30 SEO techniques that Google likes or dislikes
updated: November 2020
In this post, let's check whether our blog or website uses SEO practices that Google likes and avoids the ones it hates.
I am not weighing Google vis-à-vis Yahoo, Bing and other search engines here. But the reality is that at present Google is the industry leader in the search domain and therefore doing something that this giant search engine hates means low reputation and low popularity, even chances of being penalized. Moreover, Google has been more transparent about what it likes and what it hates as compared to others.
When search engines [as well as reputed directories] look at content on the web – including text, images, links, comments, archives, tags/ labels, affiliation, advertisements, messages… – they look for relevance and quality in deciding the value of that content. They do not like manipulative tricks – tricks that are employed to fool search engines and directories into seeing a poor web resource as one with high value.
|Take the right SEO actions O N L Y.|
So, here comes the blog SEO checklist:
What are the things on a blog that Google loves?
- Good content, written with the visitor in mind
- Frequent updation of content
- Relevant URL and blog name that clearly convey the blog’s essence [‘Vegetarian-food-blog’ is fine for a food blog, not ‘fishy mentions’ or ‘tonguesite444’]
- A blog with its stand-alone URL [e.g. http://example.com versus http://example.blogspot.com or http://example.wordpress.com].
- Keywords [=words used by people for searching the web] in URL, blog title, description, headings and posts: when used sensibly
- Visits from social network pages [e.g. Facebook, Instagram]
- Meta description tag in the blog’s HTML
- Sitemap for the blog [Relevant for blogs maintained independently; Wordpress and Blogger would not require it unless you have played with their HTML.]
- Logical structure of content so that visitors find it easy to navigate the blog
- Sensible ‘anchor text’ [The text that is used for linking, e.g. ‘blog SEO tips’ in this sentence: Let me explain some blog SEO tips to you.]
- Sensible naming of different pages and labels/ tags/ categories [e.g. name of an archive page on ITB blog: ‘ITB.com/2012/making-search-powerful’ rather than ‘ITB.com/345865’]
- Backlinks [= links that other sites give to your blog] from reputed websites/ blogs. For example, if your blog gets a link from a website with a high PageRank, it will start ranking higher in search pages.
- Relevant internal links [=links to different pages or posts within the same blog]
What do Google and its fellow search engines hate?
- Writing for search engines (not humans)
- Keyword stuffing or putting a keyword many times in the blog post
- Websites that collect poor content and promise links back [e.g. article submission sites]
- Blogs with no relevant worthwhile content but advertisements, widgets and links
- Cloaking [It means presenting a poor website to search-engines as a valuable one, by way of tricky SEO.]
- Pages or sub-domains or domains with duplicate content [When content is duplicated so as to generate more pages for the same keyword.]
- Hidden links and keywords [When many links and keywords are put on a website with the sole purpose to show them to the search engine; the text is hidden to the visitor by making it very small or of background color.]
- Links to web resources with bad reputation [e.g. to websites with poor content or those selling porn]
- Mutual, automatic, repetitive links as generated by link farms, link exchanges and bulk submission agencies
- Automated queries to Google [Such queries are often generated when you submit your blog to tools offering website analysis.]
- Too slow loading websites [websites on busy or low-bandwidth servers and those with too heavy content such as bulky images and videos]
- Private blog networks [These are a group of blogs or websites that link back to a particular website to show it as important. These are not likely to be crawled by search engines.]
Practices for which Google won’t penalize you but are not friendly to search optimisation
- Flash content [Many search engines are unable to read content presented in flash files.]
- Text embedded in images [Such text cannot be read by search engines.]
- Not putting archives, categories and other tools to segregate and bunch content on the blog
- Restricting comments on posts kills interactivity, popularity and search-optimisation.
- Long text without sub-headings [It is boring, and you also miss the opportunity to highlight relevant keywords.]
- Dead links: links that go blank