Maile Ohye, one of the lead developers at Google discussed in one of her videos common SEO mistakes that webmasters can make with their sites. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is something that webmasters place great value in because it helps to determine where their site shows up on search engines. In order to be popular, websites need to be placed high on search engines in order to generate traffic. Websites can be filled with great content, but that only means so much if the website is appealing to such a small audience because it has been poorly optimized and isn’t actually showing up in searches.

Standing Out

The first thing that webmasters need to look at is what makes their website stand out from all of the other websites that will be showing up in search results. Some websites might offer a specific service, while other websites might want to focus on how long they have been around, or even emphasize some of the uploaders or writers that add content to the site. Without these, there’s nothing that tells the user what makes the website special, and gives them no incentive to visit that site, with the user likely just scrolling past it and moving onto a site that shows they have more to offer.

Workarounds and Marketing

Many new webmasters can make the mistake of trying to find ways to trick search engines in order to appear higher in ranking by basically trying to convince the search engines that a number of different keywords will apply to their site, so when users are searching for something they are likely to stumble upon the site. This sounds good in practice, but ultimately ends up being a waste of time for the webmaster, since the workarounds will ultimately be caught.

On top of that, the users aren’t going to return to the site or recommend it once they realize that it doesn’t actually contain any of the content that they were searching for. Drawing in users is certainly important, but so is actually keeping the users and giving them reasons to return; otherwise a site will have a small surge in popularity, but then quickly dwindle away because nobody has any reason to go back to it.

Video: 5 common mistakes in SEO (and 6 good ideas!)

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