When it comes to Google website traffic ranking factors, there are many things that come into play. The best sources of traffic for many websites are Search Engines. When you first start investing in organic search optimization and seeing results, it gives you a sense of accomplishment.
With search engine optimization there is direct correlation between intentionally and consistently working on your website’s SEO and the multiplication of traffic.
When you multiply your efforts, your traffic will also get multiplied.
Perhaps at some point in your journey, you found out SEO is no more working for you.
If not a decline in your current traffic, maybe your efforts weren’t paying their dividend, or were just realizing slow improvements despite investing more in organic search optimization.
This means that your actions may be the ones sabotaging your SEO efforts and making it harder for you to realize significant growth in search engine traffic, or even seeing a decline.
Although it is important to be aware of the SEO best practices, learning the practices that affect it negatively, as well as what black hat SEO techniques are, is also worth the effort.
The fact is that there are many things that can hurt your site’s SEO and it’s better you know what they are so you can avoid them.
Here are 10 things that can hurt your site’s SEO and a few tips on how to fix them.
Table of Contents
1. Poor Quality Backlinks
Link referrals or backlinks have a big effect on SEO and could mean the difference between your Google website traffic rankings for your content on the first page of Google or otherwise.
Therefore, it is vital to push forward to get as many of these links as possible.
However, what you need to know before diving into this is that there are two types of backlinks.
There’s a normal backlink or what we may call a high-quality backlink, and there’s also a low or poor quality backlink.
Since the two types of backlinks are opposing each other, getting familiar with one would give you a hint for the other, so let’s see some examples of poor quality backlinks.
– Links generated by spamming.
– Backlinks from poor quality web or article directories.
– Guest blogging for backlinks on low-quality websites or those with high spam scores, etc.
So, maybe the deed is done and you’re trying to find out the particular links that are hurting your site ranking.
Well, this is a simple, straightforward process.
The first process comes from Google.
Google can contact you about unnatural outbound links stuff.
This isn’t always the case because there’s a possibility that poor quality links are hurting your site and Google may not reach out to you, so, a great way to find if you’re safe or not is through the Google search console.
To do this, go to the dashboard of your search console – “search traffic” – “Links to your site”.
Next, download and apply filters to your list based on these parameters; High spam score, low traffic, and low domain authority.
When you fetch the bad links out, it is time to employ a fix.
Disavow the links or approach the site owners where you got the backlinks from, and let them take it down and you’re good to go.
However, if Google contacted you first, you will have to submit an application for reconsideration to Google.
2. Poor Quality Content
The content on your website describes your site to users as well as to the Google organic search bot.
Because of this, you’ll need to maintain originality and quality of content because if you don’t, this may also result in a drop of your Google website traffic ranking and sometimes result in worse penalties.
There are a number of factors that result in your content being classified as poor quality content and the following are just a few of them.
– Plagiarized Content: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work without their consent. Copying and pasting content that you do not own is called plagiarism.
This attracts huge penalties and you should make sure of the total uniqueness and originality of your web content at all times.
– Content spinning: We are in the age of artificial intelligence, but still far from perfection, which is why auto-generated articles are still far from replacing a human writer. Even when they are unique, they are still ill-written and most times unreadable.
You must ensure your content is clearly readable.
If you want to learn how to write high-quality content that performs well on search engines Check out this guide.
3. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword research is vital and is a Google ranking factor which helps you to rank for your target phrases and helps you to draw the right audience from search engines that has huge conversion potential.
However, while doing keyword research you can make certain actions that will make you cross the line and cause your blog to incur a search engine penalty or strike.
This can make the Google organic search bot de-rank your page or bury it deep down in searches, which ends up bringing no traffic to your site.
To avoid this, you’ll need to make sure that you are not stuffing keywords into your content.
What this means is those keyword placements should not only be relevant but also look natural by befitting the context, and not using too many of them.
Don’t try to outsmart the algorithm.
If you are reading this and you have no clue what keyword research is or why it is important for your SEO then Click here for a free guide.
4. Poor Website Speed
Website speed is an important factor when it comes to search engine ranking. This is because the speed of your website can directly affect the experience of users of your website.
We live in a “microwave generation” where there is generally less patience and prefer the “instant” life. This is just as true when it comes to browsing on the internet.
If your pages load too slow for website visitors, they may choose to bounce off your site and go elsewhere where they don’t have to wait as long.
This means that your site would achieve low audience retention, which will cost you a significant increase in your bounce rate.
Bounce rate is a strong signal that search engines use to rank web pages, and if yours is high, it shows that users are either experiencing difficulties, or that your content is not relevant to their search queries.
When the algorithm tracks this, it will push your content down the results and push other sites up that people are staying on for longer.
To know if your website speed is good, there are several free tools to help you with this, and I will recommend Google Page Insights.
As several things may result in the poor speed of a website, some of the fixes are using caching plugins, lazy loading images, using external servers to host large files, removing dormant plugins, and more.
5. Your Website is not Secure
The security of your website is extremely important.
You probably already know this, so this is a reminder.
When your website gets hacked, chances are that it would be delisted by search engines or be left with a warning to users that they may be visiting a hacked site and to be cautious if they wish to continue.
If you get delisted, there’ll be a lot of work and time that would be required for your site to regain its ranking.
One great way to avoid this is to strengthen the security of your site, and fortunately, there are good antivirus and site security plugins that you can use.
Malware attacks also attract similar consequences website hacks.
You should also try to avoid installing a nulled theme or plugin because there is a huge potential that it will harm your website.
Installing an SSL certificate is also very important and gives search engines a peace of mind about sending you traffic without thinking twice.
6. Not Having a Mobile-Friendly Site
With 52.2% of the entire web’s traffic, coming from mobile devices, it is becoming mandatory to have a website that respects viewing on mobile phones, and is among the most essential Google SEO ranking factors.
Not having a mobile-friendly site contributes to a higher site bounce rate. It not only influences your user experience, but it also makes search engines believe that your site is not favorable to mobile users, which gives it no reason to recommend it to those searching from mobile devices.
To tap into every opportunity that will make the traffic keep coming in, and convert into leads, it is essential to make sure that your website theme is a mobile responsive one.
Having a mobile responsive theme is one of the most effective ways to make sure your site is mobile friendly.
7. Poor Hosting Services
One may find it difficult to believe that in this day and age, there are still some web hosting services offering poor hosting services.
Some of them are known for having really bad downtimes.
Because this is a recurring thing with poor hosting service providers, it is essential to find one that can help you manage your website with ease, without hurting your traffic or SEO.
Equally important to good hosting, is your hosting plan. So after picking a good web host, opt for the best hosting plan that will suit the size of your website and its future traffic.
Shared hosting is less expensive, but you don’t want to commit to it if the service is not a good fit for your site.
There are thousands of good web hosting providers who have secured good names for themselves thanks to the high-end services they provide.
A couple of good hosting providers that provide high-end services include Bluehost, Siteground and Bigscoots.
8. Adding Too Many Ads
Making money from your blog is completely ok and is the primary reason most of us choose to venture into blogging.
However, while there are many ways to monetize your blog, you don’t want to fill up every empty space on your site with advertising links just so you can make more money.
Having multiple monetization strategies will help you earn better than posting ads all over your site. Too many ads can frustrate your readers, make them lose trust and run away without returning.
One important fact to note, is that ads also affect your website’s loading speed and this is another reason that can affect your SEO ranking and cause an increase in bounce rate.**
In your attempt to put ads on your site, make sure that you create sufficient breathing spaces for your readers. And try not to over do it.
9. Cloaking or Leveraging Hidden Texts and Links
There was once a time when webmasters would present a different URL or content to Google organic search bot from the one they would present to their readers, in a process called cloaking.
However, search engines have become smarter and have overtaken this technique. They can now penalize you if they detect that this is what you are doing.
Well, sometimes you may not be aware that you are cloaking things for your site, and you are just trying to make things better.
Because of this, Google has some sets of recommendations to help in case your site is using some technologies such as codes or images that the search engine is having difficulty understanding, you can click here for the Google recommendations on how to do things right.
10. Too Many Internal Links
Adding internal links is a great way to refer your audience to other blog posts within your site, and also gain significance on your Google website traffic rankings.
Despite being one of the main google ranking factors, you should not add too many internal links because they could affect user experiences and also give search engines a bad impression of your website.
You can only put so many internal links before you start linking irrelevant posts.
If Wikipedia gets away with that many internal links per page and is doing fine, it’s because it is a different entity. but should a regular blog go close to that, chances are that it is stepping outside the boundaries and may be penalized for that.
With too many internal links, search engines can interpret that as if you are trying to perpetuate links to generate traffic to other posts that may not necessarily be relevant or valuable.
It may also take this as if you are trying to cheat the algorithm.
Those are the top 10 things that are hurting your site’s SEO, but since these are just a few, I’ll love to give you a working formula to identify more things that may be hurting your organic search optimization, so you can mold things up for better growth in search engine traffic.
Since search engines care about user experiences and for every algorithmic update that comes into show, it is geared towards improving the experiences of users; the best way to identify things that could hurt your organic search optimization is to uncover things that could hurt your user experience. Normally when you spot these, you would have spotted things that are also negatively affecting your website’s SEO.
Did any of these resonate with you? In your opinion, what other things could also be harmful to the search engine optimization of a site? Let me know in the comment below!