For as often as we use it, it’s strange to think that the Internet is only a teenager. It’s to be expected that navigation, websites, chronicling and searching the web will change and evolve as the World Wide Web goes through puberty. Gone are the days of excessive back linking and other now “black hat” SEO techniques; we welcome natural, organic techniques with open arms. In the present SEO climate, it’s play by the rules or get buried; sink or swim. This Throwback Thursday, let’s take a look at some previously accepted practices that you should have absolutely stopped doing with the latest algorithm updates.
1. Unnatural Back Links
Back links are meant to demonstrate engagement and a level of authority on the given keywords, and before the major overhaul of the indexing algorithm, there was little that distinguished organic, natural links from fabricated, unnatural paid links; any link counted positively towards ranking. Now, any kind of paid or unnatural linking will negatively impact page ranking. If organic linking isn’t happening for your content, try instead to support engagement on social media! Though the links aren’t followed, social media can increase unique visitors, and social influence factors may give a lift to rank.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Adding irrelevant keywords to metadata, titles and descriptions to pages, or using the same keywords across different pages of a website used to be an effective way to appear in search results for the given query. Now, keywords that are very far removed from the topic of a given page are not rewarded with a decent rank. In fact, the pages will likely be flagged for keyword stuffing, and the site will get buried in the search results. Instead of submitting keywords with higher traffic in the search engines, include those that resonate across the content of that page.
3. Hiding Text/Cloaking
Usually, cloaked pages, or pages with hidden text, are developed entirely with the intention of tricking the search engine into thinking it is quality page. Though these pages appear to the spiders to contain all the content necessary to fit the search parameters, these pages are extremely difficult to consume, and often offer no use to users. These pages are seen as especially egregious to the search engines, and should not comprise any part of a site’s SEO strategy.
Surely such a savvy person as you has never done such things to promote content or try and enhance your page rankings (or you did them, but promptly stopped when the updates to the algorithms severely impacted your visibility). Updates aren’t always clearly announced, and there’s sometimes confusion regarding which practices are and are no longer within the suggested best practices. Without a doubt, updates are showing a migration towards organic engagement and honest keywords.
Cover Photo Source: Ivelin Radkov
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://testspace.thesanjosegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/11/Our-Space-Mary-Bio-Pic.png[/author_image] [author_info]Mary is an Assistant Account Executive at SJG. She earned her BA in Communication from the University of Evansville in 2013. In her spare time, when she’s not engulfing novels in a coffee shop, Mary feels most at home celebrating life and love with her family and friends, and visiting the streets of Paris in her dreams. [/author_info] [/author]