7 On-Page SEO Techniques That Google dislikes And their alternatives
SEO has evolved into focusing on compelling content and adhering to ethical on-page and off-page SEO methods to secure higher rankings in search engine result pages (SERPs). However, the downside is that achieving a prominent position on Google’s page 1 now demands significant time and effort.
Due to the time-consuming nature of white hat tactics, there’s a temptation among bloggers and marketers to resort to black hat SEO practices, such as purchasing $5 backlinks from platforms like Fiverr and engaging in keyword stuffing, in an attempt to ascend the search rankings. Techniques like these, once tolerated by Google, are now strictly prohibited.
Here are seven outdated on-page SEO methods that should be avoided at all costs to maintain a favorable standing with Google.
Misusing Anchor Text
Anchor text was once a crucial search signal, serving as an indicator to Google of a site’s relevance. Unfortunately, black hat SEO practitioners exploited anchor texts for illicit practices like keyword stuffing and spam-ridden link building.
Similar to the impact of its precursor, Google Panda, the Penguin update marked the conclusion of the era of traditional anchor text manipulation. Presently, employing the same anchor text repetitively for internal linking carries the risk of Google penalization.
To navigate this, it is advisable to infuse creativity into internal linking practices. Utilize diverse anchor texts when linking to the same content, and exercise internal linking judiciously and sparingly to align with current SEO standards.
SEO has entered an era where content holds greater significance than ever before. Google and other search engines prioritize content that captivates and provides utility to users. However, there was a time when this emphasis on quality content was not the norm.
Keyword stuffing, a widely adopted black hat technique, was favored by SEO professionals for its ease of execution and perceived effectiveness. This deceptive practice met its demise in 2011 with the introduction of the Panda algorithm update by Google.
Engaging in keyword stuffing today invites penalties from Google and other search engines, making it imperative to avoid this detrimental practice. Instead, focus on crafting evergreen content that resonates with and benefits your target audience. While keyword research remains crucial, integrate your focus keyword 2-3 times in the content and incorporate relevant phrases. Steer clear of repetitive use of keywords and, when possible, target long-tail keywords for a more nuanced approach.
Site-Wide (Spammy) Footer Links
In the past, site-wide footer links were a common practice. However, Google identified that a significant portion of these external links directed users to paid or irrelevant websites. Furthermore, some websites engaged in stuffing their footers with an excessive number of links and tags. The Panda algorithm targeted websites with subpar structures, while Penguin aimed at sites manipulating links and tags.
Instead of these practices, it is recommended to view the footer as a crucial element of a website. A well-designed footer aids visitors in navigating various sections of the website and provides access to additional information like contact details and terms of service.
To maintain a reputable website, ensure your footer remains uncluttered and includes essential information such as contact details, copyright information, and subscription forms. For guidance on an effective site footer, consider examining the footer of Moz as a reference for the kind of information that a site footer should encompass.
Cloaking, an old-school black hat technique, involves displaying different content to search engine spiders compared to what is shown to users. Unscrupulous SEO spammers employed cloaking to deceive search engines, aiming for elevated rankings in SERPs while misleading users into accessing a site that deviated from the search engine’s description.
Instead of resorting to cloaking, it is strongly advised to abstain from this practice entirely. Engaging in cloaking not only jeopardizes search engine rankings but also poses a threat to your online reputation.
Even in the era predating Panda, content swapping was prohibited, but the indexing, or reindexing, process by Google was not swift enough, allowing black hat SEO professionals to manipulate Google’s algorithms easily.
Presently, Google’s algorithms have undergone advancements, and they possess the capability to swiftly diminish the ranking of any site that restricts itself from indexation.
As an alternative, it is strongly recommended to steer clear of content swapping, as it stands as one of the most straightforward methods to incur penalties from Google. Instead, focus on creating content that genuinely adds value to the topic at hand, avoiding the deceptive practices associated with this black hat SEO tactic.
Single Post Web 2.0 Blogs
While ‘web 2.0’ blogs, a term often used by dubious SEO practitioners, are widespread and favored, they contribute little to enhancing search engine rankings. Typically created on subdomains of platforms like Tumblr or WordPress, these brief two-page blogs incorporate a few articles and are saturated with links.
A more advisable approach is to divert your efforts away from web 2.0 blogs. Instead, concentrate on employing white hat link-building techniques such as Brian Dean’s Moving Man Method or the Skyscraper technique. These methods are recognized for their effectiveness and align more closely with ethical SEO practices.
Linking to Unrelated Sites
It is essential that the links incorporated into your website align with the content you publish. These links should furnish additional information on the subject matter, rendering it pertinent and beneficial to the user. Google continues to prioritize high-quality backlinks that are contextually relevant to the site.
Conversely, embedding an excess of external links or links unrelated to your site is a definite path towards incurring penalties from Google. Such irrelevant links can inflict considerable damage on your link profile over an extended period.
To navigate this, consider that every backlink on your site contributes to your site’s link profile, which Google scrutinizes to determine your site’s inclusion in search results. An abundance of irrelevant links leads to a diluted link profile lacking coherence.
Instead, opt for external links in your content that resonate with your niche, ensuring they augment the value of the information you share with users. This approach helps maintain a focused and relevant link profile.
SEO remains in a state of constant evolution, marked by Google’s successive algorithm launches. Consequently, SEO professionals must consistently stay informed and explore innovative methods to enhance the search engine rankings of their content.
Avoid attempting to manipulate Google through the mentioned techniques, as recovering from a Google penalty is a challenging and time-consuming process. Instead, concentrate on employing white hat on-page and off-page techniques while crafting informative, engaging, and authoritative content.