What Are The Most Overrated SEO Tips?

Mar 17, 2011 • 9:13 am | comments (43) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

overratedMatt McGee posted a nice discussion at Sphinn asking what are the most overrated SEO techniques you know of.

This comes after the most underused SEO techniques.

There are a lot of people in the SEO space that may obsess of specific techniques, when those techniques have little or no value in the search results. What are they?

The Sphinn members shared what they felt are the most overrated SEO techniques:

  • XML Sitemaps
  • META keywords tag
  • 301 redirecting bought domains
  • HTML standards compliant
  • Keyword density
  • Toolbar PageRank
  • Directory Submission

What would you add or delete from this list?

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

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03/17/2011 01:19 pm

H1 headings

Mário Luan

03/17/2011 01:23 pm

Press Releases Submission


03/17/2011 01:24 pm

Social bookmarking


03/17/2011 01:25 pm

301 redirects work, if you get them from the right place and if they are relevant.


03/17/2011 01:27 pm

to clarify, they need to have aged backlinks. 301-ing a brand new domain will give you no advantage.


03/17/2011 01:30 pm

i've noticed that bookmarking works, but not as most people do it. it needs to be across multiple accounts, and it works better if you bookmark an article or blog that links to the page you intend to rank. it is more of an indexing tool than a powerful backlink in itself.


03/17/2011 01:37 pm

Hands down, without any question the biggest sham of the century: Google PageRank. I've never seen so many web developers, business owners, trip over their own *icks for PageRank. Even today, one can buy a link for as much as $150/mo on a website page that has PR 4. Sha-sha-sha-shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam!

Gabriele Granato

03/17/2011 01:40 pm

Content is king :-)


03/17/2011 01:49 pm

You can market your site entirely through SEO and manipulating systems.

Nick Stamoulis

03/17/2011 02:36 pm

I still think XML Sitemaps are a useful tool and I still advise clients to create and submit them to be indexed. But I definitely agree that PageRank shouldn't be the focus of any SEO campaign. By the time you are done writing the report on where your site/keywords rank, it could be totally wrong.

Gyi Tsakalakis

03/17/2011 02:50 pm

Meta keywords.

Web Studio

03/17/2011 03:14 pm

I would take off XML Sitemaps and replace it with cloaking. I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell people that making links the same color as the background in order to hide them is bad.


03/17/2011 03:38 pm

i would take of directory submission okay they may not work like they used to but for the less competative keywords they are great they get you up through the serps easily enough when you submit to enough

Norbert Boros

03/17/2011 03:39 pm

meta keywords. h1 a bad example...

Syed Khaled Hussaini

03/17/2011 03:41 pm

and some more: - Age of the domain - "Fresh Content" (not really overrated for some sites..) - Font size/style - Keywords in URL (overrated for rankings but underrated for CTR/sales) Keyword density & Freshness of content are probably one of the most overrated out of all

Syed Khaled Hussaini

03/17/2011 03:41 pm

Also link buying (:-)


03/17/2011 04:41 pm

Directory submissions are still pretty key. Yahoo, DMOZ, BOTW to name a few.

Ralf Springer

03/17/2011 04:57 pm

Directory Submission - the relevance is missing...


03/17/2011 05:03 pm

Umm XML Sitemaps are pretty darn important....

Steven H

03/17/2011 06:45 pm

Completely agree with: 301 redirects - the logic of buying domains just to redirect is backwards (satellite sites make more sense) Standards compliance - have you seen how many errors sites like amazon, youtube, ebay and even google have? I still shoot for compliance but if I can't do it then screw it Toolbar - green bar, well doh! Metakeywords tag - yea, I still add a few phrases because I'm sentimental like that Don't agree with: Content weighting sitemaps - Google thinks them relevant so I must as well Directory submissions - ok that's off page so it's sem not seo. I'm sorry but (forgetting link value) the more links, the more traffic, the more traffic, the more traffic...

Joseph Gourvenec

03/17/2011 06:53 pm

100% Keep XML Sitemaps Keyword Density 301 "Only for old page redirects" 70% Keep Directory Submission - Depends of the directory? GBNetworks.co.uk style yes / Link farms, etc NO Toolbar PageRank - PageRank is not the goal but useful for pages and internal architecture 30% The rest Cheers, Joseph Gourvenec


03/17/2011 07:46 pm

The worst one I hear every now and then is that the web works auto-magically. And with great focus and seance you can achieve great placement within the search engines. Other than that, SEO is a strategy, good craft, and that's about it... if you need tips, hire someone who knows what they are doing. Otherwise, don't bother. They are all keepers. * XML Sitemaps * META keywords tag * 301 redirecting bought domains * HTML standards compliant * Keyword density * Toolbar PageRank * Directory Submission But the one with the least value? I would have to guess Keyword Density, or flat out spam which is what I am guessing is being referred to, the HTML compliance can be overrun nazis sometimes, but the web is is indeed made of HTML. XML sitemaps, works for some with particular needs and not so important for others. Directory submission whether it is relevant to search engines or not is worth something, sometimes, not all the times. Domains sell for $12,000,000.00!!! There is value in domain names whether you can see it or not isn't anyone else's problem right? http://twitter.ca/ Maybe the meta keywords tag is becoming irrelevant though, I think I have only seen it return any sort of value with MSN, but I just don't really care enough to investigate it. They all have some degree of value. It is part of the craft and a part of the strategy.

Ben Pfeiffer

03/17/2011 07:52 pm

Just a personal annoyance of something I see often, but I would lump corporations and ecommerce websites creating blogs for SEO. They usually don't help that much.


03/17/2011 08:19 pm

Wow, a bunch of fake "SEO's" on here that still think meta keywords are useful. Holy shit.


03/17/2011 08:23 pm

That's why no one sells it these days... were waiting for the wordpress template resellers to burn it out. Might take a little longer than the flash guys though, and they're still holding on... Go Tumblr, Wordpress.com, and Blogger. My god... Wordpress has 1/4 of all the seo content on the web. http://www.google.ca/search?q=wordpress+seo - 119,000,000 results http://www.google.ca/search?q=seo - 406,000,000 results

Gyi Tsakalakis

03/17/2011 08:27 pm

hmmm... who said meta keywords are useful?

Barry Schwartz

03/17/2011 08:28 pm

Good day for rainbows, pots of gold and four leaf clovers on the web site. :)

Paul Rogers

03/17/2011 09:13 pm

I don't think that directories should be on this list, their value is coming back with their importance in Google Local optimization!

Rob Griggs

03/17/2011 09:20 pm

Well Google and Bing definitely recommend adding your most important landing pages to the sitemaps so if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me. Directories are still valuable especially niche industry and business directories where you can add real business info such as address and phone numbers. I am sure Google is looking at these kinds of mentions more and more for trust purposes. I think the rest of them you can pretty much forget. I think people better get ready for a big shift away from anchor text only signals in the not so near future if not already!! Plus Google have already started talking about putting less weight on keyword rich domains. So.... we will see.

John Britsios

03/17/2011 11:24 pm

Jill Whalen said that. I continued her forum thread discussion at my blog here http://www.searcheditors.com/believe/ because she closed the thread.

John Britsios

03/17/2011 11:25 pm

I added my comments to all points at Sphinn: http://sphinn.com/story/179982/#80684

Barry Schwartz

03/17/2011 11:31 pm

Yea. Convo should be on sphinn. I linked to it twice.

John Britsios

03/17/2011 11:35 pm

Sorry Barry. But if you have noticed, I just linked directly to my comment there. No bad intentions.

Barry Schwartz

03/17/2011 11:36 pm

I know. You did the right thing.


03/18/2011 11:46 am

delete: Keyword density :)


03/18/2011 12:36 pm

I would add "article spinning" now. A lot of gray hat's grabbed on to that. It went from gray to black hat.

Website Designer Riyadh

03/18/2011 01:08 pm

Find out more traffic keywords search from Google adwords tool then use it.. This is only for blog commenting.. This the best way to improve serp in our website.. Others work like forums,classifieds we have to give fully keyword howmuch they accepted.. Aluminium Kozijnen

Kevin John

03/21/2011 10:16 am

Meta description could be added if there is no relevant content added. Key thing with the meta description is to mention a call to action or something to give away for free like "free shipping"

Adriana @ Cheap Tents

03/25/2011 04:55 am

Exactly, specially now that google changed its Search Result Algorithm to decrease these article farm rank. I feel that is an old fashion way to rank. Social SEO is the next stage in the evolution of Search. We have been on Twitter at since 08/09 and have had some success. Facebook seems to require more time and it is more labor intensive. 

Adriana @ Cheap Tents

03/25/2011 05:00 am

it is valid, but the thinking should be to become an authority, not to rank well. Then invest time and effort to value other people's time. Then, the results will come. The problem I see is that many people want to rash into google rank, and that takes time...

SEO Company

03/29/2011 07:34 am

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06/20/2011 05:02 pm

This is good information and I have little knowledge of search engine optimization. This is good service for website through this you can get more traffic for your website and make page rank high in Google search engine. directory submission service


07/12/2011 02:16 pm

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