SEO is changing; there is no doubt about that. What is not changing though are its practitioners. They still rely on decade-old SEO practices like anchor text optimization and article submission. No doubt, that stuff used to work, not anymore; now they get you penalised.
The best part is everyday SEO people who are pretty knowledgeable about Search engine optimisation, frequent SEO knowledge powerhouses like MOZ and Search Engine Land, and yet make those dumb mistakes.
Not just anchor text optimisation and article submission, there are far more SEO tactics that, despite being useless to harmful, are still prevalent today. I tried to point out a few of them.
Creating Hundreds of Websites for Same Businesses
Making two or three websites for a single business is fine. But what when a business goes on and develop 300 of those. This may sound insane, but businesses actually do this. do you know what is search engine optimization?
The tendency is more common among eCommerce businesses that deal in a wide array of super categories, categories and subcategories of products or operate in multiple locations. You may argue that even Amazon.com operates multiple websites (more than 25) for the few categories like Diapers.com, or yoyo.com for selling toys.
Without mentioning Amazon’s budget in the billions, most of Amazon’s dedicated websites for a product category are the result of various M&A, which Amazon carried out over the years. For example, Amazon acquired the parent company of diaper.com in the year 2010. The same goes for yoyo.com.
Like with any other website, the motto of multiple websites is simple: to multiply the traffic of a single website. Businesses often think that if a single website is generating 100 leads per month, then 10 would generate 1000, and 100 will generate 10000 of them.
Evidently, this is far from true. First, multiple websites with different domain names create brand confusion. Secondly, extra websites will consume extra SEO management and web expenses. In addition, multiple websites are at a higher risk of duplication.
One idea is to use a 301 redirect like in Apple.com. Using 301 on every other your business holds, redirect them to the principal site using the redirect.
Yet another classic link building technique that is obsolete now, Article submissions, today, are largely replaced by guest blogging. However, many content marketers still post the bulk of their content on article submitting sites, predominately Ezine. Although Ezine and some other article sites still tout themselves as a great source of exposure, credibility, and traffic, they are not anymore; their authority is long gone. Now putting a link on an Ezine article can adversely affect the linking page’s link profile.
If building a link is your priority, then, alternatively, keeping guest posting on high authoritative, relevant websites is a better option.
Filling your homepage with a lot of Tracking Codes, Scripts, or Plugins
No doubt, a website must have a few tracking codes to track the data of its users. Normally, every website has a tracking code for Bing and Google or a couple more. This is quite acceptable, but putting 10s of tracking code on your home page is not.
Using unnecessary or tons of such codes reduces a website’s loading speed, making the website sluggish. A sluggish website seldom generates quality leads in spite of getting healthy traffic.
Anchor Texts are history
There was a time when websites used a lot of “click here” on their anchor texts. Soon the trend changed. The phrase “Click here” was replaced by a relevant, SEO based keyword.
However, there is a trend in SEO, “whenever keywords are involved, spam follows”. The same thing happened in the case of Anchor texts. They soon became the most abused SEO technique.
As a result, Google started marking Anchor Text spam and abuse proactively, bringing considerable changes to its Algorithm in that context.
Frequent penalisation because of Anchor text optimisation soon reduced this technique, significantly.
If you still want to use Anchor Text on your website, then use the name of your company or any other branded keyword over a potential spam keyword to avoid penalty. If using a generic keyword is mandatory, try to dilute it over the courses of your content.
Excess footer linking
If you’re in the habit to put every possible link from your website, whether internal or external, to its footer, then quit.
Site-wide footer links are risky. They generate disparity in the link profile. When you muddle the subject with optimized anchors and a combination of other best practice violations, you’re in trouble.
Provide links only if they are relevant to the current page and take you away from outbound footer links. On the other side, no-follow links with branded anchors is a recipe for success.
You may be like, “these are some of my favourite SEO tactics, why can’t I use them anymore? Is SEO dying?
You can still use those techniques if you’re careful. However, we have passed that time when SEO used to be full of innovation, tricks and catches. Now it’s, for various reasons, plain and simple.
Coming to the second question, SEO is not dead, and it’ll never be. To an extent, though, traditional SEO is having a timely death. I suggest you gradually back away from traditional SEO techniques.