3 ways to kill your Google rankings

With so much competition on the web, it’s important to get ahead with your online marketing. And while it can be tempting to fall for shortcuts and silver bullets – often offered by the snake-oil salesmen of the web – in reality it takes a good deal of time and energy to really make a difference to your web rankings.  

Having said that, it can be difficult to differentiate between good SEO tools and bad, especially when someone’s spinning a convincing sales pitch. So to give you a head start we’ve compiled the following list of poor SEO tactics that are bound to kill your Google rankings.

Don’t become the next victim to Big G’s ever-evolving algorithm...

1. Stuff your website with keywords

We’ve all landed on them... websites that want to make us cringe at just how little sense they make. In the early 00s this was all the rage – stuffing in variations of keywords in the hope that Google would find us and think, “Hey... these guys must know what they’re doing. They are clearly about selling widgets, best widgets, top widgets, unbelievable widgets, insane widgets, top 10 widgets, widgets here, widgets there, widgets everywhere!”

Whilst keywords are still highly relevant, you also need to write with human beings in mind – after all, it’s real people who will be buying from you. Writing for web users not only prevents you from being penalised for trying to trick the system, but it also increases your chances of converting web traffic into quality leads.

2. Create a tonne of web pages, and just add the place on the end

What an awesome idea... in 2002 maybe. The days where creating pages that use a generic piece of copy, with a town/city name crudely inserted to make each page “unique” are long gone. Rather than cause yourself an unsustainable administrative nightmare, try doing it honestly from within your main product/service page. E.g. “We serve the following areas: Oxfordshire, Berkshire etc.” Google is smart enough to put two and two together, and those that try to take shortcuts are next in line to be relegated to the far reaches of the internet.

3. Buy that super-awesome links package – 10,000 links overnight for just £20

Of course, it all makes sense now. In order to increase my rankings, I need to have a lot of content, and a lot of links, right? Wrong! Big G loves nothing more than those who live on the straight and narrow. Spiking your link profile with a dose of high volume trashy links is like robbing a bank with no mask and your name badge on. You might live the high life for a short period but everything will soon come crashing down to a dark and cold place.

A decent quality link can take anywhere from ten minutes to several weeks to acquire if you’re buttering up a site owner. Calculate the cost of this manual time, and then work out if those bulk buy links are really going to be of adequate quality before you click the ‘checkout’ button. These are the fast food of the SEO world – avoid at all costs!

So there you have it – three ways to kill off your website. Remember that Google is an incredibly complex, ever-evolving string of algorithms. There are no shortcuts, no magic pills and no silver bullets. Instead it’s a mix of putting in the research at the start, devising a consistent strategy to follow, following it, and then learning from the results. There will be ups and downs, but in the end, those who follow the guidelines will triumph.

About the author

Alex Minchin is the Managing Director of Zest Digital Ltd, a well-respected digital marketing consultancy that operates within Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. As trusted partners of CBW, Zest helps CBW clients by making consistent, continual improvements to their web presence over time - resulting in increased leads and sales from their websites.