Yikes! Halloween SEO Horror Stories

Being a Webmaster isn’t an easy task. While some of the guidelines Google provides you with may be confusing, a penalty from Google is no joke.

There are multiple ways to receive a penalty, some of which are; Cloaking, creating pages with little to no content, participating in link schemes, using doorway pages, duplicating content and creating pages with malicious intent.
Even though some of these penalties may spook you, some Webmasters are convincing themselves that these practices are okay. Google tells them that link building is good, and then they are looking into buying links to increase visibility. They are looking to fake reviews so that users see these first on the search results page.
However, these practices are not good, and never end well for your business.

A few of these issues will get you in the Halloween spirit with some good old fashioned horror.

Blocking Crawlers

With this simple piece of code below, Webmasters can block crawlers from seeing their sites. Keep in mind, a crawler is a good thing for your business, as it helps Googlebots look over your website pages and show the content in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

While you may need this code for one page, OR may have accidentally made this mistake when building your site, the code can be used on the entire site, greatly docking your visibility chances.

Another thing to keep in mind is that blocking multiple IP addresses is never a good idea; because some of those could be different IPs Google uses to index.

Manual Penalties

Google can take manual action to your site if they find you guilty of a few of the following; cloaking, keyword stuffing, sneaky redirects, hidden text, or unnatural linking.

A manual action is very harmful for your site, because it drops your ranking in search results significantly. In my career, I have seen a website drop from first position on the first page to 5th page due to a Manual Penalty. Scary stuff! With Penguin in full effect, guard your sites and check them for unnatural links.

Website Building

When working with a site, you can easily pull down the site with incorrect code. One letter or symbol can break the site. Be careful when building a new site to be sure you are instituting redirects from the old site to the new one. (Remember to use 301 redirects instead of 302, considering the 302s are only temporary)

Be careful of deleting content or pages that are already good!

Other issues

Domains expiring, Canonical tags not being accepted or being used incorrectly, and unnecessarily rebuilding sites on certain platforms are all examples of what can go wrong in your SEO.

SEO is a scary world! One tiny action can make a world of difference in your site and in your account. Make sure to plan your strategy and check your site regularly for any issues.

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