Of course, every website owner with even a passing interest in search engine optimization has had the word “blog” pounded into them until they can’t take it anymore and started a blog. Now, when blogs were first starting up yonder ’bout a decade ago, these tropes were excusable. but now, many of the things that people were doing with them are now tired cliches. Check your blog to see if it’s suffering from any of those symptoms – if so, it might be time for a scraping!

1. Replying to every comment.
You are right that sometimes you want to engage your public. Appending more of your bright, witty banter to the tail of a good, solid gem of linkbait is the sensible thing, especially while you’re soaking up all this adoration. But when you’re responding to every single comment, even if it’s only as brief as “hey thanks!”, you’re saying two things: (1) You have nothing to do. You’re not that busy. Your whole life is this blog. (2) Your ego is so starved that you’re gobbling up every crumb of attention as if it were the last human interaction you’d ever get.

2. Echo! Echo! Echo!
Too many blogs do this. They take the top story of the day and repeat it, with a link and a couple lines of commentary. Remember the “Balloon Boy?” No? Good, this means you have a life. But the day that the Balloon Boy dominated every screen of every TV news channel for 36 hours before everybody got sick and tired of it is commemorated forever in your blog, post #147, a one-paragraph link that contributes nothing and nobody reads. Or searches for it.

3. I’m sorry for not blogging.
Wow, it’s been so long since you updated that when your site popped up in our RSS aggregators, we had to puzzle a moment to remember who you were. Oh, yeah, that site! Oh, so you just brought us back to tell us how sorry you are for not having anything to say. Well, rest assured that your link is now deleted from our browser so you don’t have to worry about letting us down again.

4. The tag stew.
They’re called ‘tag clouds’, and for a while they looked like they’d be the fad that never went away. But over time, tag clouds have shown their failing: they tend to have two, maybe three really big tags standing out like a brass gong in church, and the rest are all the same-size tiny text links. What’s the chef specialty of the day? SEO BLOGGING on a bed of rice.

5. The Blogroll That Links To The Entire Internet.
We know, you love your friends. And your sidebar gives a shout-out to your homies. And you make mates really, really easily. In fact, you’re such a link slut that you don’t even read most of these yourself any more. If you go clicking through your blogroll and find more than five dead sites, just consider scrapping the whole thing.

6. The image that makes no sense.
Somewhere, somehow, a certain demographic of bloggers came along at exactly the right time in history to get it ingrained into their head that they must have an image in every blog post. It’s in Leviticus somewhere. Even if they make no sense. That text looks so lonely by itself, let’s add this cute rubber duckie to spice up our rant about subway fare hires. Oh, stock images! Accompany a post about SEO scoring algorithms with this wildly smiling woman skipping through a field, apparently wafted to blissful nirvana by it all. And what does this set of stairs have to do with your website management post? You could at least toss in a stair metaphor.

7. The calendar gizmo.
Can we be frank? Calendar gizmos all look ugly and blocky. In addition, nobody uses them. Seriously, put a Javascript redirect in there to log a hit every time somebody clicks the calendar gizmo. You’ll get the occasional hit from a confused indexing spider, and that’s it.