As much as the SEO industry wants to grow up and shed the shady reputation it had in the past, it seems many don’t want to change and still cast a shadow over the industry.
For every company doing things right, it seems there are many more who have not updated their practices or still want to take shortcuts.
I know it’s not October and not time for Halloween, but I’m already putting my costume together and was inspired to write this.
All of these are true SEO horror stories I have seen over the last couple of years.
There are outdated practices, mistakes and some seriously shady stuff that still goes on in our industry.
I’m okay with mistakes, but a lot of these stories involve companies just never updating their practices or intentionally doing things that give all SEOs a bad name.
There are many great companies out there, but it seems like for every good one, there are still a few bad apples.
Outdated SEO practices
Believe it or not, I still see cases of keyword stuffing and even hidden text.
Titles look terrible when stuffing; I’ve seen the same term multiple times or every city known to man in the title tag.
I recently ran into a home page title that was over 800 characters long, with almost every city in the area!
Hidden text is also a surprisingly common problem, where website content (text, internal links and so on) is barely readable or sometimes intentionally hidden.
These aren’t sites launched years ago, either — some of them are less than a year old.
I’m also seeing more websites that use the exact same page content on multiple pages with only the city name swapped.
These pages have become so prevalent that I have a hard time telling clients not to do this, but of course I still recommend against it. (If they choose to reuse page content, I ask that that they add something additional that’s relevant and useful.) I even see pages that use obviously spun text still ranking well.
Link spam is the worst.
I’m seeing a lot of sites using press release services that go out to local news websites.
I see a lot of general directories and article websites in profiles that were recently added.
I still see a lot of web 2.0 and video spam. Sadly, I see a lot of obvious footprints from programs like ScrapeBox, XRumer, SEnuke and GSA SER.
Sometimes websites are getting away with the spam, but other times, companies have come to me with a penalty, and it’s obvious from the backlink profile what the cause is.
Local is a joke these days, too.
Source: SEO is as dirty as ever