Common Search Engine Mistakes That Kill Your Ranking

By: Ivan Kelly

Devious means of designing webpages to attract search engine traffic can easily backfire. These are just a few of the methods and techniques that you should keep away from. Don't give in to the temptation that they will work for you. Rather, they will do more harm than good for your website.

Not only will you spend weeks of wasted effort, you may have your site banned from the search engines permanently. Spend a little time learning the proper methods for improving search engine visibility and your web traffic will increase.

1. Free Web Hosting.
Don't consider using free web hosting if you are serious about increasing traffic by means of search engine visibility. Many times the search engines will eliminate content from these free hosts. As well, visitors will often consider these sites to be amateurish.

2. Missing Web Page Elements.
Be sure to check every page in your website for completeness, like faulty links, graphics, etc. There are sites on the web that will do this for free.

3. Stealing Material From Other Websites.
How many times have you heard or read that "this is the Internet and it's reasonable" to take icons and text from websites to use on your site. Don't do it. It's one thing to learn from others who have been there and another to simply copy their work. The search engines are smart, and getting smarter, and more often than not notice page duplication. They may even prevent or delay your future listings.

4. Using Keywords That Are Not Related To Your Website.
Many unprincipled website owners try to increase search engine visibility by using keywords that have nothing at all to do with their website. They place unrelated keywords in a page (such as "sex", the name of a recognized famous person, the hot search theme of the day, et cetera) in a meta tag for a page. The keyword doesn't have anything to do with the page theme. Though, since the keyword is popular, they think this will increase their visibility. This method is considered spam by the search engines and may cause the page (or even the whole site) to be removed from the search engine listing.

5. Inappropriate Choice Of Keywords.
Used correctly, keyword selection is almost certainly one of the critical elements of site design. Choose the right keywords and customers will find your site. Use the wrong ones, your site will see little, if any traffic.

6. Repeating The Same Keywords.
When you use the same keywords over and over again (called keyword stacking) the search engines may demote (or skip) the page or site .

7. Using Concealed Text.
You might think that if you cannot see them, it doesn't matter. Incorrect. Don't try to hide your keywords or keyword phrases by making them iinvisible. For example, by making the keywords the same color as the background of the web page.

8. Using Tiny Text.
This is a variation of the item above (relying on hidden text. Don't try to conceal your keywords or keyword phrases by making them tiny. Making the size of the keywords so small that they can hardly be seen causes an alert to be raised.

9. Keyword Stuffing.
Rather like keyword stacking mentioned above, this means to add unrelated keywords to the description of a graphic or tag by using the "alt=" HTML descriptor. If the search engines find that this text does not actually describe the graphic or tag it will be considered spam.

10. Assuming All Search Engines Are The Same.
Many people take for granted that each search engine adopts by the same rules. This is not so. Each has its own rule base and these are subject to change anytime they so wish. Make it a point to learn what each major search engine requires for gaining a high ranking.

If you have a website then you know the significance of traffic. Traffic is to Internet advertising what location is to real estate. It's crucial to your success. If you cannot attract targeted visitors to your site, you won't make any sales.

More often than not the proprietor or designer of the website is the person who drives traffic to the site. One major element in generating traffic is to be well regarded by the search engines. Of course, you can use paid publicity, but it's going to cost you. Using the search engines to generate targeted (interested in your product) traffic is the least expensive method known.

Unfortunately, many website owners don't appreciate the significance of search engine ranking, which leads to traffic. They place more significance on producing a "pretty" website. Not that this is bad, but it is actually of minor importance to the search engines when determining display ranking. Hopefully, being aware - VERY aware - of the list of common mistakes, made by many website owners, will help you attract more targeted free traffic to your site...after all, isn't that what you want?

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Ivan Kelly managed a Direct Mail business with extensive mailing lists for ten years and has designed and promoted many websites. He also provides a quality f'ree course on Search Engine Marketing. For details, go to: List Of Topics

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