In the practice of SEO, you need to be cautious of some of the red flags that possess the power to damage your credibility and totally dismember all of the hard work you put in your SEO campaign. The outcome sounds horrible, but don’t panic yet! Let’s walk through some of the red flags that you should aim to avoid in any SEO practice to ensure that all of your hard work stays intact:

    1. Keep your SEO tactics to yourself – All it takes is one bitter blog reader, affiliate or competitor to issue a complaint to Google detailing the nature of your SEO tactics. For example, John Chow (author of – a blogger of considerable notoriety, openly discussed on his blog how he asked bloggers to link back to his blog with an anchored keyword. The end result? Google laid down the hammer and it took him over a year to regenerate a decent Page Rank.
    2. Don’t over-optimize your site with target keywords – Google indexes everything according to relevance, and not only this, it also has filters in place to nullify any keywords or phrases that have been aggressively targeted in landing pages or in meta tags. How to avoid this? Be liberal. Make your content relevant, and ensure that the application of your keywords isn’t too over-bearing. Take an outsider’s perspective – if someone can read your text and easily identify and keyword repetition, Google most certainly will act the same way. The key is to work with Google, and not against it.
    3. Don’t sculpt your Page Rank using tag attributes – Namely, the ‘rel=nofollow’ tag attribute, Google has since decided to disregard the value of this tag and for quite a valid reason. It was being used to nullify link authority and re-direct link juice to target landing pages – known more formally as ‘page rank sculpting’. Some companies still choose to manipulate this tactic, but we recommend that it is something you should avoid – this technique is tired and highly temperamental.
    4. Artificial link profiles – Google filters out sites if their link profiles match any of the following criteria:
      • Links are too close together, or similar links recur through your page frequently.
      • The anchor text of all of your links is identical (they all re-direct to the same landing page).
      • You’re links aren’t deep enough to other pages
      • Links are low quality and irrelevant to the site content
      • If there are sidebar and footer links – these rank poorly.
      • Too many reciprocal links

Don’t try and manipulate Google’s search algorithm, as you will be quickly identified and neutralized!

Right, so it sounds a little bit scarier than it actually is, but it’s not worth taking the chance. Finally, a common sense practice – Don’t use SEO to promote spammy websites! Adhere to the guidelines, and work with the Google algorithm.