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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I recently watched the movie "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days" and
thought it was quite funny. The movie is about a girl who is going to write an
article on the Top 10 Mistakes women make in relationships. Women make these
mistakes and them ask themselves why the man has suddenly ditched them. It got
me thinking. I see websites make the same mistakes over and over again and then
ask why they have lost their rankings. Why they have been banned from Google. So
here we are! How To Lose Google In 10 Days. May not happen in 10 days but you
get the point.

1. Doorway Pages - Doorway Pages are pages that have been written
specifically for the search engines and not for humans. Doorway pages focus on
keyword phrase and not quality content. Then these pages want you to click here
to go to the page written for humans.

Quoted from Google "Google does not encourage the use of automatically
generated pages that are designed for search engines instead of users. We want
to point users to useful content pages, not to doorways or splash screens."

Notice that Google specifically mentions that they want their users to go to
useful content pages. Content is key with search engine optimization! Google
also mentions this again on the Webmaster Guideline Pages and states
"Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and
accurately describe your content."

2. Broken Links and Incorrect HTML Coding - We see alot of incorrect coding
with Yahoo Stores. Many owners will put head, body, and html tags in the caption
field of their store. This is a HUGE mistake. The Yahoo Store already has these
tags in place and by placing these tags in your caption field you are creating
duplicate tags. This can cause the search engines to be easily confused and not
index your page correctly or can cause the search engines to skip the page
entirely. We also see a META tag placed in the body section instead of the head
section and this can cause the search engine spider to ignore the tag. This will
reduce your relevancy and ranking.

There are several programs out there that will assist you with checking your
site for these common errors.

3. Using Dynamic Pages Instead of Static - If you decide to use dynamic pages
(i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every
search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to
keep the parameters short and the number of them few.

4. Hidden Text or Hidden Links - The use of hidden text or small text that is
unreadable to the eye looks very deceptive to the search engines. Anything
deceptive will get you banned quickly. Recently a friend of mine attended an
Ebay Event and they told her to get listed higher in Google write your text in
the same color as your background. WRONG! This will get you banned quickly. Do
not ever follow this advice. Write good content for your customers. They will
see the difference.

5. Not Having A Sitemap - Although this will not get you banned, it certainly
can hurt your rankings. A Sitemap will allow the search engines to find
all of the pages within your website quickly and easily.

Having a difficult time with your site map? Try Google Sitemap! It's free!

With Google Sitemaps you get:

  • Better crawl coverage to help
    people find more of your web pages

  • Fresher search results

  • A smarter crawl because you
    can provide specific information about all your web pages, such as when a
    page was last modified or how frequently a page changes


6. Duplicate Content - Again this is a deceptive practice. Google wants to
show unique results in the top 10. If you have 50 competitors using the same
information on each and every page, only 1 of you will get listed. But take the
time to create unique content for your pages and you will be moving up the
search engines in no time! This is mentioned twice in the Google Webmaster
Guidelines. Quoting Google again, "Avoid "doorway" pages created
just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as
affiliate programs with little or no original content."

7. Participating in Link Schemes - Exchanging links WAS a great way to have
your site found by the search engines. However, this was taken advantage of
severely by link farms. Don't get involved with link farms and link schemes.
Focus on getting nonreciprocal links for your website. Directories are an easy
way to accomplish this. Also write articles and include your website link in
your article. Submit your article to several different article directories such
as Goarticles.com

8. Using Images Instead of Text - Search engines can not read images.
Although those buttons look great, they do nothing for you. Using buttons for
your navigation will only hurt you. You can use text and have your site look
great too! Use the button images as backgrounds and place the text on top of

9. Not Using Correct Title or Alt tags - Again google is looking for quality
and descriptive content that is relevant to your page. Let me repeat an
important part of that statement....relevant to your page. Let's say that right
now the number 1 search term is Joe Smith and you try to add Joe Smith to your
Title Tag and Alt Tags on a page that is about Tiffany Jones. Will this work?
No. It needs to be relevant.

10. Trying to Deceive the Search Engines - This can be done a number of ways.
Of which one of them is called "Spamming the Search Engines".
Basically over repeating keywords. Remember always that you are
writing for the humans and not the search engine bots.
Write clear information and give your readers (and the search engines) good
quality content.

If you think about it, keeping your Google rankings is alot like keeping a

You need to be honest and sincere

No cheating allowed

Be thoughtful and informative without nagging and repeating yourself

A relationship takes time to develop...it doesn't happen overnight

You have to always work on your relationship.

You MUST have patience


by: Shawna Seigel

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