SEO Techniques You Should Get Rid Of Immediately
SEO dominates the world of online business in the 21st century. The number of websites, blogs, e-commerce portals and all other entities on the Web are increasing at an exponential rate every passing second. Naturally, all stakeholders in this great ecosystem are battling it out for the top spot on search results. SEO being the method by which this can be achieved makes it one of the most in-demand services of today.
However, as many website owners have found to their dismay, merely applying a few techniques for web page optimization will not allow you to rank number one on Google, or on any other search engine for that matter. SEO is a complex process that involves the incorporation of multiple factors and techniques which work together in tandem to provide you a place at the top of the search results.
SEO is not necessarily a new concept. The inception of SEO began in the 1990s at about the same time the very first search engines started to index the Web (source: Wikipedia.com). In those nascent days of the Web, SEO was a fairly easy process which involved webmasters submitting requests to the search engines for including their websites. Eventually the web crawlers would index the site and people could search for it on the internet. It was that simple.
As the Web grew, so did the complexity of SEO. Today, in the present conditions of the Web as a dynamic ecosystem which is changing every moment, SEO techniques that were once valid are no longer relevant. So just sticking to the old-school methods of optimization will not get you the required rankings.
In fact it may just harm your website.
What Is Black-Hat SEO?
Black-Hat SEO essentially refers to SEO tactics that are deemed as unethical by the search engines. These SEO techniques involve the manipulation of the way search engines index the web, thereby tricking them into ranking a website higher than it deserves to be. Newcomers to the SEO discipline may be tempted to use these techniques as they often yield faster results in the short term.
But only in the short term.
Black-Hat SEO techniques can never work to maintain your search engine rankings in the long term. By using these shortcuts you would actually be violating the search guidelines laid down by major search engines such as Google. This can lead to serious consequences such as downgrading of your organic ranking; in the worst-case scenario it can even lead to your website being banned from the search results altogether.
It must be kept in mind, however, that not all SEO failures stem from intentional use of Black-Hat SEO practices. There are certain SEO procedures which were legal once upon a time, but are considered ill-used and Black-Hat today. Unintentional use of such SEO practices can lead you to drop in the search rankings. Further, there are some SEO methods which no longer yield the same level of results as they earlier used to.
Hence SEO services are very careful in deciding and applying SEO tactics. This article will discuss some SEO techniques that are no longer effective, and may even be considered Black-Hat. Read on to find out more.
SEO Techniques You Should Stop Using
The following is a detailed discussion on some of the SEO techniques that should not be used to artificially boost search rankings:
Perhaps the most common SEO mistake you can make is of keyword stuffing. This refers to littering your content with out-of-context keywords and numbers. This practice stems from the earlier days of the Web when the number of websites was small and search engines mostly worked based on the textual content of the web pages and sites they indexed. In fact, it used to be a legitimate way of getting your website ranked.
Nowadays the practice is widely frowned upon by users and SEO services alike. Not only does it violate search engine best practices, it even undermines the quality of your content. Consider reading an article with “best dentist located in your area” on every other line. Would you return to that article ever? Such practices can work towards getting your website penalized.
To get rid of this tactic, always use content that is written for humans, not search engines. Free flowing and conversational content always scores well over mechanically optimized text stuffed with keywords at inopportune positions. Keywords should be included in your text in a natural manner such that it does not halt the flow of your content. This will always improve your rank in the eyes of your users and search engines alike.
Poor Or Plagiarized Content
Low quality content can hurt your SEO efforts like nothing else. If your site only publishes thin, poorly researched content that delivers very little value to users, then you should immediately stop and address the situation. Visitors to any website always value informative and well-researched content that caters to their queries; consequently Google (and other search engines, for that matter) always give ranking preference to content rich websites.
Another SEO sin that you should be wary of is plagiarism. Copying content from other sources without permission and using them is a sure-shot way to getting your website blacklisted. It can even land you in legal problems. When publishing content make sure it is original, informative and of the highest quality. There are many tools that can help you with this, but for the best results you should take the help of a SEO company in India.
Hidden Text And Links
Adding hidden texts and links to your website used to be a popular way to up your website ranking. This was usually done in the form of hidden links, or links and text that were of the same color as the webpage background. Such text is invisible to humans but can be seen by search engines.
This technique should no longer be used. The presence of hidden text and links in your web pages undermines their authority in the eyes of the search engines, and can lead to negative outcomes. Scan your site to find and get rid of any such hidden elements.
Improper Linking Practices
There is a popular myth about SEO that the more the number of links your website has, the greater will be its ranking. While quality backlinks do help the SEO of a website, unnatural linking practices can cause more harm than good. Resorting to techniques such as link buying and link exchanging can harm your site’s ranking.
Ask any top SEO agency and they will advise you to immediately stop using such techniques. Links that are not organically build up but instead sourced from link farms will definitely result in penalization. Another mistake is to include too many links too fast. This is considered artificial link building and lowers the ranking of your website.
Always allow links to build up naturally over time. Trying to force the process can work against you. Further, focus more on high quality links from relevant, authoritative sites than on the number of the links. A few quality links can improve your ranking more than a thousand irrelevant ones.
Excessive Optimization Of Anchor Text
Including target keywords in the anchor text indiscriminately can cause search engines to penalize you. Know as over-optimization of anchor text, this is another technique considered as Black-Hat. When including keywords in your anchor text, take care not to do so for each and every link you include in your webpage. Instead, use regular linking practices to connect pages on your website.
Guest Blog Spam
Guest blogging used to be a legitimate way to get quality backlinks to your website, and if used with care it still can be. However, spammers have manipulated this channel to include low-quality guest posts that deliver little to no value for the readers; the sole purpose of these posts is to increase the number of links. Often such posting connects sites that have no relevance with each other. Therefore, if you are using this SEO route, take the help of trained SEO services to stick to the guidelines.
Doorway Pages And Cloaking
If you are using methods such as including low quality doorway pages and cloaking to trick the search engines then it’s time to stop. These practices deceive the users and lead them to web pages that have little or no value for them. Advanced search engine algorithms are smart enough to capture such trickery and will penalize your website. Instead, associate yourself with a top SEO agency to improve your SEO campaign.
Most search engines, especially Google, apply advanced technologies such as machine learning to provide customers with a relevant search experience. Therefore, even though using these techniques may result in an increase in ranking initially, in the long run they will attract severe consequences which may lead to your site getting blacklisted. To avoid such penalties, stop using these improper methods and take the help of experienced digital marketing services to improve your SEO efforts. It takes time to rise in the SERPs organically, but remember, there are no shortcuts to success.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The author Raju Chakraborty possesses a vast experience in the IT industry, especially in the domains of website and mobile app development and digital marketing. He writes on topics encompassing the above mentioned domains and is considered a maven in his chosen field – Information Technology. He manages the ISO 9001:2016 certified company, Webguru Infosystems.