5 Unexpected Factors that Can Harm SEO Value

Post by Catherine Sullivan, Content Strategist

SEO is a complex and ever-changing practice that requires full attention to on-page and off-page factors. As we know, there isn’t a single element of SEO that will guarantee good search rankings but rather a collection of best practices that must be implemented and adjusted over time. So, what’s being overlooked? We dove into the data and pulled out five unexpected factors that can be harming website SEO value.


While iFrames are said to have no negative impact on SEO, they certainly aren’t doing sites any favors. Search engines recognize iFrames as having originated from a different source than then rest of the on-page content. Therefore, search engine robots are essentially ignoring all content that is contained within the iFrame including keywords, images, videos and optimized copy. Need a quick fix? Make sure that relevant keywords and content exist on the HTML page outside of the iFrame.


It’s a common misconception that the more inbound links you have coming to a site, the better it is for SEO. Inbound links can make sites appear more credible but there are some ground rules that every marketer should follow – one of them is to never buy inbound links. If you ever doubt Google’s intelligence, reconsider. Google can de-index a website if it knows backlinks are being bought.

Brands should focus on the quality of inbound links over the quantity of links. Inbound links from websites with high domain authority will far outweigh a collection of links from low quality sites. Already have spammy links pointing to your site? Use Google’s disavow tool in Search Console to tell Google not to take harmful links into account while their robots crawl your site.


Another common misconception is that the more interlinking within a site, the better it is for SEO. Brands need to be careful when executing anchor text links to make sure they don’t duplicate the same phrase for their keyword links. Varying your keywords is extremely important. For example, to rank for “cat food”, keyword anchor text should be built out like the following:

  • Cost of cat food
  • Where to buy cat food
  • Healthiest cat food
  • Wet vs. dry cat food
  • What can I feed my cat?


Don’t have a responsive site? It’s time to get one! Not only is a mobile-optimized site crucial for SEO but it’s also important for the user experience. Search engines now include a “Mobile Friendly” tag next to all results to help users better choose a site and experience that will display nicely on their device. In April 2015, Google released a “Mobile-Friendly Ranking Algorithm” that affected search by making it easier for users to find relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices. Starting soon, these mobile signals will become even more important in Google’s eyes.


If users are visiting just one page on a website and then leaving, it may be because the content isn’t useful and engaging enough. Google sees high bounce rates as evidence of poor content that isn’t satisfying the searcher’s needs. Ideally, when a user enters a site, they will be intrigued by the content and find opportunities to click around and view additional pages.

These are just five of countless factors that influence how sites ranks in search. The Performics Performance Content Team takes all these factors (and more) into account when auditing a client website for search. To learn more about the dos and don’ts of SEO, contact your Performics account team today.

Catherine Sullivan
Catherine Sullivan
Cat Sullivan grew up in St. Charles, IL and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Advertising & Public Relations. When she isn’t trying out new restaurants around the city, or going for a run on the lake shore path, you can find her hanging out with her cat, Ron Burgundy.

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