Why is SEO Harmful and What are the Worst Practices?

With a massive number of searches performed each year and more than half coming from mobile devices, the user experience is becoming center stage. Therefore, if a website's SEO practices are bad, people will 'bounce' away from the page, sending Google a signal to negatively impact the site's search rankings.

Keyword stuffing

is the practice of repeating keywords on a page in an attempt to manipulate search engine results. Here is an example, directly from the Google search console (emphasis added).Closely related to the myth of keyword density, keyword stuffing was a common SEO practice.

It is no longer effective and, now, your website is likely to be penalized. Justina Logozzo's June 16 tweet shows keyword stuffing is still being taught. Entry pages and cloaking are the antithesis of good SEO. You can create all the content you want, but if it doesn't provide value, you shouldn't publish it. Creating content inconsistently can also hurt you.

Some SEO opinion leaders discuss the importance of producing quality material rather than large quantities of material. While the emphasis on quality is important, publishing often can also help you immensely. Poor user experience can lead to up to 3x lower site authority. Constantly giving users bad experiences when dealing with your website will cause visitors to perceive your brand negatively. That in itself can reduce your search rankings, so adding black hat SEO to the mix is extremely dangerous.

Knowing how to ethically and strategically create a solid SEO campaign is like knowing another language. Talking to search engines through title tags, links and quality content is part of the conversation. More importantly, knowing what are the 10 worst SEO practices on the web is imperative to the success of your site. Obviously, the only thing worse than duplicating your own content is duplicating someone else's content. This is one of the worst SEO practices you can perform for your site.

Google sees duplication of offsite content as a lack of effort and, in some cases, as plagiarism. Hear from 785 WebFX customers. Now that Google performs around 1.2 trillion searches a year, it has become more adept at examining and ranking all those sites on the web. It is true that headings such as H2 and H3 help guide readers. Using them every 300 words or so gives the brain a quick rest and helps prevent the eye from being lost.

It also helps to break that unsightly wall of text that will never be read. A large HubSpot benchmark study that illustrates this is one in which they analyzed blog frequency data from more than 13,500 marketers and agencies. A few years ago, you could position yourself for a blog post that was simply “good enough” or “as good as the results on page 1.Nowadays, with the staggering amount of content that is published daily, that mentality is not enough. According to a SEMrush study of more than 100,000 websites, one of the most common SEO errors on the page is duplicate content. Nearly 66 percent of the study's websites had serious problems with it. John Muller, Google's Future Trends Analyst, Was Asked About the Future of SEO in Google Search Central's Latest SEO Hangout. Now that you're up to date with what bad SEO is, let's talk about a handful of perennial SEO best practices.

While it is a perfectly valid white hat SEO tactic, it has been corrupted by black hat SEOs in the past. Generally, bad SEO refers to issues where SEO practices have not been implemented correctly or have not been well researched, resulting in low or non-existent search traffic and low search rankings. While SEO is all about optimizing your website for search engines, bad SEO can generate the opposite results. From there, black hat SEO was born, and the web was full of sneaky tricks which resulted in an unfair game for those who practiced white hat SEO. And for the most part, SEOs follow guidelines to avoid receiving search engine penalties making SEO a generally ethical practice. What used to be good SEO can easily turn into bad SEO as Google refines its expectations for content creators. It's important for website owners to understand why certain practices are considered bad and how they can avoid them in order to maintain their website's ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Knowing what are some common bad practices such as keyword stuffing or cloaking can help website owners stay away from them and focus on creating quality content instead. By understanding why certain practices are considered bad and how they can be avoided website owners can ensure their website remains visible on SERPs while providing users with an enjoyable experience.