The SEO game has changed drastically over the last year. A lot of the tactics that worked 12 months ago don’t work anymore.Â And it’s not just newbie SEOs who are making mistakes… even experts who have been in the field for years are making mistakes.
Here are 5 mistakes that even experts are missing:
Mistake #1: Building rich anchor text links
You probably already know by now that rich anchor text links are bad, but how rich is too rich? There’s actually a post penguin anchor text case study that just came out and shows that you can get rankings without building too rich links.
The site Doctor650 built 13 links with the following anchor text:
- Doctor 650
- My site
- Dissecting The 650 Credit Score
- http://www.doctor650.com/ (no-followed link from YouTube)
- Resource on 650 credit scores
- Clicking here
- 650 credit score
Within 54 days of the site launching, it started to rank in the top 4 for the keyword “650 credit score”. This just shows that you can still rank for any term, even with a brand new site, but you have to rotate up your anchor text.
You don’t want your anchor text to be richer than 30% and you want to try and variations of your anchor text. Why? Because it is rare that someone would naturally link to you with rich anchor text 100% of the time.
I’ve ranked for terms like “online poker” or even “insurance quotes” all by building non-rich anchor text links that are relevant. And when I do build rich anchor texts, which is not too often, I throw in a lot of variations.
Mistake #2: Building too many links too fast
How many links do you need to build to rank for competitive terms? You actually don’t need too many, you more so need time. Slow and steady is what’s winning the race in the SEO game.
If you look at the Doctor650 site, not only did they not build too many rich anchor text links, but they also didn’t build too many links. I’ve done this with competitive keywords and noticed that the easiest way to climb to the top is to not build too many links. More so, just go for authoritative links.
And if you think building a lot of links is better for you, just look at this case study by Marcus Taylor, in which he built 10,000 links within 24 hours. He shot up to a number 1 ranking in Google, but within 3 weeks he was pushed down as he built too many links.
Google’s algorithm is sophisticated because they know what rate websites typically build links at. If your link count is growing at an unnatural pace, you won’t rank too well.
Mistake #3: Building too many links to your homepage
Have you ever looked at the link profile of the other sites in your space? What portion of their links are from .gov and .edu sites? What portion of their links is going to their homepage versus internal pages?
Instead of building links to your homepage, consider building links to the majority of your internal pages. Just look at Wikipedia, that sites ranks for almost every term out there and it is the 6th most popular site in the world.
Majestic SEO is showing that Wikiepdia in total has over 600 million backward links, while the homepage has roughly 6 million links. That means 1% of their total links point to their homepage, while 99% goes to internal pages.
If you want high rankings, consider building more links to your internal pages versus your homepage.
Mistake #4: Writing a lot of mediocre content
Have you ever read the content on sites like eHow?Â They have over 5 million pages of content, they rank for a lot of terms on Google… and they have millions of backlinks.
Although they do well, it’s not worth copying their content strategy? Why, because their content is mediocre and not detailed. For example, if you Google “how to install a bidet”, this page from eHow ranks in the top 10.
Do you see the problem?
That page does a terrible job at explaining how to install a bidet. If eHow wrote articles that were over 2400 words and were very detailed like Wikipedia they would rank much higher and get more traffic.
Based on this article, you can see how Google prefers to rank web pages with at least 2000 words of content on page 1.
Mistake #5: Links build authority
By being classified as an authority site, you’ll rank higher. So how do you become an authority site? You get more links, right? Although links do help build authority, it’s not the only way.
- Social media – by building up your social media profiles and getting more tweets, likes, and shares, your website will rank higher. Google and Bing have both publicly stated that they look at social signals.
- Author rank – Google is able to verify authors, which means they can now track who is writing great content, versus mediocre content. So even if your site doesn’t have a ton of links, you’ll probably start seeing it rank higher in the future if you have authors with a lot of authority blogging on your website.
- Age – although time isn’t a factor you can easily control, sites that are older tend to rank higher… even if these older sites don’t have as many backlinks. So if you are considering starting a new business, try to buy an existing website in your space that is at least 5 years old… this will help you rank higher faster.
If you want to rank higher, try to make your website an authority site. Just don’t focus all of your energy on building links, as it isn’t the only way to become an authority site.
SEO is a constantly changing game and if you don’t keep up with it, you won’t do well. Don’t focus on the quick hits, slow and steady really does win the SEO race.
What I’ve personally experienced throughout each Google update is that quality content will continue to rank high and receive traffic. For example, all of my blogs got a nice traffic bump by 15 to 41% on January 1 when Google made their update.
What other mistakes have you seen SEOs make?