Apr 09 2012
Hey, did you hear about this SEO trick?
- Adding a bunch of links to the bottom of the home page
- Acquiring a large number of social bookmarking links, directory listings, article directory submissions, etc. in a few weeks
- Creating duplicate sites to get a keyword in the domain name
- Using hellotxt, onlywire, etc. to broadcast your link through social media
- Paying someone on fiverr to do a SEO or link building task
- Paying someone to comment on your blog and/or other blogs
- Paying to acquire lots of links relatively quickly
- Dabbling with keyword density
- Trying to fit as many keywords as possible into a web page
- Using automated link distribution networks
These are some examples of “SEO tricks” people used in the past with varying degrees of success, but today use them and you may be another victim of SEO trends.
It typically goes like this. You “catch wind” of a SEO trick or tip and assume that if you implement it, your site will soon be ranking at the top. Sometimes these tricks or tips come from people who work for an online marketing company or from articles written years ago.
Trends or fads are that way, they tend to work for a while, but then everyone jumps on the “bandwagon” and they stop working. In fact some SEO trends can damage a site’s credibility.
Maile Ohye of Google, describes it like this, “Instead of chasing users, some websites started chasing search engine algorithms.”
A few things to consider before chasing the algorithms (or allowing yourself to be influenced by SEO trends):
- Google changes their algo over 500 times every year
- Google employs numerous PhDs to manage their algo
- Google has a host of human quality raters to ensure search results are useful
- Google’s algo is made up of several hundred signals used together to provide the most useful search results for each user
- SEO professionals do not attempt to game, trick or manipulate algorithms
- SEO professionals seek to understand what search engines and users want and then identify opportunities to provide it
- Google has published webmaster guidelines to help you help Google find, crawl and index your site.
Here’s an excerpt from Google’s quality guidelines:
“Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.”
One of the reasons I am writing about SEO trends is that I often meet prospects who have become victims of these trends. Of course, I’m happy for new business that comes my way unfortunately due to misguided SEO, but I have a higher purpose and that is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – famous Ben Franklin quote.
Don’t just play around with SEO, you can’t afford to do that today. There have been too many gamers and algo chasers who have gone before you for someone relatively new to SEO to come along, try similar tricks and expect different results. Google has been there and done that… many times over. In fact, people who have never heard of SEO are in a much better position today than those who are familiar with it because the former aren’t developing a site for search engines but for their audience.
If you found this helpful, add another SEO trend I haven’t mentioned to the comments below, that way we can create a much better list of “SEO tricks” to avoid.