Top 10 ways to KILL your rankings

Websites often depend on their rankings on the result pages of popular search engines to drive inbound traffic and eventually monetize their efforts. Sites methodically adopt a range of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to get into the good books of the search engine ranking algorithms while also ensuring that they still remain user-friendly in terms of aesthetics and content. SEO processes are usually long drawn, and take constant and continuous efforts over considerable amounts of time before yielding positive results, a high SERP rank in this case.


While it takes a lot of effort and time to reach the top ranks of the SERP, it is quite easy to plunge into obscurity because of some careless mistakes committed in an attempt to gain quick attention. Here are ten most easy ways (mistakes, to be precise) to kill hard-earned Google rankings.

1. Replicated or Copied Content 

Search engines are quite wary of ranking copies of same content that have been reproduced verbatim across the site. Different versions of auto-generated content are so similar to each other, nearly serving as duplicate copies that are very easily detected and ignored by the indexing algorithms.

2. Hidden Text

Hidden text of different formats that is usually not visible to the visitor does influence the search engine rankings. However consistent use of hidden text to improve SERP rankings will prove more detrimental rather than an advantage in the long run because ultimately it is the visible text that draws the attention of the user.

3. Cloaking

This process is very similar to hiding text but done on a larger scale to present totally different versions of the content to the user and the search engine. Google guidelines expect same content to be visible to both end user and its search engine spiders. Variations, if detected, can lead to fatal consequences such as being blacklisted from indexing process, or other ranking penalties.

4. Redundancy and Keyword Stuffing

Irrelevant content or relevant content interspersed with unwanted keywords leads to over optimization of content making it impossible for the end-user to make any sense of the content. Excessive internal linking and keyword usage may not really result in high ranks.

5. Promoting Paid Links

Websites that sell links purely for SEO purposes, to improve ranking of another website by placing paid inbound links on its pages are sure to be penalized by Google. If these links serve to simply monetize advertising efforts, then the site may be spared from the wrath of the Search engine bots.

6. Link Exchanges

Mutual exchange of links without adequate analysis of the partner site is bound to have a negative impact as the partner site may not be a quality or authoritative site. Reciprocal linking leading to link farms may also prove futile and harmful to the SERP ranking. Links to malware and banned websites, and links with consistently same anchor texts as well as unattended broken links also bring down the sites ranking.

7. Doorway Pages

Pages that simply serve to redirect the visitor to other website purely for marketing purposes are bound to be simply ignored by the search engines.

8. Website Redesign

Redesigning website structure, internal links, replacing pages of optimized content done out of sheer enthusiasm to present a better picture often result in obscurity.

9. Content Management Systems

Often organizational revamp and consolidation of operations result in technology upgrades and CMS changes resulting in renaming of files and URLS, changes in web page formats that were originally used to launch a site. This totally confuses the search engine’s snapshot of the site, causing a re-ranking that may not really be favorable.

10. Over Advertising 

With the recent Panda update from Google, large number of irrelevant advertisements above the ‘fold’ of the web pages that interfere with the user-experience has been a major factor that has impacted the rankings of several prominent sites.

Influencing the SERP rankings is mandatory, but playing it fair makes it a win-win attempt for both the website and the end-user. Over emphasis is a sure way to kill SERP rankings.

About the author: Diana Maria is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she’s fond of books. Recently an article on dc 37 attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on left brain right brain test.