Just like fashion, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is constantly changing and evolving. What is “hot” and “trendy” today is quickly displaced by something else. With SEO strategies need to be reviewed regularly, at least a few times each year, to ensure your website continues to get the exposure and SERPs (Search Engine Result Placements) it deserves.
Google and the other major search engines frequently make modification and adjustments to the algorithms used to index data collected from websites. These algorithms help determine the relevancy within search results and determine whether websites are on page one of the results or page one hundred.
In the past, there were numerous “black hat” or “bad” practices one could use to help boost the placement of their website. However, Google has taken great strides to discourage these types of behaviours, as well as updating and changing acceptable “white hat” or “good” practices. Let’s take a look at some of the practices that are now considered either outdated or dead.
- Leaving spam within comment sections of online posts. When blogs first started to become a popular way to boost ratings, some thought leaving spammy links within the comments sections could help boost their own website SERPs.
- Over using internal anchor linking text. Google’s algorithms are smarter and can tell when the link is of benefit to the site visitor and when it is being used to manipulate SERPs.
- Stuffing keywords into content. Keyword stuffing was a popular practice to try and boost SERPs, but search engines now can tell when this is occurring and actually penalize you for this practice.
- Spinning articles over and over. Article spinning was another trendy practice to use to increase SERPs. This practice is where the words in the content are simply replaced with synonyms and often leads to bad grammar and poorly written content. However, just to be clear, it’s perfectly acceptable to write original and unique articles and repurpose the content for other uses, like to create a video or for an infographic.
- The use of hidden text. Considered a “bad” practice, hiding text on web pages or under pictures was one way people would try to boost their SERPs. Sites that still follow this practice are now “dinged” for doing so.
- Short pieces of content on “thin” pages. Some sites would create hundreds of pages for every keyword they wanted to target and just write a short piece on content on each piece. This practice won’t get you far today as search engines are smarter.
- Poorly written content. Previously, you might be able to get away with content that was written poorly, had bad grammar, or did not make any sense. Content today needs to be well-written, original, and unique.
In addition to the above outdated and dead practices, other changes in Google’s guidelines and best practices could impact your current SEO strategies, like requiring a mobile-friendly web design. For assistance in finding out what SEO practices you need to change, contact the best SEO agency in Toronto – Webryze at (416) 900-1047 now for a FREE website analysis!