Something which many people who think they know SEO often overlook, is that Google, which basically determines what ranking factors need to be optimised, change their algorithm on a regular basis. Often these can be minor tweaks that they do not disclose, but which get identified by SEO experts who carry out extensive testing and soon becomes known across the SEO community.
On other occasions, the changes Google makes are comprehensive, and can occasionally be so fundamental that it changes some of the principle practices that take place within SEO. An example of this was the Panda update which saw them address the issue of poor and thin content on websites that offered little value to anyone who visited them.
Unfortunately, there are some poor or cheap SEO companies that use outdated SEO techniques on their client’s websites and do little to update their client’s SEO to take account of Google’s updates. This is why some websites start to lose their ranking because their SEO is outdated. If you are concerned that the SEO on your website is outdated in this way, here are five signs to look for.
Poor Quality Links: One of Google’s primary goals in recent years has been to reward those websites which are high-quality and penalise those which are poor quality. The knock-on effect of that has been to downgrade the ranking boost of backlinks from poor-quality websites or websites that have absolutely no relevance to your website. If you had an SEO campaign where lots of poor backlinks were obtained, at that time you may have seen your rankings improve, but that will likely be reversed if it hasn’t happened already.
Keyword Stuffing: This is something that Google targeted some time ago, yet bizarrely some content producers and even some SEO agencies still do it. The idea of stuffing keywords into content to the point that it becomes almost unreadable goes against everything that Google wants to see on a website. What it wants is quality content that provides the visitor with information, and entertainment and is interesting to them.
Lack of Content: Just as bad as having a website that has content that is stuffed full of keywords, is a website with hardly any content at all. Every page of your website should serve a purpose in relation to the experience your visitors have when they visit it. A website with content that is auto-generated or scraped, that adds no value or is duplicate content will be flagged by Google as ‘thin’. This can lead to a ‘thin content‘ penalty from Google and a resultant downgrading of your rankings.
Little or No Branding: Another change of emphasis that Google now focuses on is branding and, in particular, branded searches. This should mean that if someone types in a search term that includes your company name, your website should appear at the top of the search results. If it doesn’t, then the branding SEO of your website is lacking.
Possible solutions include content that is optimized for your brand name being created and published on your website, and backlinks whose anchor text is simply your company name, rather than keywords, being employed. Given how important branding can be to a website’s SEO and ranking you should seek the advice of an SEO company that can implement an effective branding strategy for your business.
Over Optimising Internal Links: This is akin to keyword stuffing, but instead of overusing keywords in content, your website is overloaded with links that all have the same keyword as their anchor text. An example of this would be a wedding dress company that has every link with the anchor text ‘wedding dress’. This is over-optimization which Google hates and is a surefire way of them penalising you for it.