Ignorance Is not a Defense to Avoid Ranking Penalties
All website owners want one thing and one thing only: to get the first search result on Google. Achieving this means that they must engage in various strong search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, and that is surprisingly hard work. You won’t be the first to have completed training, gone to seminars, and read the books on SEO, applied the lessons learned and to then find your rankings have dropped.
So how is this possible? A drop in rankings is usually due to your site getting penalized, presuming, of course, that you were engaged in SEO. Maybe you overlooked something, or there were some changes that you weren’t aware of. Regardless, ignorance is no excuse. So what are the five most commonly overlooked rules that you need to avoid if you don’t want to get penalized?
- Enough Text Content
People try to build websites that are stylish and sleek, with stunning graphics to draw attention. However, this means less text, and fewer visible links as well. Without text or links, search engines cannot index you. Hence, you need to make sure that every page has at the very least 200 to 300 words on it, and that this includes target keywords and links.
- Keywords as Navigation Links
Most of the time, websites will have the “Click Here” button scatter in various locations. What an opportunity missed! Do not write “Click Here (linked) to see photographs from Brazil”, but write “Brazil Photos” (linked) instead. This is thoughtful, looks better, enables you to use a keyword, and the search engines will love it.
- Redesign Welcome Page
Many websites have a “welcome to our store” page as their home page. Instead of that title, consider using something with keywords. “Welcome to [business name]” is much better. Additionally, make sure you have the right meta keywords and description in place. This separates you from all the other stores who have a similar focus as you. And remember that the search engine crawlers read every word in your meta description.
- Changing Directory and Web Pages Names
If you change the names of your directory and web pages, the popularity of your link will instantly drop. This is because the new name will have to be indexed instead, and everything associated with your old name will simply be dumped. Hence, if you want to make a significant change, keep the URL as it is, but rewrite the content instead. And if you must change the name of the web page, make sure the old name redirects to the new one.
- Issues with Link Popularity
If you have several domains, it will be tempting to link each of them to each other, but this may mean you don’t focus sufficiently on keywords and content. Plus, all your sites are likely to be on the same server, which means the search engine bots may see your work as spam.
By avoiding the five issues above, you shouldn’t see any penalties anymore.