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by Andy Williams on 2nd February 2012
This is certainly the case when it comes to SEO.
With so much information readily available online you can read up on any subject any time you want. However, simply reading up on something isn’t going to make you an expert in any particular field.
All too often we come up against those familiar sentences starting with:
“My mate is an expert and he says…”
“I read this book and it said you should have…”
“The last company we worked with say you don’t need…”
“Competing sites are doing…”
Each sentence usually ends in a tale of how someone has convinced them that out of date tactics are essential to gaining improved rankings.
People who set themselves up as “knowing about SEO” (having read an out of date article online) somewhere still to this day manage to lead people down the wrong path.
Companies that “do SEO” as well as their main services (who usually have “Home” as their Title Tag”) are also famous for providing out of date information.
The trouble is when out of date tactics are used they can be holding your site back. Some can be harmless, however the fact that their work is focused on tactics that won’t make a single bit of difference means that your focus isn’t on anything beneficial. That in itself will be holding your site back.
So what out of date theories am I still seeing?
Too many companies are talked into setting more than one site live or owning duplicate domains.
This is of course exactly what the likes of Google DON’T want you to do.
There are those out there that still believe that the more sites you have live the better chance you have of dominating the search results. If only it was that simple.
Set duplicate sites live (which are usually also set on the same IP) and you will be held back. It’s bad enough having duplicate pages, set duplicate sites live and you won’t stand a chance.
If you duplicate you are basically standing out like a sore thumb to the search engines.
You will get caught. You will be held back.
Don’t do it.
“Where is the Meta keyword tag? The last company we used swore by them”
Hmm, my advice: Stop using them.
Search Engines don’t read them.
Search Engines don’t care about them.
The only people who may look at them are the competition. It’s a very handy tag for informing other sites what terms you are working with. While this may not be a big deal, why give them any information.
Remove them. I don’t care what the last company told you. They serve no purpose.
Exact match only link building
If your link building campaign isn’t correctly focused you could be doing more harm than good.
All links are good for a site, sure ,however if all you have done is focus on creating anchor text links using one or a couple of terms you could be overdoing it.
This isn’t 2004. Search Engines have evolved, as have their algorithms.
You need to balance your anchor text. If all you go for is one or two terms then you may see an initial improvement, but if you don’t mix it up you could see your site slipping.
Mix it up.
Submitting to search engines
“Have you submitted my site to any search engines?”
There are services that you can buy that still offer this as part of the package.
You can submit your site all day long; it won’t make any difference. If you want Google to find you, link to your site, add a Google Webmaster tools account to your site.
Linking to Google is possibly one of the oldest tactics still in play. Yes I really have seen sites still doing this for what appears to be no reason at all.
Ok, this may not be a tactic that actually holds your site back but the belief that linking to Google will actually help you rank better is beyond outdated.
This didn’t even work back in the days when people believed it to be a factor.
You don’t need to link to Google, it’s pointless. Remove it.
Targeting unrealistic keywords
Keyword research. You just have to get this right.
“The last company we worked with were going for the term “House” and I want you to do the same”.
It’s not going to happen and it is completely unrealistic.
By targeting terms you don’t have a hope in hell ranking for, you will completely take your eye of what you should be going after and miss out on keywords where you can get strong rankings and decent traffic.
Other favourites still doing the rounds:
As I said at the start “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing”.
Listen to that mate who says he knows about these things, or that company that do it as a bit of an add-on service and you could be seriously holding your site back.