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Make Sure You Look Natural To Search Engines

SEO - posted on 02/27/2012

OK, I'm not talking about wandering around with no clothes on, by natural I mean don't do anything that is going to look spammy or unnatural to the search engines. Although this is a hot topic of discussion between SEO analysts as they debate how aware is Google and do they know when we are trying to manipulate it, I think it's always best to assume that Google has an idea when it's being manipulated. 

With that in mind, avoid making the following mistakes when optimizing your site: 

Building Thousands of Links Overnight 

Although the name of the game is undoubtedly to build more links than your competitors, the search engines probably have a good idea what is a reasonable amount of time to get a certain number of links. If you use a service that promises tens of thousands of links instantly, and you use it on a new website, how natural is it for a new site to get so many links so quickly? Unless your site is being reported on by major media sites, commanding the front page of the biggest social bookmarking sites and being mentioned across thousands of blogs, the search engines know that no site instantly gets so many links. 

Link building is like the Tortoise and Hare story, steady and consistent wins the race every time. Building 2 or 3 quality links every day is going to pay off far better than submitting to thousands of directories in a matter of days. 

Not Varying The Anchor Text 

At some point the budding Webmaster discovers that to improve the significance of the link, they must include the desired keyword in the anchor text and almost immediately sets off using their main keyword in all the back links. However, although this technique works very well, it has been shown by many SEO analysts on the Internet forums that using the same text over and over again is likely to get your site pushed down in to the sandbox or worse, banned. 

A website which builds links naturally does so over time and with a variety of keywords in the anchor text because hundreds of people will have their own ideas on how to link to your site. Some will use the full URL, others may say “this site” and other people may just say “click here to visit the site”. 

Make sure you vary the anchor text keywords and ensure that you use some words people will naturally use. 

Launching a Site With Thousands of Pages 

I've seen a number of people selling 'ready-made' websites which include tens of thousands of pages straight off the bat. How many legitimate websites do you know of that start out life with that many pages? I'm guessing none. Websites naturally grow over time and yours should do too. 

Besides wanting to look natural, the search engines will rarely index that many pages of a new website, and even established sites may only get a maximum of 500 pages indexed.