What’s NOT working now with SEO

Sometimes things stop working. It happened with my phone a couple weeks ago… but I digress. SEO is a moveable target, as much an art as it is a science. A lot of the tactics we’ve been using over the years have gone by the wayside, as Google refines their algorithms. Let’s have a look at what’s not working now, and what you can stop dedicating time, energy and resources to.

SEO tactics to toss in the trash for 2014

Overuse of keywords – Back in the day you could pound your pages with lots of instances of your primary keywords, and they would rank well for those. No longer. The best practice these days is to include your primary keyword in the title, and perhaps a few other places on the page, but let’s be very clear that Google is telling you to write for your readers first. The relevance of your content in much more important than the number of times your main keyword appears on the page.

Short content – These days the pages that rank on the first pages of Google are similar in that they sport longer, more in-depth content. The days when we could get by with slapping up 250-300 words of dubious quality are gone, so far as your main blog and site pages are concerned. There is a place for micro-content; for example on sites like Tumblr, Facebook as well as other primarily social sites.

Article marketing – This one expired a while ago. Since Panda came down the pike, article directories have struggled. To post your content there at this time and expect much in the way of traffic or links is an exercise in futility.

Keyword anchor text – Google’s algorithm is now smarter, and now recognizes that if every link into your site has “Your main keyword” as the clickable anchor text, something is afoot. Strive for a more natural link footprint, using keywords, your site URL, and a few random phrases that make sense, including “click here” and longer, post specific terms.

The absence of social media – Not so long ago, if you were completely turned off by the idea of dealing with social media on your site, you didn’t have to. Now, you may as well start selling shoes. (Offline) Be sure and make your posts and pages socially sharable and start your own social sites if you haven’t already.

Site-wide links – An entirely obvious link building scheme, why would anyone still think it normal to have a site link to every page on yours? Google certainly doesn’t think so.