» 10 Ways to Make the Search Engines Angry: Part II

This post written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. A full version of this article is available in the Education Center. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

As we discussed in Part I, the keys to your SEO efforts are  consistency and patience. However it is also important to avoid these top 10 ways to make search engines angry. See the rest of the list below:

6. Penalized Sites
You want links from trustworthy sites, not from those that sit in the penalty box. If a search engine has penalized or banned another site and it links to you, that penalty may follow to your site as well. Again, make sure that you only link to sites that use SEO best practices.

7. Invisible Text
Many sites include invisible text by changing the font color to match the background color. This technique may have worked in the past, but search engines have become smarter and will catch this trick. It is ok to create separate areas on your site or in your footer for SEO purposes, but do not try to hide content and keywords from search engines.

8. Incorrect Redirects
If you move pages around on your site, you will create a redirect to tell the search engine the new location of the page. You want to issue a 301 redirect code, which tells the crawler that the page has been moved permanently. Many sites use a 302 redirect, temporarily moved, to fool users and redirect them to a different page than the one indexed by the search engine. Make sure to use 301 redirects when moving pages around, as you will get the benefit of the old page and not be penalized by Google.

9. Multiple Domains
Creating multiple domains that redirect to one page is frowned upon. Also, creating multiple domains with nearly the same content and interlinking is generally a bad practice. If you have multiple sites, make sure each one has unique content.

10. Ads on New Sites
If you are launching a new site or domain, our recommendation is to not put advertisements up right away. Search engines mark these sites as ‘ad farms,’ which exist just to generate ad revenue. Once you have content on your site wait at least a month before putting ads and too many links on your site. You want to initially build credibility with the search engine spiders!

Before we let you go, we wanted to provide a quick update on some new changes in the world of Search Engine Optimization. Specifically, there is a new way to make search engines happy! Google, Yahoo and Bing constantly update their complex algorithm’s to provide users with the best search experience. Recently, many of the changes they have made are related to social media. In particular, the major search engines have adjusted their algorithm’s to account for the world of social media. A large part of what drives a websites authority is based on social shares, which includes the number of times a piece of content or page is shared on a Facebook wall, Twitter post or LinkedIn page.

What this means for your business? Your social media efforts drive SEO rankings and you need to make sure to be active in the social world. In fact, there have been studies done that show there is a correlation between top ranking pages and the amount of social media shares. That means the more ‘likes’ you get on Facebook or ‘tweets’ on twitter will help drive your overall search rankings in the long run. If you have not incorporated social media on your website or blog, the time has come. Make sure to include Facebook like buttons and Twitter sharing links wherever you can. The more social you can be the better. Not only is it good for your social media strategy, but it will help with your SEO as well!