What NOT To Do When Marketing Your Website

There are many ways in which poorly executed website marketing can actually hurt your business and cause your search engine rankings to plummet! This is by no means an exhaustive list of the many pitfalls of web marketing, just some of the most popular.


1. Submission to “Thousands” of Search Engines and Directories

This makes no sense at all. There are only a handful of search engines that actually matter, so who are the other 997? Some misinformed internet marketing companies prey on the general public’s lack of knowledge about how search engines work in general, and search engine optimization in particular. As far as directories go, there are really not too many left that are worth submitting to, probably not more than 50-100 worldwide. Of these good directories, only about 7-10 of these won’t be a waste of your time and effort getting a prominent listing with them.

Most of the internet uses Google, Yahoo!, or Bing (in that order), so it is of no use trying to submit to other low-grade search engines and directories. Not only will they fail to bring you any worthwhile traffic, being associated with them can actually damage your website’s perceived link neighborhood. Going this route will get your website listed on thousands of link farms – junk pages of unrelated links that no searcher will ever see. The top search engines filter out these pages, and could potentially penalize your website for your participation.


2. Repetitive Search Engine Submission

It’s definitely a bad practice, and with some search engines multiple submissions can land you in a lot of hot water. While this method is not as detrimental as the previous method, it’s equally as useless. If your website didn’t get in (or stay in) the search engine index, doing it again and again won’t help – search engines will think that something is likely “wrong” with your site. Be on the look out for SEOs who claim to benefit from the use of these futile methods.


3. “Own Your Keywords in the Address Bar” Scam

This technique made its way around the world a long time ago and as you probably guessed, it’s a scam. The marketers of this technique fail to inform their customers that you need a special piece of software to be installed in order for the keyword-to-address translation to work. Less than half of one percent of the online community has the software (yes, less than 0.5%!). In short, it requires “malware” – programs and operating system cracks designed to report your internet habits and intercept your intended destination.


4. Cloaking and/or Keyword Stuffing

Cloaking means to show the search engine robots one thing (that is an optimized page of your website, one that you wouldn’t dream of showing your actual visitors), and showing your actual visitors another page (the real page).

Since many search engines cache the pages they index, it’s not hard catch the “cloakers” – just compare the cached page to the current page. If you see something other than a website redesign, like heavy keyword spamming or another site on the cached page, and a “normal” page otherwise, there’s a good chance cloaking is in use. Remember that from an internet marketing point of view, you should not use this method. You better believe that your competitor (or competitor’s SEO) will know the difference and REPORT IT to the search engines. If you’re cloaking, your domain will eventually suffer a heavy penalty or be removed from the index entirely.

Keyword stuffing, surprisingly, is still quite common amongst website owners and even some SEO companies that haven’t evolved with search engine algorithm updates in the past several years. It was so common place to mention your target keyword phrases over and over in page copy that a lot of people simply can’t break the habit. Keyword density is only useful for determining the overuse of a keyword phrase on a page, not for finding some magical percentage that search engines prefer.

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