Common SEO Mistakes as Reported By Google

May 14, 2012 (1VIZABILITY.COM - Business Tip, Google News, SEO News)

Top 5 Common Mistakes in Search Engine Optimization from Google’s List and How to Overcome Them

Some Online Marketing experts define Search Engine Optimization as a combination of Science and Art, which continuously evolves to keep up with the changes in search technology.  More specifically, SEO involves the process which enables a website to get high rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Of the three search engine giants, Google currently has the largest user base and the most active when it comes to introducing new search trends and updates.  In the search marketing industry, Google is considered the major player and game changer as they have more than 70% of internet users who use their website to find products and services online.  This data alone vouches Google’s authority in search and whatever they say or announce is something most webmasters and search marketers always pay attention to.

The Five Most Common SEO Mistakes

Maile Ohye, Google’s Developer Programs Tech Lead, shared her Top 5 Most Common SEO Mistakes list.  Below is the more simplified version of her list.

1.  Your Webpage Offers No Great Value – Ohye emphasizes the importance of what your website can offer to its readers or potential customers.    Creating valuable contents is one of the most important factors to attract traffic and make people keeps visiting your website.  Optimizing a website which offer no value to real people and is only created for search engines is one of the biggest mistakes in search engine optimization.

Tip: Always keep in mind what your target audience need and develop a content management plan that strategically answers their demands.

2.  No Alignment of Goals – Another common SEO mistakes, Ohye has observed, is the misalignment of SEO Goals to the overall goals of the company.  Your SEO campaign should be aligned with your other marketing goals to achieve better conversion and leads.  One example mentioned by Ohye is about the failed Car Company’s Business Strategy.

Left Fig. A screenshot from Ohye’s Slide Presentation detailing Misalignment of Goals as the 2nd most common SEO mistakes.

3. Time Consuming Onsite SEO Techniques – Ohye emphasizes how most webmasters overused the rel=”canonical” tag in optimizing pages.  She advises webmaster and SEO practitioners to avoid using the tag for each component page in a series.  Instead, she recommends to use the new rel=”next” and rel=”prev” markup for paginated content.

4.  Too Focus in SEO Trends – Another most common SEO mistake webmasters and search engine optimization practitioners commit is the obsession in keeping up to date with the latest SEO trends.  Ohye mentions about the unfortunate SEO trend of yesteryear wherein search marketers greatly focused on content’s optimal keyword density.  She recommends that instead of focusing with keyword density, website owners should focus on writing high quality content that would attract readers and compel them to share it to others.

5.  Slow Iteration – Maile Ohye points out how some SEO practitioners tend to make the process of improving or testing their websites difficult.  She encourages webmasters to be agile by following the following 5 basic steps.

  • Define metrics for success
  • Implement improvements
  • Measure impact
  • Create new improvements
  • Prioritize improvements based on market and personnel
  • Repeat.

Reactions from the Community

Though a lot of search practitioners are more than thankful of Google’s Five Common SEO Mistakes list, there are also some who do not believe everything Google says.

What a bunch of BS! After yesterday’s disastrous Algo update, I don’t believe any of the propaganda about SEO that Google puts out anymore, especially from Matt Cutts and company.

I’ve done all of the things Google has said I need to do to create a “good visitor experience” and yet all of my websites lost their rankings for most keywords. I made a paltry $1.43 yesterday, which is my worst earnings day in years.

I know many thousands of very good quality websites suffered the same fate as mine yesterday.

So much for “do no evil” and all of that crap. Google is just pathetic in its attempts to control the internet. – Jesse of

I have a bit of a bone to pick with Google. I do SEO work and I lost some places in the rankings. I’m still trying to work out why. Anyway. On the #2 & #3 for the search term “seo services” is one website, Fine. But is basically a three page site with a contact form on the bottom of the landing page. All the pages fail copyscape very badly Zero effort is put into the site. It’s updated once a year and worst of all it’s backlinks come three sources, two of which are clients (links in the footer) and 99% of the anchor text is “seo services”. Almost no variation whatsoever. I have nothing personal against this site but I thought the whole idea of this update was to remove spam sites not promote them? I mean, WTF? – olafshiel of

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Qamar Zaman
Chief Visionary at One SEO Company. An Internet Entrepreneur SEO & lawyer Internet marketing professional & Starbucks Lover.
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