Anyone who knows anything about digital marketing will be well aware that keeping Google HAPPY is one of the main things that your day-to-day work will revolve around. One type of traffic that every website owner wants more of is Organic Traffic. Why? Because it’s free!! However, getting Organic Traffic is not as simple as ticking a few of Google’s rules off your fingers…if it was our lives would be a lot easier!

As we all know, Google are constantly updating their algorithms…in essence changing the rules as to what will get your website ranking highly on the Search Engine Results Page, thereby boosting your Organic Traffic. In fairness to Google, they are always at the crux of changes relating not just to technology, but as to how human behaviour is changing rapidly and how this affects online behaviour.

A simple example, in 2008 it was predicted that by 2014 mobile would overtake desktop when it came to internet usage. This prediction came true, and in 2015 mobile media time was 51% compared to 42% desktop in the US (Smart Insights, 2015). Google’s response – Mobilegeddon in April 2015!

Mobilegeddon was one of the more high profile Google algorithm changes that to the tech world, was as big a deal as NASA announcing the existence of water on Mars! However, every year there are numerous updates by Google that receive less attention and therefore can be hard to stay on top of. So if you are unsure as to what Google considers important to boost your websites Organic ranking these days, read on for our tips on what NOT to do!

1) Links to Poor Quality Sources

We all know about the importance of getting good quality sources to link to your website (the secret to this is valuable content FYI!) but what about the websites that you link to? By linking to a website you are basically telling Google that you approve of this site and you think it has high quality content. However, if you link to multiple websites that actually have quite poor content, Google will start to believe that your website must also have worthless content. This will hurt your website’s authority and hence could impact your organic ranking.

2) Poorly Written Content (Google Panda Update)

The Panda Update in 2011 was a major update that hit a lot of websites hard. It is all about the quality of the content on your website. To say that poorly written content is what not to do when thinking about organic rankings is putting it mildly. We could write pages and pages about what Google takes into account when looking at your content, but for the purpose of this blog we will keep it to the point. Here is what you should avoid:

  • Thin Content (content that has little value for the reader)
  • Duplicate Content (do not copy content from other websites and also watch for content that is duplicated across your own website)
  • Poor Quality Content (content that has no depth, value or uses “keyword stuffing”)

3) A Top Heavy Website

This comes in the form of Google’s Top Heavy Algorithm. Simply put, if your website has too many ads above the fold (what a user can see before scrolling) then your website will be penalised. Users want to see content as soon as they land on a website. They do not want to see loads of ads that will distract them from finding the information they are looking for.

4) Slow Loading Time

Back in 2010 Google announced that websites with a slow loading time would hinder organic rankings. However they remained somewhat ambiguous as to what a “slow loading time” was actually considered to be. Nonetheless, as a rule of thumb, if a website takes more than 5 seconds to load, it will be more likely to increase your bounce rate and therefore hinder your SEO. Two ways to improve your websites loading time is to not overload your homepage with too many links, and also reduce the number of ads on your website.

5) Clickbait

Clickbait is the term used when people create deceptive titles for web pages that encourage people to click on the link. However when a user clicks, they find that the content does not really reflect what the article title was about. Basically, it involves telling lies or exaggerating the truth to get people to land on your website. This is not something that is just punished by Google, Facebook also have a similar system in place that will penalise the reach of articles with deceptive titles.

So there you have it, just some tips from Evolution Digital about what not to do when it comes to optimising your website for Google. Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. Think of Google as having the most highly intelligent brain in the world. Every single time a person types a search into Google, millions of websites are analysed for thousands of conditions in the split second it takes for the search results to load for you – that’s pretty impressive! When you think about it like that, it can be overwhelming!

How can you make your website stand out amongst the millions of possibilities?

Luckily, we are here to help! If you want to see what Evolution Digital can do for you, email us at or call 01 288 5118.