Popular SEO tips and tricks on the web: how good are they?

Updated: November 2020

In this post, I analyze SEO tips that we often read on the web. I have colored good advice in green, bad in red and so-so in orange. After each tip, I've given my views in italics.

seo tips for bloggers
  • Give the blog a nice, specific name. Give it a good description. 
Sure. Relevant and memorable name along with a description that amplifies its identity are good SEO practices.
  • Have the blog on your own platform, not Wordpress or Blogger. 
Not necessarily. If you are a new blogger, you may like to mature your craft on these excellent platforms before going for an independent platform. However, I strongly recommend giving your blog an identity even if you are on free platforms.
  • Blog frequently. 
Yes; but a quality post once a week is better than copy-paste content seven days a week.
  • Comment on others’ blogs. 
Yes, but only if you feel like. Make your comments thoughtful. Just ‘Liked your post’ or ‘You look lovely’ look like spam. Scratching each other's backs often does not add value to the communication.
  • Write articles for e-zines and give your blog address there.
Do this only if you are itching to write a score of articles on the subject you know and have no better platform to publish them. Some search engines are reported to frown upon e-zines.
  • Write for blogs and websites that give a weekly or monthly challenge – and publish them on your blog. 
Fine only if it helps in honing your skills and inculcates discipline in you. Even then, write good stuff exclusively for your own blog.
  • Tell your friends and relatives about your blog. 
You must, if you want it to be popular. Why not ask them for their frank opinion on the quality of writing etc?
  • Email and use other methods of informing people that you wrote a new post. 
Yes, but don’t pester them.
  • Ping your posts to pinging services. 
Yes if you have a new blog; later on, it might turn out counter-productive as automated submissions are taken as spam by some directories.
  • Be present on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter and announce your blog and updates there. 
Why not? Blogs and social networking sites complement each other well.
  • Conclude the post by posing a question. Don’t write a full post but leave something for the imagination. 
Be natural.
  • Give sub-headings; have images and give them good attributes; put many keywords in the top portion of a post...
There are many small points relating to showing up relevant keywords about your blog to search engines. You should use them but these should not come at the cost of natural flair of the writing. Don't stuff keywords. 
  • Provide many links to your own other posts and pages. Go for 'nofollow' for external links.
 Linking to your related content should be done so that visitors get to visit that, not just for SEO. External links to good sites should also be done with visitors in mind. rel="nofollow" is an attribute associated with a link. When you write this text after a link in the HTML, the link is not associated with your site. Don't bother about it. Just take care not to give a link to 'bad' websites / blogs.
  •  Use good 'anchor' text while giving a link.
Very good point. The words that link to internal or external content should be relevant and should make sense to the reader. We'll talk more about it in the third post in this series.
  • Put lots of social media links on the blog. 
Not ‘lots of’.
  • Submit your blog to blog directories. 
Yes, to quality directories only. These days, we don't see many of them. 
  • Submit your posts to social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon. 
Yes.
  • Join forums on the subject of your blog. 
Yes, if you have genuine inclination and time.
  • Have your blog on a blogging community. 
You can have your blog in such a community. It gives you lots of visitors. But then you are tied down to it. 
  • Use link-farms – sites that get you links and visitors if you visit them and promote other blogs. It is a fast way to get backlinks and drive traffic.
Avoid them.
  • Place advertisements on sites guaranteeing promotion. 
Bloggers have often been fooled with such guarantees. Check facts if you itch to do so.
  • Have a poll. Give away ebooks. Have pop-ups that suggest people to follow you. 
Avoid pop-ups or other irritating gimmicks. If you put pop-ups, make them unobtrusive and simple. If you can offer something genuinely, offer that. If you want people to buy something, ask them straight [of course, you should apply genuine promotional tricks-of-the-trade] and not leave them feeling cheated.
  • Give tips, and title them in numbers and hyperboles such as '5 apps that make you rich overnight'. 
Give tips only if you are an expert. Too much and repeated exaggeration and false promises hurt badly in the long run: you can't fool all the people all the time.
  • You cannot succeed without using SEO a lot.  
Go for genuine,  ethical, SEO. Don't be obsessed with it. Don't fall for blackhat SEO.  
  • Engage an SEO expert if you want to succeed as a blogger.
That depends on your goal. Genuine SEO definitely makes the blog popular and attracts target-audience to the blog. Beware of fake SEO experts.
  • Have quality content; keep the visitor uppermost in your mind.
I have placed it last, but it is the most important advice that one can give to a blogger.