Most marketers know the benefits of successful search engine optimization strategies, but every now and then, you’ll come across an individual that claims “SEO is dead”. While not dead, staying up to date with the newest ways to build website rankings can be a difficult feat. Nonetheless, those that claim that this process is dead are probably referring to the old, spammy, and essentially aggressive SEO strategies.
These strategies are called Black Hat SEO. Back in the day (like five or so years ago), what we now refer to as black hat SEO was the quickest and easiest way to boost your website rankings. In 2012, Google threw everyone through a loop and starting penalizing a lot of websites that were using these strategies. Shockingly enough, many people are still using some of them today.
SEO Strategies that are Killing your Rankings
Here’s a list of SEO strategies that are probably killing your website rankings:
Spam Comments: Do you ever drop your link into the comment section of blogs, news articles, or anything else with an area for comments?
Keyword Overload: We understand that you’re trying to rank for a specific word or words, but throwing that word into every sentence multiple times looks and sounds incredibly awkward.
Bulk Directory Linking: Submitting your site to hundreds of irrelevant link directories, and depending on the directory, your website rankings can be negatively affected.
Exact Match Domain: While this doesn’t negatively impact your website’s rankings, it’s really no longer deemed important that your keyword is located in your site’s domain name.
Invisible Key Words: Let’s say your website background is white, so you throw your keyword up there hundreds of times in white so that Google sees it, but those visiting your website don’t. Google was not happy about this one and penalized most sites that were using this practice.
Link Networks: This is a domain or multiple domains and their only purpose is to provide a different domain with backlinks. These are typically owned by the same individual or company.
Buying Links: Some sites will offer to provide links for an amount of money, but this is a pretty risky business. More often than not, these are sketchy sites that will actually hurt your SEO.
Use of Irrelevant Key Words: Don’t publish irrelevant content on your site. If you’re trying to rank for words like “hotels”, don’t post things that don’t have anything to do with hotels or the hospitality industry.
Cloaking: This is presenting the website user with completely different content that is shown to the search engines that are crawling the site, and is considered a “deceptive SEO strategy”.
So when Google caught on, most of us became aware that these strategies could be the death of our website rankings. But, if you’ve been in a cave the past four years, and are still posting invisible keywords all over your site, please STOP – your website rankings will thank you.