If you’re looking for SEO hacks that will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages, you’re going to be disappointed. Many of the techniques that used to work no longer produce results, and some can even get your website penalized by Google. Today, the best way to boost your SEO is through hard work and clever strategy rather than cutting corners. Here are some of the best examples of SEO hacks that simply aren’t worth your time.
Buying Email Lists
Firstly, don’t buy email lists in an attempt to boost your SEO or digital marketing strategy. It doesn’t work, and you’ll end up getting penalized by Google. Not to mention, the people on those email lists probably don’t even want to hear from you. With GDPR and other regulations, it’s just not worth the risk if you want to avoid penalties and fines.
If you want to build an email list, do it the old-fashioned way: offer something valuable in exchange for an email address. This could be a discount, an ebook, or access to exclusive content. Then, once you have someone’s email address, you can email them periodically with helpful information, blog updates, and other valuable content.
Next, let’s talk about keyword stuffing. This is when you stuff as many keywords into your content as possible, in an attempt to rank higher for those keywords. This used to work, back in the early days of SEO. But now, it’s a surefire way to get penalized. When creating content, your goal should be to write for humans first, and search engines second. That means using keywords only where they make sense, and not forcing them into content for no other reason than SEO.
If you haven’t seen this before, cloaking is when you create two versions of a webpage – one for humans, and one for search engines. The version for search engines is usually stuffed with keywords and is basically unreadable. The goal is to trick the search engine into thinking your page is more relevant than it is.
This used to be a popular ‘hack’ but it’s now one of the quickest ways to get your site penalized. If you’re caught cloaking, you could see your rankings plummet, or even get banned from Google entirely.
Although it’s not necessarily a hack, all good SEO services will tell you that duplicate content is a big no-no. This is when you have the same or very similar content on more than one page of your site. It confuses search engines, which in turn will lower your ranking. In many cases, your pages just end up competing against one another.
If you want to avoid this, make sure all the content on your site is original. If you have to use someone else’s content, make sure you cite them as a source. For those creating service location pages, for example, use unique descriptions for each location that includes the city, state/province, and zip code; avoid copying and pasting content wherever possible.
Finally, please don’t just copy your competitor’s content because you will only ever stand in their shadow. If you’re going to use someone else’s content as inspiration, make sure you put your own unique spin on it and provide a different value to your audience.
Bad SEO practices can result in your website being penalized by Google or completely removed from its search results. So, if you’re serious about growing your business online, make sure to avoid these common pitfalls.