This is part 3 in our SEO series. We've already talked about what SEO is and how to use it and outlined the difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO techniques, but now we're going to deep dive into the 'seriously, do not try this' realm with 7 SEO techniques to avoid (unless you want to be booted to page 72 of Google).
1. Thou shalt not spam
Rule # 1. Don't spam
Rule # 2. Seriously don't spam
Rule # 3. See rules numbered 1 and 2.
It may seem tempting to stuff your content full of unrelated (but popular) keywords or have hidden text in your webpages so you turn up in a wide range of searches, but doing things this way will end badly. Don't think the search engine spiders won't catch you out. They will, and then you run the risk of your search rank reducing or having your web content permanently removed from search databases. And don't think that this wont happen to you! BMW and J. C. Penney both got caught out by the Google-Bots for being sneaky with their SEO.
2. Don't over-do your keywords
It is important not to spam your legitimate key words in your headings, tags, ALT tags, in text, etc too. You should also avoid over linking to your previous content. This behaviour can flag you as "trying too hard" and search engines may rank you lower for not having enough link trust. Don't get us wrong, you should make sure your keywords appear in your URL, text, page heading etc, but your keywords should be carefully thought out and never overstuffed!
3. Don't use faux or unrelated guest posts
Being spammy also goes for guest posts. Make sure that your guest posts are legitimate don't just copy content from other sites or cash in on name-dropping, again these kind of tactics will see your SEO rank drop. For best results your guest posts should be relevant to you, be of high quality, and add value for the people reading them.
4. Don't write unrelated content
Not only should you shun name dropping in guest posts and using unrelated keywords, you should also avoid writing content that is not related to the theme of your website. Additionally make sure your page headings, article titles and your meta-data descriptions are related to your article or page content. Remember to write for people, not Google.
5. Never optimise your anchor text
Never, ever optimise your page anchor text. This may have been a legit technique once, but Google has flagged it in their list of link schemes to avoid. This means that if you try this out you can be heavily penalised in Google search results.
6. Avoid dodgy backlinks
The purchasing of low quality back links is another crappy technique that will get you into trouble. There are sites out there that generate these for you, but search engines have a few tricks to help them ignore these links and you will be frowned upon for aggressive link building. Natural, high quality links are the way to go and will see you rank higher in the long term.
7. Don't duplicate content
Don't copy content from other sites. Search engines will notice and both sites could potentially be penalised plus this is plagiarism and it won't make you look very good. If you need to publish similar or duplicate content between two or more of your own sites make sure you use canonical links so Google and friends know which is the right page to rank.