Famous SEO Shortcuts to Avoid
The landscape of marketing has changed, and small, local businesses that want to grow their operation need to take search engine optimization into account. For those new to the process, this is no easy feat. Crafting solid local SEO takes time and dedication no different than any other business process. And while there are plenty of dubious online personalities peddling a quick path to SEO success, their tactics are proven failures. These days everyone who tries to game the system gets caught eventually. So in the interest of enlightening businesses about the dark days on online marketing pre-Hummingbird update, here are some now-debunked shortcuts that have been relegated to the garbage can of SEO history. Avoid them at all costs.
Many SEOs still tout the benefits of keyword strategy, and reasonable marketers can disagree on just how vital keywords are these days. (Google’s Hummingbird update served to place more emphasis on the search query as a whole rather than on individual keywords.) What isn’t in dispute is that the importance of keywords has diminished significantly since Google’s last update. Before, the common thread of lazy SEO was keyword stuffing. Content producers would shoehorn as many popular keywords into junk text as they could in the hopes of achieving high search rankings. This worked for a while—until it didn’t.
This is an oldie but a goodie. Its inclusion on this list serves to represent just how unscrupulous some marketers were when trying to pull one over on Google. There was a long period when advertisers would actually hide multiple keywords in a piece of content by making them the same color as the background text. How they were silly enough to think that search engine programmers would never figure out this trick is still a mystery.Therefore, any SEO “consultant” who proposes this tactic should be run out of the room immediately.
Shady backlinking practices
Getting quality backlinks has always been an integral part of successful SEO. And, like most things, getting these links is easier said than done. That’s why many businesses were taken in by companies (usually from oversees) that promised oodles and oodles of quality links—for a price. The problem was that the business in questionwas often buying backlinks on low-quality sites that Google had little regard for. In the end, the links weren’t worth the paper the money spent on buying them was printed on. Some sound advice for those looking to craft a legitimately successful backlinking strategy can be found here.
This is a shortcut many ecommerce sites take for no other reason than it is easy. On many of these sites the same product descriptions will appear for the same products on different web pages, which is hardly malicious. The problem? It’s considered duplicate content. And while duplicate stock descriptions are not penalized, per se, they are not rewarded, either.
These are some things businesses should keep in mind when considering SEO strategies. Knowing the history of search engine optimization and what to avoid will help businesses better prepare for the future and know which tactics to invest in.