1. Teaching to the (SEO) Test

    Rick Collins

    Thumbnail for article Teaching to the (SEO) Test.

    One of the criticisms of standardized testing is that it encourages schools to “teach to the test.” Rather than educating students through a well-rounded curriculum, students instead practice only the type of questions that will be on the test, learn test-taking strategies, and other short-cuts. 

    Critics argue that teaching to the test may achieve desired test scores, but can actually cause students to learn less overall. When it comes to optimizing your website, you can easily fall into the same trap.

    Over-Engineering Your Website

    Teaching to the test is a key problem when it comes to websites and SEO. These are the website owners who anxiously await the latest updates from Google's Matt Cutts or Rand Fishkin of Moz.com, and then immediately go and analyze 100+ different website analytics to ensure their search rankings won’t be impacted.

    When your site is designed for the SEO test, what happens when the test changes? Websites that are engineered around Google algorithms are the ones that have the most to worry about each time changes are made. They read the news and rush to scrub off keywords stacked at the bottom of pages, delete paid inbound links, or rewrite...

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