You’d be surprised how many SEO techniques are conventionally used that currently have little or no impact. This is mainly caused by the demented development of artificial intelligence (and as a consequence of Google’s algorithms) that allow to gauge the importance of information and more importantly to thwart the strategies commonly known as SEO techniques. In this article, you will therefore find some SEO techniques whose influence is insignificant and whose use has become a complete waste of time.
How do we recognize obsolete SEO tactics?
This is a very contentious issue. And as a result, you will find several shared views on the effectiveness of this or that technique. The references to be taken into consideration in order to form an objective opinion on the subject are :
- Google recommendations on techniques that have become obsolete.
- The tests performed by SEO experts and which are conducted over studied periods and on millions of queries such as Ahrefs or MOZ.
You must also have the reflex to control the statistics and metrics of your sites with tools such as Google Analytics or Google Search Control.
The exchange of links
Reciprocal linkage is one of the strategies that is still widely used but has almost no impact. Worse still, with the mediocrity of the links exchanged, the result may be the opposite of what was expected. To be more technical, it is the Google Penguin algorithm that controls link exchanges, which detects the quality of the links and judges whether the rate of exchanges is abusive or not. If this is the case, the article concerned will be classified and will see its positioning tumble. What’s more, Google Penguin’s efficiency even extends to triangular link exchanges. Ahrefs recently published a comprehensive study on the impact of reciprocal links in SEO and shows in a very convincing way that this method is really no longer to be used.
Over-optimization of keywords
As I mentioned earlier, the evolution of Google’s algorithms are converging towards semantics. And semantics means user experience. So, if we follow this logic, writing an article that is intended to be read by Google robots is no longer relevant because by doing so, we totally neglect the reader. In other words, it is essential to write a coherent content that can ensure a good user experience and, above all, that identifies the intention of the user who consults the said article. This type of writing does not require any keyword “stuffing”. On the contrary, Google might even classify the article as spam to be avoided. Let’s take this article as an example, if I mentioned in each paragraph the following words :
- Obsolete SEO techniques
- Classic SEO techniques
- Unnecessary SEO techniques
- Traditional SEO techniques
The article will be illegible and without any real meaning. And more importantly, it will most likely be sanctioned. You need to find the perfect balance between search engine optimization and user experience.
Automated content creation
It is really a tactic that no longer has any impact in SEO. It is also called Article Spinning and for those who do not know, here is a brief description of the principle: We generate several articles with the same theme and with the same keywords but with changes in the style of writing. The result is a multitude of articles on the same theme, all pointing to themselves. The notion of “automatic” comes from the fact that the creation of all these articles is done through software that can rewrite the content of an article in several ways, which helps to create an infinite number of new articles. The flaw in such tactics is simply Google’s ability to discern unique content through its Google Panda algorithm, which is responsible for controlling content and semantics. This means that interpreting the existence of all of these items may mean the existence of a similar (if not the same) subject matter and greatly diminish the user experience. At the limit, such a technique could be used to generate product sheets for E-commerce sites but not for content sites.
The purchase of links
This is absolutely to be avoided when you don’t know what you are doing! And even if several sites are propelled thanks to purchased backlinks, they do not last. It is totally forbidden to buy links. And if Google detects it, you will be penalized! And if that happens, it will really take a huge amount of work on content, optimization and a complete restructuring of your links to be able to restore your positions. So avoid as much as possible backlink buying and selling platforms. And in general, the links that sell are fraudulent, forcing Google to ask itself questions about why such sites would point to yours.
Register in directories
There are still some good quality directories. By good quality, I mean that they are not classified as “spammers”. But it stops there! It is also important to know that all automatic validations, use of link lists, keyword bombing and other methods used by directories lead to only one result: penalization. So be very careful and if you still want to register on a directory that you consider “effective” choose a specialized directory and not a generalist.
Imagine a link that is found on almost every page and always pointing to the same address. For example the link to the home page of your site which contains 300 articles! This is called a Sitewide link. Theoretically, you have 300 internal links to your site. Unfortunately, there is a great risk that Google will detect this kind of link as spam. So avoid this technique even if the link could pass for a natural link.
Commenting on blogs
Who hasn’t? Bloggers used to post comments on several relevant blogs and insert links to their sites in those comments. It’s easy and it’s free. But the impact of this technique on your SEO is almost nil, especially since most of the comments are in No Follow. And even if you find sites that offer Do Follow comments, be aware that to find them you have to search and waste precious time for an insignificant result.
Writing low quality content
Not so long ago, writing content was not difficult. A 300-word article with an average keyword was more than enough. Today, such an article would be described as being of poor quality and without any chance to stand out. Especially with the evolution of Google Panda. I’m not going to flaunt the proper procedures for writing a quality article. But, you have to have at least 500 words (I would even say 1000 words has become the standard) with good keyword optimization, titles and especially good spelling. The last point is essential! Making spelling mistakes always gives the wrong impression and a wrong impression greatly diminishes the user experience. This is detrimental to your SEO. To remedy this, all you have to do is train yourself and use an effective spell checker.
Some will say that the evolution of Google’s algorithms (Panda and Penguin) has really not made our life any easier. But, on the other hand, the quality of information has evolved. And if you take into account the user experience, I think it becomes easier to write. It’s a matter of finding the right balance between content optimization and the quality of the information presented. Most importantly, the various content controls and link acquisition methods have allowed editors and bloggers to express themselves, even if they have limited resources and cannot afford an army of editors or purchase all the links on the Web.
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