How to undermine your SEO company

Posted on February 19, 2010

 

When most people hire an SEO company to perform search engine optimisation on their website they understand that the SEO professionals are the experts. In much the same way as you wouldn’t tell a surgeon the best way to perform your own heart-bypass operation, you shouldn’t tell an SEO how they should be optimising your website.

Not everyone believes this to be true however. Some people like to undermine their SEO company wherever possible by undoing their work and generally rendering their website useless from an SEO point of view.

Why would anyone want to do this?

It beats us, but here are some ways that people choose to undermine their SEO company, thus negatively affecting their rankings, their traffic and ultimately, their business.

Randomly remove pages that have been added for SEO

Some people like to update their website a lot. This is good. We encourage this. Google likes it also. However, when those updates include the removal of pages that have been added for SEO purposes, the changes have a negative effect on the website’s rankings. Google has accessed and indexed the pages that your SEO company has added. Removing them merely creates 404 page not found errors, which Google does not like to see.

Remove redirects – possibly creating duplicate content

Another cause of 404 page not found errors is when pages are moved or renamed, and they’re not redirected in the htaccess file. A good SEO company will create redirects for your pages so that any link juice from the old pages is passed to the new ones. Removing those redirects loses you that link juice.

Furthermore, if by removing the redirects you end up creating duplicates of the new pages you may as well be telling Google to filter your website from the index today.

Duplicate your entire website

Duplicate content is a big problem with Google. You need to have unique, original content on your website for it to be seen as a quality resource. However, there’s little point adding any content to your website, or indeed performing any SEO at all, if you’re just going to create a duplicate of the entire site that Google can index.

This could be done with an alias domain name that hasn’t been redirected using a 301, or it could be via an IP address – allowing your entire site to be indexed under your IP as well as your domain. There are many ways to do it, but no reasons to actually do it – unless of course you want your SEO to fail.

Clog up your website with heavy code and JavaScript

SEO professionals work very hard to reduce the code to content ratio of websites. The lighter the code on a webpage, the less Google has to trawl through before it reaches your juicy content. This also helps your load time, which is important both from a user experience and an SEO point of view. Slower websites annoy users, and Google takes this under consideration.

So how can you undo the work of your search engine optimisation company here? Simple! Just add some heavy JavaScript to your website that serves little purpose. How about some seasonal snow effects at your busiest time, or a horizontal scrolling product box that cannot be indexed, but takes up dozens of lines of code?

This will all work a treat.

Insist on no linkbait content, just self promotional copy

Linkbait content designed to attract links to your website serves no useful purpose at all does it? What possible use is having other websites linking to you? No, it’s far more important to feature self promotional content where every article talks about your products, your prices, your customer service and your delivery terms.

Telling your SEO company, no, educating your SEO company on the way you want your content written is a stuck on way of reducing the effectiveness of your content. Google doesn’t want to read your self promotional content, your website’s visitors don’t want to read it, other websites don’t want to link to it… but you know best.

Remove all of your SEO

This is of course a last resort, but if your previous efforts haven’t managed to undermine the work of your SEO company you could just remove all of their work entirely while you’re updating your website. Perhaps you’re making a change to the homepage and you haven’t bothered to download the latest version, or maybe you’ve just decided that your SEO isn’t working at all – so you erase it. Whatever the reason, removing the on-page SEO is a sure fire way to ensure that your website never ranks within Google.

Whichever of these tips you decide to follow, know that in doing so you’re severely harming your own business in the process. You’d also best work out what instructions you’re going to give to that surgeon, because he’ll need your valuable input as well.

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