With so much conflicting advice available on the web regarding SEO it can be very difficult to determine what is relevant to your site. What is known is that there are a number of tactics that many still espouse that are no longer effective and, in worst case scenarios, could actually get you punished.
With that in mind we have decided to list a few tactics that worked wonders for some back in 2005 but are to be avoided today.
Most webmasters will have had a request that goes something along these lines at one point or another:
“I would like to place a link on your website back to mine. In exchange I will be happy to place a link back to your site from my own.”
It sounds like a pretty sweet deal. You get a backlink and all you have to do is give somebody else a backlink. The problem is that these links are not natural. They are gained as part of an understanding between two websites, nether of whom are actually recommending anything on the other site.
The issue here is that this is seen as a link scheme, in which webmasters try to manipulate search results to their advantage using methods outside of Google’s terms and conditions. By all means link to sites you support, but if you get an offer like the above make sure to refuse it.
The phrase “Content is King” has been used in the SEO industry for years and is as true today as it always has been. The problem comes in the interpretation of the phrase. Many chose to create content for use on other websites, with a link back to their own thrown into the bargain.
Much like with reciprocal linking this is seen as a link scheme. After all, the link has not been obtained naturally and is instead part of a business arrangement. This can be countered somewhat by adding a “nofollow” tag to the link used in any articles of this nature, which will still drive any potential hits to your site without putting it at risk.
Of course the argument against article submission sites is that if you have a great piece of content, why not place it on your own site? It is sure to give you much more benefit than handing it to another.
Failing to Place Importance on Site Design
Back in the older days of SEO site design wasn’t so much of an issue. As long as the site functioned correctly it was possible to increase rankings assuming everything else was in place.
This is not the case today. The advent of smartphones and tablets means that a truly great site needs to be accessible on every possible device to reap the highest benefits. Accessibility is also a key word, as a site that is designed with those who may have difficulty using a computer or accessing the web in mind can also score a lot of points for the webmaster.
Always take design into account. Ensure the site is easy to navigate and accessible to as broad a range of people as possible.