Google has almost taken a 180-degree deviation from its old perspective of search engine optimization (SEO). What yielded results yesterday, is yielding penalties today. For webmasters, this can be a tizzy time not knowing what exactly works and what attracts penalties.

SEO in the Days of Yore

A few years back, all you needed were links, regardless of their quality & the on-page elements still your ranking would automatically improve. This would then have a ripple effect with increased traffic, leading to more conversions and you would find yourself raking in great revenue. The websites that enjoyed this privilege have, today, gone into oblivion. The reason: Bad links attract penalties by Google and Bad user experience can cause bad rankings. This means the website could be de-indexed and would have a very poor ranking.

What’s the Way forward for SEO?

There are tens of things that webmasters can do today; of course, they’d all have to be ethical practices. The 3 main approaches that you can’t ignore are:

  1. Adherence to Google webmaster guidelines
  2. High-quality backlinks (Natural Link Profile)
  3. Social Presence

You must know that the above three aren’t the only factors. There are other aspects too which demand your attention so that you don’t fall off the ethical-SEO bandwagon inadvertently. On-page spam and off-page spam forms the major areas of concern in this regard.

On-Page Spam

Here are a few examples of on-page spam:

  • Doorway pages
  • Cloaking
  • Stuffing of keywords
  • Machine translation
  • Duplication of content

Off-Page Spam

The easiest way out is not always the wisest when it comes to off-page activities. Here are a few examples that could get your website into trouble:

  • Link exchange
  • Paid links
  • Hidden links
  • Link wheel
  • Mirror websites

When it comes to on-page SEO, there’s a sea of options that you can explore. The only thing to remember is keeping off such practices that are frowned upon by Google. The infographic below acts as a guideline to thread this path successfully. If you have encountered problems with SEO that has been missed mentioning, simply get in touch with me through the comment section below. I’d love to help you out!

Image courtesy: Shane Barker