These abandoned SEO Best Practice tactics never made for a better user experience, they were strictly used IMO, to game the search engines. Abandoning tactics that were designed to game the engines and that no longer work due to the constant changes Google makes to the ranking algorithm makes sense. For in the world of search engine optimization one thing never changes: “best practices” come and go. Due to exploitation, spamming or new technologies and methods, these three SEO best practices tactics have been abandoned.
Abandoned SEO Best Practice Tactic #1 – PageRank Sculpting
This is one I never understood from the get-go. To be perfectly honest I never paid attention to PageRank. Even the one time when I was given the task of making sure all the sites pages had a PR of 6 before the end of the quarter. I totally ignored that directive. PageRank Sculpting was an SEO best practice tactic that was heavily used by many SEOs, as it helped them manipulate the PR flow of their sites.
Google never recommended this technique. They characterized it as “not very efficient” and they stated that it has second order effects.
Before he took his leave of absence, Matt Cutts made an announcement that “rel=nofollow” does not work the way it was originally supposed. With that announcement it effectively killed off PageRank sculpting and sent it to the abandoned SEO best practice landfill.
Abandoned SEO Best Practice Tactic #2 – Submitting sites in Directories
Submitting a site to as many directories as possible was a very popular method to boost the rankings of a site in the past. This is one SEO Best Practice tactic I used and used quite efficiently. I once brought a client’s site from well past the 500th position to the top 3 in a matter of six weeks using this now abandoned SEO best practice tactic. At one time Google had a guideline in the webmaster quality guidelines page, which suggested that submitting a site to quality Directories such as DMOZ can be very helpful. Also vertical directories specific to industries with reputable reputations can also be useful.
Legitimate SEOs now understand submitting a site to 100 billion directories will not help. It will NOT hurt a site and it will not lead to any bans as recently Google removed that guideline as, according to Matt Cutts, “People got obsessed with it”. I know I submitted sites to directories 6 years ago. But today I now realize this is an SEO best practice I need to abandon.
Abandoned SEO Best Practice Tactic #3 – Meta keywords tag
This is one SEO best practice that rank amateurs and people who read an article about SEO back in the early 2000’s still cling onto. The use of Meta keywords to improve rank.
The Keywords Meta Tag is not used by Google. Additionally it has almost no effect on the rankings for the other major search engines. Ten years ago where we had meta-search engines it used to affect the search results. Webmasters grossly misused this tag by spamming and adding irrelevant keywords, which lead to its this becoming our third SEO Best Practice to be abandoned.
Do you know of any other abandoned SEO Best Practices? Let me know in the comments.