Google has made a lot of changes to its search over its lifespan, but never have these been greater than in the last year or so. We've seen all kinds of new algorithm changes like Google Penguin and Panda, the introduction of semantic search, lots of new rules that can get you penalized and the integration of social search.
All this has basically meant that the SEO rules we once adhered to no longer apply in every situation – and that many of the things we once thought were good moves to help improve our visibility can now get us into trouble. This is why it's so important to use SEO companies or an SEO agency so that you can avoid these mistakes and use only the most up-to-date and relevant techniques to promote your site in the SERPs. Here are some examples of things that were once good moves that can now get you into trouble.
Ads Above the Fold: There was a time you could cram as much advertising as you liked on your site. Then Google limited our use of Adsense to just three ads per page, and now they have introduced algorithms that penalize sites for using too many adverts in relation to their content. If you have more than two ads above the 'fold' (the bottom of the screen when someone loads your page) or if you have more ads than content visible when someone loads up, then your site will be viewed as spam and penalized.
Blog Rolls: Blog rolls are completely harmless and a great way to show other bloggers that you appreciate their content and hopefully get a reciprocal link. However an SEO agency like Webfirm now recognizes that blog rolls can be mistaken by Google for being a trick to get your site more visibility by making a deal with lots of other blogs. This is an easy way to generate a lot of links quickly that doesn't necessarily take into account quality, so Google is clamping down and sadly that means some innocent sites are being damaged too. If you have any kind of link exchange deal or are part of anything such as a web ring then this could get you into trouble so it's time to stop.
Huge Numbers of Links: If you have huge numbers of links pointing to your site that are of mixed quality and relevancy then this can now do a lot more harm than good. This is one of the ways that lots of sites have spammed Google and again Google is responding by punishing them. Make sure that you look for quality rather than quantity when you accumulate links and keep the all relevant to your site. If you notice your site suddenly drop in the rankings then this could be a result of 'negative SEO' which is when a competitor creates lots of spammy-looking links pointing at your site in order to encourage Google to penalize you. Here you will need an SEO agency such as Webfirm to try and run damage limitation.
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