Page Optimisation “rules” That No Longer Work!

Too much of a good thing can be bad. This holds true for life as well as page optimisation. Too much SEO or ineffective ways to optimise your site can yield instant problems. What are some of the on and off page optimisation rules that no longer work? Here’s the trends in SEO that Pathwwway Game think have fizzled out in recent times.

#1 Keyword Stuffing: Why Over-stacking No Longer Works!

Digital marketers online realise the importance of page optimisation. The importance and value of content marketing cannot be denied. Marketers who produce thin content with no value and pull it up on rankings through keyword stuffing are getting it wrong, however.

Keyword stuffing or stacking is one of the most common methods of generating content. It involves researching search terms to rank for, produce content with a topic that is in focus, but does not involve too much depth, place content with keywords and ensure meta tags are stuffed with keywords too. This on-page optimisation method became passé in 2011 with the introduction of Google Panda’s  diktat. Google in 2017 features genuine, meaningful content. It is easy to detect and penalise the sites with lack of quality or plagiarised content so marketers should on the alert that keyword stuffing no longer works. Embracing a reader centric approach or creating content that resonated with the targeted audience should come first.  Keywords always come in second. The main keyword needs to be used sparingly.

#2 Spammy Tags and Footer Links: When Links or Tags Become Too Much

A footer is a critical element for any website. It helps visitors to navigate between varied website sections and provide access to additional information such as a copyright license or contact information. But an informative footer does not mean one which is stuffed with hundreds of tags and links. Websites relying on link and tag filled footers can be penalised. Panda and Penguin specifically target lack of website structure and link plus tag manipulation. When a site has to be optimised, it involves the use of a clean footer that features data such as contact details, address, terms of use, copyright license, working hours, navigation buttons and subscription fields.

#3 Cloaking Fails When Bots Turn Smart

This is an old SEO technique that focuses on 2 separate pieces of content on a single web page. The first text is let off to the bots for further crawling, while the second one is displayed to readers. It used to enable higher SERPs and allows a specific page to tank high while remaining a simple read. But it also delivered unrelated content for requests. In fact, cloaking is now advanced black hat SEO. To harness it, you need to check search engine spiders by internet protocol and deliver differing webpage content to them. This involves misuse of specific scripts on the server side and codes in the background. Cloaking is a tactic that was once considered useful in the so-called Deep Web. Now, it is a black hat method.

#4 Internal Linking With Keyword Dense Anchor Text

This was also a rule for effective SEO once. Linking allowed you to connect web pages to delineate structured paths for search crawlers to index the site from the start to finish. Marketers need to ensure, however, that they do not cross the line when it comes to internal linking. Keyword rich anchor texts repeatedly linking the site’s inner page raises a big flag to Google. The result? You can face penalties for over optimisation.  Once considered the golden standard of SEO, keyword dense anchor texts were perfect to improve the page’s search engine position. Now, it can land you negative penalties and harm your site. Google places value before all else when it comes to content creation. This is true for links too. Place links in a way that adds value to your  users and different anchor texts for inner linking.

#5 Keyword Centric Page Development

For a long period, keywords played a vital role in ranking pages. Though their importance is on the fall, keywords are not dead, just used differently. Proper keyword selection, topic context, and user intent all play a central role in making your page rank right on the top. Panda, RankBrain and Hummingbird are looking for sites that exploit keywords. Don’t let your site be one of them. Over optimisation was once critical. Acquiring a top SERP required creating specific pages for each keyword variant.

Marketers used to target keywords individually to lead search by keyword variance. This compromised on usability but yielded a lot of traffic. If this technique is tried today, sites run the risk of attracting manual penalties or action.  To avoid a manual action penalty, don’t create pages for each variant. Google now only values sites that bring value to users. Create structurally appealing, visually enriching landing pages for your site instead of focusing on keyword variants and provide new value to the internet world.

#6 Link Building with Paid Links

Paid links are strictly forbidden by Google. Once upon a time, link purchasing was a lifeline for SEO. It was cost efficient and (more importantly) effective. Off-page SEO strategies were pretty simple. All SEO strategists did was to buy backlinks in bulk, stuff the site with these links, wait till SERPs improve, and then get into action. Renting paid links are links used for limited time periods. When the rent period is over, the links can be rented again or go to other SEO ninjas in the market.  Before Panda and Penguin were in place, link renting was perfect for money. If you had a site to optimise, clients could purchase high ranking links on Google and their sites could then enjoy impressive SERPs through inclusion of these sites on the link.

#7 Use of Paid Permanent Links

This group of link builders were not focused on temporary links but permalinks instead. They paid for and used permanent links. Now, these permanent links are just as forbidden as temporary ones. This SEO tactic has been identified by Pathwwway Game as useless because paid permanent links have seriously bitten the dust in recent times.

From link directories to forum and blog link posting with the aim of link building, spam is the fate your “clever” SEO strategy will meet. So, think twice before opting for these outdated rules for optimising your page.