As any SEO (or inbound marketer as it is being called these days) will tell you, the game has changed. The old tricks for ranking well are no longer valid. Up to around the year 2010, a typical SEO strategy for a new website consisted of no more than the following simple steps:
- Get an exact-match keyword domain name
- Create as many over-optimized pages as possible, stuffing them with keywords, italics and bold
- Buy thousands of linkbacks from link farm services
- Sit back and enjoy the instant success
Needless to say, those days are long gone. In today's world a fledging website must put together many aspects of design, content, marketing and optimization into one neat and highly polished package to even be eligible for success. Existing authoritative websites can be a bit more relaxed due to the huge amount of backlinks they tend to have accumulated over the years. That said, the continuing updates to Google and its algorithms mean any website can be a candidate for a penalty at any time. In the past years there is one type of website that has been particularly hard-hit by Google updates: online directories.