2 easy and honest SEO mistakes you could make
No one gets a site penalty on purpose! It can happen for a number of reasons, sometimes through carelessness, sometimes through ‘black-hat’ SEO techniques, and sometimes through honest SEO mistakes.
We have seen people become penalized despite making their best efforts to follow honest SEO guidance, so thought we should highlight some of these reasons, to try to help you avoid making the same mistakes!
Forging business relationships based on providing links to eachother
The problem explained: Nearly all businesses create relationships with other businesses, and occasionally it is agreed that each business will offer to create links to one another in order to enhance SEO and click-through traffic.
Sometimes however, these good intentions end up hurting one or both of the sites!
Example: A major online retailer – we’ll call them Company A – entered into a relationship with a major brick-and-mortar retailer, Company B
Every Company B store (of which there are thousands) carried a product that Company A provided. Company A’s arrangement with Company B was to provide a discounted product price, as long as Company B Store’s website would include a link to Company A’s website.
So, Company B placed a footer link to Company A.
Company A got a tonne of links as a result of this footer link – 16 million to be exact. Every single page of Company B’s website included a direct link to the homepage of Company A.
This is where the problem came from…soon after the footer link was added, Company A was hit with a manual penalty.
After investigating the link profile, it was obvious that Company A had a suspicious link velocity (rate at which links had been acquired), a disproportionately high number of links from a single site, and link positioning in the footer.
The problem with Company A was compounded by the fact that they also had a number of other harmful backlinks. Footer links are notoriously slippery for SEO, with their impact ranging from negligible to dangerous.
Solution: In this case, the solution would have been to have the partner site remove the footer link, and Company A have to deal with the fallout of the penalty.
The problem explained: Influencer outreach is a powerful SEO strategy, and many times it works just fine. All you have to do is find the major influencers in a given environment, reach out to them with a request, and get great back links, audience exposure, and other major benefits!
Influencer outreach is great. But yes, it too can go wrong!
If the influencer outreach targets a low-authority niche, the backlinks could compromise the site. Although the influencers are “influential,” the link value from their sites will not enhance your site’s SEO. On the contrary, it could ruin it.
Example: A new business starts up who make designer clothes. They look to create an influencer campaign with a luxury lifestyle blogger who can promote their business to their followers, who are also the new start-ups target audience!
The blogger/influencer gets a product/payment and the new business gets promotion as well as a back link from the influencer – win win!
However, this method can be dangerous for the affiliate as well as you! For the affiliate, if they post follow links to other peoples websites too often, especially if they are new websites without a lot of strength behind them, it in fact hinders their own SEO score and makes them seem like a listing site!
Other problems that can occur:
- Some bloggers can go overboard with links, creating too many exact match anchor text links in the same article.
- Many bloggers keyword-stuffed their articles, thinking it would attract more traffic.
- Many blogs are very ad-heavy, and under penalty themselves.
- Many blogs have very low authority and the backlinks devalue your site.
Solution: The affiliate blogger can clarify that they will only put links in their blogs that are ‘no-follow’ links – this means that Google won’t see it as a backlink, and it won’t have a positive effect on the start-up, or a negative effect on the blogger.
They can then be more discerning to who they provide a ‘follow’ link if it is going to be of benefit to them.
You can also create a specific landing page for the influencer outreach. The upside of this is that you can customize the landing page to the niche, and even conduct A/B testing to boot.