Sometimes things quit working. It happened with my phone a couple weeks ago… but I digress. SEO is a moveable target, as much an art as it is a science. Many of the tactics we’ve used over the years have gone by the wayside, as Google refines their algorithms. Let’s take a look at what’s not working now, and what you can quit dedicating time, energy and resources to.
Keyword stuffing - The days of sliding your primary keyword into every space imaginable are not only gone, if you still do this your page will get pounded, so far as visibility is concerned. Write for readers, not search engines, and don’t believe Google won’t notice all those keywords you stuffed in the footer.
Short content - These days the pages that rank on the first pages of Google are alike in that they sport lengthier, more in-depth content. The days when we could get by with putting up 250-300 words of dubious quality are gone, as far as your main blog and site pages are concerned. There is a place for micro-content; such as on sites like Tumblr, Facebook as well as other primarily social sites.
Article marketing - This one expired a while ago. Since Panda came down the pike, article directories have struggled. To publish your content there these days and expect much of anything in the way of traffic or links is an exercise in futility.
No variance in keyword anchor text - Google is not fooled by our attempts to sway the search engine results pages (SERPs) with phony link profiles. It is much better now to get your links naturally, and seek to get no more than 20-30% of anchor text in your main keyword. Let some Click here’s, some naked URLs and other random link text find their way onto your page. This is a much more natural occurrence, and won’t raise any red flags.
No social elements - The time when you could neglect social media entirely and get by is gone as well. Do yourself a favor and include social sharing buttons and links to your own social properties.
Site-wide links - An entirely obvious link building scheme, why would anyone think it is normal to have a site link to every page? Google certainly doesn’t think so.