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How to Lose Google in 10 Days

What Not to Do to Lose Rankings

Written By: Shawna Fennell

Have you ever seen the movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?"

I loved it 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 then 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 Google has suddenly ditched them. They used to have high rankings and now they are nowhere to be found.

So here we are! How to Lose Google in 10 Days. May not happen in 10 days but, you get the point.

Day 1 – Have No Content on Your Website

Google wants to rank websites that provide value to their customers. Yes, I said customers. You see, Google is a company that has customers just like you and me. They want their customers to find exactly what they are looking for. If you performed a search on Google and did not find relevant results for what you were looking for… you would turn around and go use Yahoo!

Google would lose you as their customer.

Google wants to see websites that are useful, with lots of information, and content that clearly describes what your content is all about. Google wants to see that your content is relevant to what people are looking for. One of the ways they do that is by looking at the text on your website. Is the content on your website relevant to what the person is searching for?

Day 2 – Create Duplicate Content

Imagine yourself going to the doctor and finding out you have a horrible disease. You rush home to your computer to find out more information. You go to Google and perform a search for the disease. You click on the first link. Good enough but, not enough. You go to the second link, it’s the same information you already saw. The third link… same. The fourth link… same. This continues on and on… what do you do now? Try another search engine.

Google doesn’t want that. Google wants you to find what you are looking for and wants to provide you many different types of information in order for you to find exactly what you are looking for.

Let’s say you are selling a product called widget and you have copied the manufacturer’s description exactly. Chances are high that over 500 other websites have the exact same description on their website as well. Only 1 of them will make it to the first page. Will it be your page? Probably not. Write unique content, rich informational content, and quit competing with everyone else.

Day 3 – Create Doorway Pages

Doorway Pages are pages that have been written specifically for the search engines and not for humans. Doorway pages focus on keyword phrases and not quality content.  A user comes to the page, and then they want you to click on another page.

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."

Are you noticing a theme when it comes to content? That is because content is the most important aspect of your website!

Day 4 Hide Text or Links

The use of hidden text or small text that is unreadable to the eye looks very deceptive to the search engines. If you are looking to be banned from the Google, this is a fast and easy way to get it done!

A friend of mine attended an Ebay Event over the summer and they told her to get listed higher in Google write your text in the same color as your background. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!!

Do not ever follow this advice. Everything you do for your website, do it because it is the best thing to do for your customers. Ask yourself, “Does this help my customer?” Hiding text on a page does not help them in any way, shape, or form.

Day 5 Break Links and Add Incorrect HTML Coding

We see a lot 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. 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.

Day 6 Have No 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.

Plus, Google now has created Google Sitemaps and it’s free!

1. Better crawl coverage to help people find more of your web pages
2. Fresher search results
3. 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

http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps

Day 7 Participate in Link Schemes

In the old days, Google was more about popularity. If site A had 100 friends (links) and site B had only 5 friends (links), then surely site A must be much better. Once people understood this, everyone started getting links from everywhere and anywhere they could. They also started participating in link schemes. Thankfully nowadays Google looks more at your content than anything else. In fact, we had a website with no links to it get to #1 for all its search term phrases based on content only.

Links are still important but, try to 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.

Day 8 Using Images Instead of Text

Search engines cannot read images. Although those graphic buttons may 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! If you really want to use those beautiful graphics, use the button images as backgrounds and place the text on top of them.

Day 9 Do Nothing

Can doing nothing to your website really hurt your rankings? In a word, yes. Google wants to provide their customers with fresh relevant results. If site A updates their website on a daily basis and site B only updates their website every 3 months, site A will get listed higher in the search engines.

Add a blog to your website and keep adding fresh, new, exciting, relevant content on a consistent basis and you will only help your rankings improve!

Day 10 Get Caught Cheating

Don’t repeat keywords. Don’t hide text. Don’t use sneaky redirects. Don’t use irrelevant keywords. Don’t create multiple pages with the same content. Don’t create pages with viruses.

Make sure to go to Google Webmaster Guidelines:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769

Learn it, memorize it, and understand it. Everything you do for your website, do it because it is the best thing to do for your users. If the search engines were not around, would you still do what you are doing? If the answer is yes, then keep on doing it. If the answer is no, are you trying to cheat?

In Conclusion

If you think about it, keeping your Google rankings is a lot like keeping a relationship.

You need to be honest and sincere. There is absolutely no cheating allowed. You have to be thoughtful without being nagging. You have to work on the relationship and have patience. A relationship takes time to develop and grow. A good relationship doesn’t happen overnight but, a good relationship lasts forever.

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