Google is the number one search engine for a reason: they take their product very seriously. They are not perfect but their product is providing the most relevant and useful search results right where people need them, on the first page of the results. Many SEO tactics have become useless after Google’s latest algorithm updates. Here are five obsolete SEO methods for 2015:
- Link Swapping — This is probably one of the biggest sins of modern search engine optimization. Irrelevant two-way links to sites that have absolutely nothing to do with your niche are worth than useless; they are dangerous. Try sticking to one-way links to or from sites that are closely related to your niche, as only a small percentage of your links should be two-way.
- Mass Submissions to Web Directories — Submitting your site to tons of web directories, without first conducting a proper background check, can hurt your page rank in the future. Low quality web directories were among the first sites to be hit by Google updates. Again, stick to those directories that have strict editorial guidelines and are reputable. Relevancy counts, so don’t submit to a web directory category that isn’t within your niche. A good rule to follow is that, if it is free, cheap, or easy to get into, it’s probably not worth it.
- Mass Article Submissions — The days of submitting the same spun out piece of low-quality content to thousands of article directories are over. Only a handful of article directories hold any weight these days, like eHow and HubPages. The right way to do it these days is to send a few well targeted pieces of content to influential blogs within your niche.
- Poor or Thin Content — Google is putting more and more emphasis on content quality and density. Sites with loads of thinly layered content have been severely penalized. Make sure that your site doesn’t have too much advertising and that there is a good HTML to text ratio. Content isn’t everything, but it is king.
- Keyword Stuffing — Keyword stuffing is probably the easiest and most effective way to get your site penalized by Google. Not only is it a completely useless method of SEO, with little to no benefits, but it is one of the most easily detectable search engine manipulations out there. Keywords should be as organic as possible, and natural writing favor synonyms over repetition.
There you have it. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be able to escape the proverbial Google slap. Focus on obtaining organic links that at least appear to have been added by someone who linked to your site because it was relevant to their own, and was worthy of a link. Better yet, create a site that people do like, and will be eager to link to.