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(The Expert Panel was initially published at Forbes.)
Did you know why Sponsored Links are considered to be an outdated online marketing strategy? Terry Tateossian steps us and explains how the long-term online marketing strategy of taking a comprehensive look at customers’ needs should be more highly praised than the spammy and deceitful link building tactics.
The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is fluid and shifting constantly. What used to be an industry best practice five years ago can get you penalized today. Even between major algorithm updates for Google’s search engine, we see significant changes in how SEO works.
Unfortunately, many companies have yet to realize that the business world now requires fast adaptation to survive — especially when it comes to online presence. Several organizations still use outdated SEO practices in their content and websites. To help, nine professionals from Forbes Agency Council examine some of these obsolete SEO practices that so many companies rely on, and offer advice on how organizations can adapt to today’s search landscape.
1. Thinking About SEO As SEO
Thinking about SEO as SEO is an outdated practice. Both Google and prospects want high-quality relevant content, so if you focus on that, you’ll win the game. Research on ranking opportunities and keyword volume is still part of the science, but not at the expense of content. – David Ward, Meticulosity
2. SEO As A One-Time Design
SEO used to be interpreted as a one-time design. It now requires permanent monitoring and an ongoing review because search engines are constantly evolving, while audiences also change and their behaviors and needs evolve. – Dolores Biocca, Bond Communications
3. Desktop-Only Optimization
Desktop-only optimization is the cardinal SEO sin. The average human spends more than four hours a day on their phone, so your web visitor’s mobile experience is more important than ever. Google’s algorithm is mobile-first, meaning it asserts the mobile version of a page for ranking. So, your website has to use a responsive, mobile-friendly display that functions well on all devices. – Sophie Bowman, Brand Branding PR
4. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past, but many still do it today. You will reap better rewards in your SEO campaign if you come up with content, still with keywords, but with a more natural flow, making it an easier read for your audience to digest. – Shawn Byrne, My Biz Niche
One outdated practice is thinking that sponsored links is the highway to page one in Google. Aiming at creating campaigns with long-term results is what really counts. Companies should not focus on the links per se, but on the online users’ interests/needs/challenges — even addictions — in order to provide them with the needed dose of information or entertainment that will trigger the word-of-mouth chain reaction. – Terry Tateossian, Socialfix Media
6. Directory Listings
Directory listings can be good, bad or just expensive. Look at the backlinks that your competitors get in one resource for finding effective backlinks. Alliance partners may also have good directory links. Industry associations are effective. Paid industry directories vary in SEO value. SEO tools rank these directory backlinks and help you make decisions that fit your budget. – Jim Caruso, M1PR, Inc. d/b/a MediaFirst PR – Atlanta
7. Multiple Microsites For Each Keyword
An outdated SEO practice is creating multiple microsites with exact match domains for each keyword you wish to rank for. It is far better to build out content and individual pages within your core website over developing and managing multiple microsites for each product/service you want to grow rankings around. – Korena Keys, KeyMedia Solutions
8. Soliciting Backlinks
Soliciting backlinks is a dangerous practice that puts your domain’s reputation at risk. We’ve seen Google bury businesses that attempted to manipulate ranking through poor quality backlinks. Too many SEO professionals focus on backlinking instead of producing amazing content that earns links. The long-term benefits of outstanding content far outweigh the risk of poorly placed backlinks. – Douglas Karr, Highbridge
9. Short-Form Blog Posts
Blogging is great, but simply creating 250- to 500-word posts on a topic does not cut it anymore. You need to produce longer content that answers all possible questions. Creating multiple smaller posts is not as effective as a single longer post. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design