5 Your Dad’s SEO Tactics That Will Hurt You
Category : SEO
If you don’t know this yet, the old good days of easy SEO manipulations are gone. It is no longer so easy to rank at the top positions on search engines’ sites just by artificially creating exorbitant number of back-links or flooding your website with sea of keywords. Leading search engines constantly are updating their algorithms and working with all fours to catch and punish those website administrators who are playing dirty.
Google more or less started its biggest changes in 2011. Those algorithm and internet ethics changes started with highly publicized penalization of such giants as Overstok and JCPenny. Later followed many variations of Panda and Penguin algorithms. With every update it became more and more difficult to trick search engines into give a website top position if it is not worth it.
Even though those search engine changes are not a secret anymore, there are plenty of new and more experienced website administrators who are still using old techniques and hope to get their websites at the top of search results. Hopefully, some of them will read this article and change their strategy before search engines will penalize them.
In this article you will learn about 5 most popular techniques that do not work anymore. Those techniques include overuse of cheap backlinks, exaggerated keyword use, link exchanges, anchor text overuse, and creation of more pages with thin content.
More Links don’t Mean Better Rankings
Because of Google’s initial algorithm of Page Ranking, a website with more links pointing to it was considered more important than a website with lesser number of links pointing to it. Consequently, websites with more back-links were listed higher in search results on Google and other search engines. Those old good times ended in 2012 with Google’s Penguin algorithm. Although, not all websites with inorganic links were penalized at that time. Because of enormous number of websites on the internet, the penalties reached some websites a year or even a couple of years later after the update. Now search engines are more interested in quality of links than in quantity. Links from bigger websites with bigger authority are valuable and links from not known or young websites do not carry any SEO value. Links from known link farms and spamming websites will hurt the SEO.
Keywords Can be Overused
The same Penguin algorithm killed another golden goose of black hat SEO specialists – keyword overuse. Search engines use automated programs, called spiders, to crawl the internet and to try to understand content of each website. It was believed that the more keywords one will put on a website the more chance it will have to beat other websites and rank higher. This technique worked in the past but search engines eventually changed their algorithms and now ignore websites with inorganic number of keywords. Although, search engines are not disclosing the expected percentage of keywords on a page, it is highly believed by many SEO specialists that the safes number is around 2%.
Link Exchanges don’t Work Anymore
Unless a website has an exceptional content, it is very hard to get natural back-links from reputable websites. Because of this reason creative websites’ administrators started link exchanges between each other. Link exchange happens when website’s “A” administrator inserts a link of website “B”, and website’s “B” administrator does the same for website “A”. That way both websites are benefiting and furthermore, this procedure doesn’t cost any money! Search engines consider link exchanges as an illegal SEO tactics and now might penalize both websites.
Anchor Text on Links Can be Overused
Anchor text is a peace of visible text on a webpage which works as a variable for the entire link. When one clicks on the anchor text, he or she is transferred to a website which link is hiding behind the anchor text. In old days website administrators would use their keywords as their anchor texts. The more keywords there were, the more important the website would become for that keyword. This strategy does not work anymore. One day Google and other leading search engines realized that it is unnatural and now are looking for more instinctive pattern of anchor texts. Although, there are no exact rules for anchor text usage, many SEO specialists will advise to use many variations of them. Some of anchor texts should be keywords, some of them should just be plain “naked” links, and some of them can be boring “Click Here” phrases. The most important thing for anchor text usage is to look and sound naturally.
More Pages don’t Mean More Traffic
In old good days search engines used to give additional SEO points to websites with many pages without fully analyzing their content. This practice gave unethical website administrators way to pretend to be important and big by just manufacturing many additional web pages with thin content on their site. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for ethical internet users this strategy no longer works. Search engines’ algorithms nowadays give them ability to better understand the content and red-flag unethical practices.
In conclusion, to avoid penalization from search engines one has to play by the rules. There are no old school secrets to rank higher by doing less work than others. For unethical practices search engines can drastically demote a website or in some cases stop showing it at all. Thank you for reading and good luck!