Stop Using These 4 Spammy SEO Strategies
SEO strategies have changed and evolved over the years and techniques that worked several years ago will quickly get your website penalized these days, yet many “SEO experts” and (inexperienced) companies continue to use these low quality techniques on their unsuspecting clients.
It doesn’t matter if you are attempting to do your own SEO or you are working with a SEO company, you need to be aware of these five potentially harmful SEO techniques that should definitely be avoided. They pose a very serious threat to your website if used.
#1 Spammy SEO: Mass Links
Remember the days when the sites that built the most links (regardless of quality) ranked the highest? Well those days are LONG gone!
There are several websites and SEO companies that sell mass link packages very cheap that contain thousands of links. Links are still the biggest influence in search results, but that doesn’t mean you should blast your site with thousands of spammy links, because doing so will quickly get it penalized.
Building links too quickly will look unnatural. It is important to focus on quality links that come from domains with high DA (domain authority). A couple of high DA links will benefit the SEO more than tens of thousands of spammy links. Not only does it look more natural, but it is also more effective.
These mass link sellers will also claim that their SEO is always 100% Google safe and we all know that claim is impossible to make. Here is an example of these outrageous claims made by these link sellers:
#2 Spammy SEO: Exact Match Anchor Text
Going hand-in-hand with the mass link spamming discussed above, back in the day the links were created using exact match anchor text. It produced amazing results back then, but today that same approach will get your website penalized.
Exact match anchor text is when you build a link and the anchor text used to link back to your site is the keyword(s) targeted. So, and example would be if you were trying to rank for “lowest car insurance rates,” then the link would contain the anchor text “lowest car insurance rates” to link back to your website.
This was the way to do SEO back in the day, but Google has made it very clear that this type of link scheme will only result in one thing these days, and that is a penalty. Here is information directly from Google’s mouth:
Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines. Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate our guidelines:
Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.
Avoid exact match anchor text and instead focus on acquiring high quality links regardless of what the text is. A high quality link with a naked URL or brand name has much more value these days than a keyword exact match anchor. Here are some examples:
- Naked URL: www.marketdominationmedia.com
- Brand: Contact Market Domination Media today to learn how they can help your brand gain more exposure online.
- Natural content: Market Domination Media is an online marketing agency located in Miami Beach, Florida.
#3 Spammy SEO: Low Quality Guest Blogging
People are still shaking in their boots after Matt Cutts spoke out on the future of guest blogging earlier this year. Many people automatically declared guest blogging was dead, but he was simply referring to spammy guest blogging.
Guest blogging provides a great SEO benefit when done correctly, but many people began to exploit it, and those are the individuals he is speaking about. Genuine guest blogging will always be alive and well.
Here is an email we received this morning. Now, we receive dozens of these every week. It is a copy/paste job that this individual probably sent to hundreds, if not thousands of websites today. Number one, we don’t even accept guest posts on our site, and even if we did this request would immediately be deleted.
If guest blogging is currently part of your SEO strategy then you need to make sure that you are only guest blogging on websites that are directly related to your website. As mentioned above, exact match anchor text is a bad idea, and it is very important to avoid this especially when guest blogging. Use generic, brand name, and naked URL anchors to stay safe.
Also, you need to make sure your guest blog content is top notch. Low quality guest blog posts are just asking for trouble. Only guest blog on real websites that have a readership and aren’t just fake blogs set up to game the system and pass page rank. Not only will “real” blogs provide an actual SEO benefit but they can also help drive traffic to your site. Isn’t that what the point of guest blogging is anyway?
#4 Spammy SEO: Keyword Stuffed Content
This is another “old school” SEO trick that used to work back in the day, but now it only results in penalties, not high ranking. Google explains keyword stuffing as:
"Keyword stuffing" refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose). Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.
Examples of keyword stuffing include:
- Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
- Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
- Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example:
We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use keywords when they help to explain the content, but be careful and don’t get too crazy. Use related keywords and long tail versions of your keywords as well. It is also to not use them too much as well. The best bet it to focus on writing your content for your users and website visitors, and not the search engines.