1) Scraping content from other sites.
A big no no. The recent Panda update was specifically targeted at scraper websites that were auto-copying content from other websites. There’s a wide variety of relatively cheap software that promises easy content through scraping, but it could get you de-indexed. Don’t touch it; if you aren’t comfortable with writing, either hire someone, or offer an internship through your local college or university.
2) Using auto-generated text.
See above. Article / Content ‘spinning’ is another no-go area. Google bots have become more sophisticated and can recognise signals that broadly indicate text is spun and useless. Google also hire companies to perform manual spot checks on pages.
3) Duplicating content on other pages.
This can lead to the wrong pages being indexed. You want your strongest, top level pages indexed and linked to, not the accidental offspring of a cloning accident.
4) Multiple ‘followed’ adverts.
Can be regarded as buying / selling links, a policy explicitly frowned upon by Google. Think you’re too big to be relegated? Think again; if it can happen to super retail brand J.C.Penney, it can happen to you.
5) Hidden links.
This is where links are ‘cloaked’, or coloured the same as the web page, or concealed in any way. This runs counter to Webmaster Guidelines, and can lead to penalties.
6) Keyword jamming.
And this is where you repeat your targeted keyword ad nauseam. While including your keyword 4-5 times can be useful, OTT keyword use looks ridiculous and spammy, and could even have a negative effect on your rankings.
7) No proofreading.
Would you buy a product from a site that was crammed with spelling errors and typos? Me neither. It looks unprofessional, untrustworthy, and can even make you look like a scammer. If spelling ain’t your thang, hire someone. And if you’re dyslexic – there’re ways around it. One of the best copywriters I know is dyslexic.
These content types can look very slick, but take time to load (decreasing user experience) and are difficult for search engines to crawl (though that is improving).
9) Too many internal links on a page.
Links (internal and external) can be like votes. Having multiple internal links to every page on your site is like telling Google that every single candidate for ranking is brilliant – so how on earth can the bots select your strongest page?
10) Empty ‘doorway’ pages.
Doorway pages are a no-content page designed entirely for search engines. They are often created to ‘fool’ Google into thinking the website it goes to is more specific and relevant than it actually is. Bots now look out for those pages as a spam indicator.