7 SEO practices that can hurt your rankings

Optimizing your website and blog is a primary element of traffic strategy in SEO. If you really decided to concentrate on your SEO, you will obviously start rushing off in doing keyword research and in optimizing everything on your site so that all search engines can send thousands of visitors per day for your site, at free of cost. Everybody works on SEO with an intention to reap lucrative results and to gain Google ranking positions. But you cannot assure that SEO will always get better rankings to your site, SEO may sometimes drive great results and sometimes it may become the worst nightmare where you find a sudden drop down in your site rankings and all your hard work is gone! Whether there are great results or severe drop-down in your SEO it all depends on the techniques and different strategies used on your site to optimize for better rankings on search engines. So, it is very important to adopt the best SEO practices rather than those that might end up hurting your rankings more than helping them. Especially in today’s highly digital world, understanding SEO is the ultimate marketing discipline if you want to drive traffic to your site and increase sales. In this post, let us learn what is a bad SEO and the seven SEO practices that can hurt your site rankings.

What is a Bad SEO?

Bad SEO is nothing new or uncommon, but yes it can really have a negative impact and can destroy your Google rankings. The term ‘Bad SEO’ can be defined as the practices that are unethical, outdated and outside the boundaries of Google webmaster guidelines. While SEO is all about keeping up with the ever-changing search engine algorithms and optimizing your website, bad SEO is quite opposite and can ultimately hurt your rankings in search results.

Now, let us have a close look at some of the bad SEO practices and most importantly the ways to avoid them.

1. Duplicate Content:

Make sure that your content is unique and original, on the whole, an ‘SEO friendly content’. If you publish duplicate content on your website it is nothing but a bad SEO. Duplicate content generally refers to that blocks of content within or across other domains that either completely matches or partially similar to other content that is published online.

If your content is not unique it is not good for your SEO because search engines already have the same content in their index and there will be no reason to index your web page since it consists nothing new to offer. Hence it is always better to check the quality and uniqueness of your content before posting it online so that it might result in better ranking.

2. Keyword Stuffing/Using Irrelevant keywords:

As discussed earlier, when it comes to SEO the first thing strikes is keyword stuffing. While keyword research and usage of targeted keywords is important do not try to use keywords everywhere which doesn’t give any sense to your content and do not try to gain traffic for the keywords that are not even relevant to your content. You are not supposed to optimize your content by repeating the same keywords over and again as it is a bad SEO practice.

Merging your content with full of keywords and using irrelevant keywords in your content will not only make your readers lose their interest in reading the content further but also might end up with getting your website penalized by Google and may also cause keyword spamming and gamification to search engine spiders. Hence adding appropriate and relevant keywords to your title, subheadings and Meta description is more than enough for a perfect SEO.

3. Linking for Guest Posting:

Though guest posting can be a great way and a cheap method to get backlinks to your website if done wrongly can damage your rankings. You cannot ask for a link to get exposure or recognition.

Instead, you can link from high-quality websites that are related to your niche.

So it is better going for good links rather than increasing the spam score of your website with irrelevant and unnecessary links.

4. Cloaking:

Cloaking (Hiding the text and real destination of a link) and showing different versions for search crawlers and users was a common practice in SEO in the past.
Using such techniques is considered as a very bad SEO practice. One should not keep one version of a page for search crawlers and other for users.

5. Linking to Bad Neighbourhood:

What is a bad neighborhood in SEO? Generally, a bad neighborhood on the internet occurs when people start looking for shortcuts in SEO. When someone finds a strategy for a quicker way to get SEO results a new type of ‘bad neighborhood’ is born.

As Google said, backlinks are one of the most important factors for ranking but getting these backlinks i.e. links from other sites is not really that easy. Instead of gaining genuine links some shady SEO operators have created different types of bad neighborhoods that offer easy backlinks. Since it is easy they are also pretty easy to spot, if you are linked to such bad neighborhood then Google might penalize your site for it. The more outbound and backlinks you have from such neighborhood the worse is going to be with your SEO strategy and Google ranking.

6. Not using Google webmasters tool:

Google has developed its webmaster tool to establish better communication with SEO masters. It can be a great guide to analyze the technical aspect of a website and many SEO experts rely on webmasters to focus on crawl stats, page errors and rich snippets. Also, you can check things for bad links, crawl errors, duplicate titles and descriptions and much more.

In addition to that, there are lots of tools that can get you information about your website and helps you to understand how to improve your SEO and rankings in Google.

7. Slow or unavailable websites:

The loading time of your website should not be less than 3-4 seconds and should be available on the internet all the time. A high load time can cause a loss of revenue if your target audience has to wait for a long time to get the information they are looking for. As a matter of facts if a site has a bad user experience can ultimately have an impact on its ranking in Google.

Hence a good hosting provider with a modern software having 24/7 availability and a well-planned SEO strategy can help you to build fast websites and can manage your page speed within the accepted range.


Anything that does not comply with the above rules is considered as a bad SEO and sometimes these mistakes can end up with the biggest picture and overdoing it again. In these days it is very important to follow good ethical SEO practices, based on Google standards and up to date with the latest developments and ranking algorithms of Google.

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