SEO is in a state known as ‘permaflux’. What this essentially means is that it is constantly changing, constantly evolving and never remaining in any one condition for long. This means that the best SEO principles that everyone relied on just a few months ago will no longer necessarily apply – and it means that companies need to stay constantly on top of these developments in order to continue with the right strategy that will help to grow their business with no risk of being penalized. No SEO technique is truly ‘futureproof’ so you need to stay adaptable and you need to stay informed.
To illustrate this point, it’s useful to look at some of the techniques that big companies and websites are still using today that are actually counter-intuitive. Read on and we’ll go over five big mistakes that even some of the major players are still making.
Using the Same Anchor Links
An ‘anchor’ is the blue underlined text for any link. So in other words, if you have a link saying ‘click here’ then the anchor is ‘click here’.
Many websites when trying to build their links profile will create guest posts and directory submissions but will repeatedly use the same phrasing – that being one of their keywords or being their brand name. The idea here is to increase the association between their brand and that phrasing thus climbing the ranks of Google.
It’s a nice idea in theory. And it used to work. But unfortunately Google has gotten smart to it and now sees this as obvious manipulation. Remember: Google best trusts the links that it believes are organic and natural, that are posted by real human visitors who enjoyed your website. And when real people link to websites, they don’t do it using the same keywords every single time. They might just use ‘here’ or they might use the website’s actual URL. The only way to avoid penalization these days then is to mimic this natural approach with varied and natural anchor text.
Only Going After Big Sites
Likewise, you should try to make sure your backlinks profile is varied in terms of its origin. If you have a link on a really bad, black-hat site with poor grammar and no relation to your website… that may not actually be the worst thing in the world.
Think about it: how many bad quality links do you think a website like the BBC has? Thousands! This is just part and parcel of having a naturally large links profile. You of course should avoid those sorts of links and you shouldn’t chase them down but the point is that if all your links are on PR5 blogs, this actually ends up looking just as suspicious as far as Google is concerned.
Not Using Google+
Google+ might not be as big as Facebook or Twitter but in some ways that’s to its advantage as it means it’s easier to get noticed. Moreover, Google+ is very useful for SEO purposes as it allows you to ensure your site is appearing in personalized search and it sends a clear signal to Google that you’re doing well. It’s likely Google uses G+ signals in their algorithms to some extent at least and this is only likely to increase going forward.
Not Using LSI Keywords
LSI stands for ‘latent semantic indexing’ and is a big buzz word at the moment in SEO. It basically means using synonyms and related words throughout your text in order to better help Google understand the context and subject matter of your posts. This is something you should be doing naturally anyway but the new term has motivated some SEOs and webmasters to finally wake up and take notice of that fact.
Using the same keyword repeatedly is actually destructive. Not only does it hurt the flow of your text but it makes it harder for Google to understand your content. If you keep saying ‘how to cast’ in your text then Google won’t know if you’re talking about fishing or sculpting (it’s a homonym). Thus, you need to use the other related terms (cast a line, cast in clay) in order to give Google the subtext it needs.
This is very important right now if you want to rank well but again it’s only going to get more important going forward. Remember: Google will keep getting smarter. You may be able to trick it now but it will ultimately not pay off in the long term.
Not Writing for the Reader
This is the biggest mistake of all and one that webmasters, business owners and SEOs have been taught repeatedly but never seem to learn. The point of SEO is to write for the reader first with only slight consideration for Google and its algorithms. If you are writing just to insert keywords then you are building your site on very shaky foundations indeed.