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Misconceptions about Search Engines

There are misconceptions about search engines and how they work as search engine algorithms become far more sophisticated.

Back ten years ago it was far easier to game the system to gain ranking but of recent times with Google leading the charge with their different algorithms Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird all targetting different areas slamming the door on spammy practices.

All search engines are secretive about their algorithms that continually change and evolve on a daily or weekly basis. Google have around 500 changes each year.

Correcting Misconceptions about Search Engines…

In this article I will provide some insight into the misconceptions about search engines listing the do’s and don’ts of search engine optimization and being penalized.

A good starting point is Search Engine Webmaster Guidelines from Google.  Google being the largest search engine best look to their webmaster guidelines.

1.  SEO practices that count in articles.

1.1 Keywords

The use of keywords in strategic positions and best in a natural way

  • Within the subject heading
  • At the very start of the article
  • In the headings – H1, H2 and H3
  • Within the article. I like to have the density of 1% or less with more use of synonyms
  • Above all stay away from keyword stuffing

1.2 Meta Data

Keywords must be included in this vital data

  • Meta tags
  • Meta description tag

1.3  SEO do’s and don’ts

SEO do’s and don’ts for success are best practices in improving your overall website.

1.4  Use of images

Images are eye candy to the brain and keep visitors onsite longer.

1.5  Links to trusted sites

Search engines have a trust status about the source and longer term trusted website. Examples Government organisations, Wikipedia, MOZ, Copyblogger and the like.

1.6  Paid advertising.

There is no evidence that paid advertising has a positive effect on organic search results.

2.  SEO practices that diminish your website authority.

Search engines analyse individual pages and the whole website.

2.1  Spammy practices

Spammy practices are not liked by humans and search engines.  In the long term you will be caught up with and it will cost you.

2.2  Search engine algorithms

Search engine algorithms are getting smarter by the day and you will never know what they will hit and when.  Websites today have a trust status ranking as to the quality of content and with whom they associate.

2.3  Keyword stuffing.

The use of spammy tehniques stuffing your article in an unnatural way with keywords.

2.4  Manipulative Links.

There are a wide range of link schemes in an attempt to game search engines such as reciprocal link exchanges, paid links, link directories, etc.

2.5  Cloaking

The practice of showing search engines one thing in HTML code and humans something else.

2.6  Low value pages

May not be considered spammy but is of low value.  It is better to upgrade the page with unique quality content using the best SEO practices than cancel it.

3.  Penalty Prevention.

Google Webmaster Guidelines are a great place to start – it will help identify

3.1  Best practices

The best practices to help search engines find, crawl and index your website.

3.2  Violations

It will also advise of site content violations that can have a negative impact to your performance in areas of

  • Syndicated (copied) content
  • Affiliate – high value original content and reviews but by copying becomes low value
  • Doorway sites that are a number of simple websites that feed to the main domain site

4.  Actions to take if you have been Penalized

Other than a sudden drop in ranking and visitors to your website you may not know the reason for being penalized.

4.1  Google Webmaster

By being registered with the free Search Console tools it is a great place to start with a Google friendly site to provide diagnostics for the health of your website. 

4.2  MOZ’s flow chart.

These are the suggested steps to take in a systematic method to have the penalty reversed.

It may take weeks, months or never for the search engine penalty to be reconsidered.

4.3  Start a new website

By building a brand new website on a new domain may be the only alternative this time staying within the webmaster guidelines.

Summarizing Misconceptions about Search Engines

Be aware it may take weeks, months or never for the search engine penalty to be reconsidered.

Back ten years ago it was far easier to game the system to gain ranking but of recent times with Google leading the charge with their different algorithms Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird all targetting different areas slamming the door on spammy practices.

There are misconceptions about search engines and how they work as search engine algorithms become far more sophisticated.

Author

Joe Fares

Founder of UltraSEOSolutions and a Digital Marketing Consultant, a great advocate of educating beginners on the competency of SEO, and helping small businesses dominate their niche. Joe is known for public speaking on SEO and online entrepreneurship, and has been awarded by Payoneer in 2017/2018, for being the most successful entrepreneur in the MENA region.

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