Ever since the internet was developed, the search engine war has always been on. I don’t mean wars between search engines but war between webmasters for position in the SERPs. As a result of this, people have always been searching for ways to manipulate data in order to deceive the search engines into believing something that is not. This is why search engines rarely disclose how their algorithms work just to prevent using unethical methods to gain undeserved positions. However, according to experts, webmasters need to pay close attention to the details when analyzing the ranking algorithms for specific keywords.
Strategies Used By Webmasters
Some webmasters are opting to use different strategies to increase the relevance of their web pages. In the early days of search engine optimization, many different methods were used only to find out later that those methods were nothing but spamming and illegal SEO techniques. Some of these strategies include, submission to free directories, linking to competitor sites with anchor texts that have nothing to do with the content of the website, excessive linking to sites, and cloaking.
Free Web Directories
When I started to practice SEO back in 2007, web directories were one of the most powerful tools we were using because of the powerful back links and we all know that back links are one of the most powerful ranking factors. Today though, that is a different story.
Most free directories provide a convenient way for webmasters to submit their websites without having to pay a fee. In addition, many directories have a strict set of criteria in which your website should be approved for review. Anchor text, keywords, and titles are just some of the aspects that websites are required to adhere to be listed in free directories. A couple of years ago, some webmasters were abusing free directories by using forged or stolen information. Now, these sites have been blacklisted by many directories.
NOTE: Web directories still carry some kind of weight.
In addition, websites may link to a site with a higher page rank to increase the relevance of their page. In this technique, website A links to website B with the same anchor text, keywords, and titles in an attempt to boost the ranking of site B. On the contrary, website B may refuse to link to site A, or may reduce the number of links on the home page of their site. This will decrease the relevance of the site to page rank of page A. This manipulation can be detected by the search engine robots or spiders. They will follow the links from site A to B. They are also capable of rejecting sites from linking to other sites, or this rejection may not be recognized by the search engines. The use of cloaking on the web pages can also cause problems. Cloaking is an artificial method to improve the ranking of a site. Website A may create a link to another site (cloaked), which will boost the page ranking of website B. However, the search engines robots may not detect the cloaking.
Another Old Linking Method
There are numerous methods for getting links. This is the reason why so many webmasters are looking for ways to get links. One method is known as the reciprocating link. Website A links to another site with the same keywords and similar anchor texts for the purpose of getting a reciprocal link. It can also be referred to as reciprocal linking. This is a good option for webmasters who do not wish to reveal the purpose of their linking with other sites. They can also choose to get a one-way link with the same keywords and anchor texts. This is done by submitting the links of site A on the site of site B, and vice versa.
This method may not be accepted by the search engine robots, but this is the preferred method among many webmasters. This method will increase the relevance of site A to site B. The other option is known as the one-way link. This method involves submitting the link of the page on the site of site A to the webmaster of site B. On the other hand, this method is rejected by the search engine robots. However, there are still old school SEO practices that still work today.
When In Dilemma, Get Help
Search engine optimization is getting harder and more hectic every day. It is no longer possible to get instant results as it used to be years ago. The search engines are becoming smarter and thus hard to manipulate. Therefore I think the solution left is if you got an SEO agency, company or an expert to do the work for you. This step might not be cheap but at least you know you are hiring a professional to handle your SEO efforts.