Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been huge for years now and there have been millions of articles published about it. When you’re new and you don’t have any idea where to start it’s likely you have tried to search for tips you hope will give you great results. The only problem with this is that some of the articles you find will be very old and the techniques they describe won’t work anymore.
Lots of people follow advice that is out-of-date and they end up being penalized by the search engines. It’s not really your fault because how could you have known? This isn’t an excuse someone like Google will accept and just like many other people you could wake up with your site de-indexed.
Let’s have a look at some of the dangerous SEO techniques you must STOP using now
1. Keyword Stuffing
Everyone tries to find a keyword before they write an article because the goal is to eventually rank for it in the search engines. This sounds great when you think about it because they do need to know what you want to rank for, but in the past it went too far. People would stuff the keyword inside an article dozens of times and you just can’t do that anymore.
2. Mass Article Submissions
Writing an article can be a long process because you want it to be great, so everyone used to take something they had written and spin it thousands of times until they were left with a thousand copies of the same article. Because it had been spun the search engines wouldn’t know it was the same one when they submitted them to article directories, but that technique is long gone because the backlinks are worthless.
3. Anchor Text Overload
When you leave a backlink on another site you have to choose the anchor text. If this was a few years ago you would be able to make your anchor text the keyword you wanted to rank for. If you do this these days it’s obvious to the search engines that you’re manually building links to manipulate your rankings. You have to use a mixture of anchor text now, or you’ll be penalized.
4. Useless Content
You will rank much higher if you write content that people will find useful. Long gone are the days when you could hire someone to write you an article for a few bucks. As soon as a visitor started to read it they would click away in disgust. Not only do articles need to be written well, but they should also be longer; and that means at least 500 words in most cases.
5. Link Exchanges
You put your link on my site and I’ll put mine on yours?
This is what someone would ask you a few years ago and everyone would be linking to each other. When everyone is pointing to each other it’s not hard for Google to work out what is going on. They don’t take kindly to people trying to game the system and mess up the search engine results, so doing it could harm your site.
Matt Cutts On SEO Mistakes
Here’s an informative video from Google’s own, Matt Cutts talking about areas where webmasters make the most SEO mistakes.
That video really makes you think your next SEO move, doesn’t it?
If you are interested to read more on the exciting world of SEO have a look at our Extra Bullets SEO archives.
[Image credits: Flickr, Creative Commons Licence, MissRogue]