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Bad SEO Advice That Doesn't Work

Located in SEO and Search Engines, started by enlytend, Apr 29, 2017

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  1. enlytend

    enlytend Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I just love it when people repeatedly post lists of lame "SEO tips" circa 2004. I get it - you're doing it to promote your forum signature or build post count (which btw is against NP rules). Problem is noobs look at that stuff and think it's for realz.

    So with that in mind, I'm starting an "SEO Mythbusters" thread of bad SEO advice. This is not an all-inclusive list, feel free to add to it

    Things that don't work
    Keyword meta tags - long abandoned for ranking because of spam.
    Meta description - not used for ranking. Can help your click thru rates.
    Social media - social media's great! But unless Google has access to the feed it isn't an SEO tactic.
    Local listings - usually nofollowed citations. Will get you nothing unless you are a local business, might help your local pack rankings if you are and if they're done correctly.
    "Keyword density" - the idea that your keyword must be x percent of your page content or appear x times on your page is BS. You probably won't rank for it if it's NOT on the page, other than that there's no secret sauce.
    Running Adwords - They're 2 different products, running Adwords won't help your search rankings. It MAY help your click thru rate if you have an ad and an organic listing on the same page,
    Just write great content! - Good start (assuming the content truly is noteworthy), but people need to know about it too. Lots of "great content" hidden on page 10.

    Things that don't work very well any more
    These worked years ago. Thanks to the long history of being used to spam links, google doesn't place much trust in them any more. They're weak at best and may be considered unnatural links.

    Directory link - Avoid low quality directories that aren't curated.
    Forum signatures - especially in forums like this where signatures are hidden from search engines.
    Forum posting
    Press releases with keyword anchor text links.
    Blog comments (aka blog spam)
    Bookmark sites

    Things that risk a penalty
    Google has cracked down on these.

    Article directories
    Guest posting
    Link wheels, PBNs
    Paid links
    Cheap link blasts (fiverr, etc) - you won't get quality link building for $5. More likely to be a GSA blast. Sending automated links straight to your site may give you a brief moment of glory before you're slapped into oblivion.
    Doorway pages and sites

    That said, Things that may work, if you do them discreetly
    Guest posting - still works if you're not spammy about it. Post where the content is likely to drive engaged traffic. Be willing to settle for a brand or URL link.
    Paid links - There are paid links and there are paid links. Which are ok? If you contribute money, goods or time to a worthy cause and get listed on their thank you page, you're not likely to get slapped for that. Likewise if you submit a link to a relevant, high quality directory with an editorial fee. I wouldn't make either your only link source though,
    PBN - PRIVATE networks can work if you set it up without leaving a footprint. This takes time, effort and planning. If you don't know what you're doing and you try to cut corners, you will get caught. Public networks that you buy into can be discovered and outed,

    Three step SEO plan that works and is safe:
    1. Create content that your audience wants or needs
    2. Present it in a way that is friendly to both visitors and search engines
    3. Get the word out!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
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  2. enlytend

    enlytend Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Here's another myth: You need to make your pages validate W3c.
    There's nothing WRONG with validation, but from an SEO standpoint it's not necessary and won't help much. As long as the page renders and they can parse any structured data on it, you're good to go.
    Exception would be major errors. Like the site I audited where Google was ignoring their canonical tags because an error kept the <head> section from closing properly.
    Relevant article and discussion - https://www.seroundtable.com/google-validation-seo-23784.html
     
  3. enlytend

    enlytend Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Here's some more:
    "Just post unique content" - Unique, interesting and noteworthy content is great. Writing lame, rehashed content that passes Copyscape isn't going to do much for you
    "Post fresh content every day" - Not necessarily. Unless QDF (query deserves freshness) applies (hot, trending topics, news). Sites with quality "evergreen" content can rank very well.
    "Post great content" - If it's not in line with your goals, its a waste of your time. Let's say you have a pizza shop. You write an epic article on the history of pizza. Great! But you want to attract hungry people, not scholars. Your target visitors are hungry and just want a pie - what do you have, what are your prices and do you deliver?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  4. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Is Mobile friendly important?

    (Things..I noticed that work for my sites , but not sure if long term)

    Google+ seems to help bring my site up in ranking.

    Images with "alt" tags (especially site URL included)
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  5. enlytend

    enlytend Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Mobile friendly - yes, for mobile traffic. Will be more important overall when they go to a "mobile first" index.
    G+ - not that I've seen. Having a local business listing (which used to show up as a G+ page) would help in local search and get you a knowledge box, which gives you more page "real estate."
    Alt attributes (they're not "tags" :) ) - yes. But I don't include a URL unless the image is of a URL. Be careful about keyword stuffing too - you can include them in your description of the image, but don't spam them. For example, couple sitting down with an insurance agent on a page for life insurance could be "couple buying life insurance" or "insurance agent explaining life insurance"

    But that's all GOOD SEO advice :)!
     
  6. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks..was going to use "attribute' but used the more commonly known version (misuse)

    Did hire a few of those "SEO get page one" ..one of the "onsite optimization" suggestion to make more money was to
    "Have majority of ads above the fold"
     
  7. enlytend

    enlytend Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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