SEO Techniques that are No Longer Effective

If you’re responsible for your company’s search engine marketing, you’ll want to know that you are implementing practices that are current and are in line with Google’s best practices. Here are 5 old SEO techniques that you should avoid, if you want to maximise your website’s organic performance online.

1. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword optimisation has changed significantly over the years. It was once all about keyword density and keyword proximity, which took little skill to master, just a bit of time. It was effective, but it got abused by web owners of spam sites wanting to jump the ranks by keyword stuffing.

The gaming of such a system led to a mixed bag of listings in the SERPs that compromised the quality of results. Google subsequently introduced Google Panda to promote quality of content, an algorithm that has been evolving ever since, to ensure Google is the number one search engine for results.

These days Google Panda uses latent semantic indexing (LSI). When your site is crawled, Google looks at the keyword and then matches synonyms that relate to that keyword.

Synonyms naturally appear in descriptive content when its written creatively andwith the intention of informing a user. Although there is still an element of trying to play this system, you cannot include these words easily if you are cutting corners, which means you have to spend time making quality content…..which is exactly what Google favours.

So, ditch the keyword stuffing and focus on how informative your content is to the end user and how well linked it is to other information sources.

2. Too Many Backlinks

A particular way that Google used to determine the quality of a site was by the number of other sites linking to it. It was assumed that the more backlinks from these sites, the more popular your site was and therefore the more-weighty.

As web peeps cottoned onto this, the demand arose for link buying and selling. This was a rather fruitful way for sellers to make money and for buyers to improve their rankings easily. But similar to the issues with keywords, this did not necessarily produce quality listings in the SERPs.

In April 2012, Google released Google Penguin. Penguin sought to filter out the poor-quality sites, penalising those that were artificially boosting their listings by having an unnaturally high level of backlinks, especially links from low quality or ‘spammy’ sites. The penalty was either a loss of rankings or a disappearance altogether from the SERPs.

Whilst Google still factors backlinks into its ranking factors, Google favours quality over quantity, encouraging links from highly relevant and well-established sources within your industry.

It’s better to have one highly prized link from an industry publication for example, than say 20 semi-relevant links that you’ve bought from a link seller.

An effective way to naturally achieve backlinks is from upping your PR and social media activity.

3.Use of Microsites

Microsites are websites that are created as separate entities to your website, with the aim of driving specific traffic there, rather than within your main site. They were a popular way of dominating search results up until around 2011, when they became a hindrance to SEO.

Microsites gained popularity because they had the ability to target a more specific audience and rank for long tail keywords.

In some cases, where the microsite served a genuine purpose for your branding, it was deemed ok to use them to drive traffic for a specific theme, however they became overused and fell into the black hat pot of techniques.

If you need to promote a specific product, service or campaign with a unique story to tell, a microsite is a way to avoid dilution of that message, but it’s unlikely to improve your SEO performance or dominate the search results in the way it might have done 7 or 8 years ago.

If improved SEO performance is what you most desire for a particular product or service, then unless it’s branded differently, we recommend adjusting your sitemap and your keyword mapping within your main site, which will carry the most weight online.

Need Help with SEO?

To discuss more about how SEO can help grow your business, by avoiding the pitfalls and practicing the white hat techniques, Whitefish Marketing can help. We are an established digital marketing agency based in Folkestone, Kent with a team of skilled SEO consultants. Call us today on 01303 720 288.

Alternatively, use our FREE SEO audit tool to see how your business is currently performing.

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