For many reasons, the last decade has been very difficult for me, as well as very kind to me in various contradictory relationships. I have had personal tragedies in my life that have brought me to my knees, and at the same time (and in some cases because of these tragedies) I have faced one opportunity after another. One such opportunity was the emergence of search engine optimization in the industry almost half a century ago.
I initially came across the industry while I was struggling to win tender contracts on freelance project sites to earn extra income for my family. I took on a very low paid role with the owner of a small interior design business who wanted to use a blog attached to his business site to attract potential customers. He wanted what every blog owner wanted – highly optimized content that would attract crowds from search engines.
SEO learning process
That’s the first thing I learned when I jumped into the SEO pool – an industry full of sharks and “gurus.” Often I had to get advice from someone who seemed to know what they were talking about, but it turned out that the advice was SEO SEO of the 1990s era, filled with frequent SEO errors and no longer effective method in today’s Web 2.0 world. And there are some SEO experts so fed up with bad advice, and SEO fraud artists, that there are now entire blogs dedicated to exposing bad SEO and identifying these common SEO mistakes, such as the precisely named bad-seo.com.
I feel sorry for the people who make the blog’s popularity list like this! With that said, such blogs serve an important purpose – they inform business and blog owners about the serious dangers of hiring an “seo expert” who either (a) doesn’t know what they’re doing and/or (b) uses “black hat SEO” techniques that can attract significant immediate traffic, but will ultimately ruin your long-term ranking at Google.
Top Ten Most Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid
Over the years, while studying SEO techniques, I’ve learned that many old methods and myths of the 1990s are no longer only ineffective, but in some cases can seriously damage the rating of your website or search engine blog. So I wanted to share some of these SEO errors and help you avoid driving your blog or website right from the information highway into the ditch.
SEO Error No. 1: Packing meta tags filled with keywords does NOT optimize your page
In the 1990s, for many webmasters, “SEO optimization” was simply adding relevant keyword phrases to the meta-tag pages. Here’s an example of a site that focuses heavily on meta-keywords:
There’s nothing wrong with adding keywords to this field that present reliable information on the page itself, but posting a long list of similar phrases with duplicate words (up to 10 or 12 phrases) is the main SEO error.
And since this year, or rather since September 2009, due to the fact that for many years webmasters constantly used meta keywords to spam keywords, Google no longer even looks at meta keywords to rank your site. This doesn’t mean that meta-keywords are useless for aligning pages with specific valuable search phrases, but certainly it’s nowhere near as valuable as it used to be, and overuse can put your site at risk for a lower ranking.
When you visit MakeUseOf, you’ll notice that the headlines are not only descriptive and relevant to what the article is actually written about, but also the URL (also known as a permanent link). Every SEO guru worthy of his attention knows that the two most effective areas of the web page that you can get the most for their efforts are the headline and the constant link.
They don’t always have to be the same, but they need to focus on the main phrase you’re trying to navigate in your article. If you don’t target this phrase in your title and constant link, you’re wasting your time and reaching only a small fraction of your target audience online. In WordPress, you can set up a permanent link so that it is descriptive.
As you can see, I set up my TopSecretWriters blog to use the month/title and headline posts. Never set it up for any pointless numbering system.
I would never suggest that a web designer should not use the latest and best website script languages that offer more interactive work on the web, but using scripts to serve all or most of the content of your website is a SUICIDE SEO. Take, for example, the website of fashion entrepreneur Mark Ecco.
The creator of Mark’s website tried to make up for it by listing about half the page of keywords in the meta-keyword tag – but how much will it help now that Google no longer uses meta keywords to rank sites? These sites are excellent, but there should always be primary HTML content with encoding that you can optimize even if there is Flash on the page.
Build your SEO optimized site from scratch
The fact is that SEO optimization should start from the moment you lay the first stone in the basis of your site. This does not mean that an existing site cannot be “fixed” but you will be much more successful if you start working on your site correctly from day one. The above tips are about how your website is built and the elements that identify every web page in the world. In the second part, I’ll talk about the actual content of your page and how you can optimize your site without compromising the quality of your content.
Do you have any tips on SEO? Did you make any mistakes you learned from? Share your experiences in the comments section below.