There are good SEO techniques. And then there are bad SEO techniques.

What are bad SEO techniques? Quite simply, these are short-term link building or content marketing activities designed to artificially to manipulate the Google search results, that in the long term will cause damage to your rankings.  Indeed these activities could very easily trigger a manual review of your site that could cause a dramatic drop in your rankings.

I recently attended a conference where an SEO company made quite outlandish recommendations to the audience. The presentation was made to a large group of what appeared to be otherwise intelligent marketing professionals who appeared to be taking it all on board, busily taking notes, and did not ask a single follow up question. If he had made the presentation to an SEO industry conference he would have been eaten alive.

The irony is that his SEO presentation made reference to both the Penguin and Panda updates, and yet his recommended course of action flouted every single principle of ethical SEO or good practice digital marketing.

So, in no particular order, here are the 3 very bad SEO techniques that only a really bad SEO company would recommend.

Author note:  what follows is ironic. I know my American friends have trouble with irony, so here is a heads up


Build your own link farm

We know high ranking websites have lots of inbound links. So, build lots of your own sites and link them all together. Presto. High rankings.

You can create lots of free websites using WordPress or Blogger or Tumblr.  Be careful not to link them all together, because that is a bad idea.  Really good link farms only have one way links. Don’t forget that using article sites is another easy way to help build your farm.

And each of your websites or blogs has to have lots of content.  That shouldn’t be any problem.

Be sure to get at least two layers to have an really effective link farm. Numerous layers is even better.

A link farm usually looks like a pyramid like this:

Bad SEO Practice - Build Your Own Link Farm

If you have any doubts as why this is a bad idea, and indeed why you should not only stop this kind of behaviour but also remove links built this way,  then read our article on Link Pruning

Focus on getting keyword rich Anchor Text in your inbound links

The words in the little blue hyperlinks coming into your site really influence the search results.  So be sure to get lots of links with your keywords in this anchor text.

This is an example of a normal anchor text link going to our website:  Hallam

And this is an example of a keyword rich anchor text link going to our website : Digital Marketing Agency

The perfect recipe for the anchor text for your inbound linking campaigns (again, please remember this is BAD SEO)

50% keyword rich

15% semantically related

25% branded

10% other things, like Click Here

The importance of anchor text is a hot topic right now, but the general consensus is that is it is much less important than it formerly was.  Other signals are now more important, and verging towards 65% keyword rich is really a bad idea. Read this article on the Anchor Text and Co-Citation.

Aim for 3-7% keyword density in your website body copy

Make sure to get your keywords on the page in two main places:  the Title and your main <H1> Headings tags.

If you aim for 3-7% that will do the trick.

And it is as simple as that!  Bingo!

Oh, and Google uses something called Latent Semantic Indexing, so be sure to think about that, too.

It really isn’t as simple as stuffing words on the page in a few places.  A good SEO content strategy will look at the site architecture, the location of links, and indeed good SEO copy has usually been well written for humans, not just for Google.

A penny for your thoughts… or more accurately, a copy of our Digital Marketing Map for your thoughts!

Have you been given bad SEO advice?

Has your website been penalised because of bad SEO activity?

Or do you have any thoughts about the 3 bad activities I’ve identified?

I’d like to know your thoughts, and best comments will get a glossy A2 poster size copy of our Digital Marketing Map!

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