Usually the most common thing I’ll tell people starting out at SEO is to avoid spamming the search engines with repetitive links and duplicate content. This is the golden rule when it comes to White Hat SEO.
Producing duplicate content can push your website to the bottom of Google’s index, so much so that no matter what you do to correct mistakes, it can be trapped at the bottom for months at a time.
I’ve seen many sites that spam Google who outrank well built ones. Google made changes to it’s search algorithm in early 2011 to combat this fault. Known as the Panda update, which was named after a lead engineer on the project, it was created in order to clean up search results by filtering out sites that would either aggregate stolen data as their own or sites that released duplicate content.
Practicing ethical SEO isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you’re a novice beginning an SEO. Its easy to fall into the trap of creating shadowy link farms and have them due your bidding. These are temporary bandades. Optimizing a website should just be that, at least at the beginning. Here is a list of SEO steps that will guide you and can serve as a base foundation when ethically optimizing a website:
Ethical SEO Basic Steps
- Make sure your tags are cleanRun your site through the W3C Validator. It can provide great detail into the nuts and bolts of whats going on front-end wise.
- Duplicate content is a no-no
- It’s important to have original content on your website. The more competition out there, the more unique and engaging your content needs to be in order for a site to succeed.
- Use newsfeeds sparingly, many people fall into the trap of having a large part of a site be all newsfeeds. Sites can quickly move up in PageRank and overnight get pulled back to reality when Googles spider catches up.
- Link building 101
- Make sure you link to trade organizations. Gaining links from trade organizations can do wonders for an SEO campaign. These are the easiest links to obtain.
- Remember to utilize Google Places, Yelp, and other review sites. Sign your clients up for these kinds of websites, they provide wonderful visibility for local business sites and create more of a real-world link between the user and business.