From observation, on the whole, most webmasters are grasping some important concepts that affect site rankings: social marketing is great for building organic links, having a blog is essential and developing relationships through outreach is key.
There are some questionable tactics, however, that site owners can't seem to let go of. Tactics that might have worked in the past, but are now redundant . I’m not sure why some people are still adamant that they work; perhaps because ‘it’s worked for me in the past’ or because ‘there’s information about it on the web’.
In any case, this post is about dispelling some common misconceptions that often lead webmasters astray.
Inserting keywords into meta tags is effective
Sadly this isn’t true. There was a time when inserting keywords into your meta tags would help you get indexed; however, Google soon realised that this was widely abused by webmasters, who were copying keywords from competitors and stuffing repetitive phrases. Google takes absolutely no notice of meta tags anymore, and using them is a waste of time. Amusingly, some ‘professional’ SEO’s are still offering ‘meta tag insertion’ as a feature in their ‘packages’.
Let’s be careful not to confuse meta tags with meta description. The meta description is still a useful place to insert content; Google uses this text as a snippet in search results. This provides a good opportunity for you to improve search engine click through rates by writing a captivating and relevant description of what your site offers.
Keyword stuffing is an ethical practise
Well not really. In fact, it's actually quite a risky and unethical tactic. For those who don’t know, keyword stuffing involves manipulating your site’s content by putting an unhealthy and repetitive quantity of keywords in your page’s content.
Many webmaster’s used to stuff their meta tags with keywords, which probably contributed to Google withdrawing meta tags as a ranking factor.
Keyword stuffing is considered a violation of Google’s guidelines and, fundamentally, will disrupt the flow and quality of your content, affecting overall user experience. What’s the point in getting people to your site if they’re going to take one look at your content and then leave?
Low PR backlinks are pointless
There’s nothing wrong with having high PageRank links pointing to your website...obviously. It would be ridiculous for me to say otherwise; however, webmasters should stop spending so much time targeting individual, high PR links whilst discarding everything else.
Search engines want to see you getting linked to from a mixed bag of websites; a backlink profile that has a diverse range of natural links with varied anchor texts is much better than having manipulated, high PR links with suspiciously similar sets of anchor text.
Article spinning is a good form of search marketing
Marketing isn’t about automation. Good search engine optimisation requires us to be proactive and creative about the content we’re sharing. Article marketing epitomises everything I hate about spam: low quality content, distributed in the masses with no focus on consumer benefit.
Is it ethical? Well I’m not sure, but it’s certainly pointless.
Firstly, I can understand why people do it. It doesn’t always seem like spam. You’re creating content and distributing it - that’s fine. But, you're using software to make dozens of versions of the same content, and you’re doing it to try and get instant links, NOT because you want to be helpful or because you want to project your brand as an authority on the subject matter.
Secondly, it’s really not that effective. Whilst many article marketing sites do have a high PageRank, all the potential link juice is spread across hundred of thousands of crap articles, and will therefore have no benefit.
Don’t forget to think about the brand your trying to build. Ask yourself, do you want to be associated with spammy sites like EzineArticles? Does it add value to your brand, and will customers feel prioritised?
Lastly, if you're spending time on a quality piece of content, why publish it on an article marketing site?Use it on your own website, or publish it as an editorial on a blog or website you’ve developed a relationship with. Publishing a good quality piece of content on an article marketing site gives all the benefits of being referenced and linked to onto the article site.