5 SEO Mistakes that Crush Rankings

search engine optimization

Many of you may know me as an entrepreneur, but my background is actually SEO. Although I follow the rules these days, I am known to have dabbled in the dark arts of SEO. But don’t worry, this post isn’t on SEO ethics or whether you should be a black- or white-hat SEO.

From my experience in both the black- and white-hat world of SEO, I have learned what you should avoid if you don’t want your rankings to tank.

Common mistake #1: You can be rich, but not filthy rich…in anchor text

The best way to boost your rankings is to build rich anchor text links. For example, if my startup KISSmetrics wants to rank well for the term “web analytics,” I need to get other websites to link to KISSmetrics.

When convincing these sites to link to me, I ideally want them to link with the phrase web analytics as the link text instead of my company name, KISSmetrics.

If more people link to you with the keyword you want to rank for as the anchor text of the link, your rankings will start skyrocketing for that keyword.

But what you may not know is that if you get too many links rich in anchor text, your rankings will drastically drop after a while. So, you have to rotate the anchor text and ideally make it natural.

In essence, having rich anchor text is good, but it can’t be too rich. I usually try to keep my anchor text rich for less than 10% of my links.

Common mistake #2: Don’t ignore internal pages

When you are optimizing your website for search engines, although it’s common for you to optimize the code on all pages of your website, for some reason you tend to forget about building links to your internal pages.

Your homepage is important, but having 100% of your links going to your homepage is really unnatural.

I personally try to make sure that 80% of my links, if not more, are going to internal pages. And the best way to do this is to make sure your internal pages have really good content.

What you’ll notice when your internal pages start to get more links, the ranking of your homepage will also start going up. It’s because search engines don’t just try to evaluate where you should rank on a page-by-page basis, but they also look at your website as a whole. This is why sites like About.com and Wikipedia rank for millions of terms.

Common mistake #3: Slow and steady really does win the race

You have heard that phrase millions of times, but do you follow it? I know, I don’t always.

Let’s go back to my previous example of the anchor text “web analytics.” Before I start building links, not only do I have to look at how many backward links I already have, but I also need to look at how many links my competitors have.

For example, if my competition on average has over 100,000 links when I only have 1,000, my first instinct may be to build links really fast and catch up. In an ideal world, that would work, but it isn’t the case with Google.

  • Don’t try to grow your link count by double or triple each month. Try to stick with a smaller percentage like 5% or 10%.
  • Don’t aim to build a ton of links, but instead build relevant links as they will move your rankings a lot faster.
  • Stay away from all page links. Although they can easily be bought, it’s unnatural that someone would link to your website from every page unless you have a blog (blogrolls).

I know, doing the things I mentioned above won’t get you to the same link count as your competition’s, but you will start increasing your rankings drastically.

Don’t fall into the trap of building links quickly. Although your rankings will go up in the short run, it’s hard to maintain your rankings once you get to the top. You’ll start noticing way too many fluctuations compared to a nice steady increase you get from building relevant links slowly.

Common mistake #4: Content isn’t always king

Have you heard the saying that content is king? It usually is, but if you don’t have enough links coming into your website, you won’t get much traffic.

It’s not about going to oDesk, paying for a million pieces of content and trying to compete with Demand Media. It’s about having a good content-to-link ratio.

What I mean by this is that search engines analyze how many links you have coming into your website compared to how much content you have. So, if you only have 100 links while having a million pieces of content, a lot of those pages won’t get indexed in Google unless you get more sites to link to yours.

Sadly, I don’t know the exact ratio of content versus links that you should have, but I just recommend building up your content and links at the same time. If you don’t, your search engine traffic may stall.

Common mistake #5: Title tags and meta descriptions do matter

During all the years I have been doing SEO, I have noticed one commonly repeated mistake. You take title tags and meta description tags for granted.

Now, before I go into the simple title tag and meta description optimization techniques I use, I want to ask you one favor: don’t take them for granted. I used these simple tactics on sites like Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Mashable, and around 30 other of the top 100 blogs on the Internet and saw their traffic go up drastically.

  1. Your title tags have to be unique on every page and around 60 characters.
  2. Do not include your website name in all of your title tags as this makes them seem duplicate. Just include your website name in the title tags for your homepage, about page, contact page, and other generic pages.
  3. Your meta description tag needs to be unique, represent the content on the page (don’t just stuff it with keywords), and contain around 25 or so words.

Try making those changes to your title tags and meta descriptions. If you already have a good number of links coming into your website matched by a decent number of pages, you’ll notice that those changes can double your traffic like it did for TechCrunch. But if you don’t have that much traffic or links coming in, you won’t notice a big impact in your search engine traffic.


There are a lot of SEO tactics that you can use to increase your rankings, but be careful when choosing them. Although you’ll notice your rankings going up in the short run, in the long run, they can start going down. And before you figure it out, it’ll be too late.

Do you know of any other tactics that can crush your rankings?

P.S. If you want to learn more about SEO, I highly recommend reading this beginner’s guide.


  1. I think you can sabotage your own SEO efforts by over optimizing or getting distracted by every new trick or tactic that gets blogged about.

    I could spend all day trying to implement every new trick that gets blogged about or mentioned online on my sites while ignoring the basics. It is fine to experiment and test new things but at some point you could be focusing your efforts on something of more value, like creating new and valuable content rather than trying to get your link profile to the exact ratio that you read about on “insert blog name here.”

    Your 5 are great, they’re solid and proven. If I could add anything, I guess I would say running into duplicate content issues can crush your seo efforts. Whether its a url issue, stealing content from other sites or some other mistake that causes duplicate content.

    • Andrew @ Blogging Guide :


      Totally agree about your comment especially the stealing content section and now Google is taking action as per their recent algorithm change.


      • Alex Pyatetsky - CMO @ The HOTH :

        Duplicate content is way overhyped.

        Sites don’t get “crushed” because of dup’ content. Maybe ignored, but “crushed” is an urban legend.

        As for their “recent algorithm change,” its not related to complex “content farms” like Mahalo or LiveStrong.com, it has to do with lowest quality scraper sites: http://searchengineland.com/googles-content-farm-algorithm-not-live-yet-63207

        Please inform yourself and help stop the mis-information in the industry.

        As for Neil – I think the link building structure you gave here is really great. Sites with blog rolls going to their home page and more targeted links to individual pages effectively become authorities. There are ways to manufacture this kind of authority intentionally, but I think your blog is an A+ organic example. I’m sure tons of people blog roll your homepage because they think you’re cool, and at the same time, they cite specific articles in blog posts/news articles because they think you’re relevant. I’m pretty sure this is why you rank next to SEOmoz for terms like “learning SEO,” even though I doubt you’ve done any intentional link building for it.

        In short, the high-volume, endorsement-type links to the homepage and more lazer targeted, specific links to deep pages is an ideal long-term link building structure.


        P.S. re: On-page factors – AMEN. I get clients all the time that think we’re still in 2008 and you can just blast away with anchor texted link and “on-page is for noobs.” 100% foolish. Link building may be the long-haul, but on-page is the foundation. Not optional.

        • Alex Pyatetsky - CMO @ The HOTH :

          Individual duplicate page may get ignore, but just because they get ignore that doesn’t mean your whole site gets “crushed.”

          A few days ago, I was sitting with a friend of mine who is an executive at a large SEO agency. We were looking at the first few pages of SERPs for his company and found a 100% duplicate of some crap press release that CBS.com picked up. I’m sure CBS.com has TONS of duplicate content like this pulled from press release directories, but do you think they’re particularly suffering or have been penalized?

          A site that’s 100% duplicate content (e.g. scraper site) may have something to worry about, but having some percentage of duplicate content simply won’t hurt you – not currently anyway.

          • You’re right, the whole site may not get crushed, but those pages probably would. But still, the entire site gets slightly discredited which could impact it in the long run.

      • Stealing content will drastically hurt your rankings.

        • How can Google’s algorithm define the difference between stealing and borrowing content? Maybe by using schematic tags or meta tags we can avoid any penalties? That’s if any are given for that action? Maybe this stealing content is just a human or moral issue and not relevant in Google’s algorithm?

          Is it necessary to slowly (first page the first week then the second page the following week, etc) add pages to your (new) website for better seo/ranking purposes? Or should one just post all 7 or full website from the beginning? Has anyone experimented or tested this theory out?

          • I am not sure how Google’s algorithm can notify the difference, but they seem to do a good job of it.

            If it is a blog, you should post them over a period of time. But for a non-blog you can post them at anytime.

    • It’s always best to setup a solid foundation that will allow you to focus on fine tuning over time.

    • Yeah, you are right, stealing content is bad but there are people that would whatever it takes to get on top but they aren’t able to realize that this isn’t the right and long term way. You need a lot of patience and a lot of hard work to be on top but this means doing your own work, not stealing from others. Anyway, what comes around goes around will happen eventually to those that use dirty tricks and will bite them in their back.

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  2. I think good on-page SEO is an important factor in the effectiveness of your off page SEO. If you master onpage and then build links back to those internal pages, then you should be able to dominate your market.

  3. Howard Gottlieb :

    Great article. Especially the first item. I believe we fell victim to that working entirely on one anchor term we desperately wanted to win.

  4. Hey Neil,

    I concur on point #1. We have a client who has control over his customer’s websites, and has the liberty to put a link back to his site on about 3,000 sites. He made the mistake of making all of the anchor text the exact same, and sure enough, he went from like a #5 spot, to the 2nd or 3rd page.

    Now I used to think that having too many links from the same c-block or IP (since he is hosting these sites) is not a good thing either, but recently the SEO community is saying that is not as big of a factor anymore…particularly in this case since they are one-way links.

    Anyway, we recommended about 20-30 variation of anchor text and he gained his position back…and then some.

  5. Good read Neil. Sometimes you can know all the rules and still forget them when things get complicated. I’m glad for a simple summary like this that uses some good examples.

  6. So if i want to ruin your kissmetrics rankings i just burst a ton of links to it and that’s done? Also, techcrunch takes the first paragraph and makes it the meta description, do you think that’s better than none?

    • It is ok but not great to just take the first paragraph, you want it to summarize it and be different to get better seo results. What techcrunch does, isn’t bad just not as effective.

      • It’s better to create a specific description which contains keywords and sells the person to come to the site.

    • I don’t think using your first paragraph is the most relevant item to use unless you’ve strategically put it together that way.

  7. Glass Scratch Repair :

    This is a great encouragement to keep on trucking when it comes to finding good links. Its so hard to not want to just get quick easy links. Thanks for the article!

  8. Avinash D'Souza :

    This is a pretty good vanilla post. Doesn’t tell us very much new except for the first point. That’s certainly news to me, at the least.

    I can’t understand why the anchor text being the same would cause the rankings to drop after a while…

    • Perhaps your link profile would look too unnatural? If you have thousands of perfect anchor text links the powers that be might consider taking a closer look into your site.

      • Avinash D'Souza :

        Ah that makes sense….thanks for that Alex.

        Would that mean I have to change my keywords every so often? Because I obviously can’t impact the anchor link text…

        • You can cycle through anchor texts one at a time or just use varying modifications of the anchor text at the same time and see what works best for your sites and rankings.

          For example, use “great school in los angeles”, “great schools in los angeles” “great school in la” “good schools in la” and throw in the branded term every once in a while.

          Remember, the goal is that the link profile appears to be naturally occurring, not that you went out and built the links.

        • When you build links, don’t keep using “keyword” use variations of the keyword “best keyword” “top keyword” “keyword online” stuff like that.

      • Exactly and that almost instantly brings up a red flag.

  9. Hello I am new to this SEO thing and I am so confused about the terms used in about half the article. However, I understand the main points you are trying ot make and I guess that’s what counts. thank you so much

    • @Toluwa – did you look at the beginner SEO link? It is really more than just beginner, but the basics are all covered and then some…

    • It takes time, that’s all. let me know if you need more guidance. I’ll point you in the right direction.

      • Saurabh Shukla :

        Dear Niel,

        I am very new to SEO, could you please help me out for the same. I want to know how to minimize the internal links if it already have crossed the limit. And most importantly, how to increase dofollow links.


    • SEO is something that you learn in time and after you know all the terms and how to use it you will realize how much can help you boost your site on top.

  10. Home Brewing Supplies :

    Internal Linking can be a good strategy too. I managed to go to the top position in Google for a long tail keyword simply by heavy internal linking, without a single inbound link. It’s not a magic bullet, but it can help in rankings.

  11. Hi Neil – good points. But I do find it ironic that your website logo isn’t linked to your home page but the breadcrumb text “Home” is – which is counter productive. I’d also reco changing your nav text link “Answers” to “SEO Answers”. And while I’m at it, why is your Answers page title “Quicksprout Answers” and not include more descriptive SEO terms?

    • Alex Pyatetsky - CMO @ The HOTH :

      Because his site is first and foremost about business, and only secondly (if even) about SEO. The stuff you do for your own site may not be the best advice for everyone else.

      • Thanks for that Alex. SEO for this particular site really hasn’t been ont he top of my list, but maybe it should be 😉

    • For this blog, I’m not really concerned with the on page seo right now. But I do appreciate all the fantastic tips.

  12. Once again, great advice Neil. I think #5 is probably the most overlooked. Keyword stuffing might have worked in the old days when Yahoo, AOL, and Ask were king, but not in the Google world as we ourselves found out…

  13. These are some very good tips for search engine optimization. Especially like #3 and I really think that for every single business out there we all need some time and patience. That might work for link building too.

  14. semmy @ Make Money Online :

    Hi Neil thank you for this SEO article, especially the point 2 and point 3. thank you again!

  15. #5 is so important.. lots of people spend great time to produce great content, however nobody even give them an once over because the meta is no good. =(


  16. I have not heard about content vs links ratio learn some thing new from your Blog Thanks Neil.

  17. Thanks for seo tips neil but how much characters we should use in description can i include some keywords on them

  18. mba dissertations :

    Its true that once you are on top in short time, its difficult to maintain that position.

  19. I’m glad to see someone actually telling the community that meta data is important. I am sick of hearing people say “oh Google ignores that stuff” because they really don’t.

    • Even if Google does ignore them as far as SEO goes, they are still vitally important for CTR. It is your one chance to convince the searcher that your link is worth clicking and that you will answer the query they have entered. If not for SEO, then for marketing benefits it is imperative to have a good meta description.

    • The keywords are what they usually ignore or what has no value.

  20. Hi Neil, I’m happy to have found your site through a Smart Brief link. As a web designer, the one thing that constantly haunts me is a client that calls me up letting me know that they’ve hired an “SEO/Internet Marketing Expert” to help out, and they’ll be contacting me with some changes for the site. Anyone in my position knows what will be coming. I will be adding a link this post to my arsenal of client resources from a real SEO/Internet Marketing Expert. Thanks, and all the best!

  21. Great article. Good focus on the basics and fundamental methods for optimizing a site the right way. Thanks for sharing excellent action steps for anyone trying to optimize their site for the search engines.

  22. Excellent Article Neil. The best one, i do love is “Slow and Steady, Wins the Race”. Normally, i see many people just add some content, build Thousands of backlinks at once, it makes some little bit rankings in google, but later they will get a big slap from Google.

    • It’s happening faster and faster now a days. So instead of wasting money doing it, do it right the first time.

  23. Fantastic article, Neil! Focus and patience is usually key to anything we do in life and this really exemplifies that. Steady process of SEO, link building, blog commenting and the like will definitely take effective, but it just takes time.

    Thanks much for this!

  24. Great tips. Ya slow and steady does win the race; and fast and furious will kill you when it comes to SEO. There is no point in start building links with anchor texts in a hectic manner. By providing quality content and worrying a little bit about SEO will get the magic done.


  25. awesome stuff! I am just now starting to pay attention to the SEO of my site and it is the fundamentals like this that are often either over looked or never written about.

    Love this basic, practical and actionable advice!

  26. You make some rally good points. The 1st thing I look at when going through peoples site and assessing where they need improvement is the title page and the meta descriptions that is the most common mistake I find. And it is so simple to fix.

  27. Detailed and solid details, really like the concept to not just focus on a particular page to build link rather to build for other internal pages as well. Excellent tips.

  28. Thanks for all these tips Neil — all of them will help me… #2 stands out in my mind — I have completely missed this and have an immediate way to improve my blogging efforts.

    Thanks a bunch!

  29. Great post and I agree with all 5!

    One comment on Number 4 though that is pretty bad on rankings even if you have good content – post some content pages or blog posts or something to keep your site index fresh. Too long without any content and you’ll start dropping for all no matter how good your content and links are. Links and content that are 10 years old are still ranked highly if the site is consistently updated.

  30. Rafael Montilla :

    about #3, it is good “Slow and steady” but it is also good “Slow and Stop”.

    • what do you mean slow and stop?… i would keep on building slowly 😉

      • Rafael Montilla :

        I have noticed, when do linkbuilding for 20 steady days (first Set of links) then stop it for 10 days or more, again I start with the second set of links, I see faster results on the target keywords, than if It do linkguilding for 40 steady days.

        Why?? I do not know…, i just know, it works for me.

        I did it with some very competitive keywords “Modern Furniture, Sofas & Furniture” getting excellent results on Google.

        Neil, What do you think about it?

  31. #3 and #5 are 100% wrong here. Do some research before stating facts.

  32. Good reminders and the slow and steady, spot on.

    I do need to somewhat disagree about the “content is king” vs. inbound links. Logically, you will get all those links because your content is king. People won’t want to link to you if your content sucks : )

  33. Neil, You rock. Thanks for providing such great, high quality info. I especially like when you include specific strategies you employed with your clients (ie. techcrunch)

  34. Great article though I’m still puzzled just how much attention pays to an ‘unnatural’ backlink pattern. If we assume that Google will punish sites with lots of identical anchor text backlinks as ‘over-optimised’ then it would be easy to push competitors sites down simply by arranging lots of same anchor text links to their sites! Surely Google is not going to allow webmasters to push each others sites down in rankings like that?!

    • I don’t think they would. But to be honest a lot of people talked about this and very rarely do I see companies screwing over their competition as it can be very costly to build links for your competition.

  35. You know, I would like to say that although you give great and practical tips in many of your blogs, they often have very negative aspects. No, I’m not complaining that everything isn’t happy rainbows and butterflies – that wouldn’t be reality. But I think another important aspect of being successful has to do with being positive and supportive. Many of your posts talk about what you shouldn’t do, what people don’t do, and common mistakes. This kind of thing is ok sometimes…but when someone reads your blog and feels like they’re being told NOT to go any further, you’re ironically telling them also not to read your blog anymore.

    Just a piece of advice from the other side that I thought perhaps you could take.

  36. neil – know anything about site load time and rankings? if anyone has a resource to point me to, that would be great. thanks for the good reminders!

  37. These are awesome SEO tips Neil. Certainly something to refer back to from time to time. Consistency is certainly key and I will be sharing these tips. Gotta check out your KISSmetrics …

  38. I think the internal and deep link building is a great tip. Most people focus on their main page when sometimes deep links produces tremendous traffic when optimized.

    • Yes, it helps a lot in traffic basis. Because, sometimes internal pages get high page rank than main page. That page will be displayed in google with high rankings. So, not only main page, we have to do, but we have to optimize internal pages as well.

    • Yes and not mention that deep links are very powerful in the eyes of search engines.

  39. Simple. Be yourself, do your stuff. Don’t consider Google, nor Yahoo. Think for your customers, your business, your quality. If you are successful there, your customers visits, Google kisses your site. That gives you the long term success.

  40. Design Panoply :

    These are all solid and proven tips. Internal link building can be tough to do naturally.

    Also, I didn’t know that too many of the same anchor links could hurt, good to know.

    We recently wrote an article entitled 12 Easy SEO Tips for a Better Search Engine Ranking.

    Good article. Short, sweet, and useful.

    • Well it’s actually really easy when you have a blog with some high quality content. That’s when you can really get your internal pages to soar.

  41. Bettie Williams :

    Hey Neil, Thanks a lot for these tips. I will make sure I follow these things.. though I do not avoid these.. u know it is always important to make your clients happy at the end of the day 🙂

    Thanks once again.. 😀

  42. Janitorial Services houston :

    I have tried these tips on our site about a year ago for test keywords we were shooting for. We had very good success. Very good point is the “Not building to fast”. I had many people beat us for top keywords, Just to lose that spot in a few weeks never to be seen again.

  43. Hi,

    i have one question but it is related to this topic, but it is related to seo, and i asked this one in many forums, but i couldnt exact solution, question is,

    i m using some around 6-8 keywords for the homepage, and all of them are in good position, where in that two of them are one word keyword, so i m trying to bring up, and i used all kinds of link building techniques, but no result, so can you solve my problem.

  44. Note Taking Nerd #2 :

    I like the idea of taking advice from an SEO artist who’s played on both sides of the game.

    It kinda reminds me of the “delivery man thief” turned anti-theft consultant to big chain retail stores that the famous marketing consultant, Dan Kennedy, used to tell the story about.

    These fancy pants store owners should’ve known their business better but almost all of them falsely operated under the premise that customers were responsible for all of the theft going on in their stores. This consultant would then come in and show them 82 ways employees and vendors were stealing from right under their nose.

    Seems like a guy who’s played both sides of this game could shine some light on issues only the dark side could reveal. I’ll be sure to be coming back here!

  45. i m working these keywords rugs, rug, and large rugs,
    in google.co.uk , i used the following techniques like directory submissions, social bookmarking, blog comments, article submissions and forum posting, but i cant see good result, where mainly the above keywords, which i have mentioned are still in second and third page, so could you help me out.

    • Neil could you provide some advice on this?

      Neil, what are your thoughts on building page rank with “forum postings, article submissions, blog commenting, buying into directories for back links” strategy?

      Does the method in which the link to your site originates determine the strength or credit for the backlink? For instance, I’m sure your link has more “juice” so to speak, if you are mentioned directly in a blog article, as opposed to commenting on the blog article?

      This leaves many people and their SEO strategies at a wits end I’m sure.

    • You gotta keep going for keywords like those… highly competitive. I would try to be more specific. Cheap red rugs, cheap large rugs, large rugs that are red etc.

      • yup, the keywords which you mentioned are good, but i also had some low competitive keywords like large rugs, rugs online, rugs for sale, they also like a cat on the wall., one day in first page and other day, it moved back, so i cant able understand. why always changing also the links i got from other sites, where also started cache by search engines, so i need some help.

  46. I don’t agree with you. Content updating regularly is not a must point for seo persons.

  47. There is a “fresh content” boost from my experience. But overall it’s making quality on page content then building links with anchor variety (I go for 4-5 usually).

    One tip I would add is internal linking within your site. Google ranks pages not sites so I have found it does help to regularly link to your own content within your site.

  48. “Your title tags have to be unique on every page and around 60 characters.”

    This is such a great tip. It is an absolute challenge coming up with unique meta titles on an E-Commerce website, where you have the same product but just varying colors, sizes, etc. for each item. But it certainly helps ranking for a variety of keywords.

    Great tip Neil.. this is often overlooked because it is so specific and hard to overcome. Often people will have trouble executing their SEO strategy and coming up with unique meta titles is no doubt a big obstacle.

  49. I recently created a website and I violated #1 and #3. I built way too many anchor text links, too fast.

    It was actually an experiment to see how aggressive I could be with my link building, well I found out pretty fast – not very aggressive. The site has been in the sandbox for about 4 months now.

    Good advice my friend.

  50. Small Business SEO :

    Good stuff. It never ceases to amaze me that the home page title tag for most sites is still the company name only.

  51. David Kraljic :

    It is amazing how a relatively small number of backlinks from authority domains can boost your rank. I am talking in the 200 hundred range – not thousands. I developed/seo’d one site that went from 100 hits a week to 3,000+. We added relevant content, seo’d the site properly and asked gave some customers material that made it worth linking to us. These customers are medical societies who have good ranks for their content. Whalla! – traffic.

    On the flip side – I have another site that has similar amounts of content, with little backlinks and we are not getting enough traffic. Though we were not as thoughtful with on-site SEO and since we don’t have high ranking customers to ask for links traffic building is a much slower process. Link building is very slow…

    • True about the slow link building, but if you just do 10 a day you will have 3,000+ in less than a year… 30 a day and you’ll have that same amount in one 4 months… not bad really because at some point other people will start linking and make your job easier…

    • Great examples! It’s a process that definitely takes time. The more patient you are, the easier it’ll be.

  52. Neil’s job is to dispel these poor practices and reinforce good SEO practices. It’s not that it is “nothing new”. Many people practice the wrong SEO and end up with all sorts of issues, like the infamous Google sandbox.

  53. Good points Neil. I was doing these things for better SEO and you have clearly explained that how it can be mistakes while doing SEO of website. I think better Onpage is the most important part for effective results in Search Engine.

    • They are both extremely useful and necessary techniques that go hand in hand. The smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

  54. Google Sniper 2.0 :

    Great sharing Neil! Have been writing blogs and not knowing SEO is so important to get traffic in. Learn a lot from your article and will start to pay a lot more attention on on page and off page SEO!

    • It’s the determining factor of your site succeeding… or not. So it’s definitely a great idea to learn as much as you can.

  55. Yes, that can hurt your rankings very quickly.

  56. Yes, it’s true. You have to work hard to get up in the rankings, but it is very hard and keep yourself up there.

    • It’s hard to get up there, it’s easier to maintain yourself once you’re there. But then you should always stay on your toes as someone else is probably right behind you.

  57. I appreciate this post. I wish I found this sooner. I’ve had a niche site going up and down in the Google rankings. It went from #11 by not doing much to the bottom. Then I brought it back up by linking back to it but I think I overdid it with the anchor text and not linking to internal pages. I bascially did what I shouldn’t do.

    Now it’s ranked 705. Any quick advice on how to get it back up? Slow and steady and to do the opposite of what you suggest?

    • Yes, that’s pretty much all you can do at this point. If the sites completely banned, I’d recommend doing it over again.

  58. With every new post I write, I am aiming to include at least 2-3 links to my previous content. I do this not just to help the SEO of the site, but also to help my readers discover some of my older content that they may have missed.

    Since I installed WordPress for my blog instead of a different service, I have been very active in making sure my meta-tags/titles have been filled out. I was clipping portions of the content to use as a meta-description, but I will try to write more original content instead of duplicate stuff found in the post.

    Thanks for the tips!

    • Great job… definitely a good idea to go through everything again and make the necessary changes to become fully optimized.

  59. Hard work sometimes means being patient with SEO effort rather than going too fast. — And quality over quantity.

    • Yes, very true. It’s better to go at a steady pace of a month with quality links, then do a bunch of crappy links over the course of a few days.

    • SEO is a great tool to get yourself on top but is like everything we do in life. It takes some time, it requires hard work and a lot of patience. If you get too hungry and try the fastest ways you will just end up loosing in the long term. If you want it to last than take it slow.

  60. So funny–I think I’ve made ever single mistake you listed on previous sites and blogs! …Glad I found your blog, b/c I’m currently in the process of becoming the website SEO guru for my firm. Thanks for the great advice!

  61. Business Innovation :


    Great article as usual.

    What kills me about all of this SEO insanity is that 99% of the people who talk SEO are only guessing. Only Google knows the algoritm for sure.

    just like eveyone thoguht you needed to buy your domain name for 5 years or Google wouldn’t let you out of the sandbox.

    Matt Cutts killed that theory finally.

    What else are all the socalled experts shooting “blind” and charging a ton of money for?


  62. Some really useful insights on SEO. Though I am not sure if your suggestions are still valid in the changed world of SEO, as in anchor text and title tags do matter but it has become insanely difficult to rank even if you have lots of sites linking to you.

    • Algorithms are constantly changing so it is tough to know what’s actually working at any given time. These principles have worked in the past and still seem to work right now.

  63. recording studios uk :

    I am wanting to learn about Business Marketing. Should I join associations? What should I do in order to learn this from the ground up.Thanks a lot.

  64. recording studios uk :

    I am looking to study SEO and digital marketing and I want to take more than a 1-3 day course which there seem to be a lot of. Can anyone recommend a course that looks at SEO in depth?Any help would be greatly appreciated.Thank you.

  65. Amazing!! The perfect list about the the mistakes to avoid in SEO.
    The bloodline of any online business is traffic. With over a billion internet users how do you attract them to your website? Answer is SEO!
    So we need to be very careful when doing SEO.

    • There are too many mistakes that people can make that’ll kill all of their hard work. Best to know what to avoid right ;)?

  66. Currency Broker Pete :

    Fantastic. I’ve done some SEO and one of the hardest things is stumbling around in the dark trying to figure things out for myself. It’s so much easier to get ahead when seasoned professionals like yourself are offering tips.



  67. Having done a good SEO to your website is really important.
    These five mistakes are really important to be considered while doing that

  68. Great article. I am starting to build links to my site and it is so so hard when my content in my opinion is great. Good sites are pretty stingy with links especially active links that do not have no follows. Please write something about how to get links as I am stuck. Any advice would be great.

    • You should use a tool like kissinsights.com to see what your audience thinks of your content. https://www.quicksprout.com/2010/03/17/7-ways-to-legitimately-build-backlinks/ is a good article on backlinks

  69. Appreciate your article. It had some really good points and reminders that I need to make sure I’m following. For instance not getting to crazy with the duplicate anchor text links and paying more attention to my meta tags. Your explanation on inner pages affecting your overall homepage page rank was most excellent! 🙂

  70. Neil,

    This was one very good article! The information overload on what it takes to get ranked and optimized properly, varies as much as the number of animals in God’s earthly creation!

    The best point you made is the fact that, anytime you start to “load” your site in anyway, Google will probably see it as bogus.

    My article about Googles latest algorithm (http://searchwarp.com/swa698147-Google-Search-Keeps-Getting-Better.htm) proves that we’ll never be ahead of the game unless we play by their rules.

  71. Brent @ Millionaire Studio :

    I think the golden rule is to make your SEO efforts look as natural as possible. Search engines can very easily detect when you’re trying to game them, so there’s very little benefit in trying to do so. If you use keywords in your description and title, plus update your site on a regular basis then you will rarely have to worry about building links yourself as your site will often rank anyway.

  72. This is such a great tip. It is an absolute challenge coming up with unique meta titles on an E-Commerce website, where you have the same product but just varying colors, sizes, etc. for each item. But it certainly helps ranking for a variety of keywords.

  73. Memorial park benches :

    I am prejudiced in using internet marketing for small business. I own a brick and mortar store but I want habitation online too. Does anyone have any ideas? Gratitude in advance.

  74. hi Neil,
    is a 200 or 300 word article enough for a page, and should it be only optimized for 1 keyword per page..??

  75. I am starting to build links to my site and it is so so hard when my content in my opinion is great. Good sites are pretty stingy with links especially active links that do not have no follows. Please write something about how to get links as I am stuck. Any advice would be great.

  76. I believe we fell victim to that working entirely on one anchor term we desperately wanted to win

  77. Facebook Fans Samurai :

    Thanks for the tips. I actually read this a long time ago, but didn’t have time to comment. Linking internal pages is one of the things I don’t do from your list. This is the first thing I’ll make sure I do for each new post. Thanks again.

  78. Neil,

    I just discovered your blog recently and sadly realize how many gems of information I’ve been missing! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. Very helpful indeed.

    For the last few years, the hype has been to do social media left and right (Twitter, Facebook, etc), in order to get high-ranking, high-authority backlinks to your site. Which is important. But then people wonder why they are not ranking for those keywords they want. They have forgotten, or erroneously downplay, the importance of on-site optimization, as you have discussed in this post.

    • Some of the smallest factors make a significant impact on a businesses well-being. Well glad to have you on board with Quicksprout, looking forward to your future comments.

  79. Hi Neil,

    I personally reading your blogs from last 4 years. You write really useful & informative content. Nowadays SEO become more tough because people being more alert about online marketing of their companies. So it is not easy to increase serp as before. Also search engine changed their strategies. Content is king but inbound links are also most required thing and social media optimization also most important part if any user want to drive traffic.



    • At the end of the day, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, you really need to stay on top of what’s going on with the search engines.

  80. Memorial park benches :

    If you pick highly competitive keywords dominated by established sites all your SEO efforts will be a waste of time. You must spend time on keyword research before you do anything else and find keywords that are not too competitive but have a reasonable search volume. Thanks….

    • Yeah if the words are much too competitive, you’re probably running your wheels. You’re better off focusing on more long tail in that case.

  81. web templates :

    the most common mistake is keywords choosing and regular content updation, most of them are not doing it properly, so do you have any suggestions for that and wat do you thinking about social media in product promotion.

    • I think social media works well, but maybe not for product promotion. Too spammy. Give away more free useful information.

      • Majorly product promotion are not seen much in all the social media sites as you can create some page about your service in facebook and make them promote

        • yeah, but it’s not the best thing to do stuff like that as if you don’t provide anything of value, you’re screwed.

  82. Traditional radiators :

    If you pick highly competitive keywords dominated by established sites all your SEO efforts will be a waste of time. You must spend time on keyword research before you do anything else and find keywords that are not too competitive but have a reasonable search volume. Thanks..

  83. Trevor Mauch :

    Hey Neil, good post my man. It’s funny how all of these “latest and greatest” sec “tactics” are always seeming to come out of the woodworks… but in the end staying with the basics and foundations of creating remarkable and relevant content, knowing what words people are using to find what you’ve got, and having a sound and simple website structure is always what it boils down to.

    One of our first sites we set up a couple years ago gets about 200,000 page views a month now… but it was a slow and steady haul of just always doing the small things right. That traffic comes in day in and day out without any advertising. Ha, Internet Brands contacted us last week to offer to buy it because its traffic is based on sound (and simple) SEO practices that Google loves.

    Great post man. Reaffirms we’re doing the right things 🙂

    • College Textbooks :

      It isn’t a race and it seems like you have the right business model. Congrats on the offer of being bought, did they give you a good offer or a not so good one?

    • That’s awesome, you guys are doing exactly what should be done and you’re seeing the results.

    • Your post proves that taking it slow is the way to go for the long term. There is no point in having success for a short time if everything will fall apart after that. If you are patient and let things flow on their own the success will last and eventually somebody will make an offer to buy your website which is GREAT.

      • College textbooks :

        Strange but I feel the same thing goes for investing in the market, slow but sure wins the race.

  84. The Content must be useful to the readers through the keyword they search and not for namesake.

    • Exactly.. the more relevant it is, the higher it’ll convert.

    • Content is the king. If you do not have valuable content then you won’t have valuable readers. There is no point in putting content just to be there if it presents no interest to anybody. It is better to have less but valuable content rather than a lot and without any value.

  85. hi Niel,

    I have observed that top 5 sites never existed earlier, I don’t see any SEO done in these pages, they are more of directories which just give a bit of information with few links to internal pages. These pages don’t have PR , and have no external links, now tell me what is that , we need to do,to get back at what we were?????

  86. On the Point 4, at meta tags, i think you are not correct, because this are available on the google guidlines optimization ebook. I think its not the ranking factor, but an small important thing.

    Btw, a nice post

  87. Yeah number 1 was something I learned the hard way, anchor text diversity is key, make it look as natural as possible.

  88. i am a newbie in SEO and these tips are very effective for me. I have few sites and will apply these trick on my site. I also consider content and keyword optimization is big thing in SEO Ranking. Thanks Neil

  89. Air Ticket Booking :

    i am a newbie in SEO and these tips are very effective for me. I have my own new website. but i consider content and keyword optimization is big thing in SEO Ranking. Thanks Neil i am fan of your blog.

  90. I use the simple trick of pretending I’m writing for really intelligent people. That way it reads fluidly for us, and the content is expressive and varied which optimizes for search engines. The bonus is that my visitors feel even smarter after reading it, which is kind of the point of providing a website – people want your information, all of it.

  91. Restoration glass :

    What can be done if you’ve possibly already over anchored a bunch of links? Is there any way to correct the problem? Thanks

    • See if you can change the anchor text still. If not just slow down on those links and focus on other anchor texts.

  92. MacToTheFuture :

    Im running a test blog right now and trying different things to optimize it for SEO. Long-tail keywords really seem to be the key to increase traffic. Also sites like these are an invaluable tool for those just starting out. Thanks Neil!

  93. Very well said about content and backlinks; and I would like to add few things please.

    Most SEOs only focus on writing and writing alot, but they don’t pay certain importance to get quality backlinks. They do get backlinks but most of them (in most cases), are not relevant. Backlinks are a backbone of any SEO strategy and it helps in achieving results systematically.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  96. its the best option to optimize first with long tail keywords

  97. after all those hard work when google sandboxed your site it really hurts a lot

  98. entertainment news :

    if we build irrelevant links it will affects as a lot so we should avoid link spamming

    • Yes, that’s very true! Always avoid irrelevant links as it’ll hurt you, especially in the long run.

      • entertainment news :

        How about submitting in high pr directories will its gives worth,because its take time for approval

        • In the long run it will definitely help. If you are looking for quick results you should look elsewhere.

  99. Samir Patel :

    Has anyone experimented with using video hosting sites for incoming links? like youtube or dailymotion?

    • Most of those links are no follow, but that could be a great idea. A video hosting site that supports links. Let me know if you find anything!

  100. Favourite Hobbies :

    Neil i have started an website would like to have some help from you can you suggest how my sites looks

  101. Shine My Ride :

    Neil this is an excellent post. As someone with a relatively new website, it can be so confusing with the various recommendations regarding best practice.

    I particularly like your suggestions regarding internal links etc, and not to build links too quickly.

    Thankyou for sharing these tips with us


  102. Bird Taxidermy :

    Good article, I am learning more about SEO all the time. Constantly chasing that ranking and your tips about different title pages is something I will try.

  103. kira permunian :

    wow you have mentioned it all there. I am blessed to come up with this content. It pays digging all your articles. Common mistake #1 hit me but I corrected it already.

  104. Stock Market :

    Wow, Look at all these comments you have.

    One of my fears is making changes to a site that currently ranks good in google. I’m currently in the process of updating and giving one of my sites a complete overhaul. I’m also wanting to change the page titles to target or match each page so I just hope google doesn’t slap the site off the current first page ranking for a highly competitive keyword.

    The reason for the changes are because it’s been almost 2 years since the site was built and is in need of updating.

    Does anyone here have any experience with this or have suggestions?

    • Neil Patel :

      I completely understand your fears. I suggest you find someone who can offer you an SEO audit, they will look at all the problems involving updates, keyword competition, and so forth. Good luck!

  105. Stock Market :

    Oh yeah, it’s a wordpress site that’s linked to in my name. Should be updated completely in the next 20 days. One other thing is that it gets on average around 13,000 visitors per month so I can’t figure out why the Alexa rank is so low like 6,000,000. The .com of this same name doesn’t rank as good on any of the big three search engines for the domains main keyword but ranks much better.

  106. Hi Neil,

    I had a question about #5. I have a new site that I am optimizing and I am definetely not taking the title and meta tags for granted 🙂

    Having said that, I am concerned that editing/changing/optimizing them too often will actually hurt my rankings.

    So I guess my questions are… How often is TOO often to be changing/editing/optimizing the tags for certain kws? Or since this is such a new site and not ranked high, I shouldn’t worry about this…yet?


    • Great questions. Looks like you are on the right path in terms of SEO. First off, its great that you understand the lingo and the importance of trying new things. Many SEOs think keyword research is a one time deal…wrong.
      I suggest you keep testing to see what is working for you. Simple A/B testing usually does the trick. However, make sure you are giving your keywords enough time to mature between tests. Maybe look for and tests new keywords every three months?

  107. Thank you for the prompt reply Neil!

    So if I am understanding correctly you’re saying I can change my title and meta tags (even my HOME page tags) to include the kws I am going after every 3 months without risk of Google penalties?

    It sure would suck to do 3 months of work and move up in rankings and then get penalized from changing the tags ! haha

    I will definitely be doing the A/B tests as you suggested on my internal pages, but its the Home page tags that I’m really wondering about.

    oh and this is the article that got me thinking about this by the way – http://www.google-success.com/changing-title-tag-can-hurt-google-rankings.htm

    Its old, but I think it still applies.

    • Neil Patel :

      I hate to say this but…it all depends. You need to find out what works within your niche. Testing your home page is definitely a risk you will have to take eventually if you want to see search rankings increase. Good luck!

  108. This article really solve abundant of puzzles in my head about the link buildings

  109. Hi Neil

    Excellent post. Its always good to know all this SEO stuff to get good rankings on the search engines. It obviously takes time. I like the idea of having quality content on your site and also making sure you are getting back links as well.

    I have definately used meta tags on all my blogs through blogger.com. Now I’ve got to create back links.

    Well thanks again Neil in your excellent delivery of important business information. Its been a pleasure reading your posts. For that purpose I have writen a post about your website on my site http://ewebsitebuilding.com.

    The title of the post is:’How To Create An Ecommerce website’.

    As time permits, I’ll keep coming back to your website and possibly write some more posts on my website about what ‘Quicksprout is all about.

    Thanks again Neil. Have a great day.

  110. Yasir Khan - Quantum SEO :

    Careless implementation and overly aggressive blackhat SEO tactics have led to the downfall of many websites. It is very important to be careful and tread that fine line that ensures no penalties. tricky tricky! :p

  111. Adrian Cole :

    Yeah i am guilty of backlinking just my homepage. I will do better from now on.

  112. Hi Neil,

    Having links as nofollow with keyword will give serp promotion?

  113. playbook games :

    thank you neil , i should start building some backlinks for my site

  114. Neil,

    In terms or internal links… why exactly are these important? I mean I get that when Google looks if other websites are linking to your site it’s kinda like a vote on how popular you are but if you have internal links to your pages isn’t that like just voting for yourself? Wouldn’t Google ignore this kinda minipulation?

    Thanks in advance

    • Google doesn’t ignore it or consider it manipulation it just places less emphasis on internal links when it comes to “voting” The algorithm is complex, I am sure they account for internal links differently.

  115. Amar - india.tc :

    Neil thanks for the great post, want to try in my blogs i made many mistakes had to sort out now thanks once again

  116. melbourne internet marketing :

    neil, thanks for these great advises you’ve been posting. You see I’ve just started joining this kind of business and your post is a big help for me and the company I’m working with. I’m so happy that I have stumbled upon your blog. Thank you very much.

  117. Astrologer in Delhi :

    I agree. Don’t make Links too fast

  118. Even i have also compiled some SEO tricks in a format of article, Still love your idea about description of article and anchor text. Most of the time we do ignore the importance of anchor text while placing links.

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    I’m writing to let you know what a fabulous experience my wife’s daughter went through viewing your site.

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  121. I must express some thanks to the writer for rescuing me from this incident.

  122. Rent College Textbooks :

    Title tags and meta descriptions do matter, this is something i have actually seen article written about how they do not matter. It really annoys me when I see things like this because they are important and it is one of the most easy things to do. It is really confusing as to why people don’t think they matter.

    • They definitely do, they allow crawlers to access and curate content from your site. They are of the utmost importance when someone runs a site audit or creating a new website. Thanks for reading 🙂

  123. Thank’s I just learn to built new blog

  124. Number 5 really does make a difference, it seemed as if only one blog post was reaching Google search results, but then I used a unique title for each post and BOOM more results for my site! Once again, great tips!

    • Thanks Kuhlmad,

      Sometimes you have to try a variations of things in order to get the results you want. Good to know these tips were able to help.

  125. fitness terem :

    “Do not include your website name in all of your title tags, as this makes them seem more duplicate. Just include your website name in the title tags for your homepage, about page, contact page, and other generic pages.”

    I’ve made this mistake. I’m still fixing it…

    • As long as you know what you need to fix and are working to get it done you should be good. Let me know if you have any questions as you go.

  126. Thank’s neil.I have a questions how to optimized my blog for yahoo search ? Maybe you can help me to get great rank for yahoo

  127. Hi Neil, another great article. One question, when posting simple blog comments for link building (rather like this comment), by attempting to add your own niche into the anchor text (e.g.

    • apologies I din’t mean to post half a question

      … continued (e.g. Jason @ Tenant Loans) do moderators look at it as ‘spammy’?

  128. text loans no credit check :

    I knew this thing before also that if more people link to me with the keyword I want to rank for as the anchor text of the link, my rankings will start sky rocketing but I did not know that too many links will drop down my ranking. Thanks dear for providing such an important info!

  129. Contests for kids :

    This is pretty valuable information, however it seems like a lot to take in (kind of overwhelming). How are you suppose to keep track of all these ratios? I can’t even figure out how many backlinks I have anymore since yahoo closed that backlink service. Google webmaster tools doesn’t seem to show all the backlinks I have and they only give a link to the homepages. They don’t give very much info on the links themselves. I will start linking all my pages more to focus on them. That helps me out a lot. I have very few links in that department.

    Thank you,

  130. Neil, If I’m targeting 4 keywords equally for my site, how many total anchor text variations would you recommend? Thanks for your time.

  131. Hi Neil – thanks for posting. Do you have a view re. letting some of your website being copied? For example, you’re a software company with resellers scattered around the world. You definitely want these resellers to promote your software – and be ‘on message’ – so you refer them to your website as a reference point. But what if they copy whole pages verbatim? I appreciate that this will be detrimental to your SEO but is there a change that this downside is outweighed by the resellers giving you an online presence in a country where you rarely get found anyway? Would love to hear your thoughts as I’m no expert. Thanks, Mark

  132. The anchor text diversity issue is now more relevant than ever with panda 3.3.

    I am going to have to get on the ball with meta descriptions… pain to do for my site, but i’m realizing that they are still important.

    Thanks for the post.

  133. Another great article, google updated their algo and now you have to have a good social profile and good communication with customers in order to rank higher in search engines…

  134. Cullen Adams :

    I think much of SEO comes down to common sense. There many theories out there and I tend to subscribe to the ones that make sense and it seems to work for me.

  135. Thanks Neil, this is the sort of information I can use to increase my ranking and traffic.

  136. Can you have one keyword in most or all of your page titles? My example: Let’s say I have a computer training website with many courses listed. Each course has a unique title, but with the “training” keyword in each. Is this good or is it looked at as too redundant? The same question can be asked for the URL as well.

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  138. I have read all your points, and it was worth reading it.. But lemme know one thing that isn’t content is the king

  139. hey neil,
    Common mistake #3: Slow and steady really does win the race, totally agree with it. thank you for informing us with these mistakes.
    Thanks again.

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  141. GraywolfSurvival :

    Thanks for this post. I didn’t realize about putting my site name in the titles that it would water it down. Changed it!

  142. Hey Neil love your blog, been following it for a while now.

    Love your tips and I’m especially appreciative of the third one since I’ve built links too fast myself. You rank high early but you plummet down really fast as well lol.

  143. Pressure Washing :

    Local SEO, I believe can get away with more than sites trying to rank nationally. Seems Google welcomes ANY site that at least has some sort of structure and inbound from relevant site. They struggle to find sites to rank locally other than the other directories. So, if all that is ranking in a locality, for targeted keywords, are other directories, a site webmaster wouldn’t have to work too hard to get the site noticed.

  144. tworzenie oprogramowania :

    I noticed that even web directories that has no Page Rank (even no zero) like if there were not indexed, still can appear at a good position in Google and give you a good inbound link. I don’t understand how it’s possible. Could you tell me why tons of useless, unindexed pages linked to your homepage might still have a good impact on your overall ranking?

  145. FIx glass scratches :

    This is a great encouragement to keep on plugging along when it comes to finding good links. Its so hard to not want to just get quick easy links. Thanks for the article! Youre an SEO lifesaver!!

  146. It is fine to experiment and test new things but at some point you could be focusing your efforts on something of more value, like creating new and valuable content rather than trying to get your link profile to the exact ratio that you read about on “insert blog name here.”

  147. irctc login India :

    Actually I went through a strange experience. With no links I was ranking Higher the I saw that as people started to link my website it drop down drastically in rankings. Search results behave strangely for me.

  148. Neil, Great article. By the way I coudnt afford paying to build a website or an SEO company so i spend alot of time reading and researching. I build my own website and now working on my SEO. I think i only have 6 backlinks and you coould find my home page only on the third page of google. not bad for a beginner but still cant get clients. i added .html to all my pages but non of them are showing up. Can I please get any articles or advices that can help me. Thank you Neil..

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  150. Pretty decent post and covered almost all important topics for SEO. But I have to tell you that “Content is still the King”..I know without backlinks not much of a ranking but this is kind of egg and chicken question. With great content, links will automatically start building on its won and without links not much of a traffic.

    I was looking to find why some pages have high PR than the homepage itself and landed. Obviously its not handled here..anyone can explain why? By blog has is scenario. check the homepage(PR1) and about(PR3) for example.

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  152. Very interesting read, looks like I have some work to do.. I have been going through the roof with building back-links recently.. Its winter time and work is slow! I didn’t realize that it could hurt my site

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  154. i never did seo for one of my site’s keyword but still the traffic was good because of social sharings and title, meta. as soon as i started doing rich and bulk anchor text for the same keyword, my position for the keyword went pages down. im still stuck on google 5 6th page from the first page.

  155. Superb. Thank you so much for the informative post. Really helped me a lot. 🙂

  156. fantastic advice for a beginning blogger like me. Quick question though, I am trying to promote my apparel line and accessories to the curly hair industry. I have been trying to contact them for guest blogging and advertising opportunities, but nobody responds!

    My question, how can you get these people to respond, so that we can get our links on their website?

    • Marcel, I would suggest trying out some PR. That could be the quickest way to gain exposure in a short time.

  157. Cathie @ Calgary web design :

    You mean 10% for each keyword anchor text or 10% total for all keywords?

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  159. Great Post!


    “Do not include your website name in all of your title tags”

    We would argue that this depends on the type of your website, for example if you have a small site offering products like “Apple Flavors, Banana Flavors, Pear Flavors…), adding your site name to titles like that would be the way to go. So here comes the first question:

    1) How about having your page title (e.g. Apple Flavors) the same as thousands of other pages over the net? Isn’t that considered as a duplicated title aswell?

    However in blogs where titles are long enough and very unique, logical thinking suggests that omitting the site name from title tags would give better results, as you wouldn’t have any real competition for your site name, plus it makes your title tags shorter which is another positive point.


    2) TechCrunch now have added ” | TechCrunch ” back to their titles? Even though I have read that omitting was one of the main reasons of their traffic increase.. Maybe they realized it’s not what really caused the increase?

    3) When you ommit the site name from your title tags, Google usually tries to guess your site name (mainly from your home page) and adds it to the search result titles. So why not helping Google and giving it ready titles with your site name in?

    We have made lot of searches about this exact topic a while ago, and we have decided to keep the site name in titles mainly because of 3) and the fact that there are no proven results except the TechCrunch traffic increase case which might have been caused by other things instead.

    But seeing an expert like you saying the opposite and taking it as granted should make us rethink about our decision, hopefully things will become clearer after your reply.

    Thank you and best regards.

    • 1. If other people use similar words in their title tags, that won’t cause duplicate content issues.

      2. I no longer work with TechCrunch… hence their growth rate isn’t what it used to be. 😉

      3. I’ll have to check into that, I haven’t always seen that, but sometimes I see it.

  160. funny animals :


    like your website!

    it’s possible you will like my funny stuff

  161. Very helpful and some confirm what I do try to do but a few I did not know about, like the ratio of links to a certain page or keywords was helpful and the internal linking to pages was as well.Thanks it did help me out.

  162. It is possible to tweak keywords too much? How much time should I give each major change before going back at it again?

    • Jeanette, it all depends on the traffic you are receiving. If you are not getting any qualified traffic then it’s okay to go for a complete overhaul. Thanks for reading!

  163. Even though this content is a bit old like 2 years old now, it still holds true in the SEO world despite many Google updates.

  164. for 2 years blogging, i’m ignore internal pages linking as a good seo practice, what a waste

  165. Hey Neil,

    I have one question. Maybe off topic, I have one site, all the inner page lost pagerank after transferring from old hosting to new hosting (even no PR update recently). It is very strange. I did the transfer of domain and hosting before for other sites, they did not have this problem.
    But this time, I have come across this issue. The homepage still keeps it PR.

    Do you know any issue on the transfer?

  166. Thanks for sharing your views on meta tags many of us still ignore ..one query i have to ask if i resubmit my sitemap will it effect my google indexed ranks Thanks in advance

  167. Hi Neil,

    I just transferred the domain (in namecheap) and also transferred the from one old hosting to new hosting. I did not do 301 redirct.
    After recent PR update, my homepage is still PR3 and inner pages are still no PR.
    Can you help me on this issue?


    • Don’t worry about pagerank. It doesn’t matter what number you are at… just focus on increasing your overall traffic.

  168. Shivani Chaudhary :

    Hi Neil,

    I am working on a Singapore website i.e. littlewode.com and using the SEO techniques like directory submissions, ppt submission, social bookmarking, article submissions and classified ads submission. I started working from last two months and every week I found that ranking are not good. Now, it drops a lot. My keywords are- kids furniture, children furniture singapore, children bed, kids beds, etc

    I can’t figure out the problem with the website.

    • Shivani, many people have been experiencing similar issues due to Google updates. I would suggest focusing on creating quality/in-depth content. This will really help you overcome some key challenges.

  169. Glad I could help. Please let me know if you need help with anything else 🙂

  170. thanks for sharing nice.. tips..

  171. Sir, How many Links should I add on the homepage of my blog. And, I never used meta description. Still, my blogs are ranking good on search engines.

  172. Thanks for great article it really help me alot.

  173. Neha@Mothers Day :

    Amazing Neil, Your all post are great help to all bloggers, Thank you 🙂

  174. Shahnawaz Sadique :

    He Neil ,

    That was a really good read but I am not fully convince with keywords rich anchor test. Actually good blogs and website doesn’t allow to use keyword rich anchor text in comment box.. how do i overcome this issue.

    • Shahnawaz, sometimes the link may be no-follow. I would suggest creating your own content and providing valuable content to create a relationship with the person’s blog you are commenting on 🙂

  175. www.thomas-design.co.uk :

    Hi Neil brilliant article!

    I have a question which hopefully you can help with, one of our clients competitors is ranking top spot for numerous variations of the same keyword yet their exact match anchor text ratio for the ‘money’ keyword is something like 65%!!

    Any ideas to how they are ranking so highly without being penalised??

    • A lot of times those links are really old, so they are able to get away with more than new sites that leveraged those techniques. If they also have authoritative links, it helps as well.

  176. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for offering such great advice! Quick question about a few things you mentioned though. On your first point talking about enriched text, you brought up rankings and my question is where/how can you see what your rank is when it comes to searches per keyword.

    For example, lets say I want to know where I stand/ what my rank is for the search “live broadcasting” what SEO tool would you recommend that would show me that I am #X for that search?

    I have seen tools where you can see the number of times the keyword has been searched but I am rather looking for the rank my company stands compared to other companies using that same phrase as a link.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Neil Patel :

      Chandler, glad I could help. Thanks for the feedback. Looking forward to hearing more from you 🙂

      • Hmm, I dont think that necessarily answers my question hah 😀

        I was wondering what SEO tool would be helpful in telling me what my company’s rank is when it comes to a certain keyword?

        Like compared to another company, how often does my name come up compared to someone else using the same phrase.

  177. Brian Hughes :

    What are the benefits, if any, of linking to your homepage from inner pages—specifically from the body text with keyword anchor text? I’m under the impression that this helps the homepage rank better for the keywords in or near the anchor text.

    • Brian, you are completely correct. Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. Looking forward to hearing more from you 🙂

  178. Neil you done a great job. Now I got it What I actually have to be On my on Page SEO.This tips is so helpful . Thank you for guidlines.

  179. I get pleasure from, cause I discovered just what I used to be looking for. You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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  181. raspberry ketones max :

    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search
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  183. angry birds stella cheats :

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  184. It’s actually very complicated in this active life to
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  187. Diwakar Kumar :

    hi, Neil

    Sorry for to get this post so late but this is still interesting.

    I think the most common mistakes is “same anchor text link” from above. I have seen you mention this term in most of your post.

    Anyway thanks buddy. 🙂

  188. Thanks for the great info. I use my website name on all my pages at the end of the title. The one you can see at the top of the browser. Each title is unique, but also contains my website name like: “This is my super duper article” | “Mysitename”.

    Do you still recommend that I take it out? I think that would affect my rankings too if I change it right? Any idea how long that would last if I did change it? A couple months or so?

  189. Learnt a lot from this post about titles…Thanks for the post

  190. Thanks for the post neil..points noted …:)

  191. While doing Link analysis of my competitors,I found that majority of them using black hat linking building technique and they are dominating SERP and making $$$$ from it.It’s really hard for a small blog to get natural links.

    Initially I ignored meta desc,now will do it for sure.. Thanks.!!

  192. watch hindi tv serials online :

    How about submitting in blog comments. keyword rank improve.

  193. Hello Neil, I am newbie in SEO field and I got one confusion that my site has a 4 keywords and I build a same link for all that,They are all having same competitor,same content as well as same difficulty although among of that one keyword ranked out of 50 and else 3 are ranking in top 10 so I don’t understand what is the reason behind it?? Over here I would like to inform you that build all of the links for that all keywords are very same as well as anchors also.

  194. Dinesh Verma :

    Hello Friends,

    I am facing one SEO problem in which my homepage ranks higher for certain keywords than my actual article pages. If I search for XYZ keyword, then my homepage comes first with description related to the keyword.

    Please help me out.

  195. Marbella SEO :

    Will it matter much if lets say my Homepage have only 5 links, but my inner pages such as “about” has 200? All will have diversified anchor texts. Would like to know your view on this.

    Thank you.

  196. Marbella SEO :

    Got a question for you.

    Will it matter much if lets say my Homepage have only 5 links, but my inner pages such as “about” has 200? All will have diversified anchor texts. Would like to know your view on this.

    Thank you.

    • Ideally you want to add more links to your homepage as it contains more juice… that will help all of your internal pages rank higher.

  197. Muhammad Jibrin :

    I have wondered what I should do when Alexa told me I have a lot of similar anchor text. This article gives me a more understanding of the issue and the direction I should take towards creating an anchor text.


  198. I always had a confusion between title tags and meta description. After reading this, I got a clear idea on how they work. Changed them immediately. Thanks a ton for this article, Neil.

  199. Hi,
    but how would we build links? should We ask our friendly websites to include a link to our website for every of our new articles?
    Or should we buy links from other websites?

    • Never buy links — just request or create contextual links with great content.

    • Internet Colorado :

      Don’t ever buy the links. Try to earn them. If you are a business then start with business listing websites like Google Local, Yelp, GetDoorTags.com , ezLocal.com , Hotfrog and many more..

      If you are doing SEO for a person the start with profile creation websites like brandyourself, about.me etc.

      I hope these made the things clear?

  200. Hello

    Is this true that it is harder to rank the main domain for keywords than the internal pages? Thank you

  201. Thank for great advice, am trying to get to grips with all this seo stuff and when it’s not natural and about 9 million different views and opinions which is the right way on the internet it’s easy to lose focus.

    My website is quite large on-page will take slow time to build up.
    I just have to keep telling myself stop searching for new information or changing my mind just stick with the goal of starting from top all the way down… with that I mean starting top home pages etc.. categories – subcategories- products.

    Then when I’ve finished start link building & content
    Think that gets me is Google will rank a keyword 48 then 13 and then not rank at all… this baffles me as Bling is more consistent with the rankings
    However hopefully in time it will get the,

    Thanks again for great post

    Kindest Regards,

    • I know what you mean Stephen, it can be frustrating at times. And with how quickly Google changes and updates its algorithms, we can only predict what will happen next. Stay consistent and you’ll begin to notice improvements little by little everyday.

  202. Hey Neil, great article on some of the most common SEO mistakes that a lot of people make. I have over 15 years of SEO experience and most of what you stated in your article is so true! Keep writing great content, i look forward to reading your next article on SEO.

  203. Hi Neil

    Indeed a great post about SEO mistakes.

    According to me, Search engine optimization is something which can make our future If we do it the right way.

    You have listed most common seo mistakes which almost every blogger is doing.

    In order to rank instantly in SERPs, people are trying un-ethical SEO strategies like keyword stuffing, building low quality or spam links.

    Keyword stuffing is the most common and worst SEO mistake I have ever seen. People think that filling the article with so many keywords will help them to rank fast.

    But It is wrong, Nowadays Google is very much strict for such webmasters and rolling regular updates to kill these webmaster’s work.

    Copying articles from other site is also a most common seo mistake and I had also did this mistake when I started my blogging carrier But now I have completely avoided it.

    I am completely against keyword stuffing and copying content.

    Thanks for listing all the mistakes here so that people can learn about these mistakes and can try to avoid them. 😀

    • It was something that was working well 10 or something years ago, during the early ages of the internet, but it’ definitely doesn’t fly now a days. Always remember to write naturally and for people, not search engines.

  204. Hello,

    Well, Greatly described points about SEO mistakes, we make or have made in our past.

    When it started my career in blogging, the only thing I know, was writing article and building links, but majority of my articles were full of keywords and the links I was building was just spam links with optimized anchor texts.

    Also, I was not aware of internal links important, but with time everything has improved and these days, I rarely make any SEO mistake.

    But, still a huge number of newbies are making these mistakes and I sadly say, that they are wasting their valuable time.

    So, considering this, a brilliant post written, it will help many out there, searching for this.

    Keep up the good work.


    • Well just know mistakes like these happen to the best of us. As long as you are learning and growing from it, you are moving forward.

  205. VijayaPrabhu :

    Today I known All My Mistakes what are done previously. Thank You. Nice Post.

  206. Will definite try this on my website and see if there is improvements. i agree that I have made few of the these mistakes on my site as well. Once again thanks for your valuable suggestions.

    • Happens to all of us Sam. Most important part is learning from your mistakes, else you’ll keep making it over and over again.

  207. Hello Neil, I check my website with coyscape. It is showing 23% copied content. Do it will affect my ranking.

  208. Great Article man, always enjoy your articles.

  209. Swansea SEO :

    How do you ensure that any ‘content’ that is generated personally is (a) not considered duplicate content by the search engines, (b) is ‘taken’ and made into dupicate content?

    I am struggling with this particularly as I am operating in the SEO niche.

    Thanks in advance

  210. thanks for sharing the great stuff well i already had an idea but i again attained more deep info on link building

  211. Bhuboy@wealthstrategiesph :

    ” It’s because search engines don’t just try to evaluate where you should rank on a page-by-page basis, but they also look at your website as a whole. ”

    This is exactly what I am looking for when I search on google if I should build links going to my homepage or it should be the the internal pages. Now I understand better

  212. John Michael :

    Those excellent points are very useful. Great Ji… ! We always follow your Blogs. Very helpful to keep it in mind as SEO concerner. Thank you

  213. seriously, three pop overs? i closed this window instantly. (and then reopened it just to let you know youre completely overdoing it)

  214. MoneyGyaan.com :

    Thanks Neil for this guide. I have read many places about event blogging and there its a fast link building. But after reading this article, I think it is better to follow your article to stay safe in long run.

  215. Really Nice thanks nail..

  216. Thank you very much for this great article!

  217. indian railways :

    good information. i got on front page and then after few weeks google thrown me on 4th pages. my website is a month old, wat can be a reason, excessive backlinking or some another reason.

    • Have you been building excessive backlinks? Then it’s probably why. For a new site, too many backlinks will appear unnatural. Thats’s why you saw it go up and then fall back down.

  218. Abhishek kumar :

    I have posted a article http://trickweek.com/trick-generate-unlimited-reliance-jio-barcode-pc-android/ and its keyword is ” generate unlimited reliance jio barcode” . But this keyword is not even ranking in google. I have checked it with semrush tool and it shows not found 🙁 .Once i type it with my website domain like “generate unlimited reliance jio barcode trickweek” then it is ranking in first page. This keyword competition is also low then why is it occuring? Please help sir!

  219. Atta ur Rahman Khan :

    Hi Neil, Nice information you shared. I want to share my recent project ranking issue with you and expect suggestions from you. My site was going good and increasing ranking but mistakenly i got some backlinks from a hired person and he just gave me all links to Naked URL and due to that my anchor ratio of naked URL goes to 75% so after that my ranking dropped drastically and then it just stuck there. Now whats the solution can you please suggest something? And the drop is really due to this anchor ratio issue?


    • I would run it through a tool (semrush, ahrefs) to check the link quality. But you may need to disavow the links or update them if possible.

  220. dont know about any thing but i know i will fail only because of my laziness.

  221. Anchor text matching page title, you’re all set.

  222. Hi there
    Ive been following Quicksprout, Moz and reading a lots of content from seo blogs for last 3-4 years when I first heard of SEO

    Anyway to get to the point, everyone is suggesting building links to internal pages and that 100% link going to homepage is big problem.
    I was working on building links myself, all of them to my home page and Ive stopped working on backlinks still links are comming and again only to homepage.

    Im ranking on top of first page or 3 years now (You know all Google algo updates that happened in that time…)

    What Im thinking if You dont have anything to offer except 1 type of service (like I do) there is no point working on links to internal pages becouse in reality those internal pages do not have any value for visitors.

    My competitors are doing same thing and I didt see anyone penalized for having 100% links to home page.

    I would really like to hear Your thought on this

  223. Google is very particular about SEO and rankings. It seems nowadays that sites that used to use article marketing as a means of effectively promoting their sites are now being devalued and search engine rankings are suffering.

  224. Great Tips Neil !
    This line “Slow and steady really does win the race”
    I always try to follow this line, but my SEO customers don’t understand this.

  225. Bernie Nelson :

    Thank you for such an insightful post. I have a question in my mind from long time, when I put my keyword into search engine box, I get my created backlinks before my website url. Is it harmful?

    • Can you explain this a little more?

      • Bernie Nelson :

        Suppose my keyword is XYZ Florida and my website name is ABC.com, then when I put my keyword into search engine box(google.com), then I should get my website ranked , but instead of that I see my backlinks at higher position. So is this harmful or this is normal?

  226. I keep hearing that search engine optimisation isnt beneficial, could they be right
    about search engine optimisation?
    5 SEO Mistakes that Crush Rankings – The newest addition to my weekly read!

  227. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us , it helps us a lot to improve our SEO Skills

    Skovian ventures

  228. What to do if i do not want to index my web-page in search engine but need to rank it with a keyword ?

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