s always best to stay on the straight and narrow. Following Google’s best practices and avoiding these seven deadly SEO sins can set you up for success in SERPs — and keep you out of the Bad Place. 

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