SEO is a hard game where some rules are openly disregarded. Sometimes people don’t know the rules at all and stuff up. Google penalises these “mistakes” and that leads to a drop in rank. This will have a “ripple effect”. For example, in 2014 Expedia got penalised for a link-buying scheme. Their share prices dropped by 4.5%, along with their ranking on SERPs. To avoid the same fate, here’s what NOT to do when you’re chasing a good SEO ranking.
Stuffing the keywords in
One of the dirty tricks made to look friendly for a search engine, not the people reading the website. Keyword stuffing is when you cram in your target words or phrases as much as possible in return for a better ranking. Google has long since moved to penalise this. You’ve been “stuffing” if you’ve written the same keyword or phrase over three times every one hundred words.
Having visible links from a few trusted sources is an excellent way to get a good ranking. Hidden links from lots of unrelated crummy ones, though, is a good way to lose your position. Blog writers and websites with low traffic aren’t above putting links in full stops and other punctuation marks.
White on white
This is another kind of keyword stuffing when you “hide” keywords on a background. Programmers do this by making the text and the background the same colour. They’d put in the words as many times as possible, often in tiny text. In the past, this was successful, until Google bots started crawling and realised the problem.
Forgetting your metas
Having keywords in your text and website is important but you get extra ranking power when they’re included in your metas. You’re now asking “what the heck are meta-whatsits?”
Meta keywords are in the HTML address on a webpage. You don’t see meta tags; they’re lined in the website’s code. These describe what your web page is about to the internet server, and the bots will crawl to check if the tags and keywords are related.
Never plagiarize; you’ll get caught, full stop. But when writer’s block hits (or just pure laziness), some website owners and bloggers aren’t above copying and pasting content from one site to their own. When this gets crawled, though, Google will find the exact same keywords and metas in two unrelated sites. The result of trying to manipulate content to get better results on SERPs is a penalty.