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Top Ten SEO Don’ts

Posted May 22nd 2009 Search Engine Optimization

When it comes to SEO, it seems there are a lot of people trying to tell you what you should do but fewer people telling you what not to do. Proper search engine optimization is a process. It’s not enough just to do a list of things and have perfect SEO. It’s a process of doing some things, avoiding others and tweaking over time to get the results you want.

Here are some top 10 SEO don’ts to use as guidelines:

  1. Don’t randomly pick keywords- some people haphazardly pick the keywords that sound good to them but this will not generate good results in search engines. Choose your keywords properly and more technically than just randomly making them up.
  2. Don’t take shortcuts or use “tricky” tactics to try to get a higher ranking- Black hat SEO strategies and shortcuts to higher ranking can actually get you banned from search engines for illegal tactics.
  3. Don’t use flash- flash websites look pretty but they can hurt your ranking.
  4. Don’t use multiple domains with identical content- If you have several domains, all the content on each site must be unique. Even if you own full rights to all the content, you can be flagged for duplicate content when you publish it on multiple domains.
  5. Don’t participate in link farming or other schemes to get high ranking- there are many schemes and scams out there that promise you they will get you to the top of the search engines but usually they are very expensive and often use illegal strategies.
  6. Don’t over-think your Meta tags- While it’s true that Meta tags do make a difference, some people mistakenly spend too much time on them. While it does have value, you shouldn’t spend too much time focusing on them.
  7. Don’t use hidden text or cloaking- This is considered a type of spam and while it often tricks the search engines at first, it will eventually get you banned.
  8. Don’t underestimate the URL- This is much more important than most people realize and can make a big difference in your search engine ranking. Place strong keywords in your URL when possible.
  9. Don’t use images as your headlines- While this might look nice and interesting on the site, it can hurt your ranking.
  10. Don’t ignore your title <title> tag- Having a keyword in the title tag is very important. Many people skip this or leave it blank but it can make a big difference in your ranking.

One final important note is not to neglect your website. Once you have things set up the way you want them, you will still need to keep up with it on a regular basis. Remember that SEO is a process and you have to continue to make changes when necessary to keep your ranking.