Search Engine Optimization

5 Outdated SEO Practices That Can Hurt Your Ranking

Through algorithm updates and other methods, Google has worked tirelessly to discourage manipulative practices in SEO. Once a strategy is recognized as harmful, it can really end up taking a toll on your ranking. Here are five examples.

Link Manipulation

There was a time when webmasters could get away with paid links, link wheels, automated links, or other linking tactics that wilfully exploit PageRank. Since the release of Penguin in 2012, however, Google has sharpened their algorithms to detect and penalize sites which take these kinds of shortcuts. Instead, rely on the quality and value of your content to become a respected and well-linked site!

Thin or Spun Content

Producing large amounts of low-value content will push you pretty low in search rankings. In the early days of content-driven SEO, you didn’t have to go very far to find a site whose content was thin or comprised of “spun” duplicate information. Even today, it’s unfortunately still out there. To avoid being penalized by Google, keep your content fresh, unique, and full of useful resources.

Hidden Text and Cloaking

Some webmasters might be tempted to fill their site with hidden text — coloured to match a background or placed behind images, for example — containing valuable search terms to improve ranking. Whether it’s this or “cloaking” content, it is outdated and unwise to provide different information to search engines than is seen by the user. Keep your site honest and create content with integrity!

Automated Engagement & Paid Followers

Tools like Scrapebox are sometimes used to post automated comments on blogs and produce falsified engagement. Paid follower services, meanwhile, are automated systems which produce ghost accounts to follow yours and increase your numbers. Not only are these practices outdated, they’re quite obvious and can leave a dent in your ranking and reputation.

Keyword Stuffing

You’ll run into all kinds of trouble if you fill your pages with keywords without considering the value or readability of the content itself. Thanks to improvements in how engines deal with search terms, this is far less common than it used to be. Google will now rank your site based based on more precise, contextual information such as long-tail keywords. If you bloat your pages or meta tags with keywords, it will both be ineffective and incriminating for your site!

There are plenty more practices out there that can get you an unfortunate search ranking. To learn more about how to stay on Google’s good side and maintain a truly successful website, give CAYK a call at 403-456-0072 today!

Search Engine Optimization

Why is Blogging So Important for SEO?

You can probably tell that we love our blog. This might lead you to wonder why we see it as such an indispensible tool. Even if you have a general idea of how high-quality content can help your search ranking, there are a few reasons that you may not be aware of.

The Keyword Misconception

Remember in our previous blog when we mentioned that packing keywords into your content doesn’t fly? It may have worked once upon a time, but it’s in Google’s best interest to provide users with genuine answers to their queries. As such, they’ve adapted their algorithms over time to reward the use of relevant long-tail key terms and phrases. Why? Because if the ideas in the blog are actually valuable, the user has found the site they truly need.

The Importance of New Information

This point is rather intuitive but often overlooked. Producing a steady stream of fresh information is highly advisable for a number of reasons. Firstly, search engines tend to prioritize pages that have recently posted content relevant to the query. Secondly, if your blog remains dynamic and alive, your site as a whole will gain a reputation as a reliable and relevant source of information on your subjects. That means your visitors will be more likely to share and link back to you, improving your SEO even further. Of course, other users don’t need to be the only ones linking back to you. A stream of fresh content means an opportunity to link to your site with new social media posts and provide fuel for engagement.

Variety is the Spice of Life

When we say “content” what exactly do we mean? Your blog would hardly be a blog without written information, but is this all there is to it? Not even close! A blog will only amp up your SEO to its full potential if the forms of information you provide are as varied as possible. Want those posts to show up in Google image search results? You’ll need some images. How about video results? Likewise. This is one of the reasons why intuitive infographics are so popular. Get creative and fuse the utility of the written word with the attractiveness of visual media. This is what many high-ranking sites have in common!

Are your SEO and organic traffic already performing above expectations? What about other aspects of your marketing plan? Give CAYK a call at (403) 456-0072 today and we’ll be more than happy to help!