SEO is an ever-changing beast, and improving your rankings on search algorithms is an art form with its own set of unique challenges, opportunities, and best practices.
And while the rules and etiquette of SEO change, some businesses refuse to keep up or play fair. There are all kinds of SEO tricks that will actually damage your brand and, ultimately, do you more harm than good when it comes time for Google’s algorithm to rank your site.
Here are four outdated – or downright nefarious – SEO tactics that will damage your brand’s integrity and actually hurt your site’s SEO:
1.) Bad Back-Links
It’s fine to back-link to your own content or to other sites; in fact, building relationships through linking has long been a key part of successful content marketing for SEO.
The problem comes with sites that run like link farms, stuffed with too many links to be readable or consistently sending readers to disreputable or poor quality sites. Instead of linking to every site you can, focus on building authentic relationships with other high quality sites who will in turn share and link to your great content.
2.) Duplicate Content
Google’s algorithms are keenly designed to weed out sites that simply repost the same content over and over again.
Instead of creating a catch-all blog template and simply tweaking a few words here or there, focus your efforts on consistently generating new, original content. This will make your site more attractive to Google’s algorithm. Plus, the more unique pages on your site, the better the chances that your pieces will show up in more search rankings, giving new audiences searching for content a chance to engage with you.
3.) Keyword Stuffing
One of the most sacred relics of SEO past is the keyword. And while they still have their place in search engine marketing, the practice of keyword stuffing – inflating your article with attractive keywords to bolster your search ranking – should be dead and buried.
Search engines are now designed to care about quality, rather than merely quantity. Spend your time creating attractive, helpful content, rather than inundating a post with duplicate keywords. Quality, not puffery, is the best way to ensure that your rankings improve.
4.) Fake Reviews
More and more audiences are doing their research on social reviewing sites like Yelp, Amazon, or even YouTube. And while it may seem easy to pay a few people to write positive reviews improve your business’ standing, that could backfire in a major way.
Besides being deeply unethical, writing fake posts under phony usernames doesn’t pay off: Increasingly, sites are getting better at spotting and deleting fake reviews, and being the subject of a scandal could permanently damage your brand story.
Instead of posting fake positive reviews, forge the sort of high quality relationships that lead to real positive reviews. Send out samples of your product or reach out to social media influencers. Encourage your satisfied customers to send in testimonials or spread the word about your product on social media.
With the right reputation and high quality content, your organic results will improve without having to resort to any tricks or traps.
Ready to start improving your site’s organic search results with content marketing? Drop Geek a line! We have the team and the experience to help with all of your social media, SEO, and email marketing needs!