One of the most common questions from average website owner is “how to be in the first position on Google” — they would do almost anything just to get there. But, as they usually can’t evaluate “whats good, and whats not”, here is a list of 20 SEO things you better don’t do, just in case you meet someone who wants to optimize a website for search engines:

  1. There is no need for you to submit your pages to search engines. It takes too long for search engines to index your page, so if you don’t want to wait, it is sufficient to include the link of your page in already indexed one and that way, the search engine will find it by itself.
  2. Do not stuff meta tags and image ALT attributes with keywords. Even though you may think by doing that you had hidden keywords from the eyes of those who browse your page, and also from the eyes of search engines, you should know that their bots are very good in recognizing this kind of keyword abuse and those who do that will be penalized.
  3. Do not take Google PageRank as the only criteria of page quality. First of all, if you already have installed PR plug-in within the browser, you should know that review does not reflect the current situation of PageRank but it can be ‘late’ for several months. Besides, there is a decrease of PR’s influence on the page rating.
  4. Do not leave your link on forums or in blog comments. If you keep doing that for xy times, than it can look like SPAM and not link building.
  5. Do not use the same anchor text for all external links leading to your pages. Variations of different anchor text gives it more natural look and by doing so, you help in building quality links and increasing page value in the eyes of search engines.
  6. Do not use www.mysite.com and mysite.com simultaneously. Set redirection on one of the two combinations, because search engines percieve these addresses like two differnet web sites. (e.g. 301 redirection from pagename.com to www.pagename.com)
  7. During link building, avoid linking different parts of the web site for specific keyword. Direct your traffic towards one or two main (and most important) pages in order to direct the link flux and boost the page rank.
  8. Do not fall on ads that offer registration on 500 search engines and webdirectories in only 5 minutes (and similar variations). To put some light on that, this is pure spam and such can not be of any help to your pages. In situations like these, just think if that is the ‘natural’ way, because search engines can very well recognize automatic from regular links — and penalize it.
  9. Do not trust the optimization job to someone who can not give you detailed explanations of the whole process. Get information and participate in the process, otherwise, the result can be disastrous.
  10. Avoid making pages by using onyl Flash, AJAX or Javascript if you want your webpage to be SEO friendly. Search engines can not read the content from these pages, so it is not recommended to base your website purely on the mentioned technologies.
  11. Do not copy the title from one page to another. Each page and subpage of your site should have original title related to the page content.
  12. Do not participate in mass link sharing. Although the link sharing is by itself nothing illegal, make sure you don’t overload your page with links not related to the content of your page.
  13. Do not trust everything you read. Make sure that the source you are getting information from is relavant and has a backround, avoid those ones that promise great PageRank, first search engine position — and all that in just a few days.
  14. Do not sell links if you are not planning to set ‘notfollow’ attribute. Considering that Google is taking precautions to avoid this kind of PageRank and rating improvement, play by the rules.
  15. Do not forget URL rewriting and permanent links. Do not take for granted that the search engines will recognize URL strings by itself.
  16. Do not use titles that can be found in written media. The reason why you should avoid this method is that search engines bots are just algorithms and not real people, so they can not connect the title to the text if the text has certain conveyed meanings, if it is written metaphorically.
  17. Do not hide page text. This is a common method used by those who are trying to get a better rank by placing keywords wherever they can. One of the methods is the text placing in the way that the colour of the text matches the colour of the background. This can be plausible with visitors, but bots know what is going on.
  18. Do not be bothered with the keyword density. Keyword density does not exist. Just make sure your text is comprehensible for intended audience and apply essential factors of on-line optimization.
  19. Do not use numbers or unintelligible expressions for image names. Name your images according to the content.
  20. Do not overuse ‘deep’ links. Search engines do not take into consideration links deep hidden on your site as relevant ones (e.g. www.mysite.com/something/everything/anything/etc). Organize your site structure so that you use 2-3 tier domain sublinks.

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