The average web customer in 2015 is much different from the average customer a decade ago. After all, with the huge surge in mobile usage, many people use the web for shopping or research today who would not have dreamed of it even five years ago. On top of that, Google, the leading search provider, has rolled out many changes to its algorithm—Penguin, Panda, Pirate, Authorship, Mobile, Hummingbird and many others, some of these with multiple iterations. With all of these differences, in both how search works and who is searching, it only makes sense that SEO today is different than it was way back when.
Here are three SEO techniques that you should scrap, if you haven’t already!
- Thin, Keyword-Heavy Content – Google Panda (and its many updates) was the algorithm change that had an enormous effect on poor content. Years ago, a page could soar to the top of the search engine rankings just by targeting keywords, even if the content was not well-written or useful. This led to a high bounce rate and general unhappiness among web browsers as a whole. This is no longer the case. Today, quality content is rewarded, and low-quality content is virtually ignored.
- Bulk Backlinks – Yes, high-quality backlinks can still improve your site’s search engine ranking. However, massive amounts of low-quality backlinks will do nothing but harm you. Google has methods in place to find untrusted links. The search giant will discount links it does not trust and may even penalize your site. This goes for other search engines too. It is not worth the risk to try to create or purchase these low-quality links.
- Hidden Text – One technique that was popular in the early years of SEO was hiding text using (for example) black text on a black background or placing text behind an image. The point of this was to create content that built keyword interest on search without influencing the look or feel of the site itself. Google has spoken out against this practice and it was a favorite of the SEO practitioners who were called Black Hat. It’s hard to imagine that you’ve got hidden text in your website today, but not a bad idea to check just in case. A Black Hat may have crossed the path of your website years ago and left a trail behind.
Change is a constant in the digital world and SEO practices are no exception. By staying up-to-date with SEO changes, you will avoid getting caught in a time warp and being hit with a big penalty by Google and the other search providers.
About Susan O’Neil, CEO – @Website Publicity