In the spirit of All Hallows Eve, we’ve put together a list of 3 old-school SEO tactics that are so outdated and ineffective it’s quite frankly frightening that they’re still used by SEOs who are trying to cheat the system!
If you or your SEO company is guilty of any of the following, change your ways now to avoid a real SEO nightmare.
1. Content Spinning
‘Spun’ content is our number one pet-hate here at FSE. You’ll recognise spun articles and blogs straightaway – any interesting ideas that the original author might have had will be hidden deep beneath mismatched synonyms and terrifying grammar.
Spinning software was once hugely popular amongst webmasters who needed to create a lot of very similar content for their web pages, because these kinds of programmes essentially re-write the text for you, saving you a lot of time. The problem is, this content won’t usually make sense to the average human user, so if you post it on your site, it’s highly likely it’s going to be picked up by the search engines as spam. Not good for your reputation and a real turn-off for your audience! Always make sure that all of the content you publish online is 100% unique.
2. Article Submissions
Once upon a time, writing one single article and sending it out to tens (and in some cases, hundreds) of specialist submission sites was considered good practice. It was a relatively easy way to pick up a shedload of backlinks and could potentially increase your online visibility. However, in 2013, it’s a waste of time and, in a lot of cases, money.
Instead, publish each piece of unique content once and once only. Spend your time researching which sites are likely to bring you traffic and referrals and concentrate on building strong relationships with individual blog owners. Yes, it’s a slower process, but it’s the only way to guarantee that your blog will increase your exposure in the right circles and generate backlinks to your site that really count.
3. Excessive Keyword Stuffing
Every credible SEO agency in existence should be convincing their clients not to over-optimise their web pages, right? Wrong! For some reason, many webmasters that should know a lot better are continuing to stuff their page titles, meta data and user content with a handful of the same keywords in the hope that it’ll make their page ‘relevant’ to the search engines. They think this will enable them to rank well for the search terms that will bring them the most traffic.
The truth is, if you’re going about things the right way, you shouldn’t need to worry about excessive keyword placement. You shouldn’t even need to consciously consider keyword insertion. Your keywords (and variations of your keywords) should be added into your content in a way that won’t aggravate the search engines and irritate the reader. Google will determine how relevant your site is within your industry by looking at your site’s overall presence and how well you’re representing yourself online.
It really is a case of ‘trick or treat’ when it comes to white-hat SEO. Try and trick your way to better positions and you’ll end up suffering heavy penalties in the long run; follow Google’s best practice guidelines to the letter and your SEO strategy will work a treat!