Yes playing around to much, or trying to cut corners in your websites development can lead to bad SEO. While any website can recover from some bad SEO with time, there are some bad practices from the “old days” to stay away from. These “bad” practices are discovered purely from trial and error with one of my websites and can be pretty hard on SEO.
As we already know Google and other search engines have done their best to reduce the amount of garbage that their search results bring to the table. While there was a lot of good sites penalized a majority of the updates have helped bring the searcher more quality content.
Whether the search engines are really trying to help the searcher, or if they are just trying to get more clicks on their adds, they have made it pretty clear what some bad SEO practices are.
- Spamming other sites, I still get a ton of spam comments and they irritate the crap out of me, and I don’t see why anyone would still use this method to get back links. Google recognizes that you are spamming and punishes you in kind.
- Spun or scrapped content, we all know that this no longer works. Quality and uniqueness is key to getting good ratings and if you are still thinking bad content is better then none you are wrong.
- Link Cloaking, if you try to fool the search engines about links they will find out and not like it. Accept the fact that you should only link to high quality sites and that linking out isn’t a bad thing.
- Link exchanges, are not helping and if they did at one time Google and other search engines don’t like them.
- Door way pages, if you think you can through up a page with 100 affiliate links to click and no real content think again. Google will not show you in search and they will probably suspend your ad words account if you have one.
Now Google and other search engines have a full set of guidelines that you are suppose to follow make sure you do. Here are some bad practices that I experimented with that you should also stay away from.
- Auto submissions, while this can be a handy tool to submit an rss feed for example you should limit your use of auto submit software. You will see a drop in search engine rankings pretty quickly.
- Bad 301 Redirects, yes 301’s are a good thing if you do them right, but if you try redirecting a domain with duplicate content you will be penalized.
- Rank checkers, anything that pulls your rank from search engine results does two things. One it shows someone searched your keyword and didn’t click on your website and two its against the search engine guidelines to use them and they will penalize your domain and search term.
- Too much change, yes change is a good thing, but if you do a massive overhaul of your website it may take some time to recover.
- Stay away from automation, anything automated is going to hurt your website if its today or tomorrow, search engines like humans not robots, robots don’t make them any money.
Now for the graph again, as you can see this website was doing really well until I implemented some bad practices. Mainly auto submissions to link directories and a bad 301 redirect did this.As you can see the website did recover, all I did is stop my bad SEO practices and went back to the basics.
The basics of writing quality, original content that related to my title keywords. Some on page tweaking to lower bounce rates and some likes and shares on social networks. All of the good SEO as you can see helps to cancel out the bad.
In conclusion stick to the good and follow the rules, Google has done a lot to make sure its searchers get what they want and they don’t want bad search results.