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The concept of trial and error seems tailor-made for the contemporary world of how to improve search engine optimization (SEO). With this adventurous spirit, the initial emphasis is traditionally on a rapid-fire testing of what works and what does not work in achieving winning internet marketing strategies. However, at some point the emphasis needs to switch to a focus on emphasizing what is working and avoiding whatever is not working. But this is frequently easier said than done as efforts to avoid marginal and unsuccessful content marketing strategies can involve internal politics and resistance to change.
5 Search Engine Optimization Tactics to Avoid
Perhaps because the effort to avoid certain SEO strategies can be more difficult than choosing what to emphasize in search engine optimization efforts, the starting point in this overview is a short list of what to avoid:
- Overly promotional content
- Non-original content (aka duplicate content and article spinning)
- Excessive affiliate marketing
- Link saturation (aka too many links and blog networks)
- Stolen and copied content
One of the primary goals of any search optimization strategy is to obtain more business exposure, but unsound content marketing can actually have the reverse impact. For example, Google and other search engines have constantly struggled with how to address issues such as the five just noted. At the most extreme, websites can be deindexed entirely (and swiftly) by violating sound SEO principles – a private blog network known as Build My Rank was eliminated from the Google search index in 2012 and within a day or so, the company ceased its business operations. This enforcement action not only impacted BuildMyRank but also customers that had used the site to publish content and obtain backlinks.
One of the most perverse examples of non-original content is exhibited by articles and images that are copied and pasted from the original publishing website and placed on another site without any credit whatsoever to the original author. While this is a problem for the original authors and various article directories that unwittingly become the second (or 99th) place some articles appear, it is also a challenge for prospective customers who have little choice but to be perplexed by the mixed messages of duplicate content appearing in multiple locations with names of different authors attached to the article. For example, shortly after this article initially appears here, it is highly likely that it will be improperly published on one or more additional websites without any attribution to the original author or article directory.
3 SEO Tactics to Emphasize
On a positive note, some approaches to SEO deserve to be emphasized, and here is a short list of three candidates to consider:
- Presentations on SlideShare
- Images that are unique (such as customized textual images)
- Content that is unique
This is intentionally a shorter list with the thought that it might be easier to implement. Some content marketing strategies such as white papers can illustrate all three concepts. A white paper is a longer and more advanced treatment of a subject and is usually designed with a specialized audience in mind.
SlideShare presentations, YouTube videos and textual images can often help communicate to a time-sensitive audience that prefers visual communication techniques over reading several thousand words. In a variation of The Customer Is Always Right, discerning business managers and owners must never lose sight of what prospective customers need and want.
Final Words about Content Marketing
With technological change in the background, what works today might not work as well tomorrow (or next year). This overview is designed to be a starting point rather than a finish line for internet marketing strategies.