In my past SEO experiences, I’ve discovered some things which were hurting my website’s SEO. Those things were not helping my blog but rather moved my ranking downwards in Google SERPs and other top search engines like Bing and Yahoo. So I compiled a list of things that hurts SEO.
Though I was little worried about it, so I decided to check all the things that hurts SEO. I began my research and found many errors; then I fixed them for better search engines optimization.
So, I decided to share all the things which could even hurt your website’s SEO too. You might be going through the same problem.
Some people might share their bad SEO mistakes with you. But today, I’ve decide to share poor SEO mistakes according to my own experience.
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18 Things That Hurts SEO
Welcome, here are all the things that hurt SEO of your website.
There may be many SEO techniques which you might be doing wrong or following the wrong SEO techniques. So, here in this post, I will try to explain how you could save your website or blog from getting penalized. I am going to share 16 things that hurt SEO of your website or blog.
1. Changing the URL of your Website:
If you love changing the URL of your website again and again like an hobby, then you are surely hurting your SEO.
Sincerely, this is the most dangerous thing you are doing to your blog or website’s SEO.
Changing the URL of your Website regularly will get your blog penalized by Google. Woa are you serious? Yea!
Sometimes there may be a possibility that Google may think of your website as two different websites and consider that your website has the duplicate content.
Hmmm… The term which can be used for this issue is called canonicalization. I’ll explain more about that on my forthcoming post.
It is better to solve your canonical issue before going into link building. Because changing the URL after doing SEO will be a total waste of time and possibly your site might hit a penalty. God forbid!
This short example could help you in choosing the right URL for your website.
You can set the URL of your website with or without www, but I advice you shouldn’t change it once your site is up and running.
There is no problem for choosing the URL for your Website because you can use Non-WWW or WWW for your website.
Non-WWW and WWW version, which is the best?
From my study, both version works perfectly, you’ll get the same results with the both URL versions. Although most SEO experts love to use www more than the non-www URL version.
But you can choose the URL according to your choice. Even the Keyword in the URL plays an important role and changing the URL of your Page or post without any proper redirection can result in your blog being out-ranked and that will bring less traffic.
2. Changing Blog Title
Yea, just like changing your blog URL or even the URL version might affect your blog SEO. Changing your blog title from time to time might hurt your blog or website’s SEO.
Checkout this case study.
Case study: My blog ranked on first page of Google and Yahoo for a particular keyword on the 6th position of SERP.
I wanted to make it rank higher, so I changed the title to a more compelling title, to increase the click through rate on search engine result page (SERP).
But surprisingly, my post disappeared and was on second page. I allowed it for two weeks but there was no improvement.
I changed the title to it’s previous one and it came back to first page and 4th position on Google.
This shows that changing post title might hurt your blog SEO. So when doing any changes, keep your eyes on the improvement. If there’s no improvement, then act fast so that you’ll not be penalized.
3. Changing your website theme again and again
I know you’ll quickly agree this one with me.
Honestly, I was a victim of this too. When I was a beginner in SEO and was learning WordPress. I used to change the theme of my website frequently because of the availability of Free WordPress themes…lol.
And each time I changed the theme of my website, I use to do settings again and again for SEO. And sometimes I usually face down-ranking in Google SERPs for my website.
Although there are some better ways to keep your settings safe while changing the theme. But I suggest you to manually save all of your setting for all kind of scripting codes.
However, changing the theme can affect your website SEO negatively.
Why Poor Theme is Harmful for Your Website SEO
There may be some hidden links in that theme which could hurt your whole SEO efforts. And changing the theme might also lead to link alteration.
It can also leads to increase in database table Size.
You might not know that changing the theme can impact the size of your database table. Every new theme you install leaves a signature along with all the options in the database table in your Cpanel called wp_options, thus making multiple database tables.
Always go to your cpanel >> wp_option and delete the themes you’re not using again or hire an expert to help you do so.
4. Low page loading speed
The truth: If your website loads in minutes, that simply means it is hurting SEO. There are many websites which loads for 1 to 2 seconds which is really considered good for SEO.
But if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, then you have to worry a little because it could hurt your SEO. There are some Plugins which could help you Speed up your website.
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Smush.it
There are also many Websites which can help you to check and improve the speed of your website or blog. Sites like Gtmetrix, Google page speed Insights, and Pingdom website Speed test. These sites can help you to make your site load faster.
The above image is my website speed score on Google Page speed insight. It scores 87% on mobile and 80% on PC which considered as good. I can also help you achieve that too.
5. Having Broken Links
If your website has broken links, then it must be removed from your site as soon as possible.
What are broken links?
Broken links are those links which are invalid or doesn’t exist. It can also be known as dead link with 404 code error.
If you rewind back to the past, you would have placed some sites links on your website, and those links might stopped working.
Why is removing broken links important?
The main reason you should check and remove broken links is that it gives a negative SEO impact on your blog.
How to get rid of Broken links
If you are using WordPress to host your website or blog, then you can easily get rid of these dead links… Good news, right?
- There is a Plugin, which can save you lots of time for manually checking the broken links on your Blog. You can easily use broken link checker Plugin. It’s an Amazing tool which I’ve used for a longtime now and it has helped me achieved a lot.
- There is another chrome extension which analyze all the invalid links on any website. You can follow this link to get the chrome extension.
6. Giving Do-follow Backlinks
Giving do-follow external back-links can also hurt your website or blog SEO.
Before now, I was fun of giving do-follow external links. I’ll exchange do-follow link with other bloggers or give guest post authors do-follow link.
After several study and research, I discovered that it affected my website ranking and also drop my Domain authority as well.
So be careful whenever you’re giving an external link. You can use external link plugin to quickly add rel=”no-follow” whenever you want to link out.
7. Wrong SEO Plugin Configuration
If you’re a WordPress user, You might be using SEO plugin like; SEO by Yoast or All in One SEO plugin for search engine optimization on your WordPress site. If you are new to WordPress and SEO, then I suggest you grab some tutorial from the internet or from the plugins websites. Or even hire an expert to do that for you, it wouldn’t take much from you.
Both plugins are really good and are used by millions of people. But you must use them with care.
Secondly, there are many SEO plugins, and I suggest you shouldn’t install multiple SEO plugins in the same dashboard, because this can lead you to confusion and very bad SEO. And each SEO plugins has their own rules and wrong configuration can be very dangerous for SEO and this thing can really hurt your SEO.
8. Getting bad Links pointing to Your Site
Creating backlinks is relevant but creating bad links is critical.
If you have used some of the backlink generating tools, then you are just about to get penalized or already got penalized.
There’s an algorithm named Penguin which can penalize your blog, Google’s Penguin algorithm makes sure that the links pointing to your site must be the natural ones, but not the paid ones.
One of the best way you can get natural links pointing to your site is to create informative and unique contents.
Most professional SEO experts always create excellent content so that other people can link to your website, share it and even talk about.
So, write some excellent content and ask other people to share or link it. Instead of paying for poor or bad links.
9. Using The Keyword You want to rank for as Anchor Text Link to another page
What is Anchor text link?
Anchor text link can be referred to as a phrase or keyword on your site that is hyperlinked to a website’s URL. These hyperlinks can be Dofollow or Nofollow links and are mostly used by all bloggers and webmasters.
For getting better or best ranking on Google SERPs, You must not use the same keyword phrase for creating link to other page.
Let me tell you a quick example, which can help you for better ranking. Let’s assume you want to rank “Things that hurt SEO,” then you want to link to another page on your website with the similar or same keyword.
Don’t use the exact keyword phrase, rather use similar or add some other words to it, like;
- Things hurting your blog SEO
- All those things that hurts SEO
- Why adopt strategies that hurt SEO
You can see the similar phrases which can be used for hyperlinks. This is referred to as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).
Use of synonyms for words instead of exact keyword is really essential and can help you to rank quicker on Google’s SERPs.
This can help your blog to rank on Google’s first page because with Google Latent Semantic Indexing, it has the capability to understand it and rank your site whenever someone search for similar phrases.
10. Things that hurts SEO: Practicing Keyword Stuffing
Use of keyword in a post more than enough is considered as spamming. So, if you are using the keyword more than the required times, Google’s Panda algorithm is ready to strike your website down.
Keywords must be stuffed in such a way that it looks to be a part of the sentences and paragraph.
If you want to save yourself from keyword stuffing and any penalty related to it, then there are some techniques. With the use of the LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, which I explained above in point #10, this can help you with better ranking.
11. Your Website Has Lots of Duplicate contents
You might be wondering what a duplicate content is! Duplicate content means the use of same sentences or paragraph on different page of the same site.
Using the same content on different pages of your website or on other social bookmarking sites might hurt your website or blog SEO. It may even lead to a poor user experience. And your site might also get a Panda penalty.
12. Your Site isn’t responsive
If your site isn’t responsive, then that’s the biggest mistake you are doing.
So, make your content well optimized for the mobile devices especially. In the previous year, Google asked to make the sites responsive for a better user experience. The only reason for this is because people are using more phone and tablets than laptops or computers for browsing the web.
If your site is not responsive, then your site’s ranking may move down in the Google SERPs.
13. Not Using the Accelerated Mobile Pages Version for your Website
Google insists on using accelerated mobile pages for your website. It makes the speed of the pages of your site faster and enhances the user experience of the mobile users.
Not using the AMP for your websites could result in loss of mobile visitors from Google, because Google ranks those sites on Mobile which are AMP enabled.
If you are a WordPress user, then you can simply install any AMP plugin, and your website becomes mobile friendly. After installing the plugin, you can check if your website is mobile friendly or not with Google mobile-friendly tool.
But I choose not to use AMP for this blog because of some certain reasons. Meanwhile I used it for other of my websites. You can decide to use or not to use!
14. No Graphics in Posts
Not using any graphics like images, video or infographics in your content and not even doing the Image optimization perfectly might hurt your website SEO
Using of graphics will enhance your SEO and will not only help you to get better ranking but will also help you to get some extra traffic and natural links.
15. Approving Spammy Comments
You might be wondering how true is this. But trust me, approving spammy comments on your blog or website is one of the factors that affects SEO.
You cab use plugin like Akismet Anti-spam plugin to get rid of spam comments.
16. Things that Hurts SEO: Grammatical Errors
Wrong spellings in your content also hurts SEO. So before hitting the publish button, make you double check your article.
17. Not having HTTPS (SSL certificate)
If your aim is to rank on Google first page and you still don’t have an active https, then forget about it.
Google and other top search engines rank websites with Https higher while you’ll not even see http sites in Search engine result pages.
Go to Google and make a search query, the first 20 results or more will be sites with SSL certificate (HTTPS). That shows how valuable it is to have an active SSL certificate for your blog or website.
18. Disabling Comments after some few days
The last on my list but not the least. Comments give value to your content. So, never disable comments on your post after few days. There are options available on WordPress to disable the comments after 14 or 100 days. But I will never advice you to do that.
Many Expert bloggers allow hundreds of comments on their blogs and are successful. Personally, my blog gained more traffic through commenting only.
If you are following SEO techniques wrongly or you’ve completely done the wrong SEO techniques. Then it’s time for you to change.
And also, if you are having any issue or any problem with any SEO strategy, I will be glad to help. You can tell me by using comments section below, and I will surely help you if I am capable of them.
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