12 Mistakes SEO Firms New and Old Make

Mon, Mar 16, 2009

Search Engine Optimization

Whether you are a newcomer to the field of SEO, or have been doing this for years, chances are that you occasionally fall into one of the 12 most common mistakes that are made in the effort to gain rank in search. Based on the mistakes we’ve made in the past, and mistakes we see others making, we’ve compiled this list to help us all become better at SEO by avoiding the common pitfalls.

1 – Keyword Stuffing

It’s hard to believe people are still doing this, but it happens. When a page doesn’t rank naturally high for a keyword they will often try and stuff keywords into the page to make it rank higher. Not only does this not work, but it also makes your content fall to near worthless.

2 – Repetitive Keyword Targeting

So you’re not stuffing the keywords into your content, but are you targeting the same keyword on every page? Avoid using the same keywords over and over for multiple pages throughout your site. Focus on creating content that matches your subject matter and target audience and forget about trying to rig the search engines – jus to follow good SEO practices and let your quality content do the rest!

3 – Blocking Bots

It’s hard to rank when you are blocking the very guys who are trying to rank you! Instead of blocking off parts of your site to content that might not be 100% up to snuff, use nofollow tags for the links to alert the search engine bots that you don’t think the content is worthy.

4 – Not Using XML Sitemaps

Every search engine worth talking about uses XML sitemaps nowadays, so you need to make sure that you provide one and that it is updated with every change to your site. It’s a great way to get noticed and get ranked with little effort.

5 – Thinking Google is the Only Game in Town

So many people fall into the trap of thinking that Google is the only search engine in town. Just think about it – if you could increase your traffic from Live Search by 15% how much would that add to the bottom line? Get your site registered for the webmaster tools from the other big search engines such as Yahoo and MSN.

6 – Avoiding Google Webmaster Tools

Remember, we didn’t say ignore Google! Make sure you get registered with Google webmaster tools if for no other reason than to get some really good data about what is working and what isn’t with your site and keywords.

7 – Falling into the DoFollow Trap

Way too many sites are chasing after blogs and other sites that always follow links. Of course, we all know what happens to content that is linked like this – it becomes another link farm and your site will suffer the consequences.

8 – Submitting Articles for Links

It’s great to be known as the expert in something and have your articles linked to and features on prominent sites. It’s another thing to submit the same content to sites over and over again. The search engines devalue content that is found all over the place. Remember your best content should always be on your site – and when you do submit content to other sites chose sites that are worthy of the value your content provides.

9 – Placing too much Faith in Google’s Link Command

I can’t tell you how many people that rely on the Google link command as the authority of what is linking to and what isn’t for their site. While it’s a useful tool, it shouldn’t be thought of as more than just a tool – not the final authority.

10 – Blocking Bots from Duplicate Content

This falls in line with #3, with a twist. People are often afraid that duplicate content is the worse things they can have. While it’s true that it can cause a penalty in rankings, blocking bots is likely to do more harm than good. Consider instead using 301 redirects for such content.

11 – Splitting Content

So you have great content and instead of concentrating it on your primary domain you end up using it across multiple domains and just totally devalue the content. The days of sitting up link farms and link islands are long over. You always should focus your effort on your primary domain and avoid splitting content over multiple domains.

12 – Linking “Just Because”

Otherwise known as reciprocal linking, this practice has been showing up again after being dead for a few years. It’s when you have pages or even entire sites that do nothing but link back to other sites that have agreed to link to you. It’s bad and shouldn’t be done – period.

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.