5 Outdated SEO Tactics to Avoid

Search Engine Submission

This stopped being necessary at least 10 years ago. If you publish something new, and link to it from a page Google knows about, the new page will get indexed, normally within a day or two. There is a manual URL submission form in both Google and Bing Webmaster tools, but it is not clear if they actually result in faster indexing.

What you can, and should do, is make sure your XML Sitemap auto updates with every site update. Any commonly used CMS should handle this for you automatically. The search engines do pay attention to the sitemaps, and use how often they change to help determine how often to crawl your site.

Link Building

Back in 2010, link building was a hot, and effective, SEO technique. Agencies would run analysis to figure out what sites would best impact your page rank, then get your site linked from there, either in some sort of reciprocal arrangement, or sometimes for a fee. Paid links used to be a budget item for any significant SEO service. Google got wise to these techniques and recent updates to the Google algorithm have rendered them useless or even harmful. Google will penalize a site that has too many incoming links if it appears as though they are mostly link farms or purchased links.

Content Farms

Sites like eEzine.com are filled with keyword stuffed, mostly useless articles on every topic imaginable. Similar to link building, there was a time when links from sites like Ezine were useful. However, today they are a waste of time as Google has filtered those types of sites out of search results, and has negated whatever benefit the link back to your site may have provided.

There are influential sites related to your business, and you should find them. A better strategy is to pursue guest posting opportunities and write well though out, useful articles for those sites. You’ll be able to link back to your site in your bio paragraph, and your article will expose you to the readers of the influential site. You may not see the results in your SEO reports, but you are more likely to see the results where it really matters; in incoming leads, or recognition of your expertise and thought leadership.

Comment Posting

This is less common today as just about everybody realizes that comment spamming doesn’t work. However, we do still see requests for strategies around forum and blog comment participation. In a word, my advice is don’t. There is no SEO benefit at all, as any legitimate forum or blog should have instituted the no-follow attribute years ago, so Google ignores the link attached to your comment. If you enjoy participating in an industry forum, or commenting on blogs, by all means continue to do so. In stable online communities expertise and knowledge does get recognized. You can build a reputation as a knowledgeable expert and that can lead to people reaching out to you. However, it is a long-term play, and probably not one you can farm out to an agency. Do it because you enjoy the community you are participating in. Any business benefit from it is a bonus.

Keyword Stuffing Your Own Blog

This is another one that comes up less often these days. It used to be effective to purposely stuff your website with targeted keywords, forcing them into articles where they barely made sense. Google caught on to that technique too. Writing good content around the subject matter that you want web traffic on is still a good idea. However, Google is smart enough these days to recognize thoughtful articles from key word spam. So write content for your site that your visitors will appreciate and find useful. Don’t write for Google.

So What Should You Do?

Write articles worth reading, and share them widely via every social media channel you participate in. Repeat that effort regularly. Engage with people in your social media channels, Respond to questions, comment on other accounts, and just generally be a part of the conversation. Make sure you have an updated XML site map on the site, and that Google and Bing know about it. Make sure the site is structurally sound for SEO. Wordpress or Drupal will mostly take care of that out of the box. Make sure your site is secure, as a malware warning on your Google listing is not good for SEO. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, as Google starts penalizing sites in mobile search in April.

Matt Cutts, Head of the web spam team at Google, put it this way.

Their goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.