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Top 10 ways to KILL your rankings – Part 1

23rd March 2012

Websites often depend on their rankings on the result pages of popular search engines to drive inbound traffic and eventually monetize their efforts. Sites methodically adopt a range of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to get into the good books of the search engine ranking algorithms while also ensuring that they still remain user-friendly in terms of aesthetics and content. SEO processes are usually long drawn, and take constant and continuous efforts over considerable amounts of time before yielding positive results, a high SERP rank in this case.

While it takes a lot of effort and time to reach the top ranks of the SERP, it is quite easy to plunge into obscurity because of some careless mistakes committed in an attempt to gain quick attention. Here are ten most easy ways (mistakes, to be precise) to kill hard-earned Google rankings.

1. Replicated or Copied Content 

Search engines are quite wary of ranking copies of same content that have been reproduced verbatim across the site. Different versions of auto-generated content are so similar to each other, nearly serving as duplicate copies that are very easily detected and ignored by the indexing algorithms.

2. Hidden Text

Hidden text of different formats that is usually not visible to the visitor does influence the search engine rankings. However consistent use of hidden text to improve SERP rankings will prove more detrimental rather than an advantage in the long run because ultimately it is the visible text that draws the attention of the user.

3. Cloaking

This process is very similar to hiding text but done on a larger scale to present totally different versions of the content to the user and the search engine. Google guidelines expect same content to be visible to both end user and its search engine spiders. Variations, if detected, can lead to fatal consequences such as being blacklisted from indexing process, or other ranking penalties.

4. Redundancy and Keyword Stuffing

Irrelevant content or relevant content interspersed with unwanted keywords leads to over optimization of content making it impossible for the end-user to make any sense of the content. Excessive internal linking and keyword usage may not really result in high ranks.

5. Promoting Paid Links

Websites that sell links purely for SEO purposes, to improve ranking of another website by placing paid inbound links on its pages are sure to be penalized by Google. If these links serve to simply monetize advertising efforts, then the site may be spared from the wrath of the Search engine bots.

Thank you for reading the first part of this article. I will provide the second part of the article already beginning next week.

Please Note: this article is for informational purposes only. We strongly encourage you to verify any content and information you use with your own compliance department or legal counsel.