“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It is about partnering with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.”-Phil Frost
Any digital marketing agency would know the significant importance of search engine optimization (SEO for brevity) in any online marketing campaign. Your concerted efforts in refining your SEO technique would help you achieve increased conversion rates and a higher page rank. In this regard, any savvy and shrewd online marketer would know that being aware of the latest search engine optimization tactics, techniques and algorithm is paramount in conjunction with the regular optimization of pages. Regardless of what your endeavor might be–whether that might be increasing your traffic, brand exposure and awareness or simply knowing who your target audience is–knowing the comings and goings of SEO is pivotal. Remember, your efforts in curating relevant topics and creating compelling content would be all for naught if it is not paralleled with good SEO techniques. Audiences online are constantly looking for excellent content just like the ones you are constantly producing. However, you need good SEO work in order to deliver them exactly right at your website’s doorstep. In essence, good SEO would enable your audiences to find your web pages and content better.
Unfortunately, good SEO only gets you so far and regardless of how remarkable your efforts for refining your technique might be, if you overlook the small technical things, it could significantly hurt your chances of ranking higher. In fact, these are the oversights that would contribute to a diminished page ranking. Some of these you might have overlooked, but if you continued to do so, you can be heavily penalized by Google.
Here is a list of some of the little and surprising bad SEO things that might be hurting your search ranking:
Bad blog comments
We all know that we cannot reasonably expect every single comment on our blogs to be singing praises, but that is not the kind of bad comment we are talking about here. Instead, what we are referring to as bad blog comments are the spam comments which every blog has to deal with. Of course, some online marketers are still using black hat SEO tactics until today and one tactic would involve having automated bots posts spam comments across hundreds or even thousands of sites in just a single day. This is an effort to divert and increase traffic to other sites. Unfortunately, apart from polluting your posts, spam comments hurt your website’s ability to rank regardless of whether the links found within the comments are followed or not. Google penalizes you because spam comments are an indication of the kind of website you are and just how qualified you would be to be the recipient of traffic. In the eyes of Google, you are just as bad as the spam commenter.
Sluggish site speed – the king of bad SEO
Another factor utilized by Google to rank pages is site speed. With this in mind, your time to the first byte is actually an incredibly essential factor you must look into. Time to the first byte refers to the amount of time it would take a visitor to get the first byte of information from your server. Apart from playing an integral role in affecting your page rank, your page speed is imperative in giving your users an overall cohesive experience. The longer it takes for your page to load, the more likely your visitors would end up in other pages. Moreover, slower page speeds would also mean that search engines cannot crawl as many pages as it ought to with their crawl budget.
Broken links and images
Your content should not only be rich and informative, it should also be visually appealing as well. In this regard, things such as unavailable images or broken ones and broken links are nothing but eyesores to visitors. After all, when they follow links to or from your site, they expect content to be readily available once they do reach that page. Apart from giving your users a negative experience, bad links and broken images can significantly hurt your search ranks as well. With this in mind, regularly check your links both internal and external to ensure that you are not redirecting your audiences to broken pages.
That’s it for now. If you have more bad SEO tips that everyone should avoid, leave them in the comments below!