Top 5 Search Engine Optimization Mistakes
There are a whole lot of approaches to advertise your site and, unfortunately, lots of these methods are mistakes. Here's a list of a few of the more common mistakes (often known as Black Hat SEO) that you should steer well clear of.
These websites are also known as free for all (FFA) pages and link farms. They serve no other purpose other than to list tens of thousands of unrelated websites. Not only will these sites not provide your website with any traffic, certain search engines will ban sites who participate.
Optimizing your web pages for a specific search engine may be a fantastic thing. Over-optimizing can defeat the purpose, however. Search engines are catching on quickly to pages which seem'over-optimized'. Stuffing keyphrases into your pages is the most frequent issue. Never use hidden (invisible) text to include keywords. You'll get caught, and your website will get banned.
Doorway pages are orphaned web pages which are usually optimized for a particular keyphrase and a specific search engine. They're encouraged to the search engine in an attempt to achieve high rankings. They aren't linked back to by any other page on the site and, as such, search engines have the ability to flush them out quite easily and punish the whole website.
Traffic Generation Scams
Services that purport to drive lots and a lot of visitors to your site are typically not very helpful. The traffic tends to come in seedy areas like domain names that have lapsed in payment or commonly misspelled domain entries. The majority of the traffic that hits these pages is casual and is therefore of no value for you. Other traffic may come from other participants in the program that have to visit different sites to gain'credits' to their website. Again, this traffic isn't targeted and therefore of no value. Some traffic might even be made by automated software!
Shadow domains are small, optimized, supplementary sites designed to drive traffic to another website. The way this works is that an SEO firm will design and optimize a web site on your behalf. The threat here is that the you don't have this new site; the search engine optimization company does! This implies that if the relationship sours, they may decide to redirect this website's visitors to whomever they choose (see #4 above), or even sell the website to one of your competition! Be very, very careful of the technique, as some assumed search engine'experts' even use this technique (no naming of names here, however).
Closing note: Any company that tells you that it can reach'guaranteed' positions is either lying to you or using some of those Black Hat methods. Unfortunately, there isn't any way to guarantee a number one result within (unpaid) search results. When picking a search engine optimization company to work with, make sure you feel comfortable with them and trust them (e.g. money back guarantee). And if you choose to advertise your site yourself, consider yourself a little better educated from these common mistakes.