What could be the possible backlash if we did our SEO wrong and how do we recover from it?
This is a great question, and it’s one I get a lot from business owners who are new to the idea of content marketing, digital marketing and search engine optimization. It’s usually worded something like this:
“I’m a SEO newbie so before I implement all the possible ways of optimizing our website, I just want to know what could be the possible repercussions if we did our SEO the wrong way? Will our website be banned from search engines, especially from Google? Or any other worst-case scenario? And if this happens, how can we remedy the situation? Please do advice, thanks in advance.”
The backlash from not doing your homework on SEO can ultimately lead a loss in organic search visibility. Only the worst offenders buying spammy backlinks, stuffing websites with keywords and using a great deal of black hat SEO techniques are completely removed from the index. This is pretty rare for business owners unless you hire an SEO company and don’t stay educated about what they’re doing for you.
It can also happen when you take your SEO advice from random blogs.
In most cases, business owners who attempt online marketing and optimization without research and a clear strategy (and occasionally slip into small violations of the Google TOS) will find that their rank drops. This can be a drop of a few spots on the same page, or getting dumped 10, 20, 40 or more pages back in the index.
Google doesn’t do this to penalize you, or intentionally hurt you in anyway because you did something terribly wrong. It’s done because Google is a business. Their mission is to deliver the best possible search results to every “customer”. If people are gaming the results and they’re not delivering value, Google doesn’t want you at the front of the pack – so you get bumped.
In most cases, fixing the issue remedies things in short order. the next time your site is indexed, and there are no red flags, you’ll see things improve. The only downside is that you aren’t typically notified of where you went wrong.
Because of the variety of approaches to SEO, there’s a lot that you can do that is wrong, but there’s plenty you can do right. Most things are easy to fix however. If you take the time to look through the Google TOS -and- check out the SEO Periodic Table of Ranking Factors on Search Engine Journal, you’ll have a good idea of what to avoid.
Bad quality link building and paying for spammy links is usually where a lot of business owners an marketers get burned. Google is making it easy to fix this however, as they’re introducing a tool to let you disavow links in case you wound up with some links in bad neighborhoods that are hurting your rank.
The best weapon to avoid getting slid back in the search results is to always build your strategy around content. focus on creating value, don’t try to stuff keywords in. Make it sharable, easy to find, easy to access and digest, and make sure there’s a real take away. Social sharing and content marketing are the new link building tools.