When diving into the world of SEO, it’s crucial to tread carefully and avoid stumbling into pitfalls that could harm your website’s reputation. Instead of playing the trial and error game, a smart move is to pick up lessons from others who’ve been there, done that. That’s why we’ve put together an article highlighting some examples of Bad SEO practices – things you definitely want to steer clear of in your own SEO adventures.
By checking out these cautionary tales, you can save yourself from headaches and ensure your website’s standing stays solid. It’s like getting a heads-up from those who took the wrong turns so that you can navigate the SEO maze with a bit more finesse. Trust us, your website will thank you for it!
What Is SEO
If you’re a beginner in digital marketing and don’t know what SEO is and how it impacts your business, don’t worry. Here’s a quick explanation:
Search Engine Optimization is a process through which marketers and business owners improve their positions on search results pages. The main objective of SEO is to increase brand visibility and awareness, but company owners can use it for numerous goals.
SEO can help generate more leads, increase website traffic, and many other things. Everything will depend on the strategy developed and their effectiveness.
Search engine optimization works for both products and services. No matter the objective of your website, you can always develop SEO strategies aimed at your target audience and the content they expect to see when visiting your landing page.
What About Bad SEO
As the name suggests, bad SEO regards low-quality practices that can decrease your score and impact your performance on Google rankings. It is vital to know them so you know what you shouldn’t do when developing your SEO tactics.
Bad SEO practices impact search engine crawlers in different ways as well. They can decrease your score and prevent you from reaching your goals and objectives.
These bad SEO tactics can be both intentional and unintentional, like when using outdated SEO practices. If your Google ranking is not high enough, it can mean you’re using a bad SEO tactic or practice but don’t worry. Most of these cases are easily reversible with a solid strategy.
We will also show you the main bad habits that can negatively affect your website’s ranking and how to prevent it from happening. Make sure to look at each one for the best results when marketing organically on search engine results pages.
On-Site SEO vs. Off vs. Technical
Another important aspect you need to know is the difference between on-site and off-site. You can adopt strategies covering both SEO types, and they can equally impact search engines and your rank.
On-site SEO considers all the activities on your website and landing pages to improve and optimize them. One great example is including relevant keywords in your articles and pages. Keyword research is an important part of SEO when creating high-quality content. Thus, adding keywords to your texts and ads is an on-site action that every marketer should do.
On the other hand, off-site SEO is those activities that happen outside the website but are directly related to it. Link building is the primary strategy of this kind. Google highly values the links you feature on your website and other pages directing links to your company. It affects your site’s ranking and the quality of your content.
You must be very careful when doing link building since including weak paid links or buying random links from other websites without any strategy is a bad SEO practice. Doing this might instantly decrease your score and cause your SEO campaign to fail.
Along with these, another common type of SEO effort is technical SEO actions, and as the name suggests, it regards the technical aspects of your web page.
The better your technical activities, the better the navigation on your page is, and the better your site’s rankings. One example is to optimize plugins and reduce unnecessary operations when opening new tabs. This way, it takes less effort from the user to open your page, directly impacting the site’s health and traffic.
Bad SEO Practices You Should Avoid
Now, it’s time to see some of the primary bad practices you can do when planning your SEO efforts and how to avoid them. These actions regard both on and off-site actions, so you can see how different aspects can impact your numbers and results.
Here are the main ones and what you can do to turn them into high-quality actions for your website:
Poor Keyword Usage
Keyword is one of the most important aspects of any SEO or PPC effort, whether you’re marketing on Google SERPs or any other space from the company. According to the quality guidelines, there are several different actions regarding keywords that can be considered bad practices.
One of the main ones is keyword stuffing. It is an unethical practice that consists of stuffing your text with keywords and spamming them in a way the text becomes almost unreadable by the users.
Many marketers use keyword-stuffed content to try to quickly rank up on SERPs, generating content with irrelevant keywords and poorly written, but more than that, content that fools the reader when it comes to its real objective.
Another common mistake regarding keywords is choosing your target keywords poorly. Along with keyword stuffing, if you don’t feature the right words and terms in your articles and title tags, your website’s visibility won’t be as high as expected. This happens mainly because featuring too many keywords unrelated to your text will show it to the wrong audiences or don’t show it at all.
Low Quality Content
Keywords are useless if you don’t have good content featured on your pages. From the language you use on your articles to the main page of your company, everything needs to be optimized and feature quality content if you want the best score. It is an indispensable ranking factor that should never be looked over.
One example of bad quality content is featuring duplicate content, like two blog posts with almost the same content, even though they’re from two different topics. If Google detects duplicate content on your website with the same keywords and terms, your score will likely be lower than usual, and it will be harder for you to rank at the top of SERPs.
Another detail that can generate a Google penalty if not respected is originality. Plagiarism and copying other websites’ texts inflicts Google’s guidelines. It will prevent your website from appearing on the first page of SERPs, even if you include other relevant elements, like keyword variations and high-value keywords. If you want a good score, ensure your blog post is original and sounds like your brand.
Continuing on content quality, it is common to see low-quality guest posts, which also impact the score and can generate more traffic if done correctly. Guest posts are when you post your content on other websites or vice versa. More than the content itself, what really matters besides the posts’ quality is where these articles will be featured.
When creating this action, make sure the subject fits your website and the kind of communication you do. If you feature a random article from other sites on your blog, it won’t generate the desired results.
Moreover, be careful with who your guests are and where you’re featuring your articles. If the guest you’re working with is considered a poor website, it won’t generate the desired positive results, and the Google search console won’t rank your page higher.
Another important item to pay attention to in content quality is AI-generated articles. With ChatGPT and other tools available, it is common to see many website owners and marketers spamming articles generated by AI. Even though it can be a handy tool, it is also famous for writing poor articles that lack content depth. The human factor is still very important when producing website content, especially articles. Make sure to prioritize writing your own content instead of using AI articles since Google also considers this aspect in their search engine rankings.
The content must be well-planned and fit the space where it’s being inserted. Moreover, this directly impacts link building. Make sure your anchor texts and links are correctly placed and working. This way, your score will increase when the search engine crawler evaluates the performance level.
Link-building is a pillar of search engine optimization, and all your links to both external websites and your own tabs should be working correctly if you want the best optimization for your landing pages. Keeping broken links is a bad SEO practice that drastically affects the user experience. When creating a website, you want the users to stay as long as possible, visiting your pages and looking at your products and services. To ensure this, all your links should work properly, providing smooth navigation across your website.
Along with broken links, you also need to worry about bad SEO backlinks since they can also affect your score. Backlinks are any connections between different websites. For example, you can sell a product on your website and have an article on a blog about it containing the link. If this article has a link directly to your website, this is considered a backlink.
Also, make sure to feature only quality links. Google values this aspect of a website, but if your outgoing links lead to random content or things that have no relation to your brand, the effect will be the opposite. Google also condemns the usage of link farms to increase the number of connections on your website, decreasing your score if noticed.
No Website Optimization
The last example of bad SEO practice we will discuss is the lack of optimization and website efficiency. This is one of the main aspects Google looks into when evaluating how good your page is and if it will rank at the top of search results.
There are several details involved in web page efficiency and good navigation experience. Your website doesn’t necessarily need every single one of them to have a good position on search engines, but the more you optimize it, the better for your rank.
One of the main characteristics of bad SEO websites is featuring large images that take long to load. It is always preferable to feature compressed images, especially if your page relies on imagery and shows the product you’re selling. Featuring numerous large files will make the website load much longer, impacting the user experience.
Another item on the optimization list is the number of plugins featured on your web page. Including numerous plugins when building a website is one of the most common bad SEO practices. They make every page heavier and will require much more time to load. Google automatically detects this when evaluating your website, so eliminate all unnecessary plugins.
Bad SEO websites are also not optimized for multiple platforms. Nowadays, using a phone or mobile device to search on Google is more common than using desktops, so it is indispensable that your content is optimized for both formats.
If you have a website that only works properly on phones or desktops, your score will be greatly affected, and you will not likely rank at the top of SERPs. Spending a little more time creating versions for both platforms can bring positive results, not only regarding ranking but also in terms of feedback from your potential customers and their experience.
Bad SEO Cases and How to Solve Them
Now that you know the main bad SEO practices and how to avoid them, we will show you some examples of websites featuring these practices and what you could do to prevent them. Make sure to pay attention to each one to help you generate insights on how to organically promote your website and create quality search engine optimization for your business.
Here are some examples of bad SEO and how to solve them:
Best Vacuum Cleaner Article
This article is about the best vacuum cleaners, helping users find the best model based on their needs and budget. The first part of the article perfectly illustrates keyword stuffing and why it is a problem for search engines.
In this case, the writer inserted the term best vacuum cleaner multiple times, hoping to increase the score since it’s the most sought-after term for users trying to find an answer to this problem. The problem is that spamming and overusing terms will make the search engine decrease your score and make your text look poorly written. Having a specific keyword with high potential doesn’t mean you should use it all the time. Make sure to respect the suggested keyword density when you create content.
A good keyword research tool is the best way to do that. Google already offers this kind of service when using their platform. You can easily set up the Keyword Planner and use it to find out the best terms based on your needs and industry.
Website With Too Many Ads
This is another typical case of bad SEO, where the website features so many ads that you can’t actually identify what’s sponsored content and what’s the real article. Featuring a high volume of advertisements impacts your page negatively in many aspects, but the main one is the user experience. If you want the potential customer to follow through with your article and stay for as long as possible, you can’t cover the entire page with ads that’ll distract the users and prevent them from continuing on your website.
This doesn’t mean you can’t feature advertisements on your pages. They’re a great way of making money, and both parties can benefit from it. But you need to ensure you’re featuring a valid amount of ads and that they relate to your content and what you sell. Otherwise, they’ll be just random links that don’t contribute to link-building.
Another reason why you should be careful with this kind of action is that filling your page with ads also impacts optimization. The more ads you include, the longer it’ll take to load and the lower your optimization score will be.
Here’s an example of how to fix a website URL to increase your score. Friendly URLs are some of the best SEO techniques if you offer a variety of products or services, making it easier for the user to identify and find out what they’re looking for.
If you feature a random link, it won’t cause any problems or bad user experience, but it is not ideal. Creating SEO-friendly URLs helps increase your score and can be the decisive factor for ranking above your competitors on the search results page.
It also helps make your website look more professional and organized. It won’t directly impact the website’s performance but is an indispensable detail if you want to increase your SEO rankings in the long term.
How to Maximize Your SEO Results
If you want to reach the best results with SEO, the best strategy is to hire a professional agency for this task. Doing this ensures that your entire strategy will be developed and handled by experienced marketers. SEO is not something you learn from day to night, and several aspects can impact how well you rank on search engines.
GamerSEO boasts the best professionals on the market with years of experience to ensure business growth and quick results. By joining us, you’ll receive support in every step of the process to achieve the desired results.
Whether you need help with keyword research, content creation, or an SEO audit, contact us to discuss an individual strategy for your brand.
Conclusion on Bad SEO
SEO is vital to any online business, whether you’re selling services or products.
One of the main ways to highlight your company and raise awareness is SEO, but your strategy must be well-planned to generate results. It is common to see many bad SEO practices that directly affect the score and position on SERPs, so addressing these mistakes is indispensable for ranking at the top.
We showed you the main bad SEO practices you can make and some examples that will help you understand how they impact the website and why you should avoid them. Now, it’s time to start planning your strategy and optimizing your content.
Remember that hiring a professional agency can be the key to reaching better results and finally achieving your objectives. Follow all the tips listed above, and you’ll instantly notice an increase in your rank and other metrics, like the number of visitors and how long they stay on your page.
SEO specialist with over eight years of professional experience. A/B test and Data-Driven Search engine optimization enthusiast. In his work, he focuses on the development and implementation of a strategy that achieves predetermined, specific goals. Privately, a fan of mountain biking.