Website owners have long been using old SEO methods to build domain authority. Unfortunately, under the false impression that these will help build recognition, the opposite often leads to disappointment.
The temptation to use these strategies is overwhelming because of outdated information. But it’s time to get your game up to speed and delete these from your box of tools.
Some of these outdated tactics are keyword stuffing, cannibalization, over-optimizing anchor text, and several other obsolete approaches that attract unwanted Google penalties.
Also, get rid of link spamming, content duplication, and other SEO tactics that derail search efforts before your domain authority hits rock bottom.
Clean Up Your SEO Strategy
The use of excellent SEO tactics is the lifeblood of building domain authority. So, instead of using outdated SEO tactics that are useless and do more harm than good, focus on creating valuable content for your users.
While many website owners think that they know what good SEO is all about, they try to make it happen by stretching themselves too thinly—and they end up paying the price. Unfortunately, the costs increase without improving sales or visibility when attempting to do it alone.
Instead, paying for a reputable SEO service who have years of experience will save you money, time, and effort. The upshot of using expert services is that you get what you want. In addition, your domain authority grows due to quality content that embodies current, viable SEO tactics.
Trusted Search Marketing understands that we first need to know what your business is about before developing a strategy that works. We appreciate that research comes before designing a plan to help you achieve your goals with our SEO Services.
Here is a Few of the Services You’ll Want to Look for When Looking Into SEO Services:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) targeted campaigns for immediate results instead of waiting for positive outcomes from organic searches.
- Targeted social media strategies that produce tangible growth in the form of significant loyal follower growth and brand awareness.
- Influencer campaigns that cost less than you might think and deliver much more than you might anticipate
- Building links with credible sites that are Google friendly to improve your domain authority.
- Blogs, graphics, or video content marketing tick all the squares to grow your brand and the story behind your efforts.
Google uses artificial intelligence to grade your site, and we use our tech-savvy SEO experience to reach real people. In the process, we create strategies that matter.
Avoid Taking SEO Shortcuts That Do More Harm Than Good
Although there are many hacks that people use, these are the most common that we’ll discuss in detail:
- Keyword stuffing
- Link spamming
- Content duplication
- Over optimizing anchor text
Avoid using these outdated SEO tactics or get help from the experts.
What is Keyword Stuffing?
What is keyword stuffing? It’s immediately recognizable because it makes the content awkward, unbearable to read, and virtually meaningless. Keyword stuffing is so transparent that it is embarrassing, rapidly driving traffic where you don’t want it—away from you and to the competition.
In case we’re not being clear about what we mean when we speak about keyword stuffing, here’s an exaggerated example:
Are you searching for German Shepherd dog breeders in Lancaster, PA? If so, we are the most reputable breeders in Lancaster, PA. We use a scientific breeding program that relies on expert guidance to produce the best German Shepherd puppies. We also take care to source our dogs from alternate sources to build the strongest gene pool for your German Shepherd pup in Lancaster, PA. So, contact us today for your new puppy for the most reliable, reputable German Shepherd dog breeders in Lancaster, PA.
The overuse of Lancaster, PA, and German Shepherd is easy to spot, and the repetition is annoying. This description was possible with half the works and one mention each of high-value keywords. Significantly, it spoils the experience for the reader looking for helpful information rather than blatant repetition to impress Google (the opposite of which happens).
The next issue is how what level of keyword density is appropriate? One way to check is by using a first impression test after reading what you’ve written. Your gut instinct or first impression may not be scientific, but it is likely a good indicator of what not to do.
If the blog is easy to read and adds value without the constant distraction of blatant stuffing of keywords, then it’s probably good. If your eye is not constantly drawn to repetitive keywords throughout the blog, you’ll be able to pick up that it was written for you and not a robot.
Alternatively, if you’re not confident about your reading abilities or instinct due to inexperience, you might want scientific validation. If that is true, you can use a free keyword density tool. This tool will check the article and provide you with a report reflecting the percentage of use of keywords in the overall document word count. Scientific and reliable, you want the result to show an acceptable industry standard keyword usage between 1% and 3%. If you’re feeling lucky, you can even push this usage up to 5%. But, of course, going higher will be a mistake.
To put this in perspective, using a free keyword density tool for the example above revealed that the words German, Shepherd, and Lancaster have a density of 8.7%. Even pushing the boundaries, this figure is too high and detracts from the overall user experience—not good.
Overuse of keywords first began in the 1990s. SEOs would make a list of keywords and then generate variations to use repeatedly throughout their content. Some SEOs would get even more creative by blanking out their text in white font and listing the keywords at the end of the page to cover up their keyword stuffing. This practice had a dual goal—it hid some of the stuffing from readers but made it available for spiders to read.
Unfortunately for these SEO practitioners, Google quickly cottoned on to their deception and began penalizing this method. But old habits are tough to shake, which is why this practice remains and is still detrimental to its users.
Do you think duplicating keywords across multiple articles on your site is a good idea? Think again!
Duplication might sound like a great idea because you’re creating more keywords for Google to find. But that is wrong! This SEO practice is known as cannibalization.
Your goal is to create greater site recognition and domain authority, but you’re doing harm. Google robots go through your pages, pick up these multiple duplications, and you lose visitors. You also point them in the wrong direction, leading queries to incorrect pages. Additionally, your SERP rankings go on a rollercoaster ride, and you lose sales.
You might not even be aware that you’re applying cannibalization because of inexperience. But when you take the well-trodden road to double up on keywords across articles, you’re ruining your SEO potential.
What you’re actually doing is cannibalizing your content. You’re watering down your Clickthrough Rate (CTR), splitting up links, dividing content ranking potential, and diluting two-page conversion opportunities that should reflect as one.
Google algorithms see these tricks and give you less than what you want, which is what your site pages deserve. You are not adding reader value because you’re writing for robots. The result is that your domain authority suffers for the user query you’re trying to create.
For example, you may be selling a product like toolboxes. You use keyword stuffing by focusing on toolboxes without providing detail. Toolboxes are available in various shapes, sizes, purposes, brands, and more. Unless your site acknowledges the depth and breadth of this field, you’re going to be on the losing side.
Another outdated SEO tactic to avoid is link spamming. Google penalizes this misuse of tactics to the extent that they name it negative SEO. Link spamming is a spurious industry that throws so much negativity your way that not only Google but other search engines will make you pay the price.
Many agencies use this practice, taking your money under the guise that it will help to build your business. As horrible as it is to hear, you are throwing your money away. They gain, and you lose because this type of practice is easily scalable, and they know that you lack the knowledge and the expertise to go it alone.
This situation is unfortunate when you could pay for professional work from agencies that value their reputations and yours.
Use a known SEO agency to build links that matter. The alternative is undesirable repercussions like Google penalties, a significant drop in domain authority, loss of site credibility and business.
Here are six types of link spam that are detrimental, so avoid taking SEO shortcuts that will quickly make your site lose any progress you might have made with meaningful strategies:
- Private blog networks. These networks are what you think. They’re a selection of privately owned blogs, and the owners use them to triangulate links to your site or focus on spammy links between their sites.
- Low paid quality links. This strategy concentrates efforts on manipulating search results. Google doesn’t like it because it lowers the overall tone of search results. Don’t do it!
- Link exchanges and link wheels. Use high-quality websites if you aim to build solid, credible links and backlinks. The problem with this approach is that high-quality sites won’t want to associate with startups using questionable SEO methods.
Link exchanges typically focus on link swaps (exchanges). If these are overused between sites, Google identifies them and will give these sites a big thumbs down.
Similarly, link wheels refer to the use or creation of a bunch of microsites in the same or a similar niche. Links exchanges between these sites aren’t easy for the usual traffic to notice, but Google is quick on the uptake. You suffer the results of low rankings.
- Low-quality press release syndication. Everyone wants to build their website reputations fast, driving cheap, low-quality use of press release syndication. What is it? Press release syndication involves sharing content with a network of partners.
- The intention is to get your press release in front of as many eyes as possible. Using the wrong sites or low-quality press releases may improve search engine rankings for a while. The problem may be the sites or the quality of the press release, or both. However, using a high-quality marketing agency achieves positive results.
- Social bookmarking sites. Unless you’re using social bookmarking sites to add value to the user’s experience of your site, you’re spamming. Despite this knowledge (or lack thereof), many practitioners still use this tactic to bookmark sites on social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and others. What happens is an overabundance of backlinks that direct traffic away from where you need them to be—on your website.
- Blog/forum comment spam. Check your website for bad links like this because they are incredibly annoying. Anyone using this outdated SEO tactic is definitely getting on the wrong side of people. Essentially, they are trolling social media, blogs, and other forums to drop their links. It’s useless and not credible, so avoid taking SEO shortcuts that make you look cheap.
If you do research, you’ll find many more examples of link spam. Later, we’ll cover how to find these links. But, for now, we’ll stick to learning more about poor SEO activities that are worthless.
One more tip before we go on is about bad link neighborhoods. You’ll want to stay away from sites that use the 6 Ps (what we call them) of link building. These sites include porn or adult content, poker (gambling), paid affiliates, payday loans, pills like weight loss products, and private blog networks.
Although these links may take you to businesses that are okay, they are notorious for using poor link-building methods, which rub off on your site.
Check your website for inferior links because they’re there, even if you’re not aware of their presence. Most of all, stick to neighborhoods links that share the same status you’d like to achieve.
Next up is to check pages for duplicate content, also known as article spinning.
Content to acquire backlinks is the usual method of earning valuable links. Unfortunately, creating content (like this) takes time, including days or weeks, to achieve.
Some internet marketers will cut corners to avoid this time-consuming process by taking a piece of content and distributing it to various external websites. The upshot is that Google devalues it, precisely why article spinning came about.
Article spinning is relatively self-explanatory. Writers or content spinners use the same content with different words (synonyms). You can even find software to do this job, but it will never substitute good work. So, avoid trying to cut SEO corners as it is a surefire way for Google to penalize your website.
Instead, write unique content that generates value, no matter how time-consuming. Also, develop original work for your site and others for outreach purposes. Google values quality, as do readers.
If you fail to observe this basic rule, you will fall prey to Google’s algorithm, as millions of others have done. Just ask those who bore the brunt of Google’s Panda Update, also known as the Farmer update. It proved to be a wrecking ball for many, and you don’t want to be a part of the wrong crowd in this regard.
Over Optimizing Anchor Text
Instead of over-optimizing anchor text, go for anchor text diversity.
Anchor text over-optimization is a spam tactic that is overused and outdated. For anyone who doesn’t know what this means, anchor text is the part you click on that takes you to another page on the same website.
Google reads anchor texts to understand more about the linked page. For example, if the anchor text reads “dogs,” Google interprets the linked page as containing information about dogs.
We saw the overuse of this method in the SEO community in their attempts to optimize link signals that it eventually became known as Google bombing.
A demonstration of this method was the term “click here.” At first, “click here” was associated with the Adobe PDF reader download page. Interesting, right? But the website owners never did page optimization for this keyword. Instead, so many people created links to the “click here” page that Google later associated this term with Adobe’s page.
It was logical to create this link because websites wanted their readers to view a page in PDF. Therefore, the linking typically looked like this, “To download a PDF reader, click here.”
Since then, Google has progressed. Recognition of the over-optimization of anchor texts has been built into their spam algorithm. Learning from this experience, too, SEOs have become more cautious and strategic in using this method of linking. Now, we generate a mixture of signals, including anchor text diversity and main keyword optimization, such as:
- Keyword variations
- Branded keywords
- Naked URLs, and
When we first take on new SEO clients, we do an anchor text analysis to ensure variety. Following the assessment, we weigh the application of anchor text diversity with competitive intelligence gathering.
Surprisingly, our clients quickly (relatively) see an improvement in their overall ranking signals. We achieve this simply with anchor text variation by adding non-keyword-related terms.
Ultimately, our action is two-fold.
The big takeaways are that you should assess your link profile. You do this to learn what strategy you need and then use your anchor text to support that strategy.
Do the “Is It That Easy?” Test
We can continue listing many outdated SEO spam tactics, but I think you get the picture. So instead, we want to share a simple test.
Our test is to ask yourself, “Is it that easy?”
Here are several examples to show you what we mean.
- Is it that easy to pay an agency $300 monthly for SEO so that your site can outrank (or equal) established companies that have been implementing high-level SEO for years? Absolutely not, but thousands of people still use this strategy.
- Is it that easy to try and trick Google with hidden doorways or by cloaking web pages? Again, the answer is “No.” If it were that simple, everyone would do it, and most do. Unfortunately for you, Google is more intelligent than that.
- Is it that easy to hide text or links on a page to manipulate search engines? Also, “No.” It isn’t that easy because there is no quick route to top rankings here. It takes hard work and comprehensive SEO knowledge to grow. Without it, your site stays in the shadows
There are no SEO shortcuts, but tons of SEO agencies want you to pay for snake oil solutions. None of them work with search engines. You’re out of pocket, stretching already limited resources, and you might find your website’s credibility wanes even further.
Sure, black hat SEO tactics can work in the short term. But, regrettably, it could take months and loads of cash investment to clean up the mess and repair the damage.
Instead, this year, we recommend that you reconsider your options.
You can do your research by checking your site’s use of outdated SEO tactics like those discussed here and others. Or you can get help from an agency that knows what it’s doing.
Take a moment and invest in future-proofing your SEO efforts with our Lancaster SEO Company. This investment of time could be one of the most important things you do for your business this year.
We offer a free assessment of your website (as do many other agencies). We then develop a strategy to build your website rankings following industry-level standards that won’t leave you in the lurch—so let’s chat!