Five Sure-Fire Ways to Remove Your Site from Google
Please pardon the headlines in this article. I’ve had a ton of coffee and I am having too much fun writing this one. It’s an interesting topic that I think needs to be addressed in detail. Why? Because I get legitimate questions about these all the time. I spend a lot of time interacting with clients in various industries. So, I get a lot of questions like “would this help my SEO if we…”. Sometimes it’s a great idea my client either read online or heard from a previous SEO consultant. Other times, I want to scream NOOOOO at the top of my lungs to get a point across. The point is that you can really hurt your business if you use black hat or out-of-date SEO tactics. So, today I am going to cover five really terrible SEO ideas that might get your site completely taken down for 6 months.
The Definitive Guide to Destroying Google Rank
In just 5 easy steps
How to Destroy SEO: Step 1 – Instant Backlinks
Backlinks are important for your SEO. The fact is, domain authority depends on quality, relevant backlinks. The more people linking to your site, the better. Well, sort of. You see, linking needs to be natural or earned. Back in the day, black-hats could get away with murder. Just design a bot to spam forums with comments, and get 50,000 backlinks in a day! Google cracked down on this years ago, but there are still people on Fiverr offering robotic backlinks.
Unfortunately, there are business owners out there who are completely unaware. It’s too good to be true, but people fall victim to it all the time. They might get really good results for a week or two until Google’s human team investigates and takes the site out of the search engine results page (SERP) for 6 months. Never, never, never buy backlinks! I use a few tools to automate what I do and make things easier, but I never pay for robotic backlinks. It just doesn’t work anymore, and it was unethical to begin with.
Step 2: Shady Backlinks
These days, Google places more emphasis on the quality of your backlinks. Having 500 links from low-quality sites will not get you as far as one quality backlink from an authority site. SEO’s have tools that actually rank sites based on “toxicity”. If a site is considered toxic by the major search engines, it can lower your rank to get a link from that site. So, you have to be careful of links that are created without using a bot if they come from bad sites. It’s best to work with an experienced SEO instead of trying to get your own backlinks. We have tools that can evaluate sites. I have an extensive list of sites that I know provide quality backlinks, and we earn them over time. Play by Google’s rules, and you’ll be fine. Don’t fall into the trap of easy link-juice. Quality trumps quantity.
Step 3: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Text
Don’t be a chameleon! You have a great business, so tell the world about it. Hidden text is a bad idea. I had a client ask me about adding white text to an empty white background in order to boost the content on the page. Google loves content, but they hate deceptive tactics.
This black-hat tactic might have worked well in 2010, but now it’s just a great way to get your site removed from the SERP. If you’re concerned about your page being too busy with long-form content, there are other options. It all gets back to quality web design. We can design a page to look great while still providing 2,000+ words of quality content. With the focus on mobile search these days, I recommend using a lot of accordion text to break up your content into categories. Google does not penalize accordion text. This is the proper way to make your page less busy, yet content rich.
Step 4: Keyword Stuffing
This is another tactic that simply will not work in 2017. This one won’t completely remove your site from the SERP, but have fun trying to hit page 1. Keyword stuffing sort-of relates to my last topic because when people hide text, it’s usually a set of keywords repeated over and over. Bad idea! There is probably no “optimal keyword density” anymore. Search engines have evolved past the need for that. However, if you have the same word repeated over and over on a page, it’s going to get flagged. Chances are, your site will take a big hit if you try. So, don’t even try. Write compelling, natural content. Don’t make attempts to hide it. Just make something an actual human would read.
Add your keywords to the content, title tag, meta description, H1/H2, URL, and images. But don’t stuff keywords. Don’t stuff 100 characters into an image alt description. Not only is that bad for SEO, it’s a really mean thing to do. Those descriptions are there for the disabled. There’s software that reads off the alt description for the blind. Don’t keyword stuff your alt tags. Don’t be that guy. Just don’t! Put a relevant, 5-6 word description in there and be done with it. If your content and technical SEO is good, that should be enough to rank with a good link-building strategy.
Step 5: Spun Content
Again, this is not a thing that will completely destroy your rank. But don’t plan on hitting page 1 and staying there for long. When people read a bad article, they don’t just leave they bounce. That bounce rate will drop your ranking like a sack of bricks. Quality content stays ranked, bad content falls off the radar.
What I am mostly referring to here is robot spun content. Google is getting really smart with their AI. It’s almost Skynet-level scary stuff! You know, like robots taking over the world if they get too much smarter. It’s just a matter of time before Google will know if you ripped off an article and ran it through spinning software. Your site content needs to be easy to read. If you’ve ever ran across a spun article, you know how unnatural the sentences are. Don’t spin, just create quality content over time.
Having said that, there is hand-spinning. That’s where you rewrite another article by hand. When you do that, it actually sounds natural. If you’re a good writer, this can be some quality content for your site. Just be sure to run it through copyscape. If it passes and you think it’s well-written, go for it. I’ll be completely honest, I come up with ideas all the time by combining elements of different articles into a new story. It’s hard to be original these days because technology makes it so easy to write, and that’s a good thing. So, don’t be afraid to get inspiration from other bloggers and link back to them when it’s appropriate.
SEO – There ain’t no easy way out
What is it with me and these headings today? “There ain’t no easy way out” was running through my head for some reason this morning. Anyway,you probably noticed a theme with all five of these. In each case, someone was trying to cut corners and save time. There’s no risk-free shortcuts in SEO. There ain’t no easy way out! Google makes the rules, we just play in their world. So, don’t do anything unethical and you won’t have to worry about Panda, Penguin, Honey-Badger, Ninja Sloth, or whatever the hell they name the next big change. There’s only three things you need to worry about with SEO in 2017 or 2047: Good content, technical on-page work, and quality links from respected sites. Work hard enough on those three areas and your site will rank. It takes time, and that’s why most businesses hire a good SEO agency to put the hours in. Give us a call if you need some help: 205.636.8612