Ranking websites in competitive niches is very difficult these days. Many well-reputed websites with high domain authority are already in the competition. Plus, they have senior SEO experts, content creators, and website developers on their teams who ensure their websites rank against each targeted keyword.
On the other hand, website owners with low marketing budgets try black-hat tricks. Sometimes, those tricks work; other times, they backfire, especially after Google's core update.
This article will discuss five of the worst SEO practices that website owners and SEO experts must avoid at all costs and shed light on ways to prevent them.
Let's talk about them without further ado!
Here are the top 5 Worst SEO Practices
1. Duplicating Others' Content
Duplication, plagiarism, content stealing, or whatever you call it, is always bad for websites. In fact, according to many experts, Google hates plagiarism the most. It wants website owners to post original, valuable, engaging, and helpful content. Google emphasizes content quality and uniqueness more than anything else.
Google penalizes websites that frequently post others' content without proper attribution. So, you must avoid posting plagiarized content on your website. If you do so, Google will penalize your website, and you may not get your desired ranking.
Avoiding plagiarism is very simple. Don't copy others' work; always write original content after research. However, this method only sometimes works. Sometimes, accidental plagiarism comes into our content, which is as harmful as intentional plagiarism. To avoid this issue, content creators and website owners must check the entire content for plagiarism.
For that purpose, they can use plagiarism checker. That plagiarism checker can track and highlight all instances of plagiarism so content creators can remove plagiarism from their articles and ensure they are 100% original.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the practice of illogically and forcefully adding keywords to the content. Although this practice used to work a few years ago, it is useless these days. In fact, it is considered one of the worst SEO practices that can ultimately de-rank websites.
Now, Google doesn't count the keywords on a specific page and ranks websites accordingly. Instead, it uses AI technology to check content quality. So, if your website's content is helpful, informative, and relevant, Google will bless it with a great ranking, even if the keyword density is below 2%. So, keyword stuffing doesn't work these days. Instead, it backfires.
Rather than forcefully adjusting keywords in your content, writers must focus on other vital elements. For instance, they must spend time in research, improve their content language, address readers’ pain points, provide maximum information, and create engaging and well-structured content. They should also use a keyword density checker to know if the keyword density is up to SEO standards. If it is not, then they must revise the content and make it SEO-friendly.
3. Ignoring Audience Needs
New SEO experts usually focus more on gratifying Google's needs than visitors'. They don't realize that Google wants website owners to entertain visitors, not their algorithms. Google's algorithms directly or indirectly analyze user experience and collect data from it. Unfortunately, many SEO experts ignore users and try different methods to rank their websites. However, these days, SEO doesn't work this way.
Pay attention to your targeted audience. When creating content, you must focus on visitors and try to gratify their needs or solve their issues with your valuable content. It can eventually enhance user engagement and reduce bounce rate. These two things can signal to Google and other search engines that your website is user-friendly and has valuable and helpful content. So, search engines can rank your website higher in SERPs.
4. Not Paying Attention to Website Speed
No matter how great or helpful the content you publish on your website is, if its loading speed is low and takes a long time to load, Google won't bless it with a good ranking. Apart from content, Google also analyzes user experience. It checks the user experience through different metrics, and the bounce rate is one of them. And you must know that people don't want to open the websites if they take more than five seconds to load. They immediately bounce back. So, pay attention to the website speed.
Increasing website speed these days isn't difficult at all. In case your website speed is low, purchase better hosting services, compress images, and remove unnecessary plugins. These strategies can help you optimize your website's speed.
5. Increasing Domain Authority Using Black Hat Tricks
You must realize that domain authority (DA) is not a ranking factor. It's a scale built by Moz that only describes the chances of a website getting a higher ranking over search engines. However, many SEO experts try to increase it using different tricks. Those tricks usually fail to work. If you rely on those tricks and Google realizes about them, your website can be penalized by Google.
It's not a big deal to solve the issue. Just ignore the DA. Let it develop with time. Instead of investing money in increasing Domain Authority, work on technical SEO, local SEO, link building, etc.
Ranking websites with white hat tricks isn't a one-day job. Even in some cases, website owners and SEO experts have to wait for months to get the desired results. So, you should be patient and never try black hat tricks. Plus, you should avoid the worst SEO practices that can eventually de-rank your website and waste your time, effort, and money.