As recently as a few years ago, you could utilize all sorts of techniques to manipulate the search engine rankings. However, Google figured it out pretty quickly and introduced some hard to cheat algorithms in response. This serves as the basic reason why most of the old school SEO techniques no longer work.
Not only do the old school SEO techniques (like keyword stuffing, for example) no longer work, Google actually penalizes websites for bad practices. Not sure if you’re making bad keyword decisions? To get the desired outcome from your SEO campaign, try to avoid the following Old School SEO methods.
SEO Techniques To Avoid
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing Your Posts
Building keyword specific pages is a wise decision. For example, a chiropractor could have a page titled “Chiropractor San Diego,” because that’s a popular search term. On that page, they’d talk about their practice and services. Old school SEO would tell you to have the phrase “chiropractor San Diego” on the page as many times as possible. You may even remember searching for a phrase, clicking on the page, and finding complete gibberish with the keyword thrown in repeatedly. That’s why Google changed their algorithm. Now, stuffing your page with a keyword is grounds for a Google smack.
What’s the new way to do it? Spread your message in an easy to understand way. Google and logic recommend just writing naturally. The keyword shouldn’t be on the page more than 4-5 times per every 500 words. Google is very smart now and can detect the organic content via the writer’s use of synonyms and phrasing.
To put it simply, you can’t fool either Google or your visitors with keyword stuffing. Creating an in depth, informative site, with as many relevant pages as possible is the way to do it.
- Over-Optimized Backlinks
First, a couple of definition to keep this clear. Backlinks are when another website links to your website. Backlinks build legitimacy for your site. After all, if someone else is mentioning your site, it’s gotta be good, right?
Second definition is anchor text. Let’s say I want to send you to Google. I could do it two ways. I could send you via what’s called a “naked link” to http://google.com. Or, I could create anchor text. In this sentence, the word Google is a link, and it’s anchor text.
Now, prior to the Penguin and Panda (Google algorithm) updates, you could easily get paid backlinks, which were used to link visitors to your site. But now Google can sneak into these paid links if the anchor text to these backlinks is over optimized.
For instance, let’s pretend you’re still our San Diego chiropractor and you’ve paid for backlinks on other sites with something like ‘chiropractor San Diego best chiropractic care San Diego’ as anchor text, Google won’t like that.
Rule of thumb: if what you’re writing or paying for doesn’t read or sound like normal English, and you’re a website written in English, it won’t fly with Google.
- Spammy Directories
Think of Yellow Pages as a directory. There are tons of random directories on the internet. Many were created as a way to manipulate the Google rankings. Google figured that out, too. Really, though? A website made solely for backlinks? If it sounds too good to be true in SEO… If it isn’t too good now, it will be, soon.
Needless to say, getting your backlinks from spammy directories no longer works. Furthermore, if the major part of your back linking consists of directory links from spammy sites, this could damage the overall ranking of your website. Having your backlinks on legitimate directories like Yelp, though, is still good.
- Link Wheels and Private Blog Networks
These are tricky, because they occur naturally. When they occur naturally, they work and increase your Google search results. That means, it’s also possible to effectively create them to increase your Google search results.
What we’re talking about here is doing them badly, in a way that causes Google to penalize you.
First, a definition, to be clear. Private blog networks, or PBN’s, are expired domains that Google considers to have Trust and Influence that are acquired and then a new website is created for the purpose of linking to your main website, which then passes on the “juice” or power of that domain.
- Article Marketing
This method was used to get backlinks by posting keyword stuffed articles on numerous Article Directories. This strategy became too easy. By using article spinning software, you could rapidly create and post a massive number of low-quality articles to these directories with links to your website. But just like other tactics, article marketing has become useless. The reasoning behind the diminishing power is because the content was not considered valuable and where low-quality content and toxic backlinks reside, Google now knows to filter them out.
When you are looking to improve your site rankings and implementing top SEO techniques, you definitely will want to consider the things that will hurt you in the long run. Stay consistent and do what work and you’ll see solid return on your efforts. Don’t take the short cuts, it inevitably cause you more harm than good.