With Google (and Bing) develping ever more sophisticated search algorithms, the practices that got you ranked yesterday, could get you demoted (or even blacklisted) today.
To helpout we have provided a quick checklist which describes 40 of the most common reasons that your site may not be appearing where you had hoped in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
- No Index
This one is more common than you might think. Often when your developer is building your new site they will tag it as “no index” which effectively tells the search engines “nothing to see here move along”. Check the code for your site using the View Source option in your browser to make sure there is no metatage saying “no index”
- rel=canonical != URL When your using canonical meta tag to tell the search engines your your website address is different than you tell the search engine you’ll probably be headed for issues. Double check these are correct and if your not ceratin ask an expert.
- Blocked by robots.txt
Most modern websites have a file called robots.txt which will provide certain instructions to Search Engines about such things as where to find a sitemap, which pages to index (or not) and which robots they want to crawl the site with. If you happen to have a disallow rule for Googlebot or Bingbot then this is the nuclear equivelant of a No Index rule. It will tell the web-crawlers from these important browsers to effectively go away, which of course they will.
- 4) Duplicate content Unique content is a must! You reuse product descriptions? You copy articles from the web? It won’t work!
- 5) Cloaking Trying to hide content? Showing different information for Google and users? You will vanish from the SERPs soon!6) Overoptimization (keyword stuffing) Stuffing keywords? Google understands your content well – you don’t need to write your keywords multiple times. 7) Spun content Do you think you will pass under Google’s radar with a couple of synonims? It’s not a good strategy in 2013! 8) Hacked You’ve been hacked? Get ready for a traffic loss from Google. 9) Advertorials In case you haven’t heard, buying advertorials is against Google rules. 10) Wrong redirections 301 redirect is the only way to do it right. Using meta refresh and other methods isn’t a good idea! y u no rank 11) Error codes Your website should have 200 code in the header. If it’s 403, 404 or other error, you won’t reach top positions! 12) Bad domain history Bought a domain? Perfect. But have you checked its backlink history? Maybe there are thousands of spammy links? 13) No Text Google likes text. It relies on text. You should have some text on all of your pages. Have we already told you about the uniqueness of the text? Get more quality content now! 14) Spammy server Bought a cheap hosting? Maybe you use free hosting? Don’t be surprised if you are in a neighbourhood of 100 websites with girls, 200 casino websites and even more prescription drugs websites. You won’t rank! 15) Slow speed Is your website sloooow? You will lose your clients AND positions! 16) Bounce rate Poor user experience? People run away from your site? Be sure the search engines will do the same. 17) No social signals No FB likes? You don’t know what Google+ is? You think only birds can tweet? Your competition will be so much better than you. 18) No images Enrich your content with images. Describe them in alt tags and your positions will get better. 19) Your content is worse than competitors You’re not alone. I bet L100 that you have tens or even hundreds of competitors. Take care of your content and make it better than others’. 20)Title The is the most important part of your website. Put your keywords in there. 21) Flash Wow! Flash sites are so cool but you block your mobile traffic and Google. Can you afford decreasing your traffic by tens of percent points? 22) MicroData Help search engines understand your content. Microdata is one way of doing it. 23) Many URLs to the same content Many URLs showing the same content? Try to fix it. If you can’t – make use of rel=canonical 24) Many domains to the same website Many domains showing the same content? Redirect them to the one you want to rank. 25) 404s You have blank pages indexed? Tell others they’re empty and show them 404 error. 26) No Links No links? Links are search engines’ fuel. Get some links now! 27) Buying Links Buying links was always a big “no-no” in Google terms. 28) Footer links You have active links in the footer? Make sure they don’t look like paid links. 29) Blog Comments You think that blog commenting is a good link-building idea? Unless you live in 2008, it’s not. It’s a good way to contact bloggers but don’t put keywords where you 30) Suspicious links Do you link to suspicious websites? It’s a bad idea. 31) Selling Links One of the basic rules – you don’t sell links at all! 32) Building links too fast OK. You’ve started your link building campaign. Make sure you delay the growth and make it look natural. 33) Overusing guest posting Guest posts are a good idea. Overusing them is not. If you plan link building, get them from various types of websites. 34) Blog networks You buy links in blog networks? Do you really think that 10 blogs on tumblr, wordpress, blogger and others is a good strategy? It won’t work! 35) Link networks Oh, Matt Cutts will shortly get to you. Have you heard about AngloRank, Ghost Rank 2.0 and other link networks? Their clients have already been punished. 5 steps left 36) Sitewide links A few sitewides will not harm you. Unfortunately, they look like bought links. If it is your main link building strategy, you are probably out of Google now. 37) Unrelated websites Google is good at categorizing websites. If they are unrelated, then your links pass little value. 38) Low quality sites Forum links, footer links, wiki links (doesn’t matter if it’s .edu or .gov.) or guest books? Google is ruthless against these tactics. 39) Internal nofollows You lose your link juice. Block the unwanted pages using noindex or robots.txt 40) Anchor rich links Most of your links have keyword-rich anchors? Have you heard about the Penguin algorithm change? If not, you will soon get into filters and lose your positions. As you can see above, Google is quite good in terms of spam recognition. Instead of looking for shortcuts, write great content and play by the Big G’s rules. Going black hat can rank you quickly but you will fall down even quicker.