Bad SEO practices to AVOID: Tips for 2021

So, you have a blog and it is newly registered or just does not have much traffic on it. Looks like you need some organic traffic. But, what you do not need is Bad SEO practice.

Browsing the internet you can find many different tactics to increase traffic to your blog. Some of them are good (see here our article on how to increase your traffic the right way), but some of them are illegal. You can easily get punished for practicing bad SEO tactics. 

Make sure to never apply any illegal strategies. You will lose that little traffic you already have or even worse. Your website can be banned as well.

In order to help you avoid bad SEO practices, we have listed and explained some of the most frequent ones. Go through them and learn what is bad SEO practice and how to avoid it.


SEO practice

Avoid Bad SEO practices


Do not buy backlinks, you will get penalized

It is very simple, you do not know where those links are coming from. Like in the previous cases you can get banned from the Search Engine. Google considers links like votes. Thus paying for links would be like politicians paying for votes during the time of elections.

Buying links is a breach of Google guidelines and this is clearly stated by them. If you get penalized there is a good chance to lose rankings. Your site may not recover for months, and sometimes even longer.  

Instead of buying links, you should invest time in making content that will promote your site and create natural backlinks. If you want to invest money, you can also invest in creating content or doing advertising for your website. Making things naturally will maybe take more time but you can achieve the same results. 


Keywords stuffing is an ancient method of bad SEO practice

This technique is outdated. Search engines did many updates to prevent websites from having an unfair advantage on the rankings. Keyword stuffing includes things like a white copy (keywords) on a white background. Inserting keywords in the metadata or behind photos in the alt text is also one of the methods.

Basically, text like this is invisible to the viewer but recognizable by the search engine. That way, through keywords strategically placed on the page, the website affects the algorithm.

Although it was a grey zone in the past, today this technique is something to avoid. You will get recognized by Google and your website can be banned. Chances are to lose rankings temporarily but also permanently. It does not pay off. Instead of doing that, focus on making unique and relevant content. 


Slow website

I would like to mention this here as well. Slow websites are a serious problem and it actually is a bad SEO practice. Especially if you ignore the problem.

But, what is a good loading time? Ideally, you are aiming for two seconds of loading time. If it goes to 4 seconds, you are still OK. 5 or more seconds are a problem you need to take care of.

Really take this problem seriously and start solving it asap. Having a problem here means the bounce rate goes up. This is not what you want. Bad user experience sends signals to Google about it. Do the math…


In case your website is slow, you might want to check:
  • Your web hosting provider

To be precise in detecting the speed of your website, make sure to check on different locations. Do a test on different networks as well. It can be that your internet connection is slow.

You have to eliminate this issue as well. But, when you make the diagnostics if the problem is a web hosting provider, try to find one who is good for your platform. If you are on WordPress, then search for the ones specialized in that platform. 


  • Images that aren’t optimized for the internet.

This is one of the most common reasons for a slow website. High-resolution images are taking a lot of bandwidth which extends the loading time of the website. If you upload big photos and then resize them, this can be the reason your site loads slowly.

Image format plays a big role here as well. JPEG images are better for this purpose. They are smaller than other formats like PNG/GIF. Make sure to use JPEG to avoid this problem.


  • Plugins

In some cases, too many plugins can make the website load slower. But quite often loading time is not affected by the number of plugins. Instead, it is affected by the sort of plugins you are using.

How to detect the problem? There are different monitors around that can give you some data about this issue. However, it happens the data is not clear, the plugins get or get not the updates themself, and so on.

In short, the detection of the slow plugin will require some good old work. Check each and every plugin separately.

First thing I noticed when setting up my website was an issue with Jetpack. I had to find another solution. In general, the most popular plugins are the ones you need to keep an eye on. Woocommerce, WordPress Multilingual (WPML), different caching plugins, etc. Those are the things you need to check.


  • Flash content

Flash definitely makes the website load slower. Draw your own conclusion.


Buying followers on social media. 

Avoid at all costs because you will talk to the wrong customers. Those accounts will not engage with you as your content is not interesting to them. The question is are those people even real.

This practice will mess up your statistics in big time. Not to mention if you want to make any campaigns or advertising in the future. It will be a fiasco. Stay away from this strategy. 


Link spamming

Link spamming has changed over the course of time. What is link spamming actually? Let’s mention some of the right examples first. Blog comments, guest posting, reciprocal linking, press releases… If done right and in the acceptable amount, this can be an “OK” link-building strategy. 

However, what if it’s not done right? Well, then you are just spamming around. There is nothing wrong if you make comments, engage in forum discussions, and so on.

But, humans are humans. Someone was smart enough to make posts automated, and a large number of them influenced Google ranking. The dark era started.

A similar thing happened to reciprocal linking. The original idea was a partnership with another blog/website and good old link exchange.

Here, again the road went in the direction of spamming. If you try to manipulate Google, the result is a ban. Sooner or later it will happen. Bad SEO practice does not pay off. 


Duplicate content

If you have multiple articles on your webpage that are similar, Google will understand that. This bad SEO practice will confuse Google and the engine will not understand which article should be first.

This will maybe not penalize you but you will not get a good ranking. So, it does not make much sense to do that. If you think there is a chance that your website is having duplicate content, make sure to do some checking.

The easiest way is to take the first paragraph of your text and paste it to Google.

Go through the results and see if there are very similar articles. Maybe your SEO agency (if you use one) is practicing that technique. If that is the case, you know what to do.

To find duplicate content on the website you can also use some of the online scanners/finders. There are free tools around the Internet. 



Again, there was nothing wrong in the past with directories. The problem became when they lost their initial purpose. Directories become just link farms with prescriptions.

Google does not like tricks and manipulative results. Not all directories are bad though. If you use local or industry-focused directories, there should be no problem.

Here we see the same principle. If you do it right with a little common sense, you are OK. Being listed on Yelp, Yellow pages, Bing, Yahoo, Google directories is perfectly fine. It is actually good for your business to be listed in local directories from those websites. 


Guest Blogging

If you do it, make the right posts with value for the reader. Avoid writing just for the links because it can be obvious. Blog posts must be optimized like you are writing for yourself.

Text formatting, precise information, full BIO placed where it should be. If the text is poor and lacking content, Google will notice that. 



There are many other bad SEO tactics you should avoid, we mentioned some of them here. It is important to realize that not practicing bad SEO tactics is not just to avoid penalties from Google. We all have to operate in a legitimate way.

Being transparent and looking long-term must be the way we operate.

Invest your time in proper SEO. Learn the skill,  and watch your business grow. 

Feel free to see one of my most read articles here: 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

Search Engine Optimization

Bad SEO practiceDuplicate contentFlash contentgoogleGoogle rankingGuest bloggingKeywordsLink spammingOrganic trafficPluginsseoSlow websitewordpress

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