Seo after hummingbird, penguin & panda algorithms

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2. It usually takes about five minutes between the time Matt Cutts or somebody from Google says something, and the time a blog post pops up somewhere on the web saying that a particular SEO tactic is dead. In this section of the post, Im not interested in what is risky or against Googles terms of service: Im interested in tactics that are dead as a doornail. By this I mean that in all but a few extreme and short-lived cases, the tactic just doesnt work in any meaningful way. 3. This one is completely dead, folks. For those too young to the industry to remember, article spinning was the process of automatically generating rewritten versions of an article and submitting them to as many low quality article directories as possible. It actually worked surprisingly well before Panda, and even for a while after that when done correctly. But as far as I can tell, this one just doesnt work at all anymore. After doing a Google image search for article spinning and looking at results over the past year, I found exactly one site (SubmitProWith.Us, not giving them a link) that posted any evidence of improved rankings with article spinning. And all of their proof was dated to 2012. 4. Once again, I failed to find a single site that advocated building exact match anchor text that posted any evidence of it working. All I could find were examples of websites that had been hit by Penguin or a manual penalty, most likely because of the exact match anchor text, at least in part. 5. Buying Links Site Hacking Private Link Networks 6. The whole Interflora fiasco is both proof that buying links can still inflate your rankings, and proof that it isnt worth if for brands to take the risk. The fact of the matter is Googles algorithms just arent smart enough to identify link buying in every single circumstance. How could it be? Not even humans are that smart. 7. The real reason this isnt worth it for brands is because its actually more costly to buy links than to attract them naturally. There are a few reasons for this: Link sellers are, understandably, very likely to sell links to others who may not be as discrete as you are. The content has to be just as good as if you were doing it completely above-board, or over time it will become obvious that you are buying the links. It is more cost-effective to use the money to pay an influencer to write something on your blog than to pay a link dealer, likely with less influence, to host a link on their site. 8. Its sad that I have to put this in this category, but unfortunately it is true that sites can still rank by hacking sites and placing links. In July last year, Majestic shared a case study, examining a site that managed to rank, even with zero content, simply by pumping up its link velocity with hacked links. Needless to say, brands shouldnt get involved in things like this, and not just because theyre, well, illegal. From this and other case studies, its immediately obvious that the results dont last very long. Still, I think its important to point out studies like this to get a sense for where Googles algorithm really is in terms of spotting things. Its certainly gotten smarter about spotting low quality content and links, but pages can slip through the cracks if some of their other ranking factors are out of control. 9. A cleverly designed private link network, made up of several sites you bought up to link to yourself, is more or less invisible to Google at the moment. Black hats seem to love this tactic. Assuming the quality level of the sites is high enough, this is likely to go unnoticed. However, once again, it simply isnt worth the effort for brands. The cost of either buying sites with high quality content or creating high quality content to put on cheap sites simply isnt worth it. This, of course, is why the black hats simply skip this part, and expose themselves to risks that inevitably get them caught. 10. Smart marketers can learn from private link networks, however. We went in depth on this at our site. Put simply, a totally legitimate twist on this is to buy up blogs, preferably hiring the bloggers who operate them, and move the blog over to your site. This allows you to capture not just the SEO value, but the existing audience of the blogger. This is completely justifiable as inbound marketing, and an incredibly valuable SEO tactic. 11. Site-Wide Links Guest Posting Exclusively for SEO Reasons Partial Match Anchor Text Decent Content 12. It turns out that much of the fear surrounding site-wide links was actually a little overblown. They are just too common, and they are still frequently given editorially. The Open Penguin Data Project found that site- wide links had surprisingly little to do with Penguin. That said, site-wide links often appear spammy to other SEOs, and if anything else about them seems less than editorial, almost anybody else will consider them spammy as well. 13. My position on site-wide links is that if you earn them naturally, thats great. Dont cut value, reduce exposure, and potentially reduce your rankings by asking these people to stop linking to you. At the same time, unless there are some serious referral traffic opportunities, I wouldnt recommend seeking out site-wide links during outreach. At best, there really isnt any additional SEO benefit over a single link within a blog post. 14. Rand Fishkin is predicting that Google will release an update targeting low tier guest posting, badges, and infographics as manipulative link building tactics some time in 2014. We wont come down hard and say that its definitely coming in 2014, but weve been warning for quite some time that Googles own policies on link schemes are very broad: Any links intended to manipulate Page Rank or a sites ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Googles Webmaster Guidelines. 15. Our response has always been to avoid building links that arent worth anything without the direct SEO benefit. (Imagine the link is no-follow, and ask yourself if you would still build it.) This allows you to draw a pretty clear line between what kinds of guest posts are worth building, and which ones arent. If the guest post has legitimate benefits outside of SEO, not only do you know its valuable even if the search engines ignore it, you also know that the search engines probably wont ignore it. 16. The number of external domains linking with partial match anchor text ties for the third highest correlated ranking factor according to Moz. At the same time, partial match anchor text was more highly correlated with Penguin penalties than exact match anchor text, according to the Open PenguinData Project. This does not mean that partial march anchor text is more dangerous than exact match anchor text. More likely, its a consequence of the fact that a large number of SEOs have been told that if they only use partial match anchor text, they will be fine. 17. By the same token, I wouldnt go out of your way to avoid building partial match anchor text links either. Just focus on building links that will pull referral traffic, and that let users know what theyre going to find on the other side of the link. These days, I typically just write a sentence, and look for the logical place to put the link as a citation. Thinking beyond that doesnt really add any SEO value, and is more likely to work against you. 18. Weve already pointed out that there are examples of sites ranking with literally no content when certain factors, like link velocity, are out of control. Weve also pointed out that Panda has pretty much obliterated article spinning at this point. Pandas actual ability to target mediocre content isnt quite as clear, and plenty of limited value content still turns up for certain search queries. At this point, its difficult to tell if this is because more valuable content simply doesnt exist, or if Google isnt especially good at finding it yet. That said, Google is currently dead set on ranking pages based on behavioral data, as well as machine learning algorithms that have been trained on datasets of quality content. 19. With this in mind, investing in decent content is a risky venture at this point. Hummingbird is replacing extremely specific queries with more general ones. The strategy of finding untapped keywords and writing decent content about them is gradually losing value as a result. Even