Halloween is almost here! People will be decorating their homes and the trick-or-treaters will be working on their best trick-or-treat voice.
What better way is there for taking advantage of this holiday other than selling your products online?
However, there is a gilt-edged catch. To market your products online successfully, your website must be visible. This brings us to the issue of SEO strategies. While you might be desperate to make great sales during the holiday, it is important that you tread carefully. Some websites have attracted heavy penalties because of using unscrupulous online marketing strategies to gain higher rankings in the SERPs. Below are Top 10 spooky SEO strategies that could result in Google penalties, which is why you need to stay away from them!
1. Buying Links
There has been a certain trend in which people who own websites buy links. The main reason why people do this is to manipulate PageRank. The more links there are to your site, the more credible and relevant it appears, which could result in a higher ranking in the search results. Some people exploit this loophole by buying numerous unhelpful links, which abuses the meaning of link building. However, Google insists on strategic link building, and deviation from that strategy could be harmful.
You don’t want Google’s Penguin to be knocking on your door during Halloween! Think about it this way, short-term gain equals long-term pain with buying links!
2. Swapping Links
Swapping links comes second on the list of top 10 spooky SEO strategies that could result in a Google penalty. Exchanging was once an innocent move, but it is not anymore. Some have done it, but the next thing is always a substantial penalty from the search engines. Just like buying links, swapping links has a way of attracting higher rankings. However, people have abused it and Google is now on the lookout and responds to such attempts with penalties.
3. Overuse of H1 Tags
Google search results are developed based on the keyword search. Webmasters have come to know this over time. Some are willing to do anything to appear on the first page of the search results. One way to the top results, has been to overuse H1 tags. Of course, it can be a successful trick but it can get you in to trouble.
4. Duplicating Your Own Content
To attract traffic, the content on your site needs to be relevant, unique, informative and regularly updated. However, some people have created a way around this directive, thereby avoiding conventions laid down by Google. They spin articles where nothing much varies from the original content. Duplicated content can warrant a penalty from Google. In addition, it can dispel visitors whose interest is to only fetch for information. Here is the traffic overview from SEMRush of a client that Organic Clicks had to help revive after a Panda penalty! Do you see the impact of a Panda penalty?
5. Linking Websites with a Different Language
Google’s main aim is to deliver comprehensive and relevant information to its readers. Google recommends that you use links that are configured in one language. Even if the links involved are legitimate, do not use them in your site’s content since they might attract a penalty.
6. 404 Errors
The search engines do not want to serve a website in their search results that have a bunch of errors and related site problems. They want you to provide the best service to their visitors. Hence, if you are offering your visitors 404s, the indication is that web users are not getting what they want. Ensure that your site is optimized to deliver unmatched customer experience. Remember, this is the gate pass to your business. This Halloween period presents a challenge, and the sales you make will depend on how accessible you are.
7. Footer Links
Some websites will use footer links for navigation. However, some use footers to load links without inhibitions. While they think that Google is blind to this atrocity, if one is caught, they are usually penalized. Sometimes sites will fall out of the rankings for a certain period when they try to manipulate the system with footer links. Focus on in-content links, they will provide more value to your website.
8. Stuffing Content with Keywords
There is a threshold for the number of keywords to be used in your content. However, some webmasters often stuff articles with targeted keywords in hopes to rank higher in the search results. This approach might lead to your site being penalized. Besides, an article filled with keywords, indicates poor content. Usually, the authors seek to attract traffic to the site rather than deliver information. Keyword density is important, but one rule of thumb is to add your targeted keywords where it fits naturally, but remember don’t over do it!
9. Hiding links
With the knowledge that buying links or overusing them may lead to penalties, some webmasters may deem it necessary to hide them. How do you hide links? Websites will commit this felony by hiding links in the background of their websites. This way, they are not visible to the search engine. Nevertheless, Google is still able to unravel such SEO strategies. In such cases, penalties are inevitable.
10. Copying Content from Other Sites
Some websites are always content lifting from other platforms without attribution. Such an approach never works with Google. Any time you are updating content, make sure it is original and relevant. That way, you meet the needs of your potential customers and at the same time avoid any penalties. Insightful and original content is the one of the best ways to rank in the search results!
There are tons of other strategies that you should be aware of but these are the top 10. The above top 10 spooky SEO strategies could result in Google penalties and should be avoided at all costs. Why risk all the hard work that you put in to your website when you can still earn high rankings in Google by adopting honest approaches?
Your goal should be to provide your visitors with helpful and unique information and the search engines will have no reason to penalize your website. Keep your content updated and your links in order. Now that you understand what to do in order to keep your site running, prepare to market your products this Halloween. Your noble and honest efforts will certainly pay off.
Have you avoided using these spooky SEO strategies? Let us know in the comments!