I don’t know about you, but sometimes I enjoy old, schlocky movies. They’re so bad they’re good. But, at the same, I ask myself, “How did this get made?”
Well, here at Irish Titan our team has been around the industry long enough to look at old SEO strategies in the same way. That’s why we’ve decided to take a walk down memory lane and discuss two common SEO techniques of yore, and what’s replaced them.
Keyword Stuffing Galore!
Keyword stuffing is what it sounds like. You take some chosen keywords that you want your site to be found for and you stuff those keywords in the content…at all costs! No matter how awkwardly placed!
Whether in the title tag (the title you see on a search engine result page), the body content, or anywhere else, keyword stuffing is an old-school tactic. These days, when you find an old web page with keyword stuffing it can be pretty funny. To the layman, it might just look like poor writing that, for some reason, is full of repetitive phrases. But an SEO professional can easily spot the tactic and the keywords the creator of the page is trying to rank for.
Keyword Stuffing No More!
Needless to say, Google – and as the market leader we’ll focus on Google – is now sophisticated enough to determine user intent far beyond the one-to-one relationship between the query searched and the words that are on a web page.
With 200+ ranking signals used to provide relevant content to users, marketers seeking long-term visibility in Google’s search results need to take a more holistic approach to content. That means providing interesting and relevant information that meets users’ needs and encourages real engagement, ensuring content has modern SEO best practices that do not violate Google’s guidelines, and avoiding like the plague the implementation of questionable SEO practices that might cause you to get dinged in the future.
Link Building Goes Wild!
To be clear, links to your site are good. They are great. But, they can also be dangerous. Allow me to explain. PageRank is an algorithm that was developed by Google to measure the relative importance of web pages based on the links that lead to them. If a university website, for example, links to one of your web pages, that would be seen as a vote of confidence for your site. After all, someone at a trusted university thought the information there was important enough - and of sufficient quality – to link to.
That is the still the case, but Google’s algorithm has been refined over the years – meaning other, inorganically created and less user-focused link building strategies are to be avoided. Old practices not only no longer work but can lead Google to apply penalties to a site that can be disastrous for a business.
Now outdated SEO link building practices include buying links from irrelevant sources, applying links to low quality online directories, reciprocal links between websites, and other practices that do not serve the user by guiding them from one related piece of information to the next.
Link Building Gets Mild!
Compared to the Wild West of the past, when marketers tried to automate link building in defiance of Google guidelines, link building today is relatively tame. Beneficial link building now many times involves more in-person, real-word relationships like sponsoring a local event or offering a scholarship program to students at a university.
Links can also be garnered as a result of increased visibility and interest surrounding your business. This is one reason to aspire to create industry-leading content and take part in consistent social media engagement. Links resulting from that visibility would, after all, serve the original intention of Google’s PageRank.
In short, when considering how to market your business, it is helpful to know what to avoid so you can initiate a truly modern strategy that will benefit your site and your brand. History certainly teaches us. And if you want so bad it’s good, maybe stick with “Manos: Hands of Fate.”
Comments? Questions? Get in touch with the Irish Titan Digital Strategy Team.