Many people on SEO forums and blogs are complaining of leading search engines demoting their sites from the first page. Ask such individuals about the SEO strategy they had implemented and you will see them repeating the same mistakes that leading search engines are penalizing. Why do they repeat them? Well, let me guess. The mistakes are so common to the extent that we think of them as the right. To put it clear, with the latest Panda update, Google declared war on inappropriate search engine strategies. Other than that, few things have changed in Search Engine Optimization. However, do not base on the perception that you can escape the watchful eye of search engines by using Black hat SEO Strategies. Nowadays, ranking your page higher is not as simple as collecting keywords, stuffing them together and waiting for search engine bots to lift your site to a desirable position in rankings. Rather, it entails a strategic approach that requires you to keep in mind search engines as well as people who are searching for the information. Here are some of the inappropriate strategies that may be derailing your site's ranking. 1. Use of inappropriate anchor text Avoid common phrases when creating links to and from your website. Phrases like â€˜click here' do not qualify as appropriate anchor texts since they appear on almost every site. Use keywords related to your site's niche and ensure that all links lead to relevant content. 2. Not researching keywords Many people forego researching keywords when they are creating new content or writing Metadata for their websites or blogs. Imagining keywords and hoping it will work is like digging a grave and trying it out. There is a plethora of keyword research tools - use any of them. 3. Focusing on broad range keywords Another common mistake in SEO is relying on a broad match rather than the exact match when searching for keywords. Such a search will leave you with inappropriate keywords that will rank you in the wrong areas. Always keep the exact match setting on whichever keyword research tool you are using. 4. Duplicating content Probably the most committed sin in Search Engine Optimization, newbies in SEO and website designers are most vulnerable to content duplication. The latest Google panda update aims to eradicate such instances and you may soon find your site penalized. Avoid setting many printer-friendly pages bearing the same information as the targeted page and use as few tags as possible. 5. Slow websites SEO focuses on human experience and if your sites takes long to load, it will rank badly on search engines. A good site should take less than 4 seconds to load. Although this is not easy for websites that contain a lot of information, the following practices will come in handy. Most, if not all of your images should be highly optimized. Minimize the number of applications in the backend. Avoid too many redirects GMETRIX is my favorite site speed checker. Google has their own. You can try that one too 6. Not updating content regularly SEO is not a practice that is done to completion in one day. When a page or post is left unattended to, it will definitely fall down the ranks. Make sure to update any post on your page every 6 months. There is nothing wrong with including fresh content or tweaking the anchor text and keywords in your 8-month-old blog post. In fact, this will give it a good ranking. Don't sweat it. Hire a good writer to create regular high quality content 7. Neglecting mobile users Mobile users constitute of 65% of the total internet traffic. Neglecting such a huge portion would not do your site any good. Ensure that an appropriate mobile SEO optimization strategy is followed when building your site. Another fact that will make you want to optimize your site for this niche, especially if you have an e-commerce site is that 50% of mobile searches normally result in to purchases. 8. Keyword stuffing Do not overfeed your blog or website with keywords. By that, you may think that you are making it more presentable to search engines but you are just doing the exact opposite. 9. Hiring a bad SEO company There are many SEO companies out there and each of them claims to have a unique approach of â€˜convincing' search engines to rank a site high. Hiring a good SEO company can only work for you if you research about them to find out the strategies they use. Failure to follow this procedure will leave you vulnerable to Black hat practices. Some of the ways you can implement to find good SEO experts include: Do not rely on price as a means of getting a good SEO expert Check their previous work Ensure that they have the necessary experience There are no guarantees with SEO, try as much to settle for those that say the truth and not false promises. 10. Spamming blog comments Spamming other high-ranking blogs with comments meant to generate followers back to your site may give you a couple of visits and high bounce rates. However, this is not good for SEO and search engines will penalize your site. On the other hand, if you have a blog that is prone to spammers, install a good commenting system like Disqus.