Every website owner knows the value of a well-executed search engine optimization strategy. But as SEO evolves and advances, brand gatekeepers may not realize that some previously common practices are actually frowned upon, as Google classifies them as spammy sinful acts! It’s important that you try to evolve with Google… in other words, don’t be an SEO dinosaur. There are several things that you definitely want to avoid when developing a search engine optimization strategy.
Here are 5 spammy SEO practices that you should avoid at all costs!
- Keyword stuffing is an old school SEO tactic that used to be one of the best ways to improve a site’s position on search engine optimization pages, but is now a T-Rex… completely outdated. Google is out-braining all of us, and its algorithm now takes into account that a high volume of matching keywords doesn’t necessarily mean a piece of content is what a searcher really wants. Instead, Google is putting more weight on long tail keywords such as “how many teeth did a T-Rex have,” then providing content that directly answers that question as opposed to just search words like “T-Rex” or “dinosaurs.” Instead of packing in as many keywords as you can in your blog post, answer a specific question in your copy and don’t worry about including your keyword dozens of times. If you include long tail keywords and ingrain it naturally, Google will reward through improved search engine optimization positions. Isn’t that what everyone wants?
- You’ve written a great piece of content and it’s getting a ton of love on your blog, awesome! Now, a blogger reaches out and asks to post the same content on their blog, providing a link back to your blog, with a little link juice along the way. Great idea? Stop right there, sir! Duplicate content is a huge no-no with Google. If you give away a great piece of content as a guest blog, let it live as a unique piece, and promote the guest blog URL. If you absolutely must duplicate some of the content, make sure to note that within the article that includes the quoted material. You never want to copy and paste an entire duplicate blog post, but you can take snippets out and provide the original source URL to let Google (and readers) know you’re citing someone else’s (or your own) work.
- Comment Spamming: Commenting on other blogs has always been a solid way to improve SEO and generate organic traffic, and it will continue to be. But don’t let yourself get carried away with commenting! Once you start leaving simple comments like “cool!” or with comments only to plug your own content that you’ve written, you will start to look spammy and Google will penalize you. Blog commenting for SEO is like flying dinosaurs: they won’t all survive, but they’ll have distant ancestors around long after the dinosaurs have gone! Instead of commenting and commenting, and wasting away your time or, even worse, paying someone else to do it, use that time to provide valuable insight in your comments that will urge the author or other readers to reply to you. The key here is coming across as a real, engaged and interested brand!
- Guest Posting: Providing high quality and well-written articles to be posted on other blogs is a great marketing move. Mass farming content for the sake of external link quantity is a dinosaur that never should’ve existed. Earlier this year, Google announced that guest blogging was pretty much dead thanks to spammy lists and generic blogs being mass-produced and published online. Although “dead” is a strong word, guest blogging is still effective… just go for quality and not quantity! Provide valuable content that generates engagement and get the thumbs up from Google, not the life-ending asteroid!
- Including a blogroll and footer links on your site used to be a popular method for showing Google that you were a real website, linking to other real sites. Now, Google’s algorithms are being updated to recognize unnatural and spammy links. Many times, blogrolls and footer links can fall under this category and could be penalized by Google on search engine ranking positions. Ouch! Instead of including a blogroll directing users to other websites or pages, include links naturally within text that help the reader learn more about the topic.
When developing a SEO strategy, take the time and consider if the plan comes across as “spammy.” Many once loved practices are now as ancient as the dinosaurs. As long as the efforts are providing high quality and original content to the Internet and not coming across as a robot, your efforts will pay off. Remember, the search engine optimization strategy should come off as a quality brand with quality content, not a robotic brand cranking out old school practices. Now go delete those footer links!