10 reasons why your SEO isn't working (no BS)



Founder, Junia AI

A person pushing a large boulder uphill, symbolizing the effort required for successful SEO.


In the digital world, being visible is crucial for success. And the main driver of visibility? SEO. But understanding SEO can be like trying to find your way through a maze with a blindfold on. Have you ever wondered why your SEO efforts aren't producing the results you expected?

One minute you're told to focus on keywords, and the next you're advised to prioritize creating great content. Plus, Google's algorithm is constantly changing, making it even harder to keep up. And let's not forget about all the conflicting advice you find online.

In this article, we'll break down the complexities of SEO and uncover some truths that often go unnoticed. From debunking myths about AI-generated content to highlighting the pitfalls of blindly following Google's guidelines, we'll show you where most people go wrong with their SEO strategies.

1. Not Using AI for Content Creation

Not using AI for content creation could be the biggest mistake that's causing your website not to rank on Google.

Misconceptions About AI-Written Content

A twitter user with handle @Timb03 advocating not to use AI to write blog posts which is a commonly known misconception on AI written content.

Many associate 'AI-written content' with robotic, emotionless prose that lacks the personal touch of human writing. This perception is far from reality, and it's time to dispel this misconception.

Claims about avoiding AI-written content or that Google's latest updates specifically target AI content are unfounded. Well-written AI content, like that created by Junia AI, is simply undetectable due to its understanding of algorithms governing Google and other search engines.

AI's comprehension of keyword density and its ability to identify the correct keywords to make your content stand out in search engine rankings is a powerful tool.

In addition to this, AI's understanding of the talking points to include ensures the comprehensiveness of a niche. It knows what topics are relevant and how they should be discussed, making your content not only rich in keywords but also value-packed for your readers.

Human-written article not being indexed by Search Engine vs AI-witten article ranking on Google No.1

Need proof? Consider an experiment we conducted using one of our niche sites. We compared two articles: one was manually written, unique, and offered valuable insights from our years of experience. It took us four hours to write. The other was generated by AI in minutes and published immediately with minimal editing. The results were shocking. Despite various revisions and reindexing requests, Google refused to index the article we wrote. Meanwhile, the AI-generated article ranked number one on Google.

Imagine if we continue creating content manually, our sites' SEO will never take off and will be buried.

The Role of AI Writers in Content Creation

AI writers are not here to replace human writers. Its role is to assist us, streamline our processes, and enhance efficiency. In terms of content creation, AI writing tools have been expressly designed to help us craft optimized content that appeals equally to search engines and audiences.

How Does An AI Writer Accomplish This?

Advanced AI writing tools understand Google or any other search engine's algorithm due to their training on large datasets. They comprehend keyword density (the ratio of keywords used within a piece of content) and know precisely where and how best to incorporate relevant keywords into your narrative.

Different Capabilities of AI Writing Tools

Just like humans have varying skills and areas of expertise, so do AI writing tools. Some may excel at crafting short-form content such as emails, Twitter posts, Google ads, and various types of marketing materials; others might be better at producing long-form blog posts that are SEO-rich. It's essential to acknowledge that different AI writing tools have different capabilities.

Choosing SEO AI Writing Tools Wisely

Artificial Intelligence (AI) writing tools are becoming increasingly popular and can indeed be beneficial if used correctly. However, choosing the wrong tool for seo can lead to content that doesn't resonate with your audience or meet search engine standards - a common reason why your website might not be ranking.

When selecting an AI writing tool for SEO:

  1. Avoid those that are purely marketing gimmicks, which feed your ego by simply echoing what you want to hear.
  2. Choose tools that are designed to understand and adapt to search engine algorithms.
  3. Prioritize those that provide features such as article outline builders, keyword optimization, readability analysis, and content structure suggestions.
  4. Look for tools that emphasize readability and relevance over keyword stuffing.

The Consequence of Choosing the Wrong AI Tool

The repercussions of choosing an illegitimate AI writing tool for SEO can be severe. An AI tool that fails to capture your brand voice or the essence of your topic can result in flat, lifeless, or entirely irrelevant content causing website's authority to tank in search engine's eyes. Therefore, it's crucial to choose wisely and ensure your selected tool aligns with your specific content needs and goals.

A representation of an ideal AI writer for SEO, capable of conducting keyword research, competitor analysis, real-time content SEO audit and more.

The secret lies in finding the right balance and using AI as a tool to complement human creativity, not replace it. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Use AI to create the first draft: Don't rush into generating the article right off the bat. Start by producing a structured, coherent outline first. Verify the talking points of the article, conduct competitor research to see what they're discussing in theirs.
  2. Manual editing: After generating an article using AI, it's time for you to step in. Review and edit it manually to humanize your content.
  3. Refine based on Google's response: Keep an eye on metrics like bounce rate, click rate, impression rate, and adjust your target keyword, keyword density, meta title, and description accordingly to boost click-through rate. If your bounce rate is high, address the user's query immediately at the beginning of your article.

Embrace 'AI-written content' as a new-age solution to traditional SEO challenges instead of shying away from it. The power of AI in content creation is undeniable, provided it's used effectively.

A graph displaying a competitor's article's content structure - work count, heading count, image count.

2. Blindly Following Google's Guidelines

Here comes the second most significant reason why your website isn't ranking on Google. You might be thinking, "Isn't it wise to follow Google's guidelines? After all, Google is the one judging and ranking our content." Contrary to what most people believe, even Google doesn't strictly adhere to its own rules. The reason is simple—its current algorithm simply isn't sophisticated enough to allow for it.

If you heavily depend on Google's rules when making SEO content, you're not the only one. But here's a surprise: Google's algorithm doesn't understand the value of your content as much as you think.

Debunking the Myth: Does Google Reward Unique Content?

Your desire to follow Google’s rules and create unique or "helpful content" makes sense. However, here’s a reality check—Google doesn’t reward unique and helpful content despite what it says. These rules just give a rough framework for what might work in SEO but don't show the whole picture.

Remember, we're dealing with an algorithm that can't judge the quality of your content. So instead of creating new content from scratch, think about improving existing articles—even those written by your competitors.

The Alternative Approach: Improve Upon Established Topics

So what’s the alternative SEO strategy? Focus on existing articles and topics; enhance established points. Your competitors have already made some progress for you. Take this chance by carefully looking at their content. Understand their strengths and weaknesses and use this information to make engaging and comprehensive content.

Strategies for Effective SEO Content:

Consider these strategies:

  1. Find gaps in existing articles: Look for areas where your competitors' content falls short or is incomplete. These are chances for you to add more value and stand out.
  2. Create search engine-first articles while keeping them human reader-friendly: While it's important to make content for humans, don’t forget to heavily optimize it for search engines. Balance keyword usage with readability for an interesting and informative experience.
  3. Use competitor articles as a springboard for improvement: Understand what your competitors are doing—not to copy, but to make better articles. Improve them! Include more points, increase keyword density, dive deeper into the subject matter, increase the word count where necessary, and make sure high-quality images go well with your text.

A Note on Quality over Uniqueness

Remember that improving existing topics isn't about repeating the same information. It’s about offering more value to your readers while making sure your article stands out among a sea of similar topics.

Remember: Quality is more important than uniqueness! So next time you find yourself strictly following Google's guidelines and there's no improvement to your SEO, take a step back and consider these strategies. They might just be the key to fixing your SEO and jump-starting your website's ranking.

3. Trying to Write Unique Content - A Common Pitfall For SEO

Oh, the allure of being unique and different. We all feel that tug, don't we? However, when it comes to SEO, this philosophy might not always be the most effective.

While it's understandable that you want your content to stand out, unless your website already has an authoritative status in search engine rankings, striving for uniqueness might not yield the expected results. This could be a reason why your website isn't ranking.

Why Does Repeating the Same Topic Help SEO?

There's a reason why people choose to rewrite the same topic over and over again - it aligns with what people are searching for and search engines are familar with these topics. Writing unique content could negatively impact your SEO in two ways:

  1. Potential Keyword Overlap: If your unique content contains commonly used keywords that you're targeting, this could jeopardize your chances of ranking for those keywords later on. This is because search engines may struggle to choose which of your pages to rank. As a result, your "unique article" could end up being subpar content for the keyword you actually want to rank for and you're never ranking for it.
  2. Google's Inability to Rank Your Content: If no one is searching for the unique topic you're writing about, it won't help improve your visibility. Even if people do search, Google may not be able to effectively rank your content as Google is lacking data regarding the specific keyword your content is targeting. Instead, Google might opt to rank unrelated keyword articles from sites with higher authority, as it cannot ascertain their relevance and lack the confidence to rank your content.

Understanding Search Intent

Before embarking on an ambitious quest for uniqueness, ask yourself - is my content relevant? Does it resonate with what people are actually searching for? Is it answering a question or solving a problem?

Diving deep into the sea of search intent can reveal what your audience is truly after. More often than not, they're not looking for something new, but something better.

For example, if you're selling handmade soap, writing about the molecular structure of soap bubbles may be unique (and super nerdy), but it might not be what your customers want. They probably prefer reading about the benefits of handmade soap or how it compares to store-bought versions.

The Pitfall of Keyword Overlap - Fatal Mistake for Your SEO Strategy

Even seasoned SEO pros can fall into this trap. Let's say you've written a blog post about "The Best Handmade Soap for Sensitive Skin". Next, you decide to write another unique post titled "Top Artisanal Soap for Delicate Skin". From an SEO perspective, both articles target very similar keywords. This could confuse search engines and dilute your ranking potential, leading to your website not ranking effectively.

However, don't let this dissuade you from creating new content! Instead of swimming against the current in search of uniqueness, try riding the wave of popular topics.

Analyze search trends and see what questions are asked repeatedly. Then, answer those questions in your own unique way.

If many people are asking about the benefits of handmade soap, why not create a comprehensive guide? Sure, there might be numerous articles on this topic already. But can you make it better?

This is your chance to shine. You have unique insights and different perspectives which you can offer within the confines of popular topics. Use them to elevate your content above the rest.

Perhaps you have an intriguing story about how you started making soap. Or maybe you've discovered an unusual ingredient that has exceptional benefits. These are the tidbits that will set your content apart and keep your readers coming back for more.

Avoiding Keyword Overlap

Finally, it's essential to steer clear of keyword overlap and repetition. If you've already targeted a keyword in one piece of content, avoid using it again in another. This will help ensure that each piece of content has its own clear focus and purpose.

By focusing on relevance, understanding search intent, and avoiding potential keyword overlap, you can strike a balance between uniqueness and SEO effectiveness. Remember - being unique doesn't mean being obscure. It means providing value in a way that only you can.

5. Under-stuffing Your Keywords: A Lesser-Known SEO Pitfall

An SEO tool displaying the keyword density of an article.

If your SEO isn’t working, it might be your content doesn't have enough keyword density. While most content creators are acutely aware of the risk of keyword stuffing, its equally detrimental counterpart, under-stuffing, low keyword density, often goes unnoticed. This occurs when you fail to achieve the right keyword density in your content. Contrary to popular belief, simply including the keyword in your title and introduction isn't enough. As an SEO professional with firsthand knowledge of search algorithms from Google, Ahrefs, SEMrush and more, I can assure you that unless an SEO tool is utilizing AI to rank and index content (which it typically does not due to high cost and potential AI hallucination), understuffing keywords can hurt your visibility in seach engine results pages (SERPs).

Keywords serve as the bridge that connects your audience to your content through search engines. Therefore, their strategic utilization throughout your content is absolutely crucial.

What is Under-Stuffing of Keywords

Under-stuffing keywords is essentially the practice of not incorporating enough relevant keywords within your content. It might seem inconsequential, but the truth is it can make it harder for search engines to understand the context of your content. Consequently, this can negatively impact its visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

The Consequences of Inadequate Keyword Density

The implications of not achieving an appropriate keyword density are twofold:

  1. Reduced Relevance: When you don’t employ enough keywords within your content, search engines may struggle to comprehend its relevance to a specific query. This could potentially lower your page rank.
  2. Forgone Opportunities: Each omitted keyword represents a potential missed opportunity to connect with users who are actively seeking information related to that term.

Achieving The Perfect Keyword Density

Getting the right balance between stuffing and not using enough keywords is critical for optimal SEO results. Here are some tips for achieving this keyword balance:

  • Identify Relevant Keywords: Before writing any piece of content, conduct comprehensive keyword research. Find terms that are related to your topic and have a high search volume.
  • Natural Integration: Add these keywords naturally into your text. They should fit smoothly into sentences, thereby not disrupting the overall flow of the content.
  • Strategic Placement: Position keywords strategically within the text. Ideal locations include headings, subheadings, meta descriptions, and scattered throughout the body content.

Remember, optimizing your content for search engines isn't just about stuffing it with keywords; it's about strategically and thoughtfully using them to connect with your target audience.

6. Not providing proof to backup your claims

A common reason why your SEO strategy is not working is due to making claims without providing any supporting evidence.

Although Google's algorithm may not be sophisticated enough to assess the quality of your content per se, it can detect when you make a claim in your article using Natural language processing (NLP). It then looks for text that seems to serve as supporting evidence for that claim. If it doesn't find any, this can harm your credibility and lower your search engine ranking.

How can you avoid this? There are several ways:

Use Infographics

Infographics are a visually appealing way to present data and statistics that support your claims. They make complex information easy to digest and understand. Plus, they're highly shareable, which can increase your content's visibility.

Provide Data

Presenting raw data is another effective way to support your assertions. Include charts, graphs, or tables to help illustrate the points you're making. Be sure to cite your sources for added credibility. Use schema structured data to help search engines in understanding your content.

Include Screenshots

At the very least, consider including screenshots from social media or other platforms showing user comments that support your point of view. This not only provides proof but also humanizes your content by showing real people's experiences and opinions.

Pro Tip: Include these supporting elements in the image captions where possible. Captions are often overlooked in SEO strategies, but they provide an excellent opportunity for including keywords and additional information.

Remember, backing up your claims is about more than just appeasing search engines - it's about building trust with your audience. When readers see that you've taken the time to research and substantiate your assertions, they're more likely to view you as a reliable source of information.

7. Publishing duplicate content

Another reason why your SEO is suffering is due to publishing duplicate content. This occurs when similar keywords, especially those with high density, appear repetitively across multiple blog posts within your site. The result? Search engines might interpret this as an attempt to manipulate their algorithms, which can negatively impact your website's ranking.

Understanding Duplicate Content

Duplicate content refers to substantial blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. In simpler terms, it's when you have the same or very similar content appearing more than once on your website.

It's worth noting that search engines like Google strive to provide users with diverse and unique content for any given search query. Therefore, having duplicate content on your site could lead to some of your pages being filtered out of search results - a scenario you definitely want to avoid.

Focusing on One-Tail Keywords

Instead of scattering the same set of keywords across multiple blog posts, it's more effective to target one 'one-tail' keyword per blog post. By doing so, you ensure that each piece of your content is unique in the eyes of search engine algorithms.

For instance:

If you're running a fitness blog and one of your targeted keywords is "workout routines", consider dedicating an entire post to "workout routines for beginners". In another post, you could focus on "workout routines for weight loss". This way, each post remains distinct while still falling under the broad umbrella of "workout routines".

This strategy not only helps in avoiding duplication but also allows for more comprehensive coverage of your chosen topic. It provides opportunities for deep dives into subtopics, thus offering more value to your readers and potentially improving dwell time on your site – another important factor in SEO rankings.

Avoiding duplicate content isn't just about appeasing search engines - it's also about crafting a superior user experience. By focusing your efforts on creating unique and valuable content for each one-tail keyword, you'll be setting your website up for success in the ever-competitive world of SEO.

8. Not Building a Topic Cluster

Another common mistake hurting your SEO strategy is not building a topic cluster — a powerful tool that can significantly improve your website's visibility and relevancy on search engine results pages (SERPs). A topic cluster is essentially an interlinked collection of content that revolves around one central theme or topic.

Instead of creating standalone blog posts, consider developing a series of related content pieces that all link back to one core 'pillar' page. This pillar page serves as the main hub of topic-specific content, and each related post (or 'cluster') ties back to it with internal linking.

The advantages of implementing a topic cluster strategy are numerous:

1. Enhanced Site Architecture: Topic clusters help create a cleaner, more organized site structure, making it easier for both users and search engine crawlers to navigate your website.

2. Improved Authority: By providing comprehensive coverage on a particular subject, you establish your site as an authority in that field. This signals to search engines that your content is credible and relevant, which can boost your rankings.

3. Increased User Engagement: Offering readers related content options keeps them engaged on your site for longer periods, reducing bounce rates and potentially increasing conversion rates.


"Content is King but context is Queen."

Building a topic cluster isn't just about producing lots of content; it's about creating contextually relevant content that adds value for the reader and answers their queries effectively. Each piece of content within the cluster should be unique but interconnected, providing different perspectives or insights into the main topic.

Keep in mind that while building topic clusters requires time and effort, the potential SEO benefits make it well worth the investment.

9. You’re not willing to put in the work

A robot holding a wrench, symbolizing the concept of putting in the work.

This is one of the most common reasons why your SEO fails - you're not willing to put in the work.

The world of SEO is not one where you can simply "set it and forget it." Some people might be tempted by the false belief that automation tools, auto-blogging, and mass content generation can do all the work for them. While these tools can certainly enhance your efforts and cater to your ego, they cannot replace the need for strategic thinking, quality content creation, editing of your content and consistent effort.

Overreliance on Automation

Relying too heavily on automation can lead to a lack of personal touch and relevance in your content. While scheduling posts on WordPress and other platforms is useful for maintaining consistency, it should not be used as an excuse to neglect the more human aspects of your content strategy. The voice, tone, and personality embedded in your content are vital to connecting with your audience.

Note: Automation is a tool to assist you, not a substitute for genuine effort.

Mass Content Generation Pitfalls

Mass content generation may seem like an efficient way to populate your site quickly. However, quantity should never supersede quality. Search engines favour original, valuable content over duplicated or irrelevant material.

Remember: Quality trumps quantity when it comes to SEO.

Succeeding in SEO requires a commitment to consistent effort and strategic thinking. Automation tools, mass content generation and AI writing tools can aid in this process but should not be relied upon solely.

10. Not Leveraging User-Generated Content (UGC)

Last but not least, if your SEO isn't taking off and your content lacks that "special factor" that makes it stand out, consider this: in the current digital landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) content is ubiquitous. This prevalence has created an increasingly complex challenge for search engines when it comes to ranking content. As a result, search engine algorithms have begun favoring User-Generated Content (UGC) on platforms like Reddit, LinkedIn, and Medium. Utilizing these platforms in your SEO strategy can significantly enhance your online visibility.

Create and Promote Content on UGC Platforms

Creating original content and subtly promoting your website on UGC platforms can substantially boost your SEO performance. These platforms are favoured by search engines due to their continuous influx of fresh and unique content from various users worldwide.

Consider writing engaging posts that provide value to the readers while subtly promoting your site or services. This tactic not only positions you as a thought leader in your field but also attracts organic traffic to your website.

Use UGC as Unique Talking Points

Another strategic way to leverage UGC is by using it to create unique talking points for your blog posts or articles. Search engines love 'freshness', so including new perspectives or trending topics from UGC platforms can help you outperform competitors in search rankings.

For instance, you could:

  • Quote insightful comments or threads from Reddit that relate to your topic
  • Refer to popular discussions or posts on LinkedIn
  • Cite thought-provoking articles published on Medium

Remember, the key here is to add value and provide a fresh take on the topic at hand, rather than merely copying text from these sources.

Not leveraging User-Generated Content can be a missed opportunity in enhancing your SEO performance. Incorporating strategies that utilize UGC can provide a significant boost to your website's ranking while keeping your content fresh and engaging.


Your journey to becoming an SEO expert doesn't stop here; think of this as just one significant step in your ongoing process of improvement. Always remember the reasons why your website isn't ranking, and keep in mind that, in this constantly changing digital world, being adaptable is key to survival. Stay curious, continue learning, explore new tools and strategies while also keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to.

As you prepare for your next SEO project, remember the insights we've shared today. They might not promise instant success but will definitely help you avoid common mistakes and guide you towards steady growth. Continue to challenge traditional beliefs and don't be afraid to experiment - because, in the world of SEO, change is the only certainty.

Frequently asked questions
  • 1. Not Using AI for Content Creation: Choosing the wrong AI tool can lead to poor quality content.

    2. Blindly Following Google's Guidelines: It's crucial to focus on quality and value rather than strictly adhering to guidelines.

    3. Trying to Write Unique Content: Repeating topics with new insights helps SEO, but avoid keyword overlap.

    4. Under-stuffing Your Keywords: Inadequate keyword usage can negatively impact your SEO.

    5. Not Providing Proof to Backup Your Claims: Use infographics, data, and screenshots to improve credibility and engagement.

    6. Publishing Duplicate Content: This can confuse search engines and harm your SEO.

    7. Not Building a Topic Cluster: Topic clusters help search engines understand your content and improve your SEO.

    8. Publishing duplicate content: Publishing duplicate content, such as repetitive use of similar high-density keywords across multiple blog posts on your site, is a common SEO pitfall. This might be perceived by search engines as an attempt to manipulate their algorithms, potentially leading to a negative impact on your website's ranking.

    9. You’re Not Willing to Put in The Work: Overreliance on automation can lead to impersonal or irrelevant content.

    10. Not Leveraging User-Generated Content (UGC): UGC increases engagement, improves SEO, and provides unique insights.

    11. Mass Content Generation Pitfalls: This often leads to low-quality content that doesn't engage users or benefit SEO.

  • AI writers help streamline content creation by generating ideas, drafting articles, and optimizing content for SEO. They can analyze vast amounts of data to determine what content will perform best.
  • Choosing the wrong AI tool can lead to subpar content that doesn't engage your audience or improve your SEO rankings. It's important to select a tool that understands your brand voice and can create high-quality, original content.
  • While it's important to follow Google’s guidelines, they shouldn't be followed blindly. It’s better to focus on creating quality content that provides value to your audience.
  • Repeating the same topic helps Google understand what your site is about which can improve your SEO ranking. However, it should be done in a way that provides new insights or perspectives to avoid keyword overlap.
  • Under-stuffing refers to not including enough relevant keywords in your content. This could make it harder for search engines to understand what your content is about and negatively impact your SEO.
  • You can use infographics, provide data, and include screenshots to back up your claims. This not only enhances credibility but also improves user engagement.
  • Duplicate content is content that appears on the internet in more than one place. It can harm your SEO as search engines may not know which version to index or rank for relevant search queries.
  • A topic cluster is a group of interlinked web pages. They’re built around one main pillar page, which provides an overview of a topic, and several related subtopic pages. This structure helps search engines understand your content and can improve your SEO.
  • UGC can provide unique insights, increase engagement, and improve SEO. It can also help you understand your audience better and build trust with them.
  • While automation can streamline content creation, overreliance on it can lead to impersonal or irrelevant content. It’s important to balance automation with a human touch to create engaging, high-quality content.