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There are several bad practices that can have a counter productive effect on your SEO efforts, most of these factors involve breeching the terms of service of major search engines such as Yahoo and Google, but there are other things that can have a damaging impact such as rendering content or navigation in a manner that search engines cannot easily read or understand. In this article I will outline a few of the blunders which I regularly come across as a professional provider of SEO Services. These issues will lead to your sites rankings being penalized, and by avoiding these practices where possible and correcting any of the below that are currently affecting your website, you will improve your websites on page SEO and make your website more easily spidered by Googlebot.
1. Links To Bad Neighborhoods.
Search engines realize that you cannot regulate who links to you, and they will not penalize you for having links from sites of a dubious nature, after all if this were the case it would be all too easy for unscrupulous web masters to sabotage the websites of their competitors by building a few links pointing to their websites from free for all links farms and other low trust type sites. However, they also recognize that you have 100% control over who you choose to link out to. If you make a poor decision and link to a spammy site or a link farm then you will be penalized as a result, so choose who you link to very carefully.
2. Flash Navigation.
Despite the fact that Google can now read some information from flash files, this does not mean that the day when a website can rely on flash as its sole form of navigation has arrived, in fact its still along way off. If you have flash navigation on your website, then make sure its supported by text links. Also don’t forget that not everyone has flash installed on their browser (or wants it installed) so your text links will also expand the overall usability of your website.
3. Splash Pages.
Adding a splash page as your websites homepage is a sure way to loose visitors and kick your websites rankings to the gutter. The homepage of a domain is the single most important page, therefore it makes absolutely no sense to use to display a page which contains little or no text and basically consists of a pretty picture with a “click to enter” link. How would you feel if you went to a shop to buy something for your dinner, only to find a massive banner hung over the doorway to the shop and a button saying “push to enter”? Splash pages are aggravating to users, and will actually result in a reasonable percentage of those lucky enough to have actually found your website to leave right there and then. Additionally the splash page is never going to even be indexed by google as it contains no textual content, therefore you have thrown away the most important page of your whole website. If you have a splash page, do everyone a favor and remove it. As a provider of SEO Services, I have yet to find anything that gives me more personal pleasure than removing a splash page!
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