7 Greenhand SEO Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Although titled "SEO Pitfalls", this article may not provide in-depth information for experienced webmasters, but it's definitely suitable for novice SEO enthusiasts!

7 Greenhand SEO Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
Whether you're just starting out in the industry, managing your own part-time website, or working as an SEO specialist in a company, I believe that after reading this article, you will definitely gain something valuable!

Well, let's dive into the content and see what useful insights we can extract.

🚫Don’t Make These Modifications in SEO

First things first, let's talk about the untouchable modifications in SEO. There are countless SEO tutorials out there, each claiming to have the best practices for setting up your URLs. However, none of them seem to emphasize the importance of not making changes to your website's links once it's already online. Why is that? Well, it's not that they are unaware of the potential risks involved. It's just that if they told you not to make any modifications, how would they make money from consulting fees?

For most websites, once the search engine spiders start crawling and indexing your pages, the structure of your links becomes "locked down." Trust me on this, don't mess with them! Countless webmasters have learned this the hard way. Modifying your links generally translates to one thing: "losing authority." Some might argue that you can simply implement 301 redirects, but who told you that 301 redirects won't result in a loss of website authority? No one!

Of course, there is an exception. If your site's URLs are absolutely terrible, like ridiculously long strings exceeding 100 characters, which severely hinder indexation, then yes, you should consider making modifications. But for other types of URLs, it's generally advised not to touch them, mate!

🚫Do Not Meddle with Your Blog

Let's talk about the importance of not constantly meddling with your website. I've seen numerous websites that started making continuous adjustments right from the moment they went live. And what happened? Without any surprises, their website data ended up in a complete mess! A competent SEO professional knows better than to make frequent adjustments to a website or perform online operations unnecessarily.

Why is that? Well, think about it logically. If your house is under constant renovation, would anyone be willing to visit? The same applies to search engine spiders. The stability of your website is crucial. It's directly linked to the snapshot rules. If your site is unstable, it will waste the search engine's resources. That's why it's shameful to waste resources. So, remember, keep your hands in check when there's nothing to fix!

🚫Don’t always chase after perfection

Don't always chase after perfection. You come across an article claiming that a particular adjustment is the best, but let me tell you, in website optimization, there is no such thing as "the best," but rather "the most suitable." The same problem can have different solutions for websites with varying levels of authority.

Let me give you a simple example using the current ChatGPT. Some websites with high authority can publish thousands of GPT-generated articles daily without any issues because they have already gained the trust of search engines. But for a new website, doing the same might result in no indexing, effectively killing it. That's the harsh reality. Not all extreme methods are suitable for your current situation.

Don't always strive for the extreme. You must find the right balance in all aspects of optimization. Only by staying within the boundaries of this industry can you ensure your safety.

By this point, you might be wondering what can be changed and what cannot. Let me simplify it for you: If you're certain that a specific issue is severely limiting your website's growth, then it's necessary to make changes. Otherwise, as a beginner, it's best not to make any modifications.

For example, if a website's URL exceeds 100 characters in length, it definitely needs to be changed. It goes beyond the normal range for websites. Similarly, if someone's website has a directory depth of three or four levels, and yours has eight or nine levels, it's equally excessive. Do you understand the concept now?

🚫Don’t Simply Focus On Quantity and Aggregate Tags Indiscriminately

You have the option to add new categories to your website:

  • Adding new sections or categories: In general, adding new sections or categories to your website won't impact the existing rankings, as long as they are not poorly executed. Sometimes, you may notice that a specific section of a website has exceptionally good rankings. Therefore, adding new sections can be an important way to steadily improve your rankings. Additionally, you can consider using subdomains for different sections.
  • Adding new pages: What does it mean to add new pages? Simply put, it means leveraging existing resources to generate more pages. For example, utilizing article tags effectively can create additional pages. If you learn how to optimize tags properly, this approach can become a powerful tool to enhance your website's performance.

However, I must emphasize one point: Don't simply focus on quantity and aggregate tags indiscriminately.

It's recommended to have at least five related articles under a single tag. If you can't meet this criterion, avoid aggregation. The worst scenario is having only one or two articles per tag aggregation. While it might not be detrimental for large-scale websites, small websites engaging in haphazard aggregation will not only fail to see improvements but also risk negative consequences.

🚫Don’t Rush to Write Original Content

While I understand your perspective, I must clarify a few points regarding original content creation:

  • Efficiency vs. Quality: It's true that creating original content can be time-consuming compared to using existing articles. However, the efficiency argument should not overshadow the importance of quality. Original content allows you to provide unique insights, perspectives, and value to your audience, which can ultimately build trust and credibility. While it may take longer to produce, the long-term benefits can outweigh the initial time investment.
  • Plagiarism and Copyright: It's crucial to respect intellectual property rights and avoid plagiarism. Simply copying and slightly modifying someone else's article can still be considered unethical and potentially infringe on copyright laws. Utilizing others' work without proper permission or attribution is not a sustainable or recommended approach.
  • AI-generated Content: AI-generated content, such as using GPT models, can be a helpful tool in content creation. However, it's important to use it responsibly. AI-generated content should be carefully reviewed, edited, and supplemented with human expertise to ensure accuracy, coherence, and relevance.

In summary, while there are alternative methods to content creation, originality, and quality should not be overlooked. It's crucial to strike a balance between efficiency and providing unique value to your audience.

🚫Don’t Show the Same Article under Different URLs

You can check the website's logs and examine the site's index to see if there are instances where an article appears under different URLs. If there is a lack of uniqueness, the best approach is to use the canonical tag to establish link authority. However, it's worth noting that the 301 redirects from the top-level domain to the WWW should be exempted.

To ensure that URLs are unique, you can take a few steps. Firstly, keep an eye on the website's logs, which provide valuable information about the URLs accessed by users. By analyzing these logs, you can identify any instances where the same article may have different URLs. This could happen due to various reasons, such as URL variations, duplicate content issues, or URL parameters.

Secondly, examine the site's index and check if there are multiple URLs leading to the same content. This can be done by performing a site search on search engines or using webmaster tools provided by search engines themselves.

If you discover instances of non-unique URLs, it's important to address this issue promptly. One effective solution is to utilize the canonical tag. The canonical tag is an HTML element that allows you to specify the preferred URL for a particular piece of content. By implementing the canonical tag correctly, you can consolidate the ranking signals and authority of different URLs into a single, preferred URL.

For example, let's say you have an article titled "The Best Travel Destinations" that is accessible through multiple URLs such as example.com/travel-destinations and example.com/best-destinations. To ensure uniqueness, you can add the canonical tag to all the URLs pointing to this article and specify the preferred URL, such as example.com/travel-destinations, as the canonical URL.

🚫Don’t Generate a Large Number of Blank Pages:

Ensure that your website doesn't have a plethora of blank pages. For instance, pages that result from certain filtering conditions and have no matching results or have only a minimal number of results should be avoided if possible. Let's not have them exist!

Another aspect to consider is unnecessary membership pages, as they are prone to generating blank pages. The best approach in such cases is to block them using the robots.txt file.

So, that's all for today's content. Even if you're an SEO novice, remembering these seven key elements will not only help optimize your website's rankings but also ensure its steady progress. This advice comes from an industry veteran who sincerely wants to help you!

Any other SEO Pitfalls?

Now, if you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. I'm here to help you navigate the world of SEO and improve your website's performance.