SEO can get a little funny from time to time, don’t you think?
You follow a given approach to better your SEO and boost your search engine rankings. Shortly after, you discern a new development in algorithms and whatever you did to increase your website traffic is now in fact pulling you further down on search results decreasing your search value.
Businesses and brands online have never expressed any conservation on being creative when it comes to SEO, so much so that search engines had to come up with numerous terminologies to better segregate SEO content, such as White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. While somethings might have worked for you initially, the same techniques are likely to be pulling you down on SERPs (search engine result pages) now.
We all know it is difficult to let go of old habits, but if you know it is going to hurt you in the future you should drop it right away! Here is a list of five old-school SEO techniques that you have always sworn by but need to let go now.
1. Keyword stuffing for SEO friendly content
Keywords have always been a holy grail for SEO. Using targeted keywords, which are high in search volumes and speak directly to your audience seems like a good approach.
But, when did too much of anything resulted in good?
Same is the case here! Keyword stuffing, as the name suggests, is inserting large number of keywords in your web content, including meta tags, meta descriptions and even image alt tags to artificially increase one’s ranking on SERPs and drive more traffic to their website
This method might have worked in the past, but now is obsolete. According to the Google Panda algorithm update in 2017, quality of keywords and website content rules over quantity.
2. Spamming footers with tags and links for increased SEO value
Effectively done, headers and footers on any website can promote cross-navigation and facilitate easy movement on the website, automatically pushing up the search rankings on Google. This kind of cross-linking to different pages on the website (that are connected one way or another) can result in more clicks and higher conversions.
However, some websites will often stuff these sections with irrelevant tags and linking to peripheral pages, with the hopes to rank up higher on search engines. In 2017, Google Penguin update drastically changed SEO landscape, debarring webspam and manipulative link building tactics.
Focus on creating dense content for your website, using one main keyword per page. Device a keyword strategy before you even start writing and create a mix of Head, Mid Tail and Long Tail keywords for your content writing.
3. Swapping SEO content
Content swapping could easily be one of the oldest tricks in the book of SEO. Decades ago Google’s algorithms did not have the intelligence to trace most of the SEO tricks people were practicing to rank higher and higher.
Content swapping works like this:
- Post a piece of content writing online
- Wait for it to get crawled
- Once it is indexed by Google, swap it with another article of your choice
This technique was prominently used by SEO experts to avoid late re-indexation of a website by Google. They would simply close a page or an entire website for indexation and swap with new content on a similar or completely different topics altogether.
Google hate content manipulation, so start focusing on content that resonates with your website, is strictly relevant to your audience and provides value to the readers.
4. Content spinning with no original article writing
It would be difficult to assume you never spun an article from another website. Content spinning is common practice in the industry, as people have no time to come up with new ideas every week and need to publish content on their website consistently.
There is no dearth of content on the internet. But, if you keep spinning content from other websites and feeding your audience the same information over and over they are not going to appreciate for long, and neither is Google. And if it finds another article similar to your topic but presented in a much better way, who do you think will get the preference?
Even though you cannot avoid content spinning completely, start adding new information to the content making it a continuation of what has already been done on the subject. This way you not only seem more credible for giving credit to someone who has worked on the same topic before, but you also provide value to your readers by giving them added information.
5. Hidden text to create more SEO content
Hidden text is another old trick in the black-hat SEO. It refers to a large chunk of data that is strategically placed near website footers or far from a users reach strictly for SEO purposes.
It is often uploaded in the same colour as the website background to keep tidy. This text heavily contains almost all of the targeted keywords. However, these might be invisible to the naked eye, but are meant to be read by bots and crawlers for an increased SERP ranking.
While it used to be effective, search engines now have tools to detect black-hat SEO, particularly hidden text, and using this technique will certainly result in pushing down your search engine rankings, rather than promoting it.
These are some of the most common SEO techniques people follow to boost their search rankings even today.
With the ever evolving internet landscape and user’s browsing habits, SEO is making headway to a more open and honest approach to provide information that is most relevant to a search query and also adds value. It may be difficult to let go at first, but if you really want to communicate with your audience effectively you need to follow these guidelines and be sincere with your approach.
Use keywords naturally in your content copy and focus on writing original content for your readers. Even if you decide to spin an article from another website, always give credits and don’t forget to add a new piece of information as your own. At last, don’t fall for shortcuts like hiding unnecessary text on your website or using too many keywords as anchor text.
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