According to a recent Forbes’ magazine article, Google blacklists nearly 10,000 sites every day! This means Google can remove your website from the search engine’s index without warning to you. Not only can being placed on Google’s “naughty” list result in a drop in traffic, it can also be detrimental to sales and your brand identity.
From innocent mistakes to downright sneaky tactics, the following 10 items are what NOT to do when planning your SEO strategy in order to stay on Google’s good side.
1. Mirror sites: using the exact same content with different domains.
Mirror sites are typically done to allow for more opportunities to divert users toward the primary website, however Google recognizes this as duplicate content and can penalize your site for doing this.
2. Cloaking: designing a website that shows one thing to the search engines and another to site visitors.
Used by spammers to trick search engines, this is possibly one of the top no-nos on Google’s list and will result in immediate removal from the search engine.
3. Keyword Stuffing: using a keyword over and over on your site hoping to get a better ranking.
As tempting as it is to want to boost your SEO by “stuffing” your content with your targeted keywords, this is a dangerous practice and disregards Google’s belief in quality over quantity resulting in a drop in rankings.
4. Unnatural anchor text: Using the same keyword rich anchor in all text links hoping that would get ranked for a specific keyword.
Building quality backlinks to your site is an important part of SEO, however using the same keyword anchors is considered artificial and can result in a blacklist action from Google.
5. Incorporating broken links into your site: adding or keeping broken links on a page to appear as if it contains more links.
A site with all working links will always outrank a page with broken links. One or two broken links on your site is no cause for concern, however it is always best to make sure you have accurate content on your site with updated links. The more broken links on a page, the more reasons the spiders will find to not display your website in search results.
6. Content Scraping: pulling content in bulk from other websites to your website.
Content scraping is not only frowned upon by Google, but is usually against crediting original authors and is in violation of copyright laws. In addition to the penalties from Google for scraping content, you could be fined for copyright infringement.
7. Title Stacking: adding more than one <title> tag per page.
As one of the oldest tricks in the book, adding more than one title tag to your page in hopes to gain more exposure will be penalized as Google will only recognize one title tag.
8. Buying links: purchasing links from other websites to gain higher rankings on search engines.
If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘guilty by association,’ this follows the same idea. Purchasing links from spammy, disreputable sites and social networking accounts carries a very high chance of marking your site as questionable and can be penalized by search engines.
9. Building fake links: creating links that have no connection to your website or industry in order to have more links on your site.
Google views random links on your website as pieces of spam and will mark you as a such. Only use relevant, useful links on your site and be worry free of crossing Google.
10. Article spinning: creating many versions of the same article by making small adjustments to the wording, then submitting the articles to different websites in order to receive links back to your site.
Trying to trick the spiders into thinking this content is unique is a bad idea as it will be recognized as duplicates and will drop all versions from search engines.
Avoiding these SEO mistakes can help ensure that your site will steer clear of Google’s blacklist and will continue to operate effectively and efficiently.
Source Via: http://upcity.com/blog/top-10-practices-you-must-know-to-keep-from-getting-blacklisted-on-google/
Before you get too deep into an SEO campaign, it’s important to run a one-time audit of your site to proactively detect and correct any issues that could interfere with your domain authority. For example, a flaw in your site architecture or an improperly structured navigation could compromise the power or visibility of your site to search engines before you even begin. Running an audit can identify those problems and give you the chance to start off on the right foot.
This audit checklist will help you look for the most important elements that affect search visibility, and correct some of the most common problems you might encounter along the way.
Ensuring Accessibility and Search Index Presence
First, you need to make sure that the pages of your site can be seen by search engine crawlers and accessed by individual users. Otherwise, you won’t rank highly, and you won’t be getting any organic search traffic.
- Check your robots.txt file. Found in your source code, this file can prevent search engine bots from crawling part, or all, of your site. Make sure it’s configured properly.
- Check for any robots meta tags. These meta tags tell crawlers whether they are allowed to view a specific page—if you see a “noindex” tag associated with the meta name “robots,” you’re essentially blocking that page from view.
- Check for 404s and broken links. First, log into Google Webmaster Tools. Here, head to “Crawl” and then “Crawl Errors.” This should generate a list of all site errors that the Google bots encounter, which you can then fix with 301 redirects or proper structuring.
- Check your XML sitemap. The XML sitemap on your site is going to serve as a map for search engine bots. It should follow proper protocols and be uploaded to your Webmaster Tools Account.
- Compare your XML sitemap to your Site Crawl. Are there any pages that appear in one and not the other? Double check these lists for consistency.
Improving Onsite Authority Factors
Next, look at the smaller factors that influence whether Google sees your site as authoritative or not authoritative.
- Evaluate your site navigation. Is your site easy to navigate? How easy is it for a user to find what he/she is looking for? Your pages should be vertically linked, with broad categories, subcategories, and individual pages within. In a related note, how many clicks does it take to get to any page on your site—the lower the better, and you can use internal linking to lower this figure.
- Measure your site speed. Use a tool like Pingdom to see how fast your site loads—the faster it loads, the better. You can improve your site speed by fixing any hosting issues, shrinking the images on your site, and clearing out any unnecessary plugins or meta information that could slow information transfers down.
- Ensure your site is secure. Though it’s only going to give you a slight ranking boost, it’s worth upgrading your site to SSL encryption.
- Fix your URLs. Each URL in your site should be short, easy to read with words instead of numbers, and inclusive of relevant keywords. Avoid any excesses here, whenever possible.
- Check for broken links. Review all your internal links to make sure they are all pointing to proper pages within your site.
- Test for compatibility. By now, your site should be optimized for mobile and be compatible with multiple browsers. You can check for this in Webmaster Tools or manually review your page displays by experimenting on multiple devices and browsers.
- Set up Google Analytics. Double check to ensure your script is installed properly and that you’re pulling information for every page.
Improving Content Factors
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that your current onsite content is executed properly.
- Review your title tags and meta tags. Each of your titles and descriptions should be unique, with keywords relevant to your company. Your descriptions should also be catchy, in order to improve click-through rates. You can test for improper titles and descriptions by heading to Webmaster Tools under Search Appearance and HTML Improvements.
- Ensure content on every page. Each page on your site should have at least a paragraph or two of unique, indexable content.
- Review your images and multimedia content. All images on your site, as well as other forms of content, should have alt tags or meta information that presents them to Google properly.
- Check your content for quality. This is often underestimated. Is your content valuable, easy to read, and free of spelling and grammatical errors? Any violations here could compromise your site’s authority.
This checklist should get you going in the right direction when you’re initiating or rebooting an SEO campaign for your business. Just remember that while the onsite audit is a one-time process, SEO requires months of ongoing commitment to be successful. Cleaning up these onsite errors won’t immediately send you to a higher position in search engines, but it will make it easier for you to do so once you implement a long-term strategy of recurring content, offsite links, and social media activity; the three pillars of SEO.
Background on ShowMeLocal
ShowMeLocal.com is a free local directory that you can list your business. Adding your business information on local directories like ShowMeLocal helps improve your local visibility and elevates your overall relevancy in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
This is a great way to improve your site’s local rank and will increase your chances to show up more prominently in search engines.
Here’s our quick guide to submitting your site for free on ShowMeLocal!
How to Submit Your Site to ShowMeLocal
Follow the directions carefully to complete your submission.
Step 1. Start at ShowMeLocal.com.
Step 2. Click “Join Now for Free” to get started.
Step 3. Enter in your First Name, Last Name, Email, and Password in order to create your new account. Type in the randomly generated characters and click “Register for FREE!”
Step 4. On the next screen, type in your Business Name, Business Type, Phone Number, and the rest of the information into the designated fields.
Once complete click, “Add Business!”
Step 6. At this point, you’ll be asked to verify your account by clicking a link sent to your email. Click it to continue.
Step 7. Next, enter the password for your account to complete the activation process.
Step 8. Your profile is now complete! Feel free to edit your profile with your business’s URL, Hours of Operation, and more.
ShowMeLocal Directory Tips:
It is important that you complete the profile information about your business to the greatest extent possible.
To learn more details about how ShowMeLocal.com can help grow your business, visit the FAQ.
Source Via: http://upcity.com/blog/2014/12/how-to-submit-your-site-to-showmelocal/
This is Part 2 of an article that appeared on SPN Wednesday, Dec. 3/14. If you missed the first 23 image sources listed by the author, you can find them here.
This site offers a search function as well as categories to browse. The images are unique and full-quality, and they were created by web designer Viktor Hanacek.
Spectacular photos offered without a search option. Sign up for the mailing list to receive new photos every month.
26. Public Domain Archive
This site offers breathtaking images. New photos are added each week and there is an email list to which you may subscribe.
If you have time to sift through lots of photos, some with questionable quality, consider rgbstock. It houses over 102,000 images.
This site offers a substantial number of high-resolution photos, taken by Thomas Mühl. There’s a convenient option of downloading photos as a zip file for a small price.
Created by web designer, graphic designer, and photographer Daniel Hanescu, this site offers magnificent, unique stock photos for personal and commercial use.
30. Startup Stock Photos
If you’re looking for photos of the modern office, visit Startup Stock Photos. The images are crisp and beautiful and revolve around the innovative office theme.
31. Travel Coffee Book
This site offers amazing photos if you need something for a specific country. It is not yet searchable, but it’s worth the time to explore because the images are outstanding.
32. Unrestricted Stock
Icon vets and free stock vectors make Unrestricted Stock a valuable free image source. Their goal is to provide high-quality, free-use images without restriction.
Unsplash offers 10 new photos every 10 days. The site is simple and is not searchable but provides crisp, beautiful images. Fortunately, there is a great search tool maintained by Arthur
Weill that you can access here to find exactly what you’re looking for.
34. US Government Photos and Images
While not everything offered on the site is free (you have to search), the photos are reliable and accurate. Be sure to read the specific licensing agreement before you use a particular image.
35. Wikimedia Commons
The database offers close to 24 million free images, some of which require attribution. Again, be sure to read the specific licensing info for each image you plan to use.
No Attribution Needed Images – Personal Use Only
The following sites offer free photos for personal use, but may not be used for commercial purposes:
36. Ancestry Images
This site contains over 31,000 images of historical prints.
37. Animal Photos
Although the site layout could use an update, Animal Photos offers stunning, unique images of hundreds of animals.
FreeFoto offers over 130,000 photos categorized in over 3,640 ways. The site is easy to search and could be useful for many of your needs.
Stockvault offers over 51,000 images. You’ll be sure to find something you can use.
Attribution Required – Personal or Commercial Use
The following sites are free to use for personal and commercial as long as the author is attributed:
Offering gorgeous photos, both searchable and categorized, Albumarium is a hotspot for high-quality and ease of use.
The site asks for a link back or Facebook like in return for using the free photos, which are sorted mostly by geographic location and have been taken by amateur photographers.
42. Car Pictures
Don’t let the website design fool you. This is the site to visit if you’re seeking car images, offering photographs of over 100 different car makes.
43. Creativity 103
If you’re looking for design ideas, abstract backgrounds or textures, this is the site to visit.
Requiring an attribution link, this site offers photos, some with inspirational and motivational quotes.
The popular image-hosting site functions as a good source for free images as long as you know how to perform a proper search. Use the advanced search function to locate commercial-use Creative Commons photos.
The small images are available for free, and the larger ones will cost you a few dollars. There are 17 categories and hundreds of images to choose from. The inventory is standard, but there are many options from which to choose.
47. Free Photos Bank
Free Photos Bank houses a vast array of free photos, ranging in uniqueness and categorized in 9 ways. The site is searchable.
Freepixels offers many categories and lots of options, close to 6,000 options to be exact. Check out this site if you’re looking for something specific but simple. To use, you must attribute the site.
49. IM Free
This site is a collection of images for commercial use. The images are hosted on Flickr and therefore will yield different licensing terms, so be sure to view the Creative Commons license for attribution requirements before using.
50. Lock and Stock Photos
In order to use any of these exceptional photos, you are asked to link back to the creator’s personal website. The collection on Lock and Stock Photos is as diverse as it is rare.
This site is worthy of a first look if you’re looking for something incredible. The images are superb, searchable, and can even be grouped by dominant color. They don’t offer the largest selection of Creative Commons Zero licensed images, but the quality makes up for the lack of quantity.
52. Photo Everywhere
Offering a “world of images,” Photo Everywhere houses a selection of over 3,600 stock photos from locations around the world. The high-quality images are worthy of a look if you need something geo-specific.
This site offers carefully chosen, high-quality photos that range in style and motive. There are about 475 photos from which to choose.
54. Stock Media
Most marketers need a generic image from time to time. When you need something simple and don’t want to sift through too many options, check out Stock Media. It’s not searchable, but it is well-categorized.
Toasto offers photos which are searchable and categorized in 6 ways.
Superfamous is anything but generic, and it’s everything spectacular. The photos offered are captivating landscapes and gorgeous, high-definition images from nature’s most beautiful moments.
Besides the sources listed above, don’t forget about Getty Images and Instagram, which may be utilized as long as you embed the photos.
Have a valuable source to add to this list? Please comment below, so we can ensure this is the greatest list of free image sources you’ll ever need. Don’t forget to bookmark this link for reference later, and share it with your followers!
Via Source: http://www.sitepronews.com/2014/12/04/guide-image-sources-youll-ever-need-part-ii/