If you have a web site that you have been maintaining and updating on a consistent basis for several years, chances are, you have acquired some decent traffic from the search engines. The thing that most webmasters don’t consider is that once they have that search engine traffic, it doesn’t mean it will stay forever. There are things that can happen with your web site that can cause it to drop out of the search engine rankings. So what is a web master to do in order to keep their search engine rankings?

Some very legitimate high quality sites are being hurt by some of the actions taken by the search engines to ban the spammy sites created by less than above-board webmasters. There are some things a webmaster can do to reduce their chances of their legitimate site being mistaken for a spam site.

1) Take care in who you are linking to on your website.

While it is good to have links that are helpful to your web visitors, you need to be careful who you are linking to. If you link to sites that are considered “bad neighborhoods”, you will certainly see a drop in your search engine results. This is because the search engines will assume that you are linking just to increase your search engine ranking. Avoid linking to sites and pages that are mostly a list of links. Many of these sites are somewhat spammy and also link to many other “questionable” sites. If you want to put your link in a link directory, go for high quality link directories, especially if these directories require a reciprocal link back to their site. Sometimes paying the few bucks they ask for to get listed could be worth it as it will filter out all of the spammers. Since the penalty comes from you linking to a bad neighborhood, you can control this result very easily. If you aren’t sure if the sites are in bad neighborhoods or not, you can easily check it out by using online tools that tell you if your website is linking to a bad neighborhood. Tools like bad-neighborhood.com give you detailed information about the websites you are linking to.

2) Make sure your keyword density isn’t too high

Your keyword density is also a factor that affects your search engine rankings. Search engines determine the relevance of your website to a particular subject by the use of keywords in your web page text. The higher the density of the keyword, the more relevant the web page for that keyword subject. However too high a keyword density, and the search engines will consider you trying to spam the search engines and will penalize your website for keyword stuffing, or keyword spamming. A natural editorial or conversational tone will give you a good keyword density and keep your content high quality. The old rule of thumb is that your keyword should never appear in more than half of the sentences on the page. A better approach is to have your keyword not appear in more than 1/3 of the sentences, yet use synonyms and other related keywords on the page as well to add relevance. In total, you don’t want your keyword density to be above 3%. Tools like keyworddensity.com can give you a quick reference to web page keyword density.

There are some simple things you can do to keep your legitimate web site above board and not have it mistaken for a spam site so it doesn’t lose rank in the search engines. These 2 are some of the easiest and quickest things you can do to keep your website above board and ranking well in the search engines.

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