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6 Off-Page SEO Techniques that you Should Stop Doing

Nowadays SEO is becoming more difficult, and Google is releasing many algorithm updates and many websites are losing their rank. Here are some off-page SEO techniques you should stop doing today. These techniques may affect your website rankings negatively. Below are six SEO techniques that you should stop doing.

What is off-page SEO?

Off-page is SEO which is short for the term off-site SEO. Basically, off-page SEO techniques are those actions that we do outside of our website in order to increase rankings in the Google SERP.

Here I have broken down the off-page SEO into three sections.

1) Link building.

2) Social media marketing or SMM.

3) Mention Brand your name on other websites without having hyperlinks.

Is off-page SEO important and why?

Many SEO experts say that “backlinks are not important for ranking better in Google SERP.”

It is half correct and half incorrect. Don’t get confused. Here is the thing.

The statement is true in the case where you are targeting a focus keyword with low competition or low keyword difficulty. In this case, if you provide quality content and with good on-page optimization, your page will rank easily without many backlinks.

But in the case of a highly competitive keyword, on-page optimization and quality content alone will not do the thing. Here you will need lots of quality links pointing towards your website.

If you are starting a new website focus for less competitive longtail keywords. Once your new site ranks well, automatically you will gain quality backlinks. Only then should you can focus on highly competitive keywords.

Here is what Google and Bing have said about the off-page techniques and backlinks.

Google's view on backlinks

Bing's view on backlinkingWorst Off-page SEO techniques

Directory submissions.

It was a great off-page SEO technique a few years back when Google algorithm was not smart enough. Now Google algorithm is much smarter and directory submissions are simply just a waste of time.

Web directory submissions involve a danger that you may not still know. According to a survey taken by Moz on 2678 directories, 20% of them were penalized/banned by Google.

Being banned by Google means that your website link on these websites will harm your SERP rankings.

Directory submissions sites are having a high spam score now since lots of low-quality websites with high spam scores are being submitted on these directories. Google quality raters also recommend stopping doing directory submissions as an off-page strategy.

Moz blog on off page SEO and directories

Source: Moz Blog

Today more than 50% of the free web directories are deindexed by Google.

That means if you search for the web directories 50% of these directories are nowhere to be found.

Article submissions.

This method is also not recommended by Google. This 0ff-page technique is also irrelevant now.

It was a great way to increase article popularity and drive traffic to your articles. But it is not a good source to obtain backlinks to your website. Here are the reasons why article submission directories are bad.

Article directories sometimes publish poorly written and spammy articles from random writers. Using this type of practice reduces the article directories page authority.

Many sites published articles that have duplicate content from unknown writers.

Searchengineland Blog on off page SEO

Source: search engine land

As a result, the Google algorithm detects these article directories unfaithful sources. Hence Google deindexes these article directories. It is in the best-practices to stay away from these articles.

Buying or selling backlinks

Buying or selling backlinks is referred to as a black hat SEO according to Google webmaster guidelines.

Google Guidelines on off page SEO

Source: Google guidelines

Buying or selling backlinks is a very risky technique.

It will only be a matter of time before Google will catch your website for buying links. Don’t do it. Google will penalize your website and you will lose all your rankings and Domain rating. Here is a better way to build your SEO strategy.

Getting out of the Google penalty is a hectic task. Remember: don’t buy or sell backlinks. In the language of SEO, implement central keywords as a safe strategy.

Private Blog Network (PBNs)

This technique is not appreciated by Google. For those who don’t know about PBN.A PBN it’s a group of blogs or websites that are under your control and these blogs or websites link to your main website. Again: Don’t.

manual action ranking penalties

Source: search engine land

To elaborate, consider that you have five websites under your control, and they are linked to your main website in order to rank in Google SERP. It is also a great way by which you can get penalized by Google.

Google strictly prohibits the use of PBN for gaining rankings.

Link Exchanges

Google doesn’t like websites that promote link exchange.

What type of link building is termed as link exchanges by Google?

The link made in the way “link to me and I’ll link back to you” is termed as a link exchange. Cross-linking or link exchange is a good strategy, but excessive link exchanges and cross-linking are not recommended by Google.

Google Guidelines for off page SEO

Source: Google guidelines

Try to make minimal crosslinking. A careful strategy can benefit your website — but excess cross-linking will burn you. Better not to cross-link.

Comment spam on blogs

If you are using the comment as a referral source for your website, it may help you.

Some blog comments drive referral traffic to their website or blog if it is relevant to the blog that they are reading.

But if you are trying to gain SEO rankings through comments then it is a waste of time. Almost 99% of links in the commenting sections are marked No-follow.

Google Guidelines on off-page SEO and comments

Source: Google guidelines

You won’t get any link juice from links left in the comment section of the article or blog. Google will not track that link.

Dropping links in other blogs for the sake of link building is termed as comment spam.

Moz blog on off-page SEO and link attribution

Source: Moz Blog

The no-follow tag was introduced so that Google could reduce the amount of comment spam.

You can comment and provide relevant links that may be useful for the readers. Try to make good no-follow backlinks.

Remember: March 1, 2020Google will be starting to treat No-follow links as hints. A “hint” means that there is a chance that Google crawls these links.

Conclusion

The way to make the very best site possible is to follow the Google rules as they are laid out for websites. You don’t want to end up with Google Penalities.

For best success follow the rules, and proper off-page SEO techniques suggested here — and skip using the tactics that can negatively impact your site and company.

Happy success to you in your SEO efforts.

Akshay K

Akshay is an expert SEO analyst and digital marketer with content writing skills working in an eLearning development company Xpertcube. Helps to attract users into the website and convert leads into customers. Achieved success in making the school management software Eduxpert.in to rank in top positon of Google SERP. Also writes in eLearning industry, and elearning.adobe.

Source: ReadWrite

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Web traffic increases in 2019 were driven by mobile; top 100 sites saw average of 223B monthly visits

Mobile adoption around the world is having a significant impact on the web’s traffic. According to a new report from SimilarWeb, out today, mobile web traffic has jumped 30.6% since 2017, while desktop traffic dropped 3.3%. But it’s not just the numbers that are changing. Mobile visitors also behave differently from their desktop web counterparts, staying on pages for shorter periods of time, for example, which is impacting core metrics web publishers today track.

The report found that 2019’s total web traffic to the top 100 sites was up 8% from 2018, and up 11.8% over 2017, averaging 223 billion visits per month. The largest increases were in April and June 2019, when traffic was up by more than 10% over the same time in 2018.

Mobile is driving these traffic increases, but mobile visitors don’t stay as long on the site. Across platforms, the overall time spent on websites has dropped by 49 seconds from 2017 to 2019, the report found.

In addition, mobile has become the platform of choice for visiting certain categories of websites. Mobile traffic dwarfs desktop on adult sites, gambling sites, food & drink, pets & animals, health, community & society, sports, and lifestyle. And over the years, other categories shifted to become more mobile as well — including news and media, vehicle sites, travel, reference, finance, and others.

But not all categories are doing well, despite the shift to mobile.

News sites, for instance, were losing traffic. The report found that traffic to the top 100 media publications is down 5.3% year-over-year from 2018 to 2019 (a loss of 4B visits), and down by 7% since 2017.

These decreases impact all sorts of media categories, with popular news, entertainment news, and local news all showing decreases of over 25%. Only business & finance and women’s interest news categories saw any increases, the report said.

The increase in mobile traffic is also helping the biggest sites on the web grow larger, helping to further cement their position on today’s internet. The top 10 biggest sites saw a total of 167.5 billion monthly visits in 2019, up 10.7% over 2018. The remaining 90 biggest sites out of the top 100 only saw a 2.3% increase, by comparison.

Google’s move to consolidate traffic to its core domain increased traffic to google.com helped to increase its numbers and YouTube grew as well. However, Facebook’s troubles were reflected in its numbers as it lost 8.6% of traffic over the past year alone. The report theorized that some of its lost traffic went to YouTube, which could inform Facebook’s heavier focus on video in recent years. That said, Facebook’s investments in mobile helped it grow elsewhere — both Instagram and WhatsApp saw their web traffic grow up to 74% year-over-year.

Also on the decline were Yahoo, which lost 33.6% of its 2017 traffic, and Tumblr, which banned adult sites in 2018, leading to a 33% loss in traffic.

Facebook fought off the web traffic declines and related declines in app usage by re-engaging existing users in 2019, which helped it to increase the total number of app sessions throughout the year. YouTube uses a similar tactic to increase its own app engagement figures, leading to a close tie between the two on this metric.

The data for the report was gathered from January 2017 to December 2019, and tracked desktop and mobile web traffic, as well as Android app use.

The full report, available here, also dug into specific categories, like shopping, travel, finance, messaging, and more.

Source: TechCrunch