SEO trends change annually with the development of new software and new Google guidelines released regularly. That makes website owners keep up with the novelties and be ready to make changes to their standard SEO approaches. Staying abreast of the latest techniques and trends can lead to unpredictable negative consequences: outdated SEO strategies may result in Google downranking and a sudden and a decrease in a number of visitors. That is why being aware of the top SEO traps to avoid it is much easier to build a right and winning strategy.
- Unnatural link building
All the reasons of downranking are listed in Google’s webmaster guidelines. Unnatural link building is among them. According to John Mueller, not all the links lead to penalties. Google representatives mentioned that you can buy, sell or ask for links but only within the guidelines, but unnaturally created links and spam are considered improper. Any violations of rules can bring about penalties and downranking, so it is advisable to use more advanced tactics of link building.
- Anchor texts inclusion
Anchor texts used to be the easiest way to receive the highest Google ranking only a couple of years ago. The release of Penguin updates has changed the situation completely as this software detects over-optimized websites to penalize them. But it concerns only abusing anchor texts, so a restricted number of right texts can still play an important role for ranking. Today, modern case studies offer to use only a couple of highly relevant anchored links and several important keywords. Branded anchored texts contribute to the top ranking too.
- Specific page targeting
Another old-fashioned SEO trend that can result in troubles with Google is targeting one or a specific page. The positive experience of link profile use shows that this approach is much more productive. Google experts including Neil Patel consider building a link profile one of the most influential SEO factors. The first step to its creation is to evaluate all the links present on your website with the help of a Google Webmaster account.
- Non-responsive mobile web design
Google pays much attention to the responsiveness of the website that is why it is better to make your site mobile friendly. They usually show a better performance and are quicker to load. With the incredible growth in the Internet use performed from the mobile devices, it is necessary to make the user experience as comfortable as possible. Ignoring this piece of advice, you may experience Google’s penalties and lose a bigger part of your regular customers.
- Low rate of user engagement
The objective of every website is to attract as many visitors as possible. That is preferable for business websites, but at the same time, it is an indication of the website success. Numerous users will guarantee a better ranking of the site in the search results so their engagement is to be improved.
There are several ways to draw the attention of more users. You should evaluate who your target audience is and take a look at its preferences. That can be done through A/B testing, where you will create two designs of the website to learn which of them appeals more, or you may start a survey about the preferable content users would like to see on the site. Enhanced engagement is a guarantee of higher ranking.
- Negative user experience
Another fact taken by Google into consideration while ranking is the experience users have visited the website. The aim of each website is to make a person stay on it for a longer period of time as this dwell time is incredibly important to be ranked higher. That means that despite the fact what the purpose of the visit was a user must get interested in the information he sees on the website. If he or she returns to the search results immediately without site exploring, you may have a dramatic drop in your ranking. That is why it is necessary to add visual appeal, easy navigation and premium content to the site for it to catch up users at first sight.
- Rare content updates
Brilliant and exciting content is the main feature that makes users spend more time on the web page. When a user has found something great on your website, he will undoubtedly return to look for anything else. But if you update your posts not regularly and rarely, that will prevent him from visiting the page again. Fresh and original content is a key to website success and Google’s appreciation.
- Low-quality content
Google has released Panda with all its updates to remove poor quality content from best rankings. Plagiarized and automatically generated texts are detected easily. Moreover, they are avoided by users and spoil their experience. That is why the only right answer is a focus on the premium quality content that will contribute to the ranking of the site.
- Annoying interstitial advertisements
The announcement of Google to punish for use of these ads seems quite reasonable. They spoil the impression of the website and are rather annoying. They hide the relevant data and not everyone is ready to search for a tiny “close” button. Since fall 2015 Google lowers the status of sites with such ads though they are not forbidden.
- Misuse of Google reconsideration requests
Violation of Google guidelines leads to penalties, but it still leaves you a chance to make all the necessary alterations and send a reconsideration request to revoke being penalized. Unfortunately, if you make the same mistake after a successful reconsideration, you will face much more difficulties to pass through this process again. Don’t lose your chance to be excused by Google and stand on the same rakes!