Having your site properly indexed by a search engine seems more difficult with each passing year.  It would seem that search engines are doing everything they can to prevent content from being indexed—and that only huge corporations are benefiting.

The reality though is that these search sites ARE doing everything possible to prosper and increase traffic.  That means it is very necessary to sophisticate the indexing criteria and qualify quality content for their readers.

What are five mistakes you can avoid to prevent being penalized or blacklisted by major search engines?  Let’s review…

1.      Keyword Stuffing

This doesn’t just mean using a set of keywords and phrases too many times; this also means over-using anchor text for subheadings and links too often repeated.  Using the same keywords and phrases in too many articles across the net can also be problematic.  Remember, use keywords sparingly and write for your readers instead.  Make sure your major keywords match those on your meta tags too and update them whenever you publish new articles.

2.      Repeated Webcrawling

This is a habit of most spammers.  It doesn’t matter if you submit them by hand or use an automated program.  Once per site is enough.  If your site’s traffic starts diminishing, only consider resubmitting it weeks or months apart.  So use a program that submits to the major or minor search engines and link directories just once.

3.      Invisible Anything

Invisible text is the worst possible move; spammers use this tactic to “hide keywords” in the background behind texts and frames.  It’s old school SEO trickery and it still continues today.  Hiding links, texts or anything else can get you instantly de-ranked.  The best approach is making it uber-easy for page crawling programs to find everything your readers can see and making all of that visible to your readers.  (i.e. site maps or pings)

4.      Frames and Splash Screens

Frames and splash screens not only impede bot crawlers, but also purveyors of your content.  Most bots will fail to read your content with any frames in the script or splash (also called animated or flash pages).  The bots struggle and fail to read flash and cannot follow links embedded within fancy intro pages.

5.      Bad Link Exchanges

While it may seem great on the surface since linkbacks act as votes for search rank, search engines are being configured more and more to be aware of the quality of where those links are coming from.  While article marketing and guest blogging still work for link building, mindless link exchanges with sites that don’t really match, or spam-commenting, are ridiculously unsafe SEO strategies.

What is the sure-fire way to not get penalized?  Write for your audience and go look for your audience the old-fashioned way with regular relationship building and advertising!