Basic SEO Mistakes to Avoid for a Long-Term Success

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Predicting Google and its SEO is like predicting the weather forecast; sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. The methods we used to rank websites yesterday, won’t work today. SEO is a continues process, Google changes its search engine algorithm on a regular basis, and the metrics they consider to rank is kind of secrets to us. We can’t really depend on anything, but, however, we can avoid some basic SEO mistakes that can save our website/blog from getting penalized by Google.

Many newbies who are new to blogging and SEO will make some basic mistakes, I did too. So today I’m going to explain some of the basic SEO mistakes that you should avoid.

If you want to build a long-term business through your website/blog, then make sure to read these below points carefully.

So what are those basic SEO mistakes to avoid in order to survive long in blogging?

Below are the things that you should not do in order to avoid getting penalized by Google.

Aggressive Link-Building

Since people found out that building backlinks are the main thing that helps them to get more PageRank and good search engine rankings, they started to build backlinks aggressively. The fact is, it is against Google’s policy. Even though Google doesn’t say you shouldn’t build links, but when you try to build links aggressively you’ll definitely get hit by the Google algorithms like the penguin.

Those who don’t know, Google Penguin is an algorithm which penalizes the websites that involve in black-hat link building methods.

As you can read on google web master blog; it suggests build link naturally and never try to manipulate their algorithm. But many people don’t listen and build backlinks as much as possible aggressively. The result? – Their sites got affected.

Google algorithms are smart enough to identify the difference between natural links and unnatural links. I made this kind of mistake before, one of my sports website disappeared from Google within a couple of months. I applied reconsideration request to google, they didn’t give me the exact reason, they only said; your site might have hit by one of our algorithm.

Once you get Google penalty it is difficult to recover, it might take some weeks or months to recover. I decided to expel that sports site.

Apart from Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, Google has some other small algorithms that operates on a daily basis. So never to try manipulate Google by building links aggressive or unnaturally.

And don’t make a mistake by commenting only on dofollow enabled commentluv sites. Imagine if people remove the commentluv plugin; you’ll suddenly lose lots of backlinks and that is not good for SEO.

Buying, Selling or Exchanging links

You might escape from charges after murdering a person in real-life, but you can’t escape from Google’s eyes for very long doing black-hat link building stuffs.

Many people do this blackhat link building stuffs, they buy links to rank websites; Of course paid links might help you to boost your rankings for some time, but your site will definitely get penalized by Google in a long-run. So never try to buy links for your site and also never try to do link exchange with your friends and other web masters. Also, building links from non-related niche might hurt your site, so avoid it.

Only use white-hat link building techniques: easy and effective ways to build links is by guest-posting, you get a quality backlink and a relevance authority as well.

Running behind PageRank

Another major mistake people do is, run behind PageRank; they try all the stuff in the world to get good PageRank. Earlier, there was an assumption that links from many good sites alone can give you a high PageRank. However, in a recent PR update Google gave shock to many people who ran behind PageRank. I think this time Google considered other factors like social presence, domain age, relevance links, etc.

After I got hit by a google penalty for my sports site, I build this site slowly and naturally; I just wrote 5 guest posts so far (one on ShoutMeLoud ) and barely commented on 300 blogs, but still got PR:1 easily. Even though it’s not that great, I’m happy. So the lesson is simple, build websites naturally and do not run behind PageRank.

Not Optimizing your Website

This is another mistake that can affect your site. Just pick out some websites from top search engine results, and examine their sites, and you’ll see a lot of difference between them and low ranked sites. These all top sites are well optimized for search engines.

There are two types of SEO Optimization

  • On-Page Optimization
  • Off-Page Optimization

On-Page Optimization

On-Page Optimization happens within the site like; speeding up your website, adding decent title tags, alt tags, anchor texts, submitting sitemaps on webmaster tools, using Google authorship, adding breadcrumbs, etc.

Speed plays very important factor in on-page optimization, if a website is slower than 3 sec; it is very likely to rank low, Because Google loses some percentage of audience with each second delay. So make sure to speed up your site for better ranks while optimizing. There are many methods to speed up your site like; by adding CDN (Content delivery network), adding cache plugins, optimizing images, better hosting, etc.

Adding Meta descriptions and Title tags are very important, also another-texts plays the major role in keyword rankings; be careful not to overuse anchor texts, otherwise your site will be penalized for over-optimization. I use Premium On-page SEO plugin SEOPressor to optimize my site.

So you should manage these things carefully while optimizing.

Off-Page Optimization

Off-Page Optimization includes building links naturally, social media presence, guest blogging etc. As I mentioned above, build link naturally by writing guest posts or commenting on blogs; you don’t have to write 15-20 guest posts, a couple of guest posts on top quality sites can provide good relevance links and reputation. Make sure not to build links from different niches that are not related to your site; Google might consider it as a paid link.

Writing Low quality or Duplicate content

If you’re writing low-quality or duplicate content on your blog, there is a high chance of getting penalized by Google. According to Google, low-quality contents are the thin contents that add no extra value to the audience. Earlier, writing 300-400 word articles were enough, but not anymore; now Google values and ranks in-depth articles; the articles which provide complete information, the articles which are very helpful for readers. So try to write well-researched articles and build a website that helps the audience.

And talking about duplicate content, never publish a stolen content on your blog; Google bots are smart enough to identify it. One more thing is, try to avoid internal duplication; when you add lots of tags and categories, sometimes Google sees it as multiple pages, and this might not be good for SEO wise, so it’s better to add a nofollow attribute to tags and categories. Also, make sure to exclude unnecessary pages from indexing.

Internal duplicate pages

There are some occasions where internal duplication can occur by errors unknowingly. For example; http and https errors, sometimes Google indexes multiple URLs of a same page. For example; “” and “” are same pages, but Google indexes it as multiple pages because of small error. These types of errors can lower your site rankings unknowingly, so often check for these errors. To find internal duplicate contents you can use online tools like siteliner.

If you’re a WordPress user, I highly recommend you to use SEO plugin by Yoast. With this plugin you can control everything related to SEO from adding nofollow attributes to creating sitemaps.

Most of the time Google will warn you through webmaster tools about internal structure errors. however, it is wise to check for these errors manually.


No matter how smart you are, making these basic SEO mistakes will definitely drown your site, so make sure to avoid these silly SEO mistakes to survive long in blogging. Optimize your site for SEO in a right way and avoid doing these seo mistakes, you’ll get great results.


Adithya Shetty is the creator of The Blog Metrics, a site that is dedicated to WordPress, blogging, and marketing since 2013. He's a Minimalist who loves to read and write.