Websites and search engines: how to avoid getting blacklisted

by MPA17 Oct 2014
When trying to draw potential clients to your website, it’s tempting to take Google, Bing and other search engines as simplistic tools to be exploited whenever possible. However in recent years these search engines have introduced a number of rules which can catch out innocent but ignorant small business websites, and end up excluding them from search results altogether. Marketing expert Dahna Chandler has identified the search engine optimisation (SEO) ‘tricks’ which can get your website excluded or worse, which we’ve adapted for you.


1. Broken links

Anyone who’s used the web knows how irritating – not to mention unprofessional – broken links can be, and Google et al tend to agree. Test your links regularly, and don’t be tempted to ‘scrape’ links from other websites, which is where software tools are used to add other website’s links to your own numbers to increase standings in search engine results. Read more about Google policies with regard to such schemes here.
 

2. Purchasing unrelated links

Search engines frown upon this practice, so it’s best avoided. Links need to be situated within obviously relevant content – an article advising first-time buyers for instance. Related links also makes for high-quality visitors, who are more likely to become clients.
 

3. Multiple websites

Some businesses used to have duplicate websites in the hope of improving search results: one fictional example Chandler suggests is "buyhomesonlineinatlanta.com" when their business is really named "Atlanta Online Home Search" or "washingtondcmetrorokitchendesigner.com" when they really are "Reston Kitchen Renovations". Not only are search engines able to connect the (metaphorical) dots to see your tactic, your multiples websites, having the same content, will actually push each other down in search rankings.

Read Chandler's original article on Linkedin Pulse.

Poll

Is TILA-RESPA a good or bad thing long term?