It’s been a while, and not a post I planned to start back blogging with. This 10 Commandments of SEO infographic with Matt Cutts of Google’s Webspam team as Moses just made me chuckle. While I am not sure Matt would appreciate the orange robes and sandals, and I am sure some others would be offended by the use of a religous figure – the message is a valid one.
- The Ten Commandments of SEO
- What the 10 Commandments mean for you
- 1. Have an Unnatural Link Profile
- 2. Cloak and Use Hidden Text
- 3. Steal / Duplicate Content
- 4. Spin Content
- 5. Stuff Keywords
- 6. Spam Google Maps
- 7. Create Microsites
- 8. Sell links
- 9. Go Overboard on Ads
- 10. Create multiple websites to rank for the same business
- Related Posts
The Ten Commandments of SEO
[ Source TechWyse Internet Marketing ]
What the 10 Commandments mean for you
Thou shalt not…
1. Have an Unnatural Link Profile
Links to your website are like the currency of the web. Before there were search engines, links pointing to your website is how people found you. Over time, it became obvious that if these links contained keywords (words you want to be found for) and you created lots of links back to your site then Google ranked your site higher in search.
Ranking was a numbers game. Your aim was to preferably get links from higher authority sites than your competitor or failing that, beat them with shear numbers of links.
It’s a dangerous game to play these days because the Big G now looks at where you get your links from and the words contained within those links. Too many keyword terms or links from low quality sources and Google says, “No!”
2. Cloak and Use Hidden Text
Cloaking usually isn’t an issue for small business website unless you’ve hired a particularly unscrupulous webdesigner. It’s the practice of sending Googlebot to one set of content and your actual visitors to another.
Hidden text can be written in areas that do not show on screen or use the same colour text as background colour so it cannot be read by viewers. Despite hidden text being so 1990’s, it is surprising how many DIY websites still have white on white or black on black text! Writing your keywords you want to be found in search this way does not make your website relevant and can actually harm your rankings.
3. Steal / Duplicate Content
There’s nothing more annoying than someone ranking higher than your website using your content. Personally, I don’t think Google have got this right yet.
It’s ok to quote, or even use entire articles with permission and citing the source. Filling your website with copied content – even with credits – isn’t a great idea.
4. Spin Content
If you don’t know what spinning is, that’s probably for the best…
5. Stuff Keywords
Google uses many signals to rank your web pages. One of many signals is the keywords you use.
You do need to use the words that you want to rank for on the page. Don’t go overboard! There’s no need to have whole blocks of words at the top or bottom of your page, and please don’t write like this example from Google’s Content Guidelines
We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Spam Google Maps
Don’t create fake local listings. It does work for a while, until you get caught and your Google account banned… It’s not worth the effort in my opinion – getting a legit listing up and running can be challenging enough!
7. Create Microsites
There is a place for spin off and microsites. Creating small sites with very little content purely for the sake of ranking and linking back to your main site isn’t the best way to do it.
It’s ok to accept ads or sponsored posts that link to other sites on your website, but they must be “nofollow” links. The links should not pass on any authority. Accepting money or goods/services in return for a link can get your site penalised. Google recently clarified the issue on their Webmaster Central blog.
9. Go Overboard on Ads
In a similar vein, it’s ok to show ads on your website but if your site is a mass of ad banners and very little content it is not a great user experience. This is something Google are detecting more and frown on.
10. Create multiple websites to rank for the same business
Similar to microsites, there is a place for multiple websites depending on the business, products and aims. However, if the only goal of these websites is to dominate the search rankings then you’re treading dangerous waters. Get caught and you could see all your website’s rankings tank.
Over to you…
What do you think of the 10 Commandments of SEO? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.10 Commandments of SEO [Infographic] by Jan Kearney