Small business SEO is a vitally important part of successful online marketing. Small businesses do not have the same resources as large corporations to buy online advertising on all the popular websites, nor compete with pay per click on certain top keywords. Thus, a sound small business SEO strategy is necessary.
However, there are small business SEO methods that could work to your disadvantage. Be advised that many website owners have tried sneaky or tricky search engine optimization strategies and have suffered dearly with the resulting fallout.
What are some of the possible results of doing things search engines hate?
- Your site will be poorly ranked – Not the worst outcome, but if you do not employ sound small business SEO strategies, your website could suffer low rankings on certain keyword or search terms.
- Your site won’t be found – One possible outcome is that your small business SEO won’t be successful at all. Your website will not be categorized or logged properly by the major search engine “bots”, and your ranking will not appear in search results.
- Your site could get sandboxed – Don’t think that major search engines won’t exclude you altogether. Google is notorious for finding culprits of sneaky small business SEO tactics and banning them from search results altogether.
So what is it that search engines hate most? Here are the top 8 most despised small business SEO methods.
The biggest crime in the eyes of search engines is duplicate content, which is text that has been plagiarized from another website. Too many small business owners make the mistake of copying and pasting text from another resource, rather than writing their own unique content. The result is that your website simply won’t appear in the search results. Make sure your web content is 100% unique to avoid being lost in the search engine abyss.
Flash is an animation format released by Adobe, and it is one of the most popular formats for introducing short animated vignettes on a website. Even some video formats are using Flash.
However, Flash does not provide any helpful content information that will help a search engine rank your website. If you use Flash, keep it as just a visual part of your website and not the entire web page of content.
Having a cool animated “splash” page can make a good impression on your visitors and customers. However, an animated “introduction” to your real website content does not get past search engines. Plus, extra time and clicks can easily turn off some visitors. Avoid losing visitors and improve your small business SEO rankings without the use of a splash page.
A website that has not been updated with fresh content is not good search engine optimization and does not impress search engines. Keep your small business website fresh with regularly updated content and new page publications of relevant keywords.
An image map is dividing a graphic or image into different clickable links. While this can be great for your visitors, image mapping does not provide any anchoring keywords for search engines to latch onto. If you must use image maps and clickable images, be sure to use captions and <alt> tags to define the image in small business SEO keywords.
A search engine hates nothing more than a website that “stuffs” massive amounts of keywords to trick it into thinking the site offers something relevant. Websites that get caught stuffing hundreds of keywords on a page with the purpose of trying to jerry rig or skew results could get quickly banned.
Similarly to keyword stuffing, hiding keywords within your HTML coding is also poor small business SEO, and it could have the same sandboxing results.
Cloaked Landing Pages
Scurrilous web designers will try to trick a search engine by designing a relevant web page with all the appropriate keywords, but quickly redirect a visitor to another website that is completely unrelated. This is called “cloaking” a website and can quickly get a website fully banned from Google. Keep your small business SEO legitimate and present a website that a visitor expects when they click a link.