5 Craphat SEO Techniques That Just Won’t Die but Should

Cat photo, courtesy of Tambako the Jaguar, Flickr

My cousin Guido – he don’t like craphat. Dis week he’s offerin’ a 2 fer 1 special…

As Google’s Panda update (aka Farmer update) continues to cause upheaval, one tip keeps circulating through the industry, whispered from person to person. “Psst. Hey! Pssst! Tip – Get rid of your low-quality content! Pass it on!”

Now, really – shouldn’t that have already been taken care of? Shouldn’t we be past the days of such craphat SEO techniques like content spam? Come on, now – let’s grow a little, shall we?

For those that don’t recognize the term, craphat (in this example at least) is short for that crap SEO professionals should know better than to do, but do it anyway because they’re lazy SOBs. For some reason, these craphat SEO techniques just won’t die. They keep holding on – like that nasty, bitter, rich, 110-year-old relative nobody likes…

The ones listed below are just a few; there are plenty more out there. If you have a SEO “professional” talking about providing these SEO techniques for you, we’re so, so sorry. If you are a SEO professional still talking about these SEO techniques, dude – quit crapping on our industry, m’kay? Go find a different industry to use as your personal toilet.

1. Comment spam

This… this is ridiculous, people. It is 20 friggin 11 and you’re still sending crap to our blog that looks like this:

Comment spam sucks

Comment Spam in the Wild

Oh yeah – that’s sexy. Give us some more comments like those to approve. That way, everyone who visits the blog can have visual proof how much we could care less about their user experience. Thanks, BinaDeandalah – let’s just put that where it belongs…

2. Content scraping

Panda on High, photo credits: Jessica (justjess17)

If someone puts an article up on some content farm like ArticleBase, well then, go ahead. Snag it; put it up on your site in its entirety. Try not to be a total skeez and leave the attribution link, though. They put those articles up there for just such a thing.

However, and this is important, if someone puts an article up on their site, copyrights it, says, “Don’t copy my stuff, m’kay?” and makes sure an attribution link pops up any time you copy/paste even a sentence, this is a hint. In case you miss the subtleties, this means, “Leave my crap alone. It’s only for my site and my audience.”

By the way – good luck with this practice now that Panda’s gone out. That big ole furry bear may look all nice and fuzzy, but he’s gonna be taking bites out of your site.

Now, what’s the matter with content scraping, as long as you give an attribution link? Everything. It’s friggin lazy – unless you own a topical news site or something, in which case you wouldn’t be using it for SEO and you wouldn’t be taking the whole damn article. If you’re using it for SEO, it’s a craphat technique that needs to die.

3. Article spinning

Oh yeah – and here’s another top craphat SEO technique we hate: article spinning. From the first sentence of this article:
article spinning

  • Spin one: … constantly on the cause pandemonium, one tip goes on circulating through the marketplace…
  • Spin two: … continues to make upheaval, one tip continues spreading through sales…
  • <Spin three: … is constantly on the cause uproar, one tip goes on going around through the market industry…
  • Spin four: … is constantly on the induce upheaval, one pointer goes on going around through the market industry…
  • Spin five: … continues to induce uproar, one tip goes along going around through sales…

Yes – that’s beautiful. Original content x 5 and you only had to write one article for it – or, better yet, scrape somebody else’s content, spin it 10 times and put it out there as original. – And now we’re going to quit this line of thinking because… ew. It’s dirty; it’s nasty; it’s a craphat SEO technique that should have given up the ghost years ago.

4. PageRank Sculpting

Yes, people are still trying to sculpt the way PageRank passes around their site with a little bit of “no-fo, mofo”. Sad, really. Even when Google (well, Matt Cutts, so same, same) officially says, “oh yeah, nofollow hasn’t worked that way for a year or so”, people still do it. He says, “PageRank sculpting isn’t recommended” (by the way, some of the comments in that link are friggin fantastified).

Link Popularity vs. PageRank vs. Yoda

Now, by our definition, craphat SEO techniques are the ones that muck up the Web and make owning, operating or otherwise using a piece of the Internet a drag. So, maybe PageRank sculpting shouldn’t really be classified under this list. However, since it’s a serious waste of time when there are other, much more profitable tactics to follow – well, while it may not be craphat, we do have to put it under “dumbest ideas”.

5. Craphat, SEO Link Bait

You know, we really hate this – to the point that “craphat” is the nicest thing we can say about it. Craphat link bait should probably be clarified first, though. This isn’t link bait like, let’s throw a clickable title out there, pulling readers into an article that has the information promised, just not the way they expected it. Link bait is an acceptable practice, when done correctly and occasionally (the two key words, there).

What we mean is crap like this ending up in our SERPs:

Sounds like Mr. “I wish I could report” has a personal connection to the poor congresswoman, doesn’t it? Nah – he’s a brain injury lawyer; no connections, nothing to report, nothing worth while… No, just crappy, crappy, misleading, B.S. link bait. Bleh.

Conclusion

We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But, without these SEO techniques, how can a SEO professional provide the results clients expect?” You’re probably batting your eyes innocently, too. “SEO is just so time consuming without this stuff,” you exclaim.

Yeah? Here, let us help you out with that by offering some sage SEO advice. Content: High quality, relevant, tasty, informative content. Relationships: building, creating, managing fantastic relationships. Tracking results; taking a long-term view; testing everything for what works best.

These are SEO techniques that last. If that’s not enough, we have an even better idea. Learn how SEO really works instead of sticking with a few craphat, tired old tactics… OR get out of the way and make room for optimizers who care about the quality of their clients’ sites.

What about you? Any SEO techniques you find ridiculous, disgusting or otherwise craphat? Share and share a like!

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This account is where everyone involved with Level343 content marketing efforts show up. You can say there is no "I" in this team. Sometimes we will chat about a certain topic with a variation of ideas, suggestions, even opinions. Then one of us will start writing the post, hand it over to someone else who will continue the diatribe. Eventually it ends up on our editors desk who either chops the hell out of it, or you're reading it right now.

Comments

  1. 100% in agreement on all 5 of these.
    It is so aggravating to see a title that I want to read about, only to click on it and 2 sentences in, it is clear that it is just some crappy spun article. I have been loving the new google since panda. Most of that garbage has been cleaned out now.

    The problem with SEO’s in general is that often times they are trying to optimize a site in an industry they know nothing about. That is why the content is usually so crappy. You seem them all over the place offering content creation in their SEO packages.

    I just came across a forum selling 10 articles for 10 dollars. I am sure that would be some top notch work right there. Why should I spend 3 hours developing and writing a post about something that is going to actually teach or explain something, when I can just buy one for a dollar? I mean, if you don’t give a crap about the content you are putting out, why would you expect anyone else to.

    Go Panda 2011 :-)

  2. Daniel Thomas Wood says:

    Thanks for explaining that term. I’m an SEO and I’m looking to be a top class expert working on independent products and services, websites and social strategies and I want to take the most ethical, honest and value giving strategies as time passes.

    I appreciate you putting some common sense practises into the context you have. It was inspiring. :-)

  3. Yes people have been talking about the Panda updates and how it has negatively affected millions of websites around the world but no one has spoken about the positive impacts that have taken place for some good websites that are present on the WW, who always followed proper SEO techniques. I am a SEO Expert and have quite a few web properties (eg. http://www.thechelseafc.com/and http://liveiplscorestreaming.blogspot.com/ ) and both especially the former has seen incredible increase in organic traffic. My point is I am among that huge number of people who have benefited from this, if you go through my websites you will come to know that creative writing helps a lot and since its creative its original. And its high time people start taking this stuff seriously. Mr Panda has made sure people with good quality should come first not people with irrelevant quantity.

  4. And after it’s “Quality Content” hopefully is is actually interesting, insightful or useful. You gotta wonder how much crap was created just to earn some adsence income from Google too. That is a big reason for a lot of crap. Thanks Google.

  5. Hehe good ones yeah I agree most of these should die but google seems to let them slide, I guess the thing with owning a article website is that it can work effective if you monitor all articles which go onto the site it just takes time.

    Soo many blackhat techniques have been working for years but Google turns a blind eye, I mean they even buy black hat sites lol like beatthatquote!!!

  6. Rudy, you’re always welcome to come here and brush up on some of the terminology/techniques/white hat/black hat etc. you’re not familiar with. After all it’s for people like you that we write this stuff ;)

  7. I have to recognize I’m a total newbie regarding SEO, but I’ve met already almost all the items presented here, in a way or another, some place or other, :) I didn’t know how were they called, not even that they are actually “techniques”, more than that, “SEO techniques”. Excellent article, I have to completely agree with you.

Trackbacks

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