5 Bad SEO Strategies That DON’T Work in 2015
Bad SEO is worse than no SEO and that’s why we’ve listed the top 5 SEO strategies that just don’t work in 2015. Better to be safe than sorry.
Do you remember when an author photo would show up in Google search next to their content piece?
At one time it was believed that connecting a published article to the author’s Google+ profile allowed for higher click-through-rates via search engines. Even Google believed this to be the case until they eventually realised it was possibly not the best idea.
Google, after much testing, concluded that rel=author authorship schema had failed. They found that author images in search didn’t change click behaviour any differently to search results without author images.
If that wasn’t enough they also noticed the uptake on webmasters using rel=author was considerably lower than they had expected.
By June 2014, Google announced they wanted to create a unified experience between desktop and mobile search and author images would be removed from search.
The use of rich snippet schema such as “rel=author” and “rel=me” has died out and in it’s place is the ever growing application of the knowledge vault. Put simply, Google is moving towards semantic search, where words, information and thought leaders from different sources are connected to create better answers to users search queries.
2. Buying Links
Google and other search engines frown upon webmasters buying links in order to increase PageRank. At it’s best the hundreds or thousands of links you bought will be ignored but at it’s worse it can induce a Google Penguin penalty with a huge drop in rankings, or even a de-index of your whole website.
But what about advertorial links, they’re bought, right?
Yes, they are but there’s a fundamental difference. Google expects webmasters who sell advertorial links to create these links with the rel=nofollow tag, it is bad SEO practice not to. This lets Google know that these links should not pass PageRank onto the linked website.
For small to medium sized business that may not have a well established backlink profile the purchase of links can be a devastating SEO strategy. Google’s webspam team are devoted to stamping out websites from their index with overly unethical and irrelevant link profiles. In 2015 and beyond the best way to acquire links is through writing great content to be shared through blogger outreach and competitor analysis.
3. Mass Directory Submissions
We’re not saying creating directory listings is dead, the strategy has just changed somewhat. It’s no longer an acceptable SEO strategy to rank in search by either buying hundreds of link directory submissions or creating them manually. A better strategy is to cherry pick the directories you want your brand to be mentioned on, based on:
Locality. Find business directories that cater for a local area or country. Not only will this boost your Local SEO but also provide better conversions from these directories due to the trust factors of local business.
Niche. It goes without saying that if you’re promoting your aquarium accessories store on a themed business directory for baby items then you’re probably in the wrong place.
This isn’t just a waste of time on your behalf but also sends bad SEO signals to search engines that are confusing. Search engines like things that relate. Find all the business directories that are related to your industry and manually complete your profiles with unique information on each.
Your backlinks. If you’re a new company online be careful with creating too many business directory submissions too quickly as this can end up creating an unnatural deep link ratio that’s too heavily weighed to one type of link (directories) and one type of page (your homepage). Search engines link things that are natural. Take your time and acquire links from a variety of sources and to a variety of sub pages.
4. Half Hearted Content
We’ve all been there, you know what you’ve got to write but the writers block sets in and that kitchen surface needs cleaning. In 2015, content is becoming more and more competitive for search engine rankings. It’s not as simple as writing a short piece that contains the keywords you want to target. We like to follow the Pareto Principle for our content strategy and for those of our clients. That is, 20% of the content we write, achieves 80% of the content driven goal.
What does this mean for you?
When writing articles for your blog or for other publishers define a content strategy that places emphasis on longer form content with extensive research that gets to the heart of a reader’s problem. You’ll find you’ll write less of these types of content due to effort required but the effort is condensed into a shorter space of time with outstanding results and more time made free to focus on other SEO strategies.
“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves” – Dale Carnegie
It’s not easy creating great content but then anything that isn’t worthwhile isn’t worth doing any way. Make sure every piece of content is created to the highest standards, is unique from others ranking for a particular keyword you want to target and most of all informs the user for best SEO practice.
5. Keyword Stuffing
As we mentioned in our Ultimate Guide to Understanding your Panda Penalty Recovery keyword stuffing is so 1998. The times of placing the same keyword over and over throughout content, meta titles and descriptions are over, it’s simply bad SEO. By doing this in 2015, you risk your page or website receiving a penalty.
In line with semantic search the best practice is to write keywords naturally but also use synonyms and related words to provide a rich semantic experience for both users and search engines.
Use of the Keyword Planner Tool is a good start as you can view keywords by theme to better understand the types of keywords you can use within your content that may be related. Matt Cutts, former head of the Google webspam team said it himself that Google has their own synonym team and with all things equal the use of synonyms, when used naturally, can be beneficial to your content.
Also consider the use of co-occurence. This is using keywords based around links than in the anchor text of links themselves.
Let’s take an example:
You’re a London based law firm called Justice & Jones with a great desire to rank higher in Google for the keyword “London Lawyers”. You go about writing both on your blog and on other publisher websites with a link back to your site using the anchor text “London Lawyers”.
But with Google algorithms placing greater emphasis on co-occurence a better strategy would be to balance this with keywords based AROUND the link to your website. Such as:
“…take a look at this blog post from one of the top london lawyers, Justice & Jones…”
The correlation between the link and the keywords around it plus the name of the company provides a holistic semantic search experience. This in turn can naturally boost your rankings for specific keywords beyond the traditional anchor text method.
As you can see, there are bad SEO practices still happening in 2015 but with our suggestions you can avoid these and start moving up search engines naturally.
Latest posts by Joe Flanagan (see all)
- 27 Crucial Questions You Need to Ask When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency - August 28, 2015
- Essential Guide to Shoestring Marketing: 68 Powerful Tips for SMBs - August 19, 2015
- 5 Bad SEO Strategies That DON’T Work in 2015 - July 17, 2015