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SEO Tricks That Will Lead to Ranking Purgatory

You know the old saying “Effort gives results, and good results require significant effort”, right? Well, the same applies to search engine optimization, and using spammy SEO tricks to cut corners.

If you try to automate things with SEO, and use spammy techniques to trick search engines through one of the following, you may end up in ranking purgatory, a polite way of saying banned from ever appearing on Google.

Stuffing with keywords

Once upon a time, way before Google, you could publish a page with your target keyword repeated 100 times, and get easily ranked for it. Those times are ages ago. It still puzzles me people still try it though. This is still one of the spammy SEO tricks people try,

Keyword stuffing, or keyword density, is the idea that you need to use a certain percentage of keywords on every page based on the word count. This used to matter, because it helped Google better understand what your page was about. But as the algorithm has gotten smarter the less Google has to rely on exact match keywords to figure out what your site is all about.

It doesn’t matter what keywords you use if the content doesn’t support your idea/theme. You can fill your article about sleep problems with links to a car sales website, but it won’t look natural. Focus more on creating great content that sells your company and your brand as experts and don’t worry so much about using a particular keyword 19 times per 212 words!

Swapping links

Google came up with the concept that backlinks are like votes; the more you have, the better your website must be. So once that was realised, everyone started swapping links left and right with any site they could find, no matter how relevant or dodgy.

Google put the brakes on these link exchanges a long time ago, calling them link schemes designed to manipulate search rankings (which they were). Most site owners know better than to offer a link for a link, but link exchanges are still being offered and accepted every day.

Link exchanges might be one of the oldest SEO tricks in the book and you want to avoid it at all costs!

Blog commenting or automated links

Jump on marketplaces and you’ll soon see services offering 1,000 links for only $20, etc. Unbelievable? Yes they are. These are all automated link software, doing one of a few things.

They may be spamming the comments sections of poorly managed blogs. They could just be creating cheap backlinks by spinning articles and publishing on free sites. They could be just submitting your link to plenty of low value bookmarking sites.

In any case, many of these processes can harm your SEO if you are found out. Avoid the risk and don’t do it!

Posting same content everywhere

Before recent updates, one way to get your content out (and earn a bunch of links in the process) was to submit your work to various distribution networks. You could easily publish the same post on 10 different content distribution sites with no real editorial process, so the moment you hit publish it went live.

Some of those sites even did well organically, which was good from a branding experience. But like any of these other SEO tricks, the spammers come out of the woodwork to turn a treat into a trick!

Google realized that people were publishing the same post dozens of time and building a lot of unnatural links in the process, artificially inflating the SEO value of their website.

You can still find great sites to publish your guest content on, but it has to be original, informative, and thought-provoking and above all-else, the only one of its kind!

Avoid these SEO tricks

Put the effort in and get real results – avoid the above SEO tricks, and continue to write great content, be mindful of white hat on-page optimization and build natural backlinks. Good luck with your SEO!

By Lauren Clarke

Lauren Clarke is an Australian freelance blogger, who writes on small business marketing, human resources and business for a number of blogs. Outside of writing, she enjoys sampling Australian red wines, and live theatre.

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