SEO No-No’s: 5 things you didn’t know affected your Google ranking

As we all should know by now, there are three main SEO factors that will positively affect your Google ranking. These are:

  • Unique, good quality content
  • Relevant and well used keywords
  • High quality inbound and outbound links

But what about those things that negatively impact your Google ranking? Many businesses are following poor SEO practice without even realising it. Luckily, it’s easy to identify these problems and correct them. Here are our top 5 SEO no-no’s that are probably affecting your Google ranking.


Slow loading speed

Did you know that if your website isn’t optimised for mobile, Google will penalise you?

If your page is too slow to load on mobile, or blocks CSS, JavaScript, or images, you’re hindering your chances of ranking. Mobile responsive web design is one factor that will help your website rank in searches. Plus, providing a good user experience will keep visitors on your website for longer!


Pop ups

As of January 2017, Google also started to penalise websites with annoying pop ups.

In their official statement, Google said, “pages that show intrusive interstitials (pop ups) provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

Google are entirely focussed on the user when it comes to what they consider worthy of ranking on the first page of a search, and they’re not wrong to be, either – I think we can all sympathise with the feeling of having fingers that are too fat to click the ‘X’ button!

The best thing to do to get round this is to prompt your audience to take action through providing quality content and a compelling call to action, rather than twisting their arm with an intrusive pop up.

Duplicate content

If there’s one simple rule to follow when it comes to good SEO practice, it’s be unique.

Remember, there are two types of duplicate content – the type that happens on one domain and the type that happens across multiple domains. The first might include product descriptions that appear on different pages, for example, while the second is identical content from different sources.

Why is it an issue? In a nutshell, if Google already has something in its index, there’s no incentive for them to index another web page that is essentially the same. Users can get this information elsewhere.

However, duplicate content is a little bit trickier than you might think. It happens for multiple reasons, such as how URL parameters or Session IDs replicate a URL.  For a closer look at how duplicate content is created and how it can be avoided, we recommend you check out this post by Moz.


Bad links

Earlier this year, Google Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev confirmed that content and links are the two most important ranking factors for Google.

The quality of the links you use and the websites that link to you are becoming an increasingly important factor in a business’s Google ranking. When writing a blog post, always ensure that you’re linking to reputable websites and not to questionable sources or spam. This will avoid your website being painted with the spam-by-association brush. Also, paying for links back to your website might give you short-term successes, but sooner or later Google will identify that the link was not an organic one and respond accordingly.


Cloaking is the act of presenting different content to genuine visitors to your site than t the crawlers that trawl the web for the info on which to base your ranking. In simple terms, it’s delivering content based on the person who is viewing it. One way to view cloaking is that it’s lying to Google about what content you’re offering. However, by that definition, location-based results that lead to a generic page (such as when you search for ‘Web Design Birmingham’) is also cloaking. When it comes to cloaking, businesses have to be careful about the reasons they’re doing it and how different the actual content is from the presented content. Most search engines will remove results and sometimes even blacklist websites if they find evidence of cloaking.


Does your business need a mobile responsive website? Or content to help drive traffic to your website? Get in touch to find out how Digital Glue can help!

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