12 Things NOT to Do to Improve Your Site's Google Page
By Stas Bekman.
Published: 2 July 2006
This article is a sequel to 12
Things to Do to Improve Your Site's Google Page Rank, which
you may want to read first.
This article covers techniques that won't help improving
your site's ranking, but instead make it worse. In fact some
of those techniques may result in a complete removal of
your site from the search engine indexes and a ban.
12 Things NOT to Do to Improve Your Site's Google Page
- If you created a new site, do not put ads on it right away -
Google marks those sites as suspected "ad farm" sites and won't
index them for a certain period of time (placing them into the
sandbox). The common suggestion is to have your site up for one
month with the content, before you can put ads in it. However
there is no official word on that - so a shorter or longer period
might be required.
- Google gives high ranking to sites that have inbound links from
other sites. But not just any sites. Those need to be sites with
high ranking. That means that you can't just create a bunch of
sites and have them link to each other and have your ranking go
up. Neither submitting reciprocal links with link exchange sites
will help. In fact it'll make things worse, as Google doesn't like
"link farms". Sites linking to yours should also be relevant to
- Including links to social bookmarking services, like reddit.com, digg.com, del.icio.us, etc. (there are
hundreds of those now and their number is growing) will allow your
visitors to submit your site's links to those services in one
click (e.g., see some of those at the end of this
article). However most (all?) of those sites implement the
rel="nofollow", which won't help your
- Avoid duplicated content. There are many sites out there that
spring up overnight, by copying content from other sites, buying
pre-made sites, etc. Google detects those and penalises the guilty,
by not indexing them. Instead of duplicating content, quote the
relevant parts and provide a link to the original source. Also
make sure that a single page on your site is linked to via a
canonical URL, i.e. if you link to the same page as
http://www.example.com/ and http://example.com/ some search
engines consider that as duplicating content.
- Avoid keyword spamming. Overoptimising and overusing key terms
or using irrelevant keywords on your pages will negatively affect
your site's ranking
- Do not include invisible text. One can create invisible text by
choosing the font colour which is the same as of the background,
putting the text at the very bottom of the page, so that the
visitor won't see it, and other ways. The idea is to include
certain keywords multiply times to make the page appear more
relevant. This technique doesn't work anymore, since modern search
engines catch that trick and punish sites using it.
- Search engines don't like dynamic pages that contain query
characters like "?". Try avoiding those. You could try using
rewriting rules to map good URL names to those dynamic URLs behind
the scenes. Google definitely doesn't index pages containing
"&id=" as a parameter in your URLs.
- Do the redirects correctly. If you must move a document to a
new location, the old location has to issue a 301 redirect code,
which tells the crawler that the page has moved
permanently. Webmaster have tried to use a 302 redirect
(temporarily moved) to fool the users and redirect them to a
different page than the one indexed by the spider. Though I can
see how the spider can be fooled to not do the redirect, when it
spiders the pages. This is because spiders can be identified as
such before the page is served to them. So one could serve
different pages to visitors and search engine crawlers. But don't
- Don't post too many links on a single page. Google suggests
less than 100. When linking to other sites, avoid linking to sites
with bad reputation. When you receive a request to link to another
site, first go and check that the site is of a good quality and
that it's of a relevant content.
- Don't use unauthorised computer programs to submit pages, check
rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and
violate their Terms of
Service. Therefore if you still plan to uses one, you'd have
to check whether it conforms with the rules or not.
- When having other sites link to yours (inbound links), try to
use different wordings for the anchored text. If it's always the
same wording, search engines may consider those links as an
attempt to raise your page rank and your site's page rank will be
- Several sources indicate that submitting your site via "Add
URL" to various search engines might be a bad idea. The premise is
that if spiders can't find your site via other sites linking to
you, then your site probably is not worthy their time. But this is
only relevant for new sites.
You may also want to read 12
Things to Do to Improve Your Site's Google Page Rank.
Sandbox Theory Validated by Search Engine
Google sandbox explained
advice: discussing 302 redirects (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-advice-discussing-302-redirects/)
by Matt Cote's (the
spokesman for Google search)
10 Worst SEO Tactics (http://www.isedb.com/db/articles/966/)
Some of the SEO techniques that
worked in the past no longer work
Hijack: The 302 Exploit, Redirects and Google (http://clsc.net/research/google-302-page-hijack.htm)
Exploit: How somebody else's page can appear instead of your page in
the search engines. By Claus Schmidt.
search rankings case (http://www.out-law.com/page-3609)
A lawsuit that accused Google
of manipulating its page ranking system has been thrown out by a US
court. It was filed by SearchKing, a web host and search engine, and
argued that Google deliberately made changes to its PageRank system
to remove SearchKing's web sites from top search rankings.
Engine Ranking Factors (http://www.seomoz.org/articles/search-ranking-factors.php)
This article contains a large
list of the factors that can influence a web document's rank at the
major search engines (Yahoo!, MSN, Google & AskJeeves) for a
particular term or phrase.