You know the common clichés in life that we all hear. You’ll hear don’t run with the scissors, don’t run around the swimming pool and lift with your legs not your back. These clichés are designed for our safety so we don’t get hurt but many of us want to defy them from time to time just to test boundaries. Once you’ve hurt yourself hopefully you’ll want to stay away from them. There are some people a little smarter or perhaps luckier than the rest of us who can learn by watching it happen to others or even understanding the danger without needing actual proof.

Just like in life, SEO has dangers that seem like clichés because they are so obvious and are repeated so often but people still do them. The more common ones involve keyword stuffing, spammy back links and having bad content. Some webmasters understand the dangers involved without having to tread into dangerous waters and being penalized while others don’t understand the danger, or just don’t care. Let’s make some comparisons.

Running with Scissors – Keyword Stuffing

Running with scissors is just not smart and if you trip or run into someone you could hurt yourself. The purpose of using keywords is to show search engines and visitors that you sell a particular product and those keywords are used to promote what you do. When you use too many keywords it doesn’t look natural and search engines know that you’re trying to game the system. Just as in life you can run with scissors many times without getting hurt but if you do it often enough you probably will get hurt. The first time you push boundaries with the keywords in your content you may get away with it but eventually your rankings will be affected.

Running at the Swimming Pool – Spammy Back Links

Running around the swimming pool is a dangerous thing to do and can quickly result in bruised knees or scraped elbows. When building spammy links you are running on slippery ground and your rankings can quickly fall. You can build natural back links that will help you but if you get impatient and start running with your link building you might end up building spammy links that will get you penalized. You also don’t want to pay for links on spammy directories, or build them in places that are irrelevant to your industry. Google will see what you’re doing and penalize your site. Take time to find good natural directories, relevant resource pages, sponsorships, or any other links that you would try to get even if there were no search engines. There is no doubt that you have to get around the swimming pool, but it would probably be better if you take some time and walk.

Lifting with your Legs – Creating Bad Content

Lifting with your legs and not your back is not a good idea and can seriously injure your back. Creating bad content for your website can hurt your rankings. Content can include well worded text with a good amount of keywords, some pictures with alt tags, some charts to display information that also have alt tags, and even some flash. If you have use good content that will quickly attract the attention of your visitors, you’ve done your job well. Make it natural and create your content first and foremost for your human visitors and secondly for the search engines. It is obvious that you need to move that extremely heavy piano into the other room but make sure to use correct safety procedures so you don’t hurt yourself.

If you don’t follow these safety clichés for health/SEO you will be much more likely to get injured and ruin your SEO campaign. Accidents can still happen but you will be stacking the odds in your favor, and ensuring better long-term success. If you prefer to do things dangerously life will eventually take its toll on you and the search engines will penalize you.

Read more: