20 Ways to Keep Search Engines from Listing Your Website in Their Search Results
In ten years of optimizing websites for the search engines, I’ve often been called in to remedy business websites that have had disastrous results in the search engines. In each case a prior webmaster or search engine optimization (SEO) service provider had employed abusive and/or neglectful strategies. 20 of these abuses and neglectful practices are listed below.
- The first thing on the home page is a link to another business’ website.
- The website has no original text (all text is copied from other websites).
- The website is built in frames which prevent search engine robots from accessing the actual text content.
- Important text is built into graphics, Adobe Acrobat PDF files and/or Flash files which search engine robots can’t read.
- The web pages include hidden text (text that is in the same color as the web page background color).
- The web pages include hidden links (such as links from unseen graphics).
- The web pages are built in a dynamic platform and employ a linking strategy that results in endless loops in which the same text content reappears with different web addresses (duplicate content).
- Web page names include lots of code language such as “&” (ampersands), “?” (question marks) and “=” (equals signs).
- The web pages have no metatags.
- The same exact metatags are used on every page in the website.
- Keyword phrases are based on guessing what people search for rather than on actual search data.
- The website’s text hasn’t been updated in years.
- The website’s code doesn’t meet current international standards.
- The navigation links are different on every page.
- There is no sitemap (page that lists links to all the website’s pages).
- The navigation takes visitors forward to lots of dead ends (pdf files and graphics with no navigation links that take people back to the website).
- The website includes many links to missing pages and graphics (broken links).
- The domain name changed and the webmaster failed to set up proper redirects.
- The web language changed and the webmaster failed to set up proper redirects.
- A competitor’s website has optimized its website for the business’ name and trademarked names without any challenge to the legality of this action.
In many cases, the business’ leadership didn’t even know that abusive and/or neglectful strategies had been employed.
If you suspect that your business’ website may suffer from inappropriate or outdated strategies, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-244-9092.