8 SEO Techniques That MUST Be Avoided Header

When looking to implement SEO techniques onto your site, or a site that you manage, it’s easy to be led astray by techniques that you come across. With many sources and outlets online proclaiming themselves as a tell-all of the industry, the techniques that should be followed and those that shouldn’t could easily become blurred. Even with many sources genuinely out to help another in the realm of digital marketing, the moving atmosphere of the industry in addition to the speed in which search engines such as Google regularly roll out algorithmic changes can end up resulting in these new techniques become somewhat more old news before long.

If a site ends up implementing SEO techniques that just aren’t up to scratch for the current times, the effect on such site can be devastating. From a sudden drop in traffic due to a fall in ranking to a site penalty that can label the site unable to maintain a presence on any further, the wrong techniques are much more than just a minor inconvenience, but its spell could see a site being lost in its direction.

Bad Links

One of these SEO techniques that any digital marketer must avoid (at the time of writing) is accepting or to seek any type of link that they can get their hands on. When it comes to attaining links to your site, it’s all about quality over quantity. Posting your link all over the internet, from comment sections to dodgy forums or sites created specifically to stuff links will certainly see you pick up that link, but these will be low-value links with no weight and the search engine may even class it as spam. You can disavow negative and bad links on Google’s Search Console. Attaining links should only be worthwhile when the link to be attained looks to be good-value and won’t hinder your sites progress.

Paid Links

A major SEO technique for link building, unfortunately, is buying ‘paid links’. A technique of which may sound tempting to some; acquire a link to a page of your choice from a sometimes reputable source for a cost that may just be worth tenfold. What could go wrong? Well, if you’re caught; on Google, in particular, it’s a clear violation of Google’s Terms of Service. Google has been known to clamp down massively on sites that are found to be buying premium-type links to their site in an attempt to boost the ranking of a site.

Penalties can result in anything from a notification message on Google Webmaster that will inform you that Google has found possible “artificial or unnatural links on your site pointing to other sites that could be intended to manipulate PageRank” to losing trust on Google’s search results and lower rankings in the Google search results due to a webspam action. To remedy this, you must submit a reconsideration request and someone at Google will review such request. Overall, paid links have the potential to scar a site – let alone, to an even worse extent if a company is publically exposed.

Sharing Control of a Sites SEO

As the very English saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth. With SEO, optimisation is best carried out by one individual or a close-knit of individuals working for an agency that are able to keep each other in the loop with the changes that they carry out on or towards a site. When two unrelated individuals or agencies end up working on the same site, changes that are made might just end up undoing the progress delivered by the other.

Meta Data

Ah, meta data. An array of attributes that are added to the code of a website in order to help a search engine understand a site better – or so it used to. Meta data is mostly unnecessary in these current times, having played a defunct role for many years, with only the meta title and meta description being most valuable. The latter part, meta description, is only really required if you wish to craft the message more on what’ll appear as the description for your site on search, but if left alone the search engine will try to use content from the site to populate the SERP description area of such site.

When it comes to other metadata, such as meta robots, such code is unnecessary unless you’re explicitly telling the search engine not to follow a site, which is bad for SEO anyway as you’ll be limiting the search engines own crawlers from accessing your site most of the time. Meta keywords are one example of a wholly defunct metadata, as no time should ever be spent on filling in the meta keywords tag on pages throughout your site. Such metadata will not harm your site as such if filled out properly, but it will waste valuable time.

Low-quality content

Publishing content for content’s sake is one tactic that must be avoided. Whether such content comes from posting substandard or outsourced blog posts, adding additional pages to your site or by publishing low-quality content on other sites linking back to yours, the search engine is smart enough to understand your agenda. Whether that may be attempting to bamboozle the search engine with multiple doorway pages or stuff keywords into a piece of content crafted specifically to rank on the search engine, it should be clear that these search engines crack down on such foul play and are likely to penalise a site. This shouldn’t dishearten you from posting well-thought out posts on your site or from publishing pages that actually add worthwhile content to your site, but playing a numbers game via quantity, should always be overruled in lieu of quality.

Overdoing Anchor Text

If you aren’t too sure what anchor text is, this is the text that is written as the ‘text to click’ when you see a normally blue link on a page. Whilst a link should most definitely have anchor text, allowing the user something to click upon, if you have lots of anchor text featured on one page and are using all the regular keywords that you’d hope to target within this anchor text, the search engine will start to think something shady is going on.

In the past, some sites would have tens or hundreds of links hidden in the footer all with anchor text that would feature the terms of which that link wishes to rank for on the SERPs (search engine results page) and this would end up working in their favour. Nowadays this technique is defunct and it’s success will end up going the other way: working against the site’s standing. A better way to deal with managing anchor text is not to worry too much about the anchor text itself, to make it more natural and integrated with the content on the page. Of course, anchor text should relate to what the destination of the link will be, but a page shouldn’t see all your targeting keywords on such page being linked.

Dismissing Images

It can be easy to see images on your site as more of an afterthought, if anything, leaving them to go it alone without proper formatting such as an alt text or relevant file name. This way of thinking used to be an accepted norm too, something that just wasn’t paid any attention to, until the past few years. Although search engines are likely to be working on technology to understand images, they as of current cannot. This means that if you want Google, or Bing or any of the other many search engines to understand what you’re trying to represent on the page with such image, you need to give that image an alt text describing what exactly it is or how it fits into the overall layout of the page. It is also a good tactic to use a relevant file name too, as this can only add to the strength SEO-wise for your site.

A Fully Automated SEO Strategy

Handing over the keys to your site to an automation SEO service company is nowhere near as tedious as carrying out the SEO yourself would be, albeit this process comes with a price tag and a less hands-on approach to the direction of which may be taken. Although SEO automation tools do have a rightful place in saving time and resources when used in duration and within best-applied circumstances, using an array of tools to carry out automatic SEO for you with no oversight is not what you should do. The like of identifying keyword opportunities, backlink monitoring and understanding how your site links up internally is all worthy of SEO tool usage, but to allow external services to carry out rules-based processes should be avoided if possible. With a human touch, there are numerous factors that can be assessed when carrying out search engine optimisation and using ‘if this, then that‘ type services you’re not going to be able to capitalise on what should be for your site.


Overall, it’s best to grasp the aspect that even if a technique is listed as a trick or tip on a Search Engine Optimisation site, that doesn’t mean it’s the sort of trick that the site that you’re managing is looking for.

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Michael Tucker

Search and Social Marketer at Silkstream Ltd
Hola! My name is Michael Tucker and I deal with Search and Social Digital Marketing here at Silkstream. Enjoyed reading my article? Why not check out some others I've written by clicking "Latest Posts" above!