Common Website Errors Ruining Your SEO

You know that SEO is important to your website traffic. You know that you need to optimize for keywords, improve site speed, and optimize for mobile. However, there are lots of easy-to-make common mistakes on your website that could still be ruining your SEO efforts. 

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Broken Links

A broken link doesn’t take users to their desired webpage when they click on it. Broken links are common, but how bad are they for SEO? 

When Google web crawlers or Google Bots index the webpage, they visit these links to collect data. If they land on a link that’s broken, it’s bad SEO. This means you won’t be able to rank highly on search engines until you can fix the broken link. 

To fix a broken link, you will need to be able to find it first. The best way to check your website for errors and broken is through a broken link checker, Google Analytics, or SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs. 

Make a list of all the broken links that you find, and take action to fix them. 

There are a few easy ways for you to fix the broken links once you have found them:

  • Replace broken links with live ones. This is the best method if you don’t have several broken links on your website.
  • Remove all broken links. If the broken links that you find are pretty old, around four or five years old, just remove them. 
  • Reach out to the linking site. If it’s a broken backlink, contact the site that you linked to and ask them to fix the link.
  • Redirection. In case of a broken internal link, use a  301 redirect to change the old link to the live one. 

TLS Certificate Errors

TLS is a digital certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA). It shows that the owner owns a particular domain and that the domain is secure. 

In simple terms, if you don’t have TLS certificate, your site will have a URL starting with HTTP instead of HTTPS. HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) is old technology and ignores how the data travels online from one device to another. HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) encrypts the data and protects transmitted data from any hacks. 

In 2014, Google announced that they would be prioritizing ranking websites with HTTPS URLs over HTTP. 

When you get an invalid TLS certificate error on your website, this could be caused by a number of different things:

  • Misconfiguration of Certificate. If you don’t follow all the steps correctly, manual installation of the certificate can give you this error. 
  • Domain Mismatch. In the case of a mismatch between the bought domain name and the domain name that the TLS certificate has been issued to, you will get an error.
  • Identity Verifying Issues. If the certificate authority can’t verify your identity, you can’t install the certificate. 
  • Incorrect date or time on your desktop. TLS certificates are issued on a timely basis, so if the date and time on your desktop are wrong, you won’t be able to issue it. 
  • Old Version Certificate. If your certificate leverages Secure Hash Algorithm 1 (SHA-1), it might be flagged as invalid as SHA-1 is out of date. 

To resolve issues with your TLS Certificates:

  • Check the date and time on your desktop
  • Check for configuration errors and vulnerabilities with online SSL tools
  • Check domain mismatch
  • Get the certificate from a trustworthy and established CA

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content won’t affect your SEO too much, but it can result in poor search engine rankings. When you have a lot of similar content across your website, it’s called canonicalization. 

Duplicate content causes a few big issues for Google’s crawlers and bots:

  • The bots become confused about which page they should include or exclude from their indices.
  • The bots can’t tell if they are supposed to direct the link metrics to one page or keep it separate. 
  • The bots are confused about which page should rank for the targeted keyword. 

There are some reasons why a website can unknowingly generate duplicate content:

  • URL variations for the same page
  • Your site has different versions, such as and 
  • Targeting the same keyword multiple times with writing almost similar content. 

As a webmaster, you can resolve these issues:

  • A 301 redirect is the best method to get rid of duplicate content.
  • Use Rel=canonical to give search engine bots a clue to treat the page as a copy of the specified URL
  • Use the code <meta name+”robots” content=”noindex,follow”> to tell the search engine bots not to crawl the page. 

By John-Shea

Internet Marketing Entrepreneur

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