An excellent example of how not to SEO

Posted on June 2, 2010

 

Sometimes, it’s the most unexpected things that set you on the wrong path with the search engines. It might be a badly written piece of code, an old and long-forgotten link or a page that fails to appear. You might not even be aware of what is causing you so much search engine misery, but rest assured – it’s often something very simple. These problems are all very easy to fix, and yet they are some of the most common causes of ranking downfall.

Failing to take care of these problems before they muddy your site’s relationship with the search engines is pretty common. At the same time, it’s a sad waste of a good ranking.

The thing that topples your site from its top position might be a very small thing, or even something that’s only temporary. For example, very recently, a search on ‘SEO advice’ turned up the usual hundreds of sites. At the very top of the list was a promising-looking site offering to help site owners perform their own search engine optimisation. Clicking through to the site itself, however, revealed a very troubling message, at least for the owner of that site – ‘Account Suspended.’

This dreaded message indicated to the average internet user that the site was no longer operative, despite being at the top of Google’s results for this incredibly popular search term. Even if the site owner managed to get the bug fixed within a few hours, the significant amount of internet users exposed to this result would ignore the site further down the track whenever they saw it.

A simple mistake like this can set your site back for months. When it comes to SEO, you need to maintain constant vigilance and nip stuff like this in the bud. While ranking at the top of Google is the Holy Grail, if your website fails you at the last moment, it can become the poison chalice.

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2 Comments »

  1. More of an example of either failing to pay a hosting bill rather than bad SEO?

    There have been a lot of tactics used by SEO companies to achieve better indexation over the years, and they seem to come in fads – content (and updating it!) has ALWAYS been king.

    Dont fall for adding content onto your site through adding a blog or forum and then failing to moderate it! You may get good indexation from all of that user generated content, but please remember these open source applications are prone to abuse. Blogs and Forums are good if kept moderated, but you simply cant beat well written articles added frequently to your url.

    Comment by Paul Lyons — June 3, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  2. You’re quite right Paul, moderation is important – especially with forums as they can get way out of hand and can even damage your SEO as a result.

    A website showing an ‘Account Suspended’ message could be from a variety of things, depending on the type of hosting company that you use. Some hosting companies who favour a knee-jerk reaction to bandwidth spikes can suspend accounts just because the SEO has brought unexpected additional traffic to a site, causing bandwidth limits to be exceeded. It could even be due to a website exceeding its file space as a result of the database growing too big through too many posts or comments in the aforementioned forum.

    Either way, moderation is important on what is being added, and moderation of your website’s resources is also important. There’s nothing worse than spending time and effort on rankings only to find your website isn’t prepared for the additional attention it will receive.

    Comment by Carl — June 3, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

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