Posted on September 14, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

If you've been blogging for awhile, you may be using some blogging techniques that were great when they were developed, but which are no longer necessary, and may, in fact, be doing more harm than good for your search engine optimizations and social networking strategy.  See if any of your daily blogging activities are on this, "That's soooo 2005" list.


BLOGROLLS - Yes, I know I've written about this before, but I still see it pretty frequently.  Circles of bloggers will basically pressure newer bloggers to all link to each other's blogs in the sidebar or footers of their blogs, to be part of a blogging "community," under the mistaken impression that this linkage will help their search engine rankings.  There was a time when this was the case, but several years ago the search engines caught onto this "false" type of back-linking,  and updated their algorithms to actually PENALIZE bloggers for doing this.  What's worse it that by putting these links in your side bar, you are actually leaking page rank on every single page of your blog, making all of your other linking efforts worthless.  To build relationships with the other bloggers in your community, it is much better to do feature posts on those bloggers - you and they will get more mileage on the search engines while building rapport with each other.


SIDEBAR FLAIR - This is related to the above, but includes all of those little animated .gifs and gizmos and ad-type non-ads that newbie bloggers feel they must decorate their blogs with, to give their blogs the appearance of age (or something).  For one thing, that look is very outdated - the look of 2011 is clean and streamlined.  Also, if those gizmos are also outbound links, they pose the same problem for you as the blogrolls (see above) in terms of leaking page rank.  If you really just can't resist the temptation to include all of these outbound links on your blog, at least put them all on a page called "links," or "sites we like, " or similar, so that you only have the one page that is an SEO disaster, not the entire blog.


AUTO FEEDS - A few years ago (more recently that then blogrolling debacle, but prior to 2011), there were several services that helped bloggers save time by automatically cross-posting links to their blogs on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.  When these were still a novel idea they were a valuable time saver.  However, once EVERYONE discovered this technique, some of the Twitter, Facebook, and Friendfeeds became nothing but a mass of auto-feeds.  These auto-feeds are usually not formatted in a way that makes sense - they cut the titles of the posts short, or include only part of the first sentence of the blog post, which often not a good summary.  If the blogger is prolific, people get tired of seeing a dozen auto-feeds from that same blogger on every single social network they are on, and eventually find a way to either block or hide the feed.  Basically, these posts become spam.  It's much better to cross-post a few of your best submissions manually, customizing each for that particular social network.


META TAGS IN THE HEADER - OK, this is not a huge time-waster, because it only takes about a minute to ad 30-40 meta-tags to the header of your webpage if you know how to do it, and depending on how fast you can type.  And they don't really hurt anything, because as far as we know, blogs are not penalized for including these types of tags.  They don't really help anything, either, however, and the biggest problem with these is that bloggers often REPLACE more current, effective SEO methods with this older, ineffective technique.  Instead of meta tags in the header, each post should have a good title which includes the search keywords people might use to find the information in the post, and each post should be individually categorized and tagged appropriately, making it easy for the search engines to crawl the sitemap and find the information in the post.


What other time-wasters have you seen (or quit using)?

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