25 Outdated SEO Terms & Tactics vs Their Modern Alternatives | White.net

25 Outdated SEO Terms & Tactics vs Their Modern Alternatives

By Tad Chef / September 11, 2008

Many webmasters and website owners fail to notice the fundamental changes the web has taken in recent years. People still waste time with meta keywords tags, obsessing about PageRank and measuring keyword density for highly artificial sounding page copy.
Get real, most of the old school website optimization tactics are completely useless, sometimes even harming your website. Many SEO tactics have changed, others have been replaced. Some new methods have sprung up in places where obsolete ways of tweaking websites or building links have left a void.
Some terms are even meaningless by now so that you have to change your mindset completely.

keyword density/stuffing – killer content creation
Back in the days the more you mentioned a keyword (keyword density) the better you performed in the search results. It was long ago. For years it’s the other way around. You create highly contentious and linkable killer content to get popular with users and the links push you in the search results, even if your keyword is mentioned just a few times.

PageRank optimization – authority links
Some people really say “PageRank optimization”. PageRank optimization is like Pen** enlargement. Bigger does not mean better performance. Recommendations by respectable websites still count but the simple fact that you are linked there often is worth more that the PageRank that gets passed.

metatag optimization – tagging/folksonomy
Like in the above example this is a term that was always disproportionally focusing on one aspect. This aspect is nowadays almost meaningless. The meta keywords tag can be dropped altogether. If you want to add keywords to your page, try tags or even better folksonomy (tagging by many people collectively) to enrich your content in the visible content area.

SEO copywriting for spiders – SEO copywriting for users
Are you interested in “SEO Services SEO Company India Search Engine Optimization (SEO) India”? Probably not, that’s why you are reading a “SEO blog” offering “Internet Marketing News” from the “UK”.

article marketing – business blogging
Article marketing was big when it was important to get many links from different websites and IPs. Duplicate content issues, low quality and other disadvantages made it less of an viable option. At the same time business blogging has really taken shape. It works far better for generating links than article marketing. Of course it’s a lot more reputable.

search engine submission – xml sitemaps, pinging
It’s amazing how some services still offer search engine submission (to hundreds of search engines sometimes). While in most countries Google is basically a monopoly, rarely more than 5 search engines matter at all. Three of them enable you to use XML sitemaps to “submit”. While this is a viable way of submitting to search engines, it’s still better to ping Google at it’s BlogSearch with a blog post instead to get instantly indexed.

checking rankings – checking 33 other metrics
Some people obsess about ranking as much as about PageRank (some even mix up both terms). Rankings differ though depending on the place you search from and your personal search history among others. So in short two people in most cases won’t see the same search results. You should consider measuring some of these above linked 33 website success metrics instead.

reciprocal linking – linking out
No, the modern version of reciprocal linking are not three way links schemes or something. As long as the link swapping works artificially on the premise of barter it’s outdated. It takes much more time and effort to attempt to find suitable link partners than just linking out to the blogs in your niche you favor. While not everybody will link back some will if your content is a king and not just a peasant. Some people even will link you even more than you linked them in many instances. These links will be perfectly natural too so they will count more than artificial exchanged links.

paid links/text link ads – sponsoring, charity
Some people just can’t get sex for free. It’s the same with webmasters. They want it now without the hassle, they still want to pay. Link love that is paid seldom works out in the long run, but there are ways to get valid links with a monetary investment. It’s indirect though. Sponsoring and charity done right will be great for both the artists, activist or non-profits receiving the funds and the company supporting them financially.

forum signature – homepage link on active social media profiles
Many people still use forums, especially forums that allow signatures that “pass PageRank”. Sometimes the signature is longer than the forum post itself and Google has taken this “SEO tactic” into account years ago. On the other hand there are lots of social media sites who let you add a link to your homepage in the profile. When you are contributing consistently to these your profile page gains more and more authority, also for Google.

footer links – content links
Just a few years ago people used to stuff their page footers with useless links to their link exchange partners. Bad news if you still do that: Google discounts those in most cases. What you need are content links. So make people write about you in their blogs by providing exceptional resources, up to the minute news or a unique analysis and opinion not repeating what everybody else said.

blog comments – trackbacks (comments on your blog)
Many people still comment on “dofollow blogs” as one of their major “link building” tactics. These links still might pass some Google juice but for how long and how much? It’s much better to write in your own blog about others bloggers or link and trackback them to get a response, a link back to your site or blog.

anchor text – topical pages/paragraphs
When people realized that you can rank higher if your link anchor text e.g. is <link>SEO blog</link> for a SEO blog they started to “build links” with the same anchor text over and over. Normal users don’t link with relevant anchor text, let alone the same anchor text everywhere. So soon Google adapted by discounting anchor text that is obviously SEOed. Moreover ever since Adsense appeared years ago, Google has been able to determine what’s around an element or on your page in the first place. So your “SEO blog” anchor text doesn’t matter much if the page is about online dating.

noscript tag links – no flash or ajax versions
Webmasters discovered the noscript tag to insert lots of invisible links in pages that look legitmate to search engines. Unfortunately they do not for a few years now. You should provide an alternative version for non-flash or non-AJAX users though if you have a fancy menu for instance. Load the Flash or AJAX-free menu for those who have switched of scripts or haven’t Flash installed. These links are also useful for search bots.

hidden counter links – widgets with “more” links
Some free counter services still force you to add not only invisible links to the counter homepage but to completely irrelevant third party sites. Of course this is crap nowadays and won’t last. One user who reports it to Google suffices. In Web 2.0 times and beyond there appeared lots of widgets for blogs and websites though that use such a method in a legitimate way. They offer basic info in a widget and add some more of it after clicking a link.

WordPress themes links – Firefox Add ons
For a while footer links in WordPress themes made WordPress theme designers the most popular web personalities on the Web. This problem of blown up link popularity has been discovered and dealt with in 2007 so you won’t get a “PageRank 7” just by designing or porting a few themes. What’s still very popular though are Firefox extensions. Millions of people use Firefox and add ons. As most Firefox users are quite web-savvy they feature their favorite add ons on their blogs so that you get plenty of authority links once you write a popular extension.

too many directory links – generating buzz
While directory submission to a few directories (like a 12) still makes sense to get a site indexed in Google via the directory links it does not make sense to submit to hundreds of directories as these are often low value. Create a buzz around your site by viral videos or even good old press releases to get for link power.

HTML 3.2 – XHTML 1+
for a long time SEO experts advised to use the simplest HTML possible for Google, HTML 3.2 for instance. Sites designed in in this archaic HTML version looked accordingly. While the simplicity argument is still valid I made the best experiences with XHTML 1+ strict. It limits the code size naturally and you end up with being simple to crawl for Google and other bots.

guaranteed positions – ROI and conversions
Some SEO firms still proclaim to offer “guaranteed top positions” in Google, while in itself a misleading claim it does not make sense anymore to rely on rankings as these differ from place to place and computer to computer. Focus on ROI and conversions instead. If you like to guarantee a ROI of 200% or a 10% conversion rate it does make much more sense on the business level.

link building – getting links
The concept of link building has an underlying assumption of links that are artificially “build”. Otherwise it would be called “getting links” or something else, but building implies an active involvement of the SEO and actual manual inserting links somewhere. In contrast link baiting and other more common methods nowadays rely on other means than sheer “building” to get links in a natural, organic way. Built links will always be subject to the search engine’s quality team’s scrutiny. Completely organic links can’t be filtered out obviously.

PageRank Sculpting – Making every page matter and useful
This one seems to be an accepted practice of many in the SEO industry while, others, whom I support, advise against it. PageRank sculpting means that some pages on a website are linked by nofollowed internal links to ensure that other, more important pages get more Google juice. While this seemingly makes sense, most people overdo it and in some cases even whole sites get nofollowed by accident. Recently I encountered several sites that were completely made non-indexable for search engines via noindex/nofollow for no reason. Many webmasters will for instance nofollow the contact page in order not to make it the most important page in Google (as it’s linked from everywhere). In fact in many cases it is though, people are searching just for your address or a company nearby, especially via iPhone or other mobile phones.

forums – communities
Do you consider adding a forum to your site? Well, think twice. Forums are problem oriented (people go to forums to solve a problem) and people using them are often aggressive. Social communities on the other hand add a far more positive enhancement to a site. Adding content is based on popularity and thus good content is submitted. Sphinn is the best example for that in spite of the fact that recently some try to superimpose their condescending and aggressive behavior on the community. It seems that with growing popularity you also face these problems with communities but it’s not a wide spread inherent problem like with forums.

outstanding frontpage design – landing pages, usable check out forms
Not a cool homepage counts, or at least not solely, but clean and focused landing pages as well as working and usable check out forms for visitors to complete a purchase.

cluttered portal like pages – white space and focused pages with no distractions
Do you remember portals? Google made them obsolete but amazingly enough some commercial sites still try to imitate the portals of the late nineties. These sites work by overwhelming the visitor with information overflow. The logic behind that is that the user will get stuck somewhere, find something out of the hundreds of links to click. This doesn’t work though. People bounce off the site and search for another one less cramped. You need to offer white space for strained eyes to rest and focused pages no distractions that offer exactly what the visitors wants one keyword per page.
DMOZ – Delicious Popular
Some people submitted their pages to DMOZ directory to get an authority link and they still are waiting after 2 years or more. DMOZ is an epic failure of an elitist directory system. Instead try to get on the Delicious homepage, here you get many more valuable links. Delicious killed the DMOZ star.

While on most of the above mentioned issues most experts will agree, some of them are debatable but nonetheless you have to face them and decide whether you keep with the old ways or adapt to new web environment.

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