5 Obsolete SEO Tactics

SEO is an industry in constant metamorphoses. A tactic that is working one day may be completely useless the next day. There was a time when all of the techniques listed below were able to improve a site’s ranking in the search engines but that is not the case today. Search engines (especially Google) are getting very smart in differentiating spam from quality in not only webpages but also the backlinks of webpages. Here are 5 SEO techniques that are now, in my opinion, obsolete:

1.  Blog Networks: Earlier this year, Google was on a war path against blog networks, deindexing the thousands of sites of all the major networks. According to Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google, they are developing tools to find and deindex blog networks. Matt Cutts has also stated that there is almost ALWAYS a footprint in any network, and I have to agree. In almost every blog network that I have run across, I have always found a footprint; some common footprints are: two links in every post, zero nofollow links, all posts are approximately the same length, all blogs linking out to the same exact sites, and all blogs hosted on the same IP address. There is also evidence that Google has implemented changes in its algorithm to account for these footprints and devalue any links that fit a certain criteria. There is also evidence that blogroll/sitewide links have been devalued. I can testify for that because just a few weeks ago, I bought a blogroll link from a PR 4 site and soon after doing so, my site went from being ranked 12th to 38th. I quickly asked that the link be removed and soon after it was removed, my site jumped back up to ranking 26th. Coincidence? I doubt it.

2.  Keyword Stuffing: There once was a time when stuffing keywords in the footer and making them the same color as the background so that they are unnoticeable to visitors actually helped improve rankings, but those days are long gone. Google has begun penalizing sites that blatantly stuff keywords (especially after the Penguin update). Keyword density is something that webmasters should monitor every now and then to make sure it is not too high. Keyword stuffing in the content of a webpage is not the only thing that can hurt your site. If the keyword anchor texts of your backlinks are too much of the same or too “keyword-rich”, that is also something that can possibly hurt your site. So be sure to have at least a few generic words like “click here” or “learn more” in the anchor texts of your backlinks.

3.  Profile Links: Profile links were once considered an important part of any link building strategy. These days, they are essentially useless. Contextual links are what Google loves most. Links on pages with little to no content on them have been becoming less and less valuable and this trend is likely to continue.

4.   Link Exchanges: About 5-6 years ago, link exchanges were the most popular form of link building. Instead of blog networks, there were link exchange networks. But in recent algorithm updates, Google has penalized sites with too many link exchanges and devalued reciprocal links. If you really want to do link exchanges, do them with only a few, high quality, relevant sites.

5.   Meta Keyword Tag: The meta keyword tag was once used as a ranking factor in Google’s search rankings but because of too many people abusing and spamming it by putting in as many keywords as possible, Google no longer considers it as a ranking factor. It does consider the meta description tag now, but it has very little importance.

Rob Maynard is a webmaster, writer, and online marketer who has been working in the SEO industry for almost 10 years. He is currently working as a writer for a website hosting reviews site.


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13 Responses to 5 Obsolete SEO Tactics

  1. Thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well Spot on with this write-up, I truly think http://www.addme.com needs much more consideration. I’ll probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.

  2. Yup, these activities are now out of date and no longer considered in the Search Engine community for better ranking position. There are now quality link building techniques and for partial link building as well helping in Penguin situation.

  3. The details posted in the blog are really very useful and also best approach among all the operations for providing the traffic and back links for the users as well as for their web site for getting the ranking more easily and with effective performance. All these operations are very necessary for the best promotion of the user’s website and also there are many companies providing the most effective services as well as information regarding the task.

  4. Thank you for explaining the SEO facts of life in this article. As a small business fighting on a daily business to survive in the online marketplace. We are finding that we are spending about the same amount of time just keeping ourselves ‘found on google’ as we are managing the business. We work hard to keep informed to make the right choices for doing the best work with the resource that we have. But with things changing at such a rapid speed it is hard to keep up. Still, we soldier on.

    Thanks again for the info. Appreciate it.

  5. Diolt says:

    The tips posted above are absolutely essential in SEO. There are rumors in market that SEO is dead now. But i say until search engines alive SEO is alive..

  6. I am now at a complete loss! Should I carry on with my link building campaign or will I get penalised by Google? I thought I knew what I was doing but now I am really confused!

  7. dave beatty says:

    Things on google are changing every day.But if we are told to jump off a bridge over a revine with no water underneith would you.Google also is a link farm but it depeciates websites with links,figure that one out.Love all your info just seems like google does not like competition.

  8. Sharron says:

    Over the past few years, Google has become much better at detecting spam signals via anchor text. It is now absolutely crucial to balance out and effectively manage the distribution of anchors. Even slightly overdoing it can see a huge devaluation in link power, but until not that long ago it was possible to rank fairly well by gaining a large volume of exact match anchors. Like all of the tactics listed, this had a certain time limit to its effectiveness, but Google is certainly much quicker at detecting it now.

  9. If Google’s algorithm begins to organize search using social engagement factors and other human sharing behaviors, will this pose a threat to traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? For instance, link building, keyword optimization, etc.?

    Will SEO companies be forced to become more like traditional PR and marketing companies in order to survive?

  10. SEO Pakistan says:

    What still matters in your onpage strategy, your content with keywords and authoritative, relative links.

  11. Thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well Spot on with this write-up,

  12. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it,
    you might be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come back in the future.

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