Top 20 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

There are many mistakes done by web masters while optimizing their site for search engines. Most of them are very simple SEO mistakes and the site can perform really well if they are fixed at the earliest.

Here I would like to list around top 20 SEO mistakes that should be avoided for getting better website performance and search engine rankings. This list might miss many other points and I request every one to comment me back if they find any missing points.

1) Discrepancies between the Title and the Content
This is one of the major issues that most of the website faces while doing SEO. There would be no relation between Title tags and the content present on a particular web page. This may be done either by mistake, due to ignorance or in an effort to promote the keywords in an aggressive way. But this irrelevancy is sure to harm your search engine rankings and should be fixed at the earliest to avoid further damages.
2) Irrelevant Content
If your site content is not relevant to the objective of your site, then there is not use in doing SEO. The content of your site should reflect your site’s objective, services, products etc.

3) Complex Content
The content should be kept as simple as possible and no body would be willing to go through complex content. Even if there are some technical specifications to be mentioned, try to keep it as simple for others to understand.

4) Less Content
Having very less content can also harm your SEO activities. You site should have enough content to support your keywords and enhance your SEO campaigns.

5) Over Usage of Keywords
Over usage of your targeted keywords in any area of the website is a big mistake which should be avoided. Usually website owners tries to over stuff keywords on areas such as Title, Meta tags, content etc and such practices only diminishes the search visibility of the website and its keywords.

6) Gaming the Search Engines
Using black hat techniques to fool the search engine is a serious SEO mistake and once caught you would be punished severely by the search engines. So always go with the white hat SEO techniques to consistently stay afloat among the search engines.

7) Over Usage of Flash Files
Over use of flash files in the website may hamper its search engine rankings. If you need to have flash files, have it on the home page only along with enough text based content.

8) Using scripts and CSS files inside the pages
The use of scripts and CSS codes inside a web page is not highly recommended. You can call the scripts and CSS from an external file, as the scripts and CSS codes inside a web page makes it difficult for search engine spiders to crawl through the pages.

9) Using non SEO friendly URLs
Using non SEO friendly URLs may prevent your website in ranking higher with the major search engines. So always use SEO friendly URLs which helps us the spiders to read it comfortably and also in getting better search engine rankings.

10) Over Usage of Images
Images can be used in the web pages but in a moderate way. Images should be given ALT tags keeping the size of the image under control. The use of image as headings should be replaced with text.

11) Broken Links
Broken links are not at all tolerated and should be found out and fixed immediately. It is also a great idea to have a customized 404 error page for these broken links.

12) Non SEO friendly Site Layout
Non SEO friendly website layout may create difficulties for the search engine spiders while crawling and hence the site’s layout should be made as SEO friendly as possible.

13) High Site loading Time
Due to some or other reasons many website have high site loading time, which makes the users to go away from the site. Google also recommends to have fast loading sites for better site performance and hence it is always better to reduce the site loading time.

14) Use of Duplicate Title and Meta Tags
Many of the website have duplicate title and meta tags which is not encouraged by the major search engines. Each and every page should have unique and relevant Title and Meta Tags, which helps the site in getting better search engine ranking.

15) Use of Frame
Frames are used by many web masters to enhance the look and feel of the website. But frames are not supported by the search engines and it is better to avoid them.

16) Use of duplicate content
Sites with duplicate content are sure to get penalized by the search engines. So it is better to have unique and attractive content for your website.

17) Bulk Directory Submissions
Many people around considers bulk directory submissions as a major means of getting back links. The fact is that the major search engines do not give much importance to directory submissions (especially the free low quality directories). So rather than going for bulk directory submissions, it is better to handpick few relevant high quality directories and submit manually into them.

18) Improper Robots.txt File
If the robots.txt file of a website is not properly coded, it may prevent search engines spiders from crawling your website properly. It may also help search engines spiders to crawls sections of the website that are not intended to be crawled by any search engine spiders. So always make sure that your robots.txt file is properly coded.

19) Instant Result Expectations
Instant result expectations of your SEO campaign is a major mistake that most of the web masters do. SEO is not a instant result yielding work like programming or designing. This is an ongoing process and it may take its own time to start getting results. So patience is the key for SEO and instant result expectations must be left behind.

20) Submitting to Search Engines
Spending your valuable time submitting sites to search engines is a major mistake to be avoided. Actually the search engines crawls and indexes the website by itself and even if you don’t submit them to search engines, there is nothing serious to worry.


  1. Vishal Gupta says

    Hello George,
    What about posting same article in many sites, posting the same article in number of blogs etc these are some of the practices which many SEO companies still use… I think Major search engines consider this also as Spamming.

  2. George says

    Hi Vishal,
    Posting the same articles in many article directory sites do not have that much negative impact. But it is always better if you can make slight modifications to these articles before submitting. Also don’t submit in more than 10-15 article directories. It is always better to create a separate article for article submission purposes.

    But if you are submitting an article or blog post from your website to multiple article directories,then it would be pose content duplicacy issue and would be considered spamming.

    As far as the article you are using for article submission purpose is entirely different from those present in your website, there would not be any issues faced by your website.

    Hope you have got my point.


  3. says

    George you have created a list of some good points & i think you should write about a point related to social bookmarking as well. I have seen some of the seo thinks they can get the benifit of bookmarking each time by submitting same link from same profiles. I think you should tell them bookmarking can be done only once for the same URL. rather then submitting content to hundreds of websites they should select top 5 bookmarking websites related to there niche & start working on those profiles.

    Social Media Guide

  4. George says

    Sure Sachin..I would be writing about the same in the coming days…Thanks for your valualble suggestion…

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