There are lots of tips out there on optimizing your site for search engines, but one of the key things is to avoid doing things that sabotage your efforts to get great search engine rankings. In case you hate getting visitors, like to end up on page 20 of Google results for your site’s keywords, and prefer to be a starving blogger, here are five secrets to bad search engine rankings:

  1. Ramble in your blog posts – Hey, who needs a topic? I mean, it’s your blog and if you want to cover politics, sex, celebrities and that weird dream you had last night, all in one post, who’s to stop you? Have fun. I’m not sure what title you’d give it, but I’m sure lots of people are searching for terms like “my random thoughts today.”
  2. Only write about what’s relevant right now – Evergreen content’s for sissies! I’m sure lots of people still want to know about Tom and Katie’s wedding, or the 2004 U.S. presidential election. By the time your post gets spidered by the search engines, no one will be searching for those hyper-timely items. C’est la vie!
  3. Be anti-social – Don’t link to other bloggers. Don’t have a blogroll. Don’t comment in other blogs. Don’t join groups at social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon. You are a blog island unto yourself. I’m sure you have the lack of inbound links to prove it.
  4. Don’t do keyword research – What are you, a librarian? You just wanna blog, so just blog. Who cares if more people are about twice as likely to search for the term photo than the term picture? You want people to work really hard to find you so they earn a spot as a reader.
  5. Write sporadically – You want to keep those readers, and those search engines, guessing. Don’t post daily or even weekly. Just post when the mood strikes you. Maybe it’s daily this week, and then you go a month without posting. Hopefully, the search engine will spider your blog right when you’ve had a long delay. That way, you can be sure the creepy spider stays away for a nice long time. And as a bonus, you will be sure readers get turned off. Seeing a most recent posting date that is, well, dated, is oh-so enticing.