SEO strategies are powerful tools when understood, but when used incorrectly can result in disaster for business owners. This is because some Pittsburgh SEO tactics are considered to be against the rules of the major search engines, but in reality probably fall in some grey area about what are legitimate optimization strategies and what aren't.
But because the risks to your business include being sandboxed by search engines (buried in search results or banned from results altogether) and litigated against as a spammer, knowing who you're working with is essential. This is critical for business owners to understand because often it's an unscrupulous individual or group claiming to be SEO experts who in reality do nothing more than game the system. Beware of these 5 practices that a professional company would never engage in:
1.) Buying large numbers of low-quality links
Did you know that you can purchase backlinks to your website? In fact, you can purchase thousands of them for pennies or less each. Some packages contain up to 100,000 backlinks for as little as a few hundred dollars. Some businesses, SEO experts and web masters buy these links in order to artificially boost the total link count of a website. This is done because some people in the field incorrectly assume that the more links you have pointing to your website, the better. But this is simply not true.
In fact, building too many links to your website in a short period of time can raise a number of red flags with the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. And while this might not be enough to penalize a website, it's enough to warrant scrutiny. Upon further examination, the buildup of tons of junk links – low quality, non-contextually related and low authority links – is considered link spamming.
Some experts argue that you'll never get penalized for link building activities of any type. Whether this is true or not shouldn't really be an issue. The fact remains that even thousands of low quality unrelated links don't have the same amount of weight as just a handful of high-PR, contextually related and high authority websites linking to yours. So if you're going to put forth money or effort into link building, quality is always better than quantity.
A professional Pittsburgh SEO company will know what types of link building activities to employ and which to avoid. Additionally, some experts are adept at building large quantities of high quality backlinks, but as with most things, you'll get what you pay for.
2.) Submit content indiscriminately
There is a myth among web masters, internet marketers and other internet professionals that one of the best ways to build a presence on the web is to develop, publish and syndicate as much content as possible. Most of this comes in the form of articles and press releases that are broadcast to hundreds and even thousands of potential publishers. However, a true SEO pro will never advise their clients to do this.
Indiscriminate submissions of press releases and articles are essentially another form of spam. Submitting your article about basket weaving to a golfer's magazine won't do anything but waste time and resources. Similarly, submitting your press release about your biotechnology company's upcoming charity party to a woodworking magazine editor isn't going to get you anything more than a quick "delete."
This is also tied to backlinking because one of the principle goals of a press release or article marketing campaign is to build backlinks. So let's assume that you do get your basket weaving article published in an online golfing magazine. How much weight do you really think that link is going to have versus a link from a basket weaving publication?
Context is everything. Relevant submissions are the key to achieving good contextual links and developing authority in your markets.
In Pittsburgh SEO: What Not to Do Part 2 we'll discuss how keyword stuffing, spam and poor quality content can also damage your business reputation and destroy your chances of dominating organic search. But if you're ready to get help from a professional SEO company right now, call the number at the top of your screen for an absolutely free private consultation.