Black hat SEO focused only on ranking in search engines without regard for the human audience. Strategies included keyword stuffing and blog commenting to insert inbound links. Search engines frown on these strategies, and at the very least ignore them in indexing pages.

White hat SEO, on the other hand, focuses on the human audience first, and search engine ranking second. You can use keywords and blogs in white hat SEO as long as you deliver quality content such as that commissioned from writing services to the user. Here are four old SEO strategies that still work today.

Keyword ranking

Some people may disagree, but the fact is ranking on the first two pages in a search has a big impact on your business. You have to keep track of your rank to see if you are still in the race. However, you also need to make sure you are ranking because the people that do click on your site find what they need.

A couple of years ago, page one results (collectively, not just the top 1) garnered 71.33% click-through rate for a single keyword search. Users are becoming smarter, though, as a 2017 study shows. Results indicate that people are clicking through to sites at the top of the second page more than the bottom of the first page, which means they realize that the page one results are not always the best results.

We have all experienced this at some point. You search for something on Google and click on a top ranking site, only to realize it is not what you were looking for at all. Users have thus learned to be more specific with their keyword search, and look deeper for organic results.

Still, most people do not go past the second page.

Takeaway: Pay attention to keywords that give you high rankings, but make sure you can deliver the goods when people do click through.

Social bookmarking

There was a time when social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon were the favorites of digital marketers because it was much easier to rank there than on a regular search engine. By saving your links in these sites with the right tags, you stand a good chance of coming to the notice of users. While it is no longer popular today as a way to drive traffic to your site, it is still a good strategy for added exposure, especially for niche markets.

Search engines regularly crawl social bookmarking sites, so if you have a bunch of tags in relevant categories, chances are you will get indexed for relevant keywords. You have to be careful about where you put your bookmarks, though. Most are niche-specific, so you should only bookmark in sites related to your categories. Some good sites for social bookmarking are Pinterest, Digg, and Reddit.

Note that you should still go for organic searches. Populate your account with only 20% bookmarks to your sites, and the remaining to other relevant links. This will help increase your credibility and boost your online presence in your niche.

Directory listings

A hybrid of link building and social bookmarking, directory listings work much like Yellow Pages used to back in the day. You could list your site in as many directories ad you liked regardless of industry or location without consequences. However, online searches today are a lot different. Search engines will penalize you if you list in directories that are not specific to your location or industry.

However, if you follow the rules and standards for building links, directory listings are a great way for people to find you. You only have to make sure that the directory is reputable (Yelp, Zomato), maintained by humans, and relevant to your location and service. You should also keep your contact information consistent across directories. It makes your business look reputable and professional.

Takeaway: List your business site on a few, highly relevant and reputable directories that serve your service locations.

Blog commenting

An old link-building strategy still used today is commenting on blog entries and forums with the aim of inserting links. This is actually okay if your comments are helpful and informative, and your link adds value to the user. However, if the links are there solely for acquiring more backlinks, then this strategy may backfire badly if search engines detect this nefarious purpose.

You can use forum and blog commenting effectively as an SEO strategy provided you do so to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field. Try to limit participation to two or three forums, and be very active in them. It is a great way to build your online reputation and, yes, get more backlinks in the process. Some good sites for general questions are Quora and Yahoo Answers, but aim you can also aim for industry-specific forums first.

Takeaway: Use blogs and forums to help others and grow your online reputation as an expert in your field, not solely to acquire more backlinks.

Summary

Search engine optimization is just as important today as it was before the Penguin. The only difference is the purpose behind using a particular strategy. If you have the human user in mind and not just search engine ranking, then even old SEO strategies will still work today.

 

**About the Author: Laura Buckler can do more than write quality content – she can also turn a good SEO article into a terrific marketing strategy. Known for her ability to give a wide international audience to various companies’ sites, Laura is also a very famous marketing expert. Follow her on twitter.