SEO killers: website technical issues that might hurt your rankings in Google

Detecting and solving technical problems has been for long an integral part of SEO optimization techniques. The importance of this component became even greater after Panda and Penguin algorithms had been introduced.

Many believed that as long as Google search engine improves, technical issues have less impact on SEO.  But as it turned out, everything went another way. Of course it is not because Google experts can handle these technical mistakes, surely they can minimize their harmful effect and currently work on it. It seems that Google wants to make webmasters clean and improve their websites on their own instead.

It to consider the situation from Google perspective, such step is quite reasonable. Why does it have to waste its resources and time on processing poor quality websites and incorrectly set up servers? Quite possible that Google specialists thought – “if you don’t have time and sources to correct website mistakes, why do we have to show such website to the users?”

Web master tools

So some SEO tips and techniques. Google offers webmasters a whole range of free tools with the help of which they can detect technical SEO errors. However, it seems that only small percentage of webmasters in fact uses these instruments, even smaller share corrects detected mistakes.

It looks like Google experts have come to conclusion that it is necessary to decrease rankings for websites which have serious technical problems. Nothing can stimulate web master to attend to website technical problems better than traffic drop.  Of course, not all the websites having technical problems go to the bottom of the search results. But if the site is suspicious according to Panda or Penguin algorithms and at the same time has serious technical issues, then problems with rankings in Google are inevitable. Sometimes websites hurt by algorithms stop using black-hat SEO techniques, but ignore technical part, and that is why are not able to completely restore their position.

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Why does Google pay attention to technical problems?

In most of the cases, SEO efficiency is affected not by technical problems, but by consequences they cause. For example, most of the SEO experts agree that during its ranking process Google evaluates websites convenience for the user; you won’t deny that websites with most of the pages showing “Internal Server Error” hardly can offer optimal user experience.

Google – a referring search engine

Imagine that you asked an expert what product to choose, but having bought the recommended product you found out that it is not what you wanted. Will you trust this expert? Hardly. The same with Google search engine, it should lead the users to the most relevant websites, i.e. those which give the information users are looking for. It means that websites with serious technical errors should go to the rating bottom simply because it disappoints users and doesn’t meet their expectations.

You might have already started to wonder what technical problems may hurt your rankings so seriously. The full list would be too long, that is why we will give you just selection of the most common and serious issues – basic seo tips. In short, they are any problems connected with viewing, indexation and reading of website pages.

  1. Server errors: include 404 errors (especially harmful a lot of active web pages which refer to non-existent pages) and 500, as well as pages to which Google (or any other search engine crawler) doesn’t have access.
  2. Incorrect HTTP-headers answers: this group includes redirects which lead to nowhere, which answer with the code 302 instead of 301 and 404 pages, which answer with 200, 301, 302 errors instead of 404.
  3. Multiple redirects: any redirect, which takes user several times to other pages before he arrives at the final one.  Although Google can handle such manipulation, it is better to set redirects correctly, so they take the user to the target page at once, without any intermediate stages.
  4. Repeated redirects: “such redirect leads the user to the page which in turn takes him to the page-initial referrer.
  5. Canonical mistakes: many webmasters mistakenly connect all pages with home page using rel=«canonical».
  6. Enabling cookies and JavaScript to view website elements: search engines do not use cookies or JavaScript that is why any element which requires them, won’t get indexed.
  7. Indexation of the pages, which should not be indexed.

How to detect technical errors

As it was mentioned earlier, website SEO tips and lots of errors could be found if to work properly with webmaster tools from Google. Specifically, you will find list of 404 errors, soft 404 errors, indexation errors and list of pages which Google cannot have access to. Moreover, you can see the website page as Google robot sees it.

You shouldn’t neglect other instruments of website analysis as well. For example, ScreamingFrog. This instrument will scan your website and provide quite valuable information. Please mind when using these instruments that not all issues that you will discover will be found by Google. Our advice is to check Google index regularly and not start worrying without any evident reasons.

Please remember, that the most important thing is not just to detect mistakes, but correct them. Probable, you website is already popular, but by removing technical problems you will be able to drive even more traffic to your website. Quite possible, a day spent on detecting and removing technical mistakes will go a long way for your business, so don’t neglect these easy SEO tips.

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