As the web evolves, certain traffic-building tactics are going to fall by the wayside, while others will rise to prominence. Yet many webmasters will still continue to employ old tactics even once they stop working. Why? Because Google doesn’t announce when they change their algorithm.
Here are three previously popular traffic-building tactics that are now dead. If you’re using any of these tactics, it’s time to pick a different approach and move on.
Marketing with Low Quality Articles
Article marketing used to be one of the most popular tactics on the internet.
Webmasters would write articles on just about any topic, whether they had expertise or not, and hope they could get that article to rank.
Once the article was ranked, they’d point a link to their website and get traffic from people who click through.
This tactic is very definitely dead today. Sites like EzineArticles and Article Alley have taken huge hits in traffic since the Panda update. Even eHow.com, a relatively high quality website, took a hit.
If you must use this tactic, stick to higher quality content directories like Squidoo or HubPages that have community verification of content quality.
Link Wheels, Linking Schemes and Structures
Linking schemes have existed ever since Google introduced PageRank. It started out with simple reciprocal linking, where webmasters linked to one another to boost rankings. Then it moved to three-way linking and soon into fully-fledged link wheels.
Today, Google has pretty much shut down all these linking schemes. Even the most complicated linking structures involving many layers of link juice flows simply isn’t going to do the job.
Google has implemented sophisticated detection technologies that make this tactic more or less null.
In the past, getting your website into various internet directories could be an easy way to boost PageRank and increase rankings. Today this tactic doesn’t really work at all.
There are still a few directories that can pull some weight. The DMOZ community sourced directory and the Yahoo! directory can still lend you some link juice.
That said, the amount of effort and money it takes to get into a quality directory just isn’t worth the effort. The same time and money could be put into other tactics that result in a much higher ROI.
Basically, the overall search engine scheme is changing. Low quality links are being phased out more and more, to the point where they have virtually no impact.
The best way to get your name out there online today is to actually put out high quality content, then build links using connections with real people.
This takes longer than using instant gratification tactics. But it’s what works. It’s been said that in business, the one who wins is the person who’s willing to do what his competitors aren’t willing to do.
In SEO, creating high quality content with high quality backlinks is what it takes. If you spend your time and energy doing this while your competitors are looking for shortcuts, you’ll come out ahead in the end.