Say Goodbye To These SEO Tactics In 2017
SEO tactics change all the time with Google algorithms. If you have a website that is ranking highly on search engines, then SEO is how you got to that position. If you have a website that is not ranking well at all for your chosen keywords, then your SEO tactics needs a reboot. Regardless of your long term SEO strategy, you would have used a mixture of white hat and black hat SEO tactics. In promoting your website to search engine users, you would have conducted keyword research and created content that complied with Google guidelines.
Just like old memes, some of the SEO tactics have to go. These include SEO tactics that are no longer effective or have been ruled out as blackhat. More on that later. Here are reasons why you want to avoid Google penalties at all costs for your website.
Why Google penalties are bad news
Most SEOs know about the Penguin and Panda updates rolled out by Google over the years. These updates monitored the number of spam links pointing to a website and websites with low quality content. Many websites were affected by the Google updates and in severe cases removed from search results altogether.
Why is this bad news?
Well, it takes months if not years to build a high quality website and get the SERP positions. All of this can disappear overnight with a Google penalty. Your website will lose enough organic traffic to put you out of business. No one serious about creating websites should take Google penalties lightly.
Black hat or white hat SEO tactics?
Black hat SEO tactics can be defined as any SEO practice that violates Google guidelines. It is done to manipulate website rankings and considered a short cut to organic whitehat SEO. The matter of the fact is, most whitehat SEO tactics are manipulative. They may become penalized in the future when Google algorithms change so it is worth evaluating SEO tactics regularly.
There are many different types of blackhat SEO practices which gives the website an unfair advantage over other websites. These practices may seem effective for the short term but they will get penalized as Google gets smarter about manipulative practices.
1.Buying bad quality links
Google can track bad quality links to your website. This was the problem many websites faced with the Penguin penalty; they lost organic traffic due to a bad link profile. Buying links is tempting because it is cheap and it boost the link numbers to thousands quickly. You may have bought links from vendors claiming to sell high Domain Authority links. Bought links are easy to trace and could land you a penalty soon-it is time to stop doing it.
2.Hiding links from Google
Hiding high quantity of links only work if the links goes undetected. It is becoming easier for Google bots to find hidden links and penalize websites. The same goes with visual tricks to hide links. White, or invisible texts, can still be seen by Google.
3.Planting links without discernment in comments
A well known tactic in the past, inserting hyper links into the comments section may get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Some discernment should be exercised in putting links in comments. There is a fine line between spamming the comment section of blogs or videos with links and genuinely providing value in your comments and adding a useful link within.
4.Over optimization with keywords
It is tempting to overuse keywords in content, H2, H3 and alt image descriptions because it is easy and makes it obvious what keywords you are optimizing for. The problem is, this SEO tactic becomes too obvious if that is all website visitors get to see. Website visitors want relevant, high quality content that answers their search queries. Repeating keywords for the sake of ranking for that keyword is very manipulative and does not offer value to readers.
5.Copying content from other websites
It is too time consuming to create fresh, original content all the time. A common blackhat SEO method is to simply plagiarize content from other websites. After all, recycling content is good, right? Wrong. Content stolen from another website word for word is called duplicate content and does not make your website popular with Google. In fact, it is a better use of your time to create new content that will get you the attention you want.
6.Links from irrelevant websites
Getting links from irrelevant websites is as useful as not having links at all. It may even land your website a penalty if Google finds out. Some of these practices include link exchange, footer links from irrelevant website URLs and bought guest post links. Again, the reason you should avoid these SEO practices is because the links add no value to your website visitors.
When the competition gets tough, it is tempting to be underhanded. A common practice is negative SEO. This is linking competitor websites to spam/hacked/low quality websites. The expected outcome is a dip in the competitor’s SERP which can destroy their business. Negative SEO is unethical and not a good way to climb up the ranks. It can also backfire if negative SEO is being used on you.
8.Abusing anchor text
It is easy to abuse anchor texts in order to rank for specific keywords. These links point to a website using text phrases related to it. It can be as simple as repeating ‘mens cashmere vests’ in all anchor texts pointing to the same URL ranking for ‘mens cashmere vests.’ Many SEOs tried this in the past and it worked well-for a while at least. Google can easily detect unnatural anchor texts created to game the system. The safer way of using anchor texts is to use a mixture of branded, generic, naked and partial/exact match anchors. The recommended safe ratios of these anchor texts are:
Branded anchor text: 70%
Naked links: 20%
Generic links: 5%
Partial Match anchors: 5%
Exact Match anchors: 1-5%
Bad quality content is prime target for a Panda penalty. Before you create content, ask yourself if it is relevant, fresh and helpful to your target audience. Optimize content, images and layout so that it delivers the most user friendly and value to your website visitors.
10.Low quality Public Blog Networks
PBNs, or private blog networks, are commonly used to increase website rankings in recent years. Done properly, private blog networks are high quality blogs that provide authoritative links to the main money website. Unfortunately, many PBN services are in fact public blog networks-accessible to all and very low in quality. The content is often spam and irrelevant to the niche. To avoid future penalties, website visitors should do their due diligence on their PBN link profile, Domain Authority, content and trust flow.