These are unbelievably pointless SEO techniques that are constantly recommended by bloggers and SEO companies alike all over the web. Please don’t waste your time or money on these strategies! They are time-wasters, money-wasters, and ultimately they just bring disappointment when they end up having no impact on your rankings.
1.) Submitting your website to the search engines.
I get emails all the time from hosting companies offering me an add-on “SEO service” to submit my website’s URL to all the search engines, therefore getting my website increased visibility and higher ranks. Some of these services even say they will submit my site on a monthly basis, for a monthly fee. They will usually explain that without their service, your website will never be found by Google and you will lose valuable search traffic. However, these services are a complete scam. The search engines are EXTREMELY intelligent and will find your website on their own – and in fact, they have probably already found it and you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Here’s how to double check:
Go to your website’s home page, and copy the URL (www.mysite.com). The go to Google, and search “site:www.mysite.com” — Don’t use the quotations!
If your website shows up in the Google search results, you can celebrate! Your website is in Google, and you don’t need to pay anyone to “submit” your site to Google. Awesome!
Now, if for some crazy reason your site hasn’t been indexed by Google, you can easily submit it yourself in less than 1 minute. Just go here:
Type in your URL, and you’re done. Congratulations, you just saved $5-$25/month!
2.) Fiverr Gigs
However – don’t ever use Fiverr for SEO. Any gig on Fiverr promising positive SEO results is lying, or is using a blackhat/spammy technique that will get your website penalized by Google.
Okay, okay. Maybe 2% of the SEO Fiverr gigs are actually worth paying for. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you aren’t going to be able to tell the good from the bad. So please don’t risk it. Also – don’t hire an SEO company who outsources to Fiverr! So many SEO companies do this right now, it is scary. Yikes! Ask them outright if you have to, just to be sure. They might lie to you, but at least then they’ll know that you know your stuff, and you can’t be fooled.
3.) Press Releases
These are no longer beneficial for SEO purposes, and don’t let anyone trick you into thinking they are. The links are no-follow, which means they don’t serve any SEO benefit whatsoever. Press release sellers will tell you that by submitting a release, you can gain 50-100 links, all in one go! It sounds great, but not one of those links will impact your search engine ranking, so keep looking.
However, a thoughtfully created press release will have an impact on your total online presence, and they can bring your website traffic. They also have the potential to go viral if there is something particularly interesting or unusual you are reporting! This can lead to converting traffic, which is always something to strive for in the online world. Just don’t expect your recent press release to give your organic search ranking a boost, because its not going to happen.
4.) Article Directories
Submitting articles to free online article directories for links used to be one of the most beneficial SEO techniques known. In 2015, they have been rendered useless.
Article directories are a waste of time for SEO purposes for 3 reasons:
- Lots of article directory sites have been de-indexed completely (Google knows they are used exclusively to build links, so de-indexes them from the search engine)
- Almost all article directory sites are now no-follow (they pass no link value to your website)
- If an article directory IS do-follow (passes link juice) it is still a very low-quality (weak) link.
5.) Keyword Stuffing
If you want to rank for “denver dog walking” you want the phrase, “denver dog walking” to be on your web page. If its not, you’re going to have a difficult time ranking. However, don’t stuff the key phrase into every paragraph and every heading on your site! Google is not stupid – they know what your page is about.
Keyword stuffing, even if its by accident, can cause your website to get stuck on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th page of the search results – even if your page is better than others above yours.
6.) Meta keywords
If you know anything about SEO, you probably already know that meta keywords are useless to Google. It only takes a few minutes to fill in your site’s meta keywords, but those few minutes are wasted. Google has confirmed in multiple interviews that they do not look at the meta keywords tag. They do still look at the meta title and meta description tag, so make absolutely sure that you fill these out with good calls to action and mention your target keyword once or twice.
(Not sure what meta tags are? They’re the titles and descriptions that show up in Google’s search results. More on that in another post).
7. Creating bulk links – profile links, forum links, wiki links, social bookmarks, image links.
Link sellers and SEO companies often peddle link packages boasting all these different link types. Its true that these kinds of links CAN pass good link juice – but it is rare. Here’s why they probably won’t help your website:
- Profile links: these are links on your profile page of a powerful authority site, for example, microsoft.com. You can create a profile page, and you can list your website. A lot of times (but not always) this link is do-follow! Sounds like a winner right? Wrong. These links do no good because 99% of them won’t ever get indexed in Google’s search engine (google doesn’t “count” them). If Google doesn’t index them, you don’t get a rank boost.
- Forum links: Forums have been spammed hard, and due to that, 90% of them no-follow all of their outbound links. All that work you did to get your link approved in your favorite forum is useless if the link is no-followed.
- Wiki links: These types of links can be powerful when created on a respected, authority site. But again – they are no-follow links. They won’t do much good for rankings, but they might bring in traffic from readers who click through to your website.
- Social Bookmarks: These links can be ok for generating buzz and the appearance that your website is getting popular and gaining shares – but they won’t give your SEO campaign a boost. Nearly all of these links are no-follow as well, and many of them get deleted within a few weeks.
- Image Links: This is a favorite new link for link sellers – they say it “diversifies” your link profile. Its done by uploading an image to any image sharing site, and then linking to your website in the caption or description. These links have the same problem as the rest – 95% of them will never get indexed by Google. This is especially true if the same image exists anywhere else on the web already.
Want to know what SEO strategies DO work? More on that soon.