I was looking at search-ranking-factors at SEOmoz.org and they not only have made a very good list to look for Search Engine Optimization factors.
They also have a list of negative factors and there is a top five of negative factors.
Here is the short list:
- Server is Often Inaccessible to Bots
- Content Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the Index
- External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites
- Duplicate Title/Meta Tags on Many Pages
- Overuse of Targeted Keywords (Stuffing/Spamming)
Looking at these factors its easy to see where thing go wrong in a standard installation of Joomla (before version 1.5)
First one is the Content similar to Duplicate or Existing in the Index:
This is because in a standard installation there are version in the standard HTML, PDF versions and print versions of each page of your website.
To prevent this, you should disable this functions in your Global Configuration under Content, disable the PDF and Print buttons.
Duplicate Title and or Meta Tags on Many Pages
All tough the Duplicate Title will not that easily happen, the Meta Tags can be a problem.
If you use the standard Metadata fields in the Global configuration you could really have a problem with this.
These value's are given to each page in your website…
Even if you use the separate Fields of each page to give a separate description and keywords!
You can simple check this if your site is indexed by Google, just do a search in Google like site:www.example.com and see what is in the description fields.. it might surprise you.
The best way to prevent this is to leave your Metadata fields empty and fill your page Descriptions and Keywords.
Even if you don't wont to use that, leave all fields blank and let the search engines take the excerpts from your pages.
Overuse of Targeted Keywords (Stuffing/Spamming)
I wrote a post about this problem a while ago Joomla and Keyword stuffing and its of course related to the same problem as the one above.
The simple solution is to leave the Global Metadata fields blank.
Because Joomla will ADD the meta keywords to the list of keywords in your Global configuration.
You could install the free SEF patch from Joomlatwork.com to overcome some of these problems.
With the solutions used to prevent the above you can overcome some of the Negative Ranking Factors.
All it takes are some simple configuration changes and empty the Global Metadata fields, so make sure you don't let your website fall into the Top 5 factors…