When it comes to search engine optimization, everyone thinks that they have the secret key to reaching the front page, but many of these “secrets” have been debunked over recent years. There are lots of search engine optimization strategies that some people still believe work that no longer help your site, and may even hurt your search engine rankings if it’s seen as a form of abusing the system.

Hiding Text

Years ago it wasn’t uncommon for website designers to hide text behind images. Basically, Google has always stated that “Content is King” and everyone who knows anything about search engine optimization knows that keywords are vital. Many designers would put text behind their images, stuffing it with keywords so that it would help search engines pick up on the content without harming the quality of the content on the page that the user sees.

Hiding text no longer works like it once did. Top search engines have picked up on this trick, and often placing stuffed text behind images on your web page will not have a positive effect on your search engine rankings.

Duplicate Content

Sometimes, in order to save time and money web designers would add the same content onto several pages. Typically, it wouldn’t be something big that the users would catch onto, but maybe item descriptions or alternative text for similar images. However, duplicate content won’t help your site at all. Search engines are able to pick up on content that has been used several times throughout a site, and in some cases it can even penalize you.

When search engines see that content is somewhere on the web and has been copied to another web page, despite it being on the same website, it’s going to penalize both websites. In other words, both of your web pages are going to suffer as a result of having duplicate content on them.

Keyword Stuffing

Keywords are important to use in content, and are pretty much the backbone of your whole search engine optimization platform. With this in mind, many developers truly believe that more is better and that by filling their page with a certain word or phrase will help benefit it in the search engine rankings.

This hasn’t worked for quite some time. In fact, many search engine algorithms prefer a certain percentage of keyword usage to content that determines how effective it will be. Nobody knows the exact number although people will often give you a guess that has proven effective for them, even though there are often other variables in play that could explain their success with search engine optimization.

Conclusion

Search engine optimization is a tricky business that is all about balancing certain variables to meet the criteria of popular search engine algorithms. There is no perfect solution, and it often requires a lot of trial and error. If you read somewhere about some “special technique that is guaranteed to put you on the front page,” it probably isn’t true. Stick to white hat search engine optimization techniques and play around with your site until you see positive results.

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