How To Find Out If Your Site Has Been Affected By Poor Optimisation Techniques
Bad SEO tactics can destroy businesses that are almost exclusively dependent on a high search engine ranking for their livelihood. Even if you were completely unaware that your website has been affected by bad SEO, Google can still scrutinise it and practically erase it from its listings. Here, we look at some ways to find out whether or not your site has been affected by out of date and potentially harmful SEO tactics.
How to recognise poor SEO practices : Research the company you’ve been hiring
If you have any reason to suspect that the content on your website or external links is jeapordising your online rankings, research the agency you hired for your SEO campaigns (if you used one, of course). You may find that other businesses have experienced similar problems with poor SEO and a reduction in their search engine rankings, especially since the Google Penguin update in 2012, when many websites using bad SEO tactics suffered a drastic fall in their rankings.
Over-optimised text is one of the most dangerous forms of this type of ‘SEO’ and is one of the most popular techniques used by these scam agencies. Indeed, during the Penguin Update, many businesses’ Google rankings plummeted because they had outsource their SEO campaigns to fraudulent agencies whose sole motive was to earn a short term profit from their clients, temporarily ‘inflate’ the company’s website ranking and take no consideration into the long term consequences that this would have for their client’s business in the long term.
If you don’t know, find out what constitutes bad SEO
Bad SEO can also be described as ‘Black Hat SEO’ and is designed to automatically ‘trick’ Google and other search engines into artificially inflating a website’s position in search results. Common techniques include using an unusually high number of keywords in articles, posting hundreds or even thousands of spam messages across the web, and creating content that simply lacks depth and originality (or has obviously been copied and rewritten from external sources altogether).
It should be noted many years ago, long before the rise of social media, Facebook and YouTube, it was perfectly feasible for businesses to stuff their websites with keywords and spend considerably less time on producing high quality content. This was acceptable in the early 2000s, when Google’s algorithms were significantly less advanced than they are now. Today, however, businesses have to work much harder to achieve the same level of online visibility; they have to connect with their customers in a much more meaningful way and across many different channels, whether it’s via blogging, Facebook, Google ads, e-mail newsletters or any other form of online (and offline) marketing.
Do you still have bad links?
Whether it’s creating hundreds (even thousands) of social profiles for the same website or posting excessive junk messages or creating hundreds of social bookmarks, Google has been quick to punish these websites that have essentially been built with faulty mechanisms, much in the way that a house is built with inferior materials that quickly collapse. Before the Penguin Update, having hundreds of thousands of links to your website was not a serious problem because the search engine’ algorithms did not monitor this criteria, even if the majority of these links were clearly not created in a ‘natural’ way.
If you were a client and you found out your agency was spending your hard-earned money on removing these links, which, at the time, were not jeapordising your online rankings, you probably would have been furious. Unfortunately, many businesses have had to spend a considerable amount of time and money on removing these same links; some smaller companies have even gone out of business due to the financial impact of losing their vital position at the top of Google.
Keep on track of your SEO and get regularly updates from your agency
If you are outsourcing your SEO and website content to an external agency, make sure you receive regularly updates on the progress of your online campaigns and understand which techniques the agency is using and how they are impacting on your online rankings.
Danny Hall is the founder of The SEO Essex Co, an up and coming SEO company that specialises in helping businesses rank organically within the search engines. The agency now offers link removal services for webmasters who are being penalised as a result of previous bad link building techniques.