Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on May 13th, 2009

Three Common SEO Errors

There is a learning curve with Search Engine Optimization, and everyone has come to terms with it. There is a small threshold of acceptance when a website makes a few mistakes along the way of mastering the world of search. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t heed the wisdom of your predecessors and avoid some basic mistakes that many neophytes makes with their website.

1. Splash Pages

A splash page, or landing page, is the first page a visitor sees when they land on your website. Most splash pages utilize a flash animation with an accompanied “click here to skip” button, or a large static graphic that overpowers your screen. The main reason why splash pages are not recommended is that they are usually not optimized for search engines to crawl for rankings. There is little readable content or links for the spiders to index and therefore will show little to no interest in the page at all, resulting in very low rankings.

2. Flash-Heavy Websites

I hope that we all learned by college that just because someone looks good, doesn’t mean they will provide you with much value or substance. Websites are no different. Sure, Flash looks great, with moving images, sliding navigation, slick designs and a flipping monkey, but the search engine spiders do not like them at all. That is because, currently, search engines cannot see the text that is within a Flash object. This means that your Flash-heavy website will not be indexed for ranking.

Recently, Google and Yahoo have stepped up their game and introduces a “SEO Technology Center for Flash” in an attempt to improve search engine rankings for Flash based websites. Although this is a sign that Flash is becoming more SEO-friendly, there is no competition when it comes to ranking them next to HTML sites.

3. Linking To Competitors

One of the strongest temptations of any website new to the game and building up their links, is to link to their competitors. This is a common mistake to any price comparison website that wants to prove their have the best product for the most competitive price. But by linking to your competitor, you are spotting them a “vote” which Google views as a recommendation. Basically, you are recommending your competitor to the search engines. In SEO, the more external, high quality, non-competitive, relevant links that are bringing people to your site. With these links, you will become a more trusted source and improve your rankings.

Most businesses make mistakes when launching their website. It can be easy to accidentally break etiquette when trying to be successfully competitive. It is ideal to listen to the wisdom of the SEO gurus that have been there and done it all. Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

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