Are you actively trying to build the visibility of your website using Search Engine Optimization strategies? Warning: If organic ranking (SERP) is what you want to improve – read this post. There are outdated SEO tactics you really should avoid.
For many new website owners and marketers learning about SEO, the number one, most obvious place to search out learning material is online. However, a quick search on ‘SEO strategies to apply’ will present you with both recent and outdated answers. The scary thing about outdated SEO tactics is that not only are they ineffective, but they could also cause permanent harm to your website rankings. Because of this, Google and SEO experts warn users from applying outdated and banned tactics, when building their website’s visibility.
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We’ve compiled a list of outdated SEO tactics that were once very popular but will be harmful to your site if applied today. It is important that you avoid doing any of these, whether knowingly or not. As they say in the legal field, negligence is no defence.
7 Outdated SEO Tactics You Should Avoid
1. Keyword stuffing
There was a time when search engines equated keyword density to the relevance of an article. That’s saying that if an article had a particular keyword in almost every line, the search engine will interpret it as very relevant, and rank it high in search results using that keyword. During that time, a common practice was stuffing articles with the target keyword, even in places where the word was not needed, for better ranking.
This tactic doesn’t work anymore, and your website can be penalized if and when discovered by Google.
2. Link directories and paid links
Link directories were a helpful way of categorizing websites, so people looking for a type of content/websites in a niche could find them easily. However, marketers quickly turned them into a way of getting fast cheap links to their websites. They also applied tricks like using spinning software to rewrite their articles, and submit them to several websites for links.
Link directories slowly became places where you would find only dishonest links, taking you to content that will most likely prove useless. Because website owners were using their websites as an easy source of income by creating these dishonest directories, Google actively penalizes websites that do this.
With how powerful search engines are present, link directories are of little to no use.
3. Separate but interlinked domains
Using this tactic, marketers would decide to create microsites. Such sites all focused on the same type of content, but with more targeted domain names, for better ranking.
For example, one person could own cookstoves.com, woodcookstoves.com and electricstoves.com. The advantage of doing this is that each website can grow quickly in rankings because of how targeted they are. The disadvantage is that very little effort will be invested in their growth compared to what they will get if all efforts were combined and invested in just one website. Each website will get one-third of what it actually needs and even with better targeting, may never grow to be an authority website.
4. Writing for bots – focusing on keywords, not UX
It is easy to tell when a writer is writing for search engine bots, instead of actual readers who are looking for useful information. There is a clear effort to fix keywords in all the possible spaces, even when they are not needed, and repeat longer keywords or phrases, that it becomes too obvious. Writers who do this are not focused on engaging their readers, but engaging bots that will boost their rankings.
Ironically, Google is now, more than ever, focused on providing readers with the best search results for their query. The actual content, not keywords, are being scrutinized to provide the best experience for users.
5. Automated link building
In their bid to create backlinks for their website, marketers began to insert their links into any related website possible. These include blogs, forums and website directories. They also used article spinning software to create several variations of the same article, publish them, and submit the links to different article directories. They did this with the help of automated software to increase the number of submissions they could achieve.
This technique is a big violation of Google Webmaster’s guidelines. Link building is an important SEO tactic that should be done using respectable and honest methods. It is not possible to automate a high-quality link building process.
6. Long-form articles with low quality
High quantity content is not a substitute for low-quality content. Regardless of the length of an article, it will not rank high in search results if the content is poor. Long-form articles are recommended for better ranking, but they still have to contain useful referable information. The length of an article will only work to your advantage when it is made up of information that resonates with your audience. Articles should be conversational, using natural-sounding language that is easy to understand, especially when the content is lengthy.
Your website should also be updated regularly with new, and engaging content. Don’t commission articles once in a while and proceed to dump them all at once on your website. If possible, have a publishing schedule to grow consistency in readership.
7. Single page stuffed websites with difficult navigation
Website design does a lot more than please your visitors aesthetically. Long gone are the days when the homepage of your website had to have everything possible stuffed into it. Doing this has two major effects; it clutters the page and slows down loading time. When a page is cluttered, it’s harder for a user to focus on anything for too long, directly affecting your conversion strategies. Cluttered pages also cause slow page response which can affect page ranking, and cause a reduction in conversion.
What other outdated SEO tactics do you know of, that might be costing website owners poor ranking results? Share with us and other readers in the comment section below.
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