In the Wild West of the SEO world there are many short-cuts you can take which can back-fire on you. This is why it is important to study Google’s Webmaster Guidelines so one can find out the truth, from the source and avoid such mistakes. Here are a few:
1. Don’t stuff alt tags of images
Alt tags themselves have barely any weight in Google’s algorithms. Which makes one wonder why so many SEOs/Marketers go wild on them, stuffing them with keywords and multiple sentences. The alt tag just needs a few words describing what is in the image. It is not going to boost your page’s rankings.
2. Don’t use the keyword meta tag
Because SEOs spammed the dickens out of the keyword tag back in the day, Google took the logical next step, and that was to discount & ignore entirely, the meta keyword tag. Therefore, it is completely unnecessary.
Now, people are doing the same with the meta title tag. It wouldn’t be surprising if Google starts giving less weight to this too, and eventually abandons it.
3. Don’t use ‘filler content’
People who desire and seek out ‘filler content’ or ‘filler pages’ at once display their ignorance on the subject of SEO and marketing.
‘filler content’ is actually not content. The word content implies something meaningful and useful to the web visitor, something which ‘filler’ certainly is not. Filler content is created for search engines, and not for web visitors. It is stuffed with keywords, it looks like real text, it is banal, robotic, it doesn’t improve the reader. When you think of ‘filler content’ think of ‘E-zine’ articles and you’ll be on the right track.
What is a good measure of how good your content is?
You could ask yourself this question: If my content (page) was gone tomorrow, would anyone miss it? (Would people be bummed that they could no longer get that content on my site). If you can answer ‘yes’ to that question then you have truly great content.
Garbage, ‘filler’ content is not missed nor is it needed.
4. Don’t create duplicate content
Some people take filler content to a whole other level. They copy the pages over and over and simply adjust some keywords on each page, in order to have some variation and then call it a day. The result is basically duplicate content. This content is utterly useless to the user and also can be penalized by Google.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t copy some paragraphs of content and paste them into multiple pages on your site. That is reasonable. What isn’t reasonable is having basically the same pages, over and over again. A site that does this is being made to ‘cater’ to Google, by providing it keywords and text. Google is their ‘customer’. Sites like this are not made for people. Which is ironic, as I’ve never heard of Google filling out a Free Request, becoming a lead, and then increasing your revenue.
5. Don’t do anything weird
This is pretty obvious. You will know deep down if you’re doing something which seems a little weird. Examples:
1) Buying likes/followers
2) Buying links
3) Joining link networks
4) Using automated content creation tools
5) Spamming forums with links to your site