15 Ways to Screw Up Your SEO and Really Piss Google Off

If you’ve kept up with industry news you’ll know that Google have just denounced the use of guest blogging for SEO. Their head of web spam Matt Cutts says the whole process has just got too spammy.

Matt’s job is to make sure Google provides search results that are relevant and informative for the searcher and that results are free of sites using black hat SEO techniques to manipulate the rankings. Matt and Google have released a series of animal themed algorithm updates over the past few years to help combat these techniques, a process that has led to some within the industry to refer to them as the Google Zoo.

That’s the theme in our infographic below which talks about these updates and outlines the SEO techniques they try to combat.

15 SEO Techniques That Will Really Piss Google Off

Unnatural Link Profiles

Google’s Penguin update is designed to penalise sites who try to artificially improve their ranking using unnatural link building techniques. Unnatural links include:

  • Guest blogging
  • Article directories
  • Reciprocal link schemes
  • Low quality directory links
  • Blog comment spam 

Poor Quality Content

Google’s Panda update is designed to penalise sites with poor quality content that provide little or no value to visitors. Any of the following can be deemed poor quality by Google:

  • Duplicate content
  • Spun content
  • Scraped content
  • No original content
  • Excessive use of ads

Keyword Stuffing

Don’t stuff as many of the same repetitive keywords as you can within the meta tags and content of your site. Using keywords is important to tell Google what a web page is about, but using them excessively will just land you in trouble. 

Hidden Text

I bet you think you’re clever hiding that white text over your white background?  You’ve probably stuffed a load of keywords in there too just for good measure? Nothing screams spammer quite like it!


Do not present different content to the search engines to that displayed in your visitor’s browser. It’s as sneaky as they come and if detected will lead to your site being blacklisted instantly!

Google Maps Spam

Google shows maps listings for a lot of local based searches and most of them appear above the natural search results. Don’t add a load of listings in towns you don’t operate in, Google checks these things!

Microsite Spam

Do not create multiple websites that rank for the same keywords! You might take up more space on Google and force out your competitors for a little while, but Google can tell when websites are owned by the same people.