How to remove the skeletons from your SEO closet
As the horror of Halloween dawns upon us, we’re uncovering old SEO practices that used to improve your Google ranking but are now definitely not a good idea. More important than getting a costume to frighten your friends, more important than trick-or-treating: this Halloween, it’s time to wade through those cobwebs and make sure you’ve removed all the skeletons from your SEO closet.
Fake blood or fake reviews
Google has smartened up to the strategy of deceiving consumers with fake reviews. Previously, it has been possible to source companies (often in developing countries) to spam websites with fake positive reviews about your business. This unnatural method used to have a huge impact on click-through rates. But Google has smartened up to this technique and you will be penalised.
This Halloween, it’s time to get smart and focus on getting natural reviews with great products and excellent customer service, ready to impress Google and improve your click-through rates.
Quality links vs. quantity
Building backlinks remains incredibly important when trying to rise in the SERPS, however there used to be some very questionable methods to do this. Disreputable outfits called ‘Link Farms’ sprang up to build links in huge volumes. The quality of the linking domain was never a consideration for these ‘Farms’, it was purely about quantity – and they adopted tactics such as forum spamming for example to quickly build their links.
However, in 2013 Google’s Penguin update was introduced designed to stop this practice. This update made it important to use high quality links and not just think about quantity. Paid guest blogging and product endorsements are by no means dead but you have to be smarter and more relevant with how you go about link building.
Remember, less is more and it’s important to use links in the right spirit (just as you do with Halloween).
Dressing-up content with keywords
Back when we all of us at Tamar Towers were still trick-or-treaters, keyword stuffing used to be a recognised technique to move up the ranks. Companies were able to publish content where keywords represented 4-7% of the total text and still rank highly. This meant that web pages became notoriously hard to read and also exceptionally repetitive.
Imagine a page that reads… ‘London SEO Agency based in London specialising in SEO’ This is keyword stuffing and it’s hard to believe it but this used to be a relatively easy way to move up the SERPS. This particular practice is now a penalty offence and thus punishable by Google.
Today, you should be writing great content and using natural keywords that make sense to your website if you want to see results. Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past and, if you haven’t already, it’s time to remove it from your SEO closet.
Content for the sake of content
Websites need content but what they don’t need is content spinning. It used to be a viable SEO tactic to produce high volumes of similar content and get SEO results. Software exists, for example, that takes an already written piece of content and then rewrites it. These types of software are able to rewrite in a way that makes content look original and to churn a high volume of rewritten content out. This used to work for SEO but it definitely doesn’t anymore.
Content for the sake of content, is not a tactic you should be adopting; relevant content with a purpose is good. It’s time to stop rewriting old content by using spinning software and to start writing engaging content that the user wants to read.
To conclude …
Google is constantly updating its algorithm and what works today may not work tomorrow so, in what’s often viewed as the spooky world of SEO, it’s important to stay on your toes to anticipate where the next ranking fright might come from.