If you own an online business, you know how important SEO and legitimate link-building are. But many old-school SEO tactics are ineffective. If you do some of the SEO tactics below, Google could slap you with a penalty.
For the most part, link directories are worthless today, other than the highest-quality, industry-specific link directories that adhere to strict rules.
Before Google was nearly as big and powerful as today, link directories helped to organize websites so people could locate sites they wanted. Link directors soared in popularity because installing and using the software that drives them was easy. And marketers loved the ease of building links so quickly.
But, Google figured out that link farms offer little value to visitors, so it started to ignore most of them. Soon, they lost their power and effectiveness as a link-building tool. Today, most link directories are useless lists of low-quality web links that could drop your Google rank.
On a related note, article directories are worse. What once was a way to share your content with a larger audience and gain links became a tactic that was abused. Marketers used software to spin and rewrite their articles and submit them to directories.
When article directories became so bad that they offered no value to anyone, Google stopped paying attention to them. This was about the time that Google released its Panda update.
EMDs or Exact-Match Domains were hot because they were a quick way to optimize your site. You could launch a microsite on an EMD and rank faster than a branded domain in as little as a week.
With an Exact-Match Domain, your domain name matches your keyword phrase you target, such as SanAntonioContractor.com. But EMDs quickly became worthless when Google changed its algorithm.
EMDs can rank well, but they also can be seen as spam by Google. It’s even riskier to try this tactic when you consider it’s hard to brand these domains. Generally, the domain name will be viewed by Google as less trustworthy.
Random Guest Blogging
Guest blogging isn’t dead and buried. But it has changed a lot. Its roots are in old-school public relations. The premise is you want to reach a larger audience by putting your article on an essential website.
This helps you to get more exposure, boosts your authority, and shows your expertise. The idea was to get your content in front of the right audience and write great content that would include a link back to your site.
However, guest posting soon became abused, like many SEO strategies. Businesses would submit guest posts to any site that would take them to get a link. Even if the article had nothing to do with the website’s intent.
Have a website about car maintenance? Ok, so let’s write an article about maintaining a 1968 Mustang to a site about kittens, so I get a link. Many marketers started doing these things, and Google quickly caught on.
Many websites were penalized, and some took years to get higher in the rankings. Some did go out of business, though.
When search engines first were released, they only could interpret simple things, such as the density of keywords. So stuffing keywords onto a single page to get a higher rank was the thing to do.
Instead of having the phrase ‘soccer balls’ a few times on a sports goods website page, it was stuffed into the page dozens of times.
This antique method never works today and just kills your site’s credibility.
Now that you know what kind of SEO tactics not to try, you can learn more about the SEO that works.