In a nutshell: SEO techniques are still working, and you should not be focusing on your content alone. It is true that Google has made some changes in their search engine algorithm (the fourth major update of Penguin just happened, mind you) and it is still telling people to focus on content. However, it does not mean that you should not forget about SEO. The tricks might have changed, but SEO is still a tool you need in your arsenal.
You don’t have to learn all the new techniques right away. What’s more important is to save yourself, make sure that you do not do any of these biggest boo-boos that can hurt you and your site, and follow the recommendations provided below.
1. Keyword Stuffing
This hasn’t changed: Keyword stuffing is something you should avoid like the plague. However, it does not mean that you should reduce your target keyword’s appearance in your pages drastically. Just let them be. If you want to maximize the effect of your keywords, try to insert related key phrases. Take advantage of Google’s Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). Good resources of effective related key phrases are Google Trends and Keyword Planner.
2. Using Keywords in Anchor Text
Back then, using keywords in anchor text was one of the best SEO practices. But now, it is not as effective anymore. It is much better for you to have some variety. Try these techniques:
Naked Links: Just use the site address as your anchor text. For example, www.google.com.
Long-Tail Links: Use LSI or a sensible key phrase. For example, The Best Search Engine in the World!
Branded Text: Use the brand name of the site you are targeting. For example, Google.
3. Not Optimizing Your Images
Pictures are dominating text content to be honest, and people tend to take advantage of it. However, remember that search engine crawlers cannot exactly see or understand (well, they can for a bit) pictures. What you can do is to help these text-based programs to understand your images.
Do the following:
- Name your file with one or two descriptions of the image.
- Put in some ‘alt’ description. Make it short and sweet, but make sure that even people will get it.
- Add an image title. A human readable version of the image’s file name.
- Never forget to add captions.
4. Not Having A Link Strategy
Backlinks still matter. However, you do not need thousands. A few backlinks that are natural and relevant will do. Also, never place your links on low authority and penalized sites.
5. Hoarding Followers and Fans
It is the era of social media. Nowadays, site and brand popularity is more quantifiable. However, do note that the number of followers and fans is not a metric that you should target. What is important is how much those fans and followers engage with your content. Instead of hoarding followers and fans, it is much better for you to make them share your content in almost every social media platform there is. Make them talk about your content. Remember: It is the activity that matters, not numbers.