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Some Common SEO Pitfalls that must be Avoided

Many sites find difficulty in getting into the index of search engines. The problem may be due to URL structure, poor website design and backend programming. There are lot of other common mistakes that we need to get rid of. I would like to figure out some of the most common mistakes that the starters would typically encounter.


Using Wrong keywords

I have heard many stories that the site owners who spent years to build up authority for the site, finally not getting the visitors they aimed for, simply because they have not targeted the right keywords for the site. In online world, word phrases may have different meanings and we should spend sometime on researching keywords initially to narrow it down to the very specific keyword that users would search for. For example, targeting the keyword “Home based business” in your blog would not be a right keyword If you are placing affiliate ad that is on e-books and e-courses on ‘how to make money online’. Because, in the Internet world the term “Home based business” would mean like “baking cookies at Home”, “selling cookies” and millions of terms like that except making money with computers online. So we need to be very specific in selecting the keywords.

Poor site Structure and Navigation

Poor site structure can harm the Search Engine rankings since it can be an obstacle for search engines to see all the pages.

  • Deep Directory Structure

    We should make sure to keep the site’s directory structure no deeper than four child directories from the root. Since search engine bots won’t dig deeper unless it is an important authority sites.

  • Externalize on-page JavaScript and CSS code

    One advantage of externalizing the JavaScript and CSS is that they can be used by multiple pages simultaneously. It helps search engine bots read the content as quickly as possible. Otherwise it will drag your site performance with page load latency.

  • Use 301 redirects for moved pages

    To avoid duplication issue and to keep the already gained link juice, it is always necessary to use a 301 redirect for permanently moved pages.

  • No Sitemap

    Many website owners neglect sitemap since it is of no use to the site visitors. But search engines love sitemaps and they crawl all over it. Rick DeJarnette of Bing Webmaster Center explains on How the poor site structure can hurt your rankings.

Poor Anchor Text for Links

We should avoid using ‘click here’, ‘next’ type of anchor text when linking to the pages inside our links, instead we can use descriptive and useful keyword as anchor text.

Using text in images

Even though Google uses it’s ‘Optical Character Recognition’ in identifying book names and street names in Google street view, nobody knows exactly, how far this technology has been incorporated in web search. Since Search engines have long been unable to read any text contained within an image, it is better to avoid using text in images.

Resubmitting too many times

Each search engine vary in taking your site to their index. Search engines may take upto 12 weeks to list your list. Below is the reference to the approximate time to index chart of search engines.

Search Engine / Directory Time to Index

Once you have submitted in search engines, you must wait patiently to have it indexed. Submitting frequently in search engines may result in banning your site or further delay the process of indexing your site.

Getting too many backlinks in a shorter period

Since Google decides authority of the sites by number of quality links linking to the site, many web masters would attempt to get too many links in a shorter period of time. Accumulating too many links without making any changes in your site content, blog post or any other social media activity, search engines bot would assume that it is unnatural growth of links and you are doing something predominantly to build links. Thus it may result in downward growth or no change in rankings.

You can contribute more to this post by adding your known SEO mistakes by sharing in the comments section.

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