After all these years of SEO evolution there are still countless websites that ignore search guidelines, which is a major reason they lack online visibility. Since search engines are the gatekeepers to most online traffic, it’s best to follow Google’s guidelines. Here are five common SEO mistakes in 2019 to avoid so that your site isn’t penalized.
1. Overusing Keywords
Every web publisher should know the value of keywords, how they form the building blocks of online content viewed as important by search engines. At the same time, it’s crucial not to overuse these keywords, otherwise your site may be penalized for spam. Trying to exploit specific keywords without adding useful information is easily detected by search engines as one of the oldest tricks that no longer works. Content is regarded as fluff if it doesn’t provide enough facts or insight.
2. Publishing Borrowed Content
Another mistake content producers still make is publishing duplicate or similar content to what already exists on other sites. Google punishes rather than rewards sites that post the same articles as found across popular sites. One of the keys to winning the favor of Google is to publish as much unique useful content as possible. If the content is embraced by a community and doesn’t compete with many other sites within the same niche, Google will recognize the creator as authoritative.
There are plenty of ways to create original content to stand out from hundreds of competitors online. Video interviews and product demonstrations can make a big difference in how followers evaluate and choose brands. Customer reviews and testimonials also add unique content to a site from diverse sources. Ultimately, every website or company has its own unique story to tell, which can be retold and repurposed for multiple channels. The more unique the content, the better odds for high rankings.
3. Irrelevant Link Swapping
Inbound and outbound links still matter to search engines, but only if they have a relevant connection to a site and demonstrate authority. Sites that have nothing to do with each other and emphasize quantity rather than quality of links will be viewed by search engines as link spammers. It’s best to only link with sites that have credibility and something to do with your industry. Search engines no longer view number of links as an indicator of popularity.
The reason you need to be careful of which sites you share links with is that some sites may publish links to malicious applications or pages that infringe on copyrights. Such associations can lead to downgrades in search engines. Here are other types of links to avoid:
- thin content yet full of ads
- businesses from distant locations
- dead websites
- sites flagged as not secure
- date sites without mobile-friendly design
4. Slow-loading Web Pages
One fact that hasn’t changed throughout the history of the internet is that users don’t like to wait long for web pages to load. About twenty seconds is the maximum the average user will wait for a home page to launch, otherwise the user typically moves on to the next site. Failing to test web pages periodically can contribute to sliding in search rankings. Make sure your most critical pages load in a matter of seconds.
Furthermore, a new visitor to your website should know instantly what your site is about and whether or not it’s what they’re looking for. The more user-friendly you make your site, the more likely Google will prioritize it over complex and confusing sites.
5. Failing to Keep Content Fresh
You can never lose sight of one of the most basic tips to maintaining an online following, which is to keep creating new content. If you never create new content eventually followers will get bored with your static site. It’s best to update a blog at least once per week so that followers are reminded it’s an active blog. The web is so flooded with blogs for any given topic, it’s to find alternatives. Keeping your content fresh can be achieved by working with an experienced NYC SEO service provider.