Old SEO tactics that never seem to go away

SenseiSteve

HD Moderator
Staff member
I'm constantly amazed by the number of SEO requests I receive that are based on outdated SEO tactics. I'm simply curious what others are experiencing.
 

Artashes

Administrator
Staff member
I have fallen out of monitoring SEO practices as of the past couple of years. What are the newest trends? In other words, what's the talk of the town today when it comes to SEO tactics?

I'd be curious to know what web hosting companies specifically should be looking at when trying to build their reach.
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
These days, the majority of SEO is about the content on the site. Now, just having content is not enough, you still need to get noticed via links, but the need for excessive High DA numbers of links is not needed.

If the niche is small enough, you can rank with pretty much no links - maybe 1 from somewhere just so Google finds your site. Submitting the sitemap is enough, but generally, a few basic links like a business directory, forum or GBP listing is enough to get the ball rolling.

The only time you need the extra links is when you have competition (which you should have otherwise there's no traffic right?). Here, the number of links and the quality of links come into play.

If I was in web hosting, I wouldn't be going after "wordpress web hosting" for example, but maybe I'd go after "wordpress hosting for education" which gets 700 searches per month, and has an ahrefs difficulty of 25 (versus 92 for wordpress hosting). You'll need backlinks from about 30 websites, but that's easily doable.

So now you've narrowed into the "education" niche, and that opens the door for plugins related to that - "learndash" is one of the most popular for quizzes and tests. "learndash" just the keyword on it's own gets searched 3800 times and has a difficulty of 23 (about 26 backlinks needed). Then you get into the configuration, how to use etc etc and that exploits the niche and you're the dominant player.

So rather than looking at the generics, you need to look at the niche. The generic phrases are all already taken, or you're up against others that don't know about SEO but they know they need "webhosting" as a phrase :)

Another phrase that WILL become popular over the next year or two is "PHP 8" or "PHP 8.1" and other branch versions. I would be heavily promoting the latest versions (and even future versions which are not yet released. Use those in combination with the web hosting and server phrases.

But at the end of the day, its all about niche at this point. Find one, dominate it.
 

Artashes

Administrator
Staff member
@bigredseo Your answer is absolute goldšŸ„‡ and deserves a Post of the Year award on its own. These insights are so incredible, hosts should take note of every word.

I am curious what determines the number of backlinks. Why do you say 30 websites in one case and 26 backlinks in the other. It sounds so specific!
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
@bigredseo I am curious what determines the number of backlinks. Why do you say 30 websites in one case and 26 backlinks in the other. It sounds so specific!

So the number of links is an estimate based on who is ranking at the top 10 positions of the searches currently. When you look at the top 10 results, and evaluate their strength and backlinks, this is the estimated number that ahrefs provides as to how many you might need to break into the top 10 spots also. I don't know the full math behind their number of backlinks estimation, but it has to do with the number of links, quality and overall power of the existing Top 10 listings. It's not taking an average, nor a mean average, there's other factors involved too.

Something that I had read years ago was along the lines of "how can I compete against the big guy - it's impossible" and the explanation was really quite remarkable. Taller basketball players are more likely to be great players than shorter ones. Despite height being a BIG factor to their success, a 5'6" may have more speed or accuracy on their side. It's not "the end" for a short player, but they'll definitely have their work cut out for them.
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
How does one recognize SEO tactics that are no longer effective?
For whatever article you're reading, check the date. Then search for the same topic and see if anyone else is talking about it and their thoughts. There's no collective "true / false" database, although moz.com has been doing a pretty awesome job over the past year of providing debunking articles.

At the end of the day, if it sounds like a trick, then it's spammy and either not going to work or is against the Google guidelines. You can have a read-through on what are the guidelines and there's a link to the actual PDF that Google's contractors/staff use to evaluate a spammy looking website - https://www.bigredseo.com/google-raters-quality-guidelines-updated/

how long do you have to wait before recognizing a tactic is not working?
That's a tough one as it will depend on the tactic. I literally ran an experiment last night by adding a section of code and content to an article, resubmitted to Google and within 4 hours they had found the improvement and moved me from #4 to #2 on one phrase and from #11 to #8 on another (in the same article). That was a REALLY quick result from such a basic experiment.

Getting links and relying on their power to move you up the rankings can take several weeks, or months even, so one tactic is not like the other.

When searching online people often put up estimates, but when it comes to things on your page, you'll make the change, document the date and time, then check the CACHED version of the page in Google Search Results to see when they visit the page. At that point, you know that Google now has the latest version of your page, and in checking rankings you should see some sort of change either that day or within a day or two. This is an easy check to see if something is working but usually on lower ranked pages. Once you start creeping into the top 20 or top 10 positions, it takes much more effort to move up just one position. Like an earthquake, a 5.0 is significantly higher than a 4.0 (The Richter Scale)
 

SpeedyPage

New member
These days, the majority of SEO is about the content on the site. Now, just having content is not enough, you still need to get noticed via links, but the need for excessive High DA numbers of links is not needed.

If the niche is small enough, you can rank with pretty much no links - maybe 1 from somewhere just so Google finds your site. Submitting the sitemap is enough, but generally, a few basic links like a business directory, forum or GBP listing is enough to get the ball rolling.

The only time you need the extra links is when you have competition (which you should have otherwise there's no traffic right?). Here, the number of links and the quality of links come into play.

If I was in web hosting, I wouldn't be going after "wordpress web hosting" for example, but maybe I'd go after "wordpress hosting for education" which gets 700 searches per month, and has an ahrefs difficulty of 25 (versus 92 for wordpress hosting). You'll need backlinks from about 30 websites, but that's easily doable.

So now you've narrowed into the "education" niche, and that opens the door for plugins related to that - "learndash" is one of the most popular for quizzes and tests. "learndash" just the keyword on it's own gets searched 3800 times and has a difficulty of 23 (about 26 backlinks needed). Then you get into the configuration, how to use etc etc and that exploits the niche and you're the dominant player.

So rather than looking at the generics, you need to look at the niche. The generic phrases are all already taken, or you're up against others that don't know about SEO but they know they need "webhosting" as a phrase :)

Another phrase that WILL become popular over the next year or two is "PHP 8" or "PHP 8.1" and other branch versions. I would be heavily promoting the latest versions (and even future versions which are not yet released. Use those in combination with the web hosting and server phrases.

But at the end of the day, its all about niche at this point. Find one, dominate it.
This is an excellent explanation thanks for sharing your knowledge! Would you say that creating new pages and reusing content from say the 'WordPress Hosting' page can have a negative effect on rankings?
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
Would you say that creating new pages and reusing content from say the 'WordPress Hosting' page can have a negative effect on rankings?

Using the same target keyword on several pages can lead to what is called "keyword cannibalization". Essentially, you're putting multiple pages up to Google to say "hey, this page is all about XXXXXX" but when you submit multiple pages saying that you're the best resource for XXXXXX then you're fighting against yourself. You run the risk of Google basically saying "I don't know which to pick, so we'll try this one and see what happens." Then a few days/weeks later, Google decides it wasn't producing results, so let's try the other. Or they say, I don't know which one, so lets ignore it and choose someone else completely.

So, in those cases, the best option is to create a masterpiece on the topic and then use other feeder topics to boost the page. You can reuse some content, but ideally, you want it to be as unique as possible. If you're rewriting a post, you can and should definitely reuse the content as it's likely ranking for some keywords.

Rather than writing new stuff all the time, something else to try would be the revision of content. We have articles we wrote in 2011 and 2013 that haven't been updated - EVER. That's 10 years of the same stuff. Surely something has changed in 10 years that I can either add new content or remove things that are no longer valid!

Once you have your core pages/posts created, then it's a matter of updating rather than making lots of new ones.

Seriously, there's an article on our site from 2011 talking about "Yahoo Shutting Down Site Explorer". Yes it was news at the time, but should that really be on our site in 2022? Nope! Heck, in the article we link out to Yahoo's own press release about the announcement, and even that is goes to a 404 page. I'm pretty sure we need to delete that article :)

Now, what, if anything in that article can I take and re-use or contribute to another article in the website? Maybe I need to take 3 or 4 of our articles and make a new one on it ("logo creation" is a great combinable subject, especially since we don't do it anymore)

If the article ranks for keywords, figure out what it ranks for, is there any traffic (review Google Analytics), then redirect it to a related article. If nothing is related, redirect to the home page, service page or blog list of articles.
 

AlienVPS

New member
Google loves content. This is always going to be your #1 priority when it comes to SEO and search ranking on Google. The more content, the more informative, the better. You can outrank the large hosting companies advertising budget with better content :p
 
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