Costly Search Engine Mistakes to Avoid
Michael Thomas - 08/04/09
This list of common search engine mistakes, made by many website owners, will help you generate more
targeted traffic to your site...after all, isn't that what you want.
If you have a website then you already know the importance of
traffic. Traffic is to Internet marketing as location is to real estate. It's the only thing that really matters.
If you cannot generate targeted visitors to your site, you will not make any sales.
Usually the owner or designer of the website
is the person designated to drive traffic to the site. The chief ingredient in generating traffic is the search
engine. Of course, you can use advertising, but it's going to cost you. Using the search engines to generate
targeted (interested in your product) traffic is the least expensive method known.
Unfortunately, many website owners do not
understand the importance of search engine visibility, which leads to traffic. They place more importance on
producing a "pretty" website. Not that this is bad, but it is really secondary to search engine placement.
Hopefully, the following list of common search mistakes, made by many website owners, will help you
generate more targeted traffic to your site...after all, isn't that what you want.
- Not using keywords effectively.
This is probably one of the most critical
areas of site design. Choose the right keywords and potential customers will find your site. Use the wrong ones
and your site will see little, if any, traffic.
- Repeating the same keywords.
When you use the same keywords over and over
again (called keyword stacking) the search engines may downgrade (or skip) the page or site.
- Robbing pages from other websites.
How many times have you heard or read that
"this is the Internet and it's ok" to steal icons and text from websites to use on your site. Don't do it. Its
one thing to learn from others who have been there and another to outright copy their work. The search engines
are very smart and usually detect page duplication. They may even prevent you from ever being listed by
- Using keywords that are not related to your website.
Many unethical website owners try to gain
search engine visibility by using keywords that have nothing at all to do with their website. They place
unrelated keywords in a page (such as "sex", the name of a known celebrity, the hot search topic of the day,
etc.) inside a meta tag for a page. The keyword doesn't have anything to do with the page topic. However, since
the keyword is popular, they think this will boost their visibility. This technique is considered spam by the
search engines and may cause the page (or sometimes the whole site) to be removed from the search engine
- Keyword stuffing.
Somewhat like keyword stacking listed above,
this means to assign multiple keywords to the description of a graphic or layer that appears on your website by
using the "alt=" HTML parameter. If the search engines find that this text does not really describe the graphic
or layer it will be considered spam.
- Relying on hidden text.
You might be inclined to think that if you
cannot see it, it doesn't hurt. Wrong.... Do not try to hide your keywords or keyword phrases by making them
invisible. For example, some unethical designers my set the keywords to the same color as the background of the
web page; thereby, making it invisible.
- Relying on tiny text.
This is another version of the item above
(relying on hidden text). Do not try to hide your keywords or keyword phrases by making them tiny. Setting the
text size of the keywords so small that it can barely be seen does this.
- Assuming all search engines are the same.
Many people assume that each search engine
plays by the same rules. This is not so. Each has their own rule base and is subject to change anytime they so
desire. Make it a point to learn what each major search engine requires for high visibility.
- Using free web hosting.
Do not use free web hosting if you are
really serious about increasing site traffic via search engine visibility. Many times the search engines will
eliminate content from these free hosts.
- Forgetting to check for missing
web page elements.
Make sure to check every page in your
website for completeness, like missing links, graphics, etc. There are sites on the web that will do this for
This is just a few of the search engine mistakes and techniques that you should
avoid. Do not give in to the temptation that these methods will work for you. They will do more harm than good
for your website.
Not only will you spend weeks of wasted
effort, you may have your site banned from the search engines forever. Invest a little time to learn the proper
techniques for increasing search engine visibility and your net traffic will increase.
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