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SEO Fads that Never Worked - Way Back Wednesday #7

Adrian Bredeson
by Adrian Bredeson on Jul 27, 2011 9:33:00 AM


E-Power Marketing has seen numerous SEO fads come and go since we started in 1998. Here are three SEO tactics that do not work, yet there are still search marketing agencies selling them.


These are small Websites designed to gain organic search visibility. They then shepherd the visitor to the main Website thus requiring users to make extra clicks and lowering the potential for success.

Microsites struggle to gain search visibility because they use new domains without link popularity, thus requiring a long wait before they achieve any organic search visibility. Small new microsites of 5, 20 or even 50 pages will not gain high organic search positions. The small microsites lack the critical mass of content needed for organic search visibility.

It is more effective to add search optimized Web pages to the existing Website than starting a new Website.

PageRank Sculpting

Another SEO fad that garnered significant attention is PageRank Sculpting. You can find many how-to books and expert tutorials on this time consuming and useless strategy.

PageRank is a Google metric weighing the relevancy, quality and number of links pointing to a Web page. PageRank Sculpting theorizes that you can optimize the flow of "link juice" to your most important Web pages by placing NOFOLLOW tags on your least important pages so that search engines do not index them.

PageRank Sculpting is extremely time consuming because you have to tag all the links to pages that you want blocked from search engines on every page where the links appear.

Despite all the costly PageRank Sculpting, there is no evidence that all that time created any better search positions. The reason is that a Website's navigation and architecture hierarchy tells search engines which pages are important, and conversely which pages have the least importance. Instead of coding thousands of NOFOLLOW tags, structure your navigation and hierarchy with the most important pages first, then the least important pages last. You will end up with a Website that has stronger usability as well as search visibility.


Search optimizers would target misspellings of valuable phrases. The number of searches for misspellings was a fraction of the correct spellings. Even though targeting misspellings resulted in top search positions because of low competition, the amount of traffic generated was miniscule.

Today this practice is next to worthless. In recent years search engines have corrected spelling of search phrases. This has made the number of misspelled searches approach zero.

Do you know of other SEO fads that you want to discuss? Have you had experiences with these SEO tactics? We'd love to discuss them.

Follow the @EPowerMarketing Twitter account and use the #WayBackSEM hashtag to get in on the discussion!

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Adrian Bredeson
Written by Adrian Bredeson
As Director, SEO and Social Media at E-Power Marketing, Adrian is primarily focused on the organic success of client programs through SEO, social media and content marketing. Adrian also heads up the agency's marketing initiatives. With a background in psychology and PR, her passion for telling a brand's story by understanding and engaging with their target audiences has been put to good use at E-Power!

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