SEO – Search Engine optimization, has evolved over the years and is still evolving as you read this article. If you are in anyway related to marketing, you understand how hard it really is.
With every update a search engine goes through, marketeers have a mountain to move, just to make sure the lead generation funnel is not affected. The only way you can be sure of not getting hit by it is to be up-to-date and agile.
Staying true to the theme, here are the 4 SEO tactics that would have worked wonders 5 years ago and has little or no impact on your search rankings today-
- Keyword Stuffing Vs Latent Semantic Indexing:
There was a time when search engines would crawl your website, match the search term with the content and meta-description in your post and show the content with the most relevant matches.
Pushing in all the similar sounding keywords into the meta description, irrespective of its relevance, still made it work.
Google (or rather the engineers at Google) grew smarter, and in response to keyword stuffing, moved to LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Latent Semantic Indexing, in simple terms, understands synonyms. It helps search engines collate common words and phrases and identify them as keywords for the page.
Now stuffing un-related or similar keywords into your page’s meta can lead Google to red flag you. THAT IS NOT GOOD.
Though LSI does not immediately affect your search engine rankings, it does affect your quality score. You want to be on the good side of this.
2. Backlinks, Guest Posts, and Directories:
Another concept prevalent some time ago was to have bunch of websites and directories pointing at your page, write good meta, OK content and you were set for SEO glory.
What marketeers did was to pay for services that inorganically shared links to your page all over the internet, at guest posts that matter none, from no name websites with negative quality scores, and voila you have tone of traffic coming in with great ranking.
Again, Google (read- Google engineers) got smart. In most cases now, overcrowded backlinks are discounted and in some cases, the websites have been penalised by search engines.
On similar lines, most SEO directories are a big NO. Avoid them as much as possible. Of course, don’t be stupid and buy services that give you 1000 backlinks from “relevant” websites for $49.
Another aspect of backlinks comes from guest posts. Please keep backlinks to a minimum from super relevant, high reputation, high quality sources only. Everything else, throw them in the trash.
3. Keywords- Domain Names and Anchor Texts:
One of the beginners mistakes that companies do is buying out domains which are essentially keywords.
Consider how www.bestdoughnutsintown.com looks- well, shady! From all our experience on internet, click baits like this are best avoided. Though “best donuts in town” is a keyword and would show up if someone around searches for it, the trust associated is quite low. Leading to clicks being drawn away from your page.
On the other hand,
(I love these guys), looks like a brand along with usual keywords, Doughnuts, coffee, Delicious Doughnuts.
Do not get domain names just because it’s the most searched keyword at your location. You would get traffic but eventually it would eat away your clicks.
Another popular way to use key words was to put them in Anchor texts. The way these have been used was to find the most popular keyword in your category and hyperlink it to the desired page.
Don’t do this- internal links are fine but make sure it’s needed and has a flow to it. If it’s for navigation, it would look good at the end of the page and not in middle of it.
As mentioned, Google is getting smarter, and unless you are as smart as them, don’t try to game them. Good SEO doesn’t work that way.
4. Sitemaps Vs Link Structures:
If you have noticed, most websites have a sitemap . There is a good reason behind it too. Crawlers (read ‘search engine spiders’) navigate through your website to read and collate all the pages attached. Sitemap helps these crawlers to locate (if) any hidden pages which might not be directly linked to other pages on the site. Something of a hierarchy as follows:
Though this approach works well, a better approach would be to have navigation to related pages and create the shortest distance possible between 2 pages. The shorter the distance, the better would be your reputation i.e., Quality. A good link structure would look something like this:
This interlinking of pages is also called link structure, which works way better than a sitemap. One of the prime examples would be a news or current affairs website with related articles at the bottom of the page. A sample is below:
If you are like everyone else, these tactics are already in place on your pages. We suggest that you change it to the new format as this would not only add to your website’s reputation but would eventually play a major role in SEO itself.
Hope you enjoyed this post and you can check our upcoming posts on SEO, wherein we talk about SEO strategies that work, SEO for small business.