Bad SEO ideas for Estate Agents
09 June, 2010 | Web design
Search Engine Optimisation is a very complicated thing for many reasons. It’s not like there is a general right or wrong answer, you have to experiment to see what works for your website and just because one thing will work for a website doesn’t mean doing exactly the same thing for another website will work.
Google’s algorithm takes around 200 factors into account when ranking a website. Adding to this problem Search Engines are very disclosed about giving out information on their algorithms. The main reason for this being that they don’t want their competition to know what they are doing and the other being they don’t want spammers to design websites to get a better ranking then they deserve.
Obviously Google gives you clues on how to rank well and testing helps see exactly what works and what doesn’t but as I say its not a question about just being right or wrong as there are so many more elements that go into it.
Another reason Search Engine optimisation is complicated is that it changes all the time, even on a day to day basis. What worked last month might not work this month. The SEO environment is a forever changing complex environment and rapid changes have led to SEO myths.
So here we have stated the SEO tips and trick that just don’t work -
1. Meta Tags - Coming in at number one is thinking Meta tags carry any weight in terms of SEO. This technique was abandoned years ago as it was easy to lie about keywords. Spammers abused this system so bad it had to be discarded. Search engines near enough completely rely on content that is visible to users. Anything hidden away will not help with your ranking.
The one Meta tag that shouldn’t be forgotten about though is your Meta Description tag. Although it doesn’t have an affect on your ranking, it can be used on Search Engines to describe your website in a few words.
2. Keyword Stuffing invisible text – a bit of an old skool technique that these days can get your website banned! This can be anything from writing in the same colour as the background to things that are written way off the visible page.
This is picked up very easily these days by Search Engines so isn’t even worth risking getting your website banned because of it.
3. Buying Links – another one of those techniques that took off and is still very popular. Mainly because some websites can get away with and of course it can help with their rankings. Although this is a dying technique as all Search Engines have made it in their interest to defeat this practice and are working hard to do so.
If they do detect a purchased link they will flag it and make it completely useless. If they detect you are purchasing links for ranking purposes only they can and do, ban websites.
4. Swapping Links – Search Engines want links to represent reliability and usefulness. If a highly thought of website links to you (that is in the same business or related business to you), Google will see your website as a more reliable/trustworthy source.
Swapping links is just for the sack of trying to improve page rank and search ranking is a completely waste of time. And if the websites aren’t relevant to your business you can be ranked badly for it.
Google wants you to gain links organically not by trading really but if you do want to trade links make sure you swap them with websites that are highly relevant to your business and only link to them if they would be valuable to your website. If they aren’t a reliable website it could have a bad effect rather then good.
5. Duplicate Content – this can be done in two different ways
- The purposeful way in which two or more websites used the same or similar content in order to advertise their business in to different ways so that they can pursue different methods of marketing their products or services.
- The other being the accidental way, many sites have multiple routes to the same content but the content is delivered on different URL’s.
Search Engines want to rank the same content only once, Search Engines will only acknowledge one of the pages although page rank will be being leaked to pages that will never rank.
6. Using a completely Flash website – Flash is one of those things that can make a website look very cool and pretty. And Search Engines can read and index some flash but you will struggle to rank well on competitive terms.
This is simply because Search Engines love content. Usually if a website is completely flash and competing again a website that has a lot of content, the website with content will come out on top.
Another reason flash websites can be bad is that Google, in the last few months, has said that speed is now a factor in ranking. The faster the website is the better. Flash can take a while to load up, bringing its scoring down.
7. Cloaking – This is showing different content to the crawlers then you are showing to the user. This is hugely frowned upon by Search Engines and if a Search Engine detects that your website is cloaking, there is a great chance your website will be banned even if your intent wasn’t bad.
With all this in mind, you should be able to keep yourselves out of trouble with the Search Engines.
By Luke Stanley