There are certain, very common mistakes that people make with regard to SEO. These mistakes are easily avoidable, and doing so will surely increase your chances of getting to the front page of Google. While some of the things on this list were used as best practices in the past, Google quickly caught on to those who were trying to cheat the system and now they are considered “black-hat” tactics which should be avoided.

1. No distinction from your competition. Google values unique content, so having the same stuff on your website as all of your competition will not help you with Google as well as visitors searching for your product/service. You need to distinguish yourself from your competitors and give prospective visitors reason to come to your site. Giving them a unique, positive experience will give you a better chance of gaining visitors by word of mouth, as well.

2. Low quality backlinks. There once was a time when Google put value on the number of websites that linked to your own website. Needless to say, this was one of the most quickly and easily exploitable SEO strategies there was. Companies made millions of dollars simply by selling backlinks. Link wheels and link exchange programs were all over the place.

3. Over-saturation of keywords. This, along with having a lot of backlinks, used to be the quickest way to shoot up the Google rankings. Pick a keyword, write a webpage with that keyword in it as many times as possible, and watch it move. Google realized that this put emphasis on the quantity of keywords on a page rather than it being about content quality. Nowadays the amount of times a keyword shows up on a given page is much less relevant. The emphasis is on quality content with frequent, relevant updates.

4. Incorrect/improper use of tags. Google, at one point, put more emphasis on what showed up in title/header tags. It assumed that the text in the title or header would be what the rest of the page was about. People were able to abuse this as well, adding multiple title tags per page to try and get ranking for multiple keywords. This no longer works as Google only recognizes one set of tags per page.

5. Low quality content. This is now the biggest factor in Google ranking. Quality, frequent content is what will get you the biggest impact in moving up the rankings. Before Google figured out how to deduce what was considered quality content it only took into account the frequency of the updates happening on a website. This is why you will find so many auto-posting bots available.

Long story short, Google makes updates based on people trying to exploit the system to gain ranking. There will always be people trying to cheat the system, and sometimes it works – if only for a while. Do your best to stay white-hat and you will get better results in the long run.