Which SEO tactics could cause your website to be ignored by search engines?


Cloaking is the practice of using redirects or special coding to show different content than what your visitors see. It doesn’t have to be an obvious redirect but manipulation of cached pages and older clean pages. If Google discovers that you’ve done this, you’ll get banned.

Hidden Text

Is there text on your website the same color as the background page, so that its text adds to search engine results but isn’t seen by visitors? This will get your site banned by search engines.

This isn’t always done on purpose. For example, keyword rich text in small letters under your site’s images can get flagged as hidden text. Using CSS properties can inadvertently be flagged as hidden text, too.

Link Farms

Bad inbound linking will hurt your website’s rankings, and subscriptions to link farms will end up killing your website. You can tell that a link directory is the wrong place to be when they never reject a URL. Link exchanges are not quite as bad. Focus on building high quality links like social media sharing instead. A safe solution is ensuring that your company’s website is included on every business directory entry. Conversely, you should avoid link spamming content others create. Link wheels also hurt your site.

Content Scraping

Copying the content of others to fill out your site will hurt you with Google’s search engine results. This black mark against your site can occur by accident, like when your company copies a whole press release or article written by another with a short statement about “Look at this great praise we received from X!”. This is why it is wise to discuss the person or party who wrote the article and post a short excerpt to it with a link to the source instead.

Growing Too Fast

One of the ironies of creating subdomains for each of your products or services so that you can search engine optimized each is that doing it too fast can backfire.

Google’s robots crawl each website often, and some sites like Hubpages and Wikipedia are crawled daily. If your website grows five-fold between the last time it was crawled and the next, it will look suspicious and could get you banned. You can avoid this by requesting more frequent crawls and releasing content at a consistent pace.

Too Many Doorway Pages

Doorway pages are made for the search engine to capture search engine rankings and then direct people to the destination website. This is similar to a redirect but slightly different in that redirects may legitimately redirect someone from an old, well linked legacy website to the new one. However, too many redirects will hurt you, too, though it is understandable that it is easier to create one more redirect instead of going back and tracking down the first landing page, altering that redirect and taking down all the intermediate webpages.

Another thing to watch out for are broken links, since too many broken links will hurt your reputation with Google because it looks like the site isn’t well maintained.

What SEO tactics could get you banned by search engines?