Clean Up Your SEO Before It’s Too Late

Written by Nick Stamoulis

SEO clean up doesn’t work like spring-cleaning. You need to do it whenever it’s necessary as opposed to only once a year. Because the search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms and the rules are always changing, an SEO campaign needs to evolve over time as well. This means cleaning out and cleaning up any old SEO tactics that may no longer be useful (and may even be harming your site) and changing your mindset so that the approach that you take is in line with what the search engines want to see. This of course will require ongoing research and reading to stay on top of recent SEO trends.

Here are some (now) outdated SEO tactics that need to be cleaned up:

Keyword anchor text linking

Keyword anchor text linking was once a crucial part of SEO. Inbound links to your website helped to convey trust and authority on a topic to the search engine spiders. By hyperlinking a keyword that related to the content on the page being linked to, it was a way to tell the search spiders what they could expect to see on the page. The search engines then ranked the page accordingly. This worked well for a number of years and website owners that took advantage of anchor text linking saw a nice improvement in rank for those pages. However, over time the tactic was being abused and eventually Google had enough. The ranking algorithms have become more intelligent and there are now other ways to determine relevance. If you were a heavy user of keyword anchor text linking in guest blogs, press releases, etc. you need to clean that up by logging back in or getting in touch with your contacts and requesting that they be removed or no followed.

Mass directory submissions

Low quality, general directories that accept submissions from nearly anyone aren’t going to help your SEO. If you have lots of these spammy, low quality links it’s important to try and remove them. Of course there are still some good directories out there. Pick and choose the best ones, like the search engine local directories, Moz, and chamber of commerce listings. A good rule of thumb is that it is only worth submitting information if the link will also result in visibility and generate traffic from target audience members.

Advertorial links

Advertorials have slipped through for a long time even though paid links have been frowned upon, but no more. These types of posts that are like guest posts, but more promotional, aren’t going to help your SEO. A link is OK to generate traffic, but it must be no followed.

Article submissions

There are plenty of article submission sites to choose from. While the editorial process has become stricter after the Penguin update, they are still primarily viewed as content farms. Even if the content that you are submitting is very good, it’s not going to do much for your SEO. Focus on posting on sites that actually generate traffic from target audience members instead. There’s no need to delete all of your old articles, although you should delete any anchor text that appears.

Ignoring the “no follow” tag

A “no follow” tag essentially tells the search spiders not to consider the link for trust/ranking purposes. So it would seem that this tag had no place in an SEO campaign. Not anymore. Now that links are under a huge microscope, it’s necessary to play by the rules. Utilizing the “no follow” tag tells the search engines that you are creating the link for traffic purposes only, not to manipulate rankings.

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