Ranking for competitive keywords in the SERPS is not easy. Search engine algorithms keep changing faster than most SEOs can adopt, black hat SEO’s seem to be winning (sometimes) and client demands keep rising. Understandably, out of desperation and for lack of skills, a number of SEO “experts” resort to dangerous and harmful practices to cope with the pressure. These five practices can potentially ruin your website’s SEO.
For lack of a good website design, hiding invisible text on the same background and fonts can ruin your SEO. This is because the intention of this is to lie to the search engines that you have the right content when in reality, you don’t. As a result, searcher experience is bad. You might be lucky if search engines ignore your website from top results, but war unto you if they ban your website from their index! Ideally, all content must be relevant and visible to searchers and search engines.
The act cloaking is something similar to using invisible text to manipulate search engine algos, but only showing one thing to the search engines crawlers to make them rank you on top, and then pointing your visitors to something entirely different and unrelated to their queries (mostly porn, illegal prescription drugs, gambling materials, etc.). Most SEOs (black hat) use pseudo redirects to drive their visitors to unrelated pages. This eventually leads to poor searcher experience or suffering the eventual penalties which ruin your SEO completely.
Duplication of content adds no value to the search engine index; neither does it provide value to readers. Duplicating your ideas and content on your website erodes your website’s authority on a given topic. To avoid ruining your SEO, it’s the best practices to remove all duplicate content from your website both on-page through the correct canonicization of links, and off-page.
Spam adds zero value to internet searchers, and worse, it may (will) ruin your SEO efforts when used as an attempt to manipulate the search engines. Even worse, spam costs a lot of money to implement and mending its consequences is even more costly. While keyword stuffing and buying useless links is the most common form of spamming in the SEO community, it all leads to damaging your SEO irreparably,
Overall, a lot of the things you’re think harm your SEO, truly do. Adding anything already indexed by the search engines, doing anything to lie to searchers, or manipulate the search engine results will potentially ruin your SEO beyond repair.