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Let’s face it: search engine optimization tips are a dime a dozen. While some strategies are time-tested to ensure high SEO rankings, there are plenty of others that will drive your site into the ground. With Google’s most recent Penguin update, harmful SEO practices are now easier than ever to detect. And if they are detected on your site, the implications could be disastrous.

But why does Google make it such a priority to regularly update their search engine? And how do these updates work?

Search engine technicians are constantly studying developments in SEO and adapting accordingly. They tinker with algorithms to ensure the search engines are always one step ahead of the game. This is done primarily in order to ensure that visitors are able to find the content they desire. But undoubtedly, updates like Penguin are also directed attacks on dishonest black-hat SEO practices.

With the most recent Penguin updates, there are a number of SEO practices that appear to be helpful. The reality is that many of these are actually destructive to your site. Can you tell the difference between the helpful and harmful practices? Keep reading for a quick litmus test for your SEO practices.

harmful seo practices


Four Harmful SEO Practices

1. Build thousands of links in a short span of time. Link building is a great method to improve SEO. However, with recent updates, search engines can now detect if your links are naturally built. While it’s tempting to put hundreds – or thousands – of links on your website to widen your reach, this won’t be a good long-term solution. It may yield growth for a few weeks, but eventually Google will penalize you for the unnatural practices it sees pull you out of search results.

2. Write short articles with focus on keyword density. Focusing SEO efforts on “keyword density” and “content brevity” are beneficial when it comes to the technical side of SEO. However, with the updates to search engine algorithms, the main needs have now shifted the quality of content. Your site will see growth by publishing articles that are not only unique, but also very informative.

3. Cloaking. This dirty technique involves “fooling” a search engine spider to grab a specific content, when your readers something totally different on page. Spammers do this. Thus, this once often-utilized black-hat practice should now be a thing of the past for all. If it isn’t yet for your company, think about making the necessary changes.

4. Duplicated content online. Unfortunately, the phrase “the more, the merrier” doesn’t apply to search engines. Some SEO companies will make you believe that putting your content on multiple websites will make it easier for search engine spiders to find them. The reality, however, is this: how will the spiders know which copy is more relevant? It becomes a matter of ownership and relevance to the search keywords, which you will not achieve if you engage in content duplication.

In summary, getting involved in these scheming or unethical SEO techniques will give you a one way ticket to disaster. The best way to reach the top of the search results leader boards is to play fair and provide high quality content to the online community.

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Michael Transon

Michael Transon is the CEO of Victorious. He's a big fan of ASU football, his cat Tux, and dinner parties. He lives at Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset Neighborhood.

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