Rankings Lust And The 7 Deadly Sins Of SEO

Want to keep your site penalty free and avoid page 10 rankings hell? Well, here are the 7 deadly sins of SEO which should be avoided at all costs!


I’m sure you’ve heard of the 7 deadly sins, but before you read on give yourself a little test – can you name them all? How many did you get?

I could remember 5 off the top of my head, so thanks wikipedia for reminding me of the other two!

So what does this have to do with internet marketing? Well, here are 7 deadly sins of SEO which you’ll need to steer clear of if you want to avoid going to rankings hell.

1. Rankings Lust

You lust after that coveted number 1 position for your top keyword, focusing all your efforts into making that one phrase rank. But when you get there, the traffic isn’t quite what you were expecting and worse still isn’t really converting.

And then 1 month later your website takes a tumble down the rankings as google Penguin’s over optimisation penalty kicks in.

While ranking well for trophy phrases might make you feel good, the real traffic is in the long tail, so focus on creating los of unique, high quality content related to your topic and write naturally, not for the search engines.

2. Link Gluttony

You’ve managed to secure a few high quality links and they have started to kick in and increase your search engine traffic. So, what you need more is load more links and quickly right?

Wrong! Building links too fast will most likely get you penalised, so don’t be greedy. Focus on creating high quality content and perhaps a few guest posts on trusted sites in your niche. With high quality content links will come naturally and at a rate which google trust your site.

3. Copy Greed

Is your sales copy too ‘hard sell’? Well, you are probably turning your visitors off and sending them straight for the back button.

Softly softly catchy monkey, so make sure you are offering true value and not just begging people to give you their cash.

Special mention to the incredibly annoying ‘are you sure you want to leave this site’ javascript popups.

4. Content Sloth

When was the last time you updated your content? If your website is static, then the chances of you succeeding in google these days are pretty slim.

Keep google interested with a constant stream of fresh content and make sure your existing content is kept up to date and relevant.

5. Google Wrath

You’ve been working hard on your SEO, but your website is still not bringing in much traffic or converting. It’s all google’s fault!

Well, no. Perhaps you’ve got your focus wrong. Forget about google and focus on your visitor experience, networking and offering true value. In fact, just to show you that traffic from google is not the be all and end all here are 91 ways to drive traffic to your site without google.

The ironic thing is that by forgetting about old school SEO and focusing on high quality content, building traffic through social media and creating a great experience for your visitors, you will be doing exactly what google wants and your search engine traffic will start to increase!

6. Competitor Envy

Your competitor is outranking you and worse still you know he is doing it by buying links and other spammy methods.

So should you copy his tactics?

No, continue to focus on creating high quality content and promoting it well to attract genuine editorial links. Your competitor might be getting away with it for now, but you’ll have the last laugh the day he gets caught, or there is an algorithm update and he loses all his traffic while you continue to feel the love from google.

7. Traffic Pride

You’ve been working hard, have finally achieved some great rankings and the money is starting to roll in. Think you’ve made it and can sit back and pat yourself on the back?

Think again!

Stop working at building your content and networking and your rankings can quickly take a tumble. Remember, pride comes before a fall and in this case the fall will be off of page 1.

So, that’s the 7 deadly sins of SEO.  Make sure you don’t submit to these vices, work hard, build your network, focus on your visitors and you will see your rankings, visitors and conversions increase!

If you have enjoyed this article then please feel free to leave a comment below and subscribe to the blog, or add me on twitter or google+ for loads more internet marketing and SEO tips.


Play nice!

About the Author

I'm a web developer, programmer, blogger and SEO expert from Glasgow, Scotland, with over 15 years experience in the industry. When I'm not writing about marketing and SEO you'll find me strumming the guitar in my band or listening to Revolver on repeat. Follow me on twitter, connect with me on google+ and add us on facebook to keep up with all the latest trends in SEO and online marketing.

Tom Jamieson - July 14, 2013

Great take here on the issue of proper SEO techniques. I think #4 is especially relevant. Keep your content updated and of high quality is definitely one key to blogging success. Thanks for sharing your wisdom in these tips.

Denis D. - September 30, 2013

I think the recurring theme here is high quality, unique content. I believe this should be a universal strategy for everyone; write quality, unique content and things will work out. I am actually working on an interesting blog post as we speak that coverts the topic of unique content only from a completely different point of view.

    David McSweeney - September 30, 2013

    I’ll keep stressing it until I’m blue in the face!

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