Despite the evolution of search engines and the internet, outdated and bad SEO tactics still proliferate. And the worst part is they continue to wreak havoc to webpages, search rankings, traffic, and conversions because website owners themselves have no idea they no longer work. There are good SEO tactics that work, and then there are bad SEO tactics that should be avoided at all costs. In this post, we’re going to discuss the need to abandon those bad SEO tactics, and why?
The field of search engine optimization has gone through so many changes and keeps evolving so fast that it’s hard to keep track. As a consequence, things that used to net you a good chance of landing on the first page of Google no longer do so. You might not even be aware that what you are doing is actually hurting your site more than helping. Here are a list of outdated SEO techniques that are either completely ineffective or will actually cause search engines to punish you. Not only will you learn what they are but also what you should be doing instead.
1) Focusing on Keywords Over User Engagement
Keywords might be the most important part of SEO. They show search engines what your content is about so that you can be ranked for the right search terms. It’s why there is keyword research and on-page SEO. Because of their importance, it might makes sense that some people try to stick as many keywords in the title of their page or meta description as possible. After all, it means they’re targeting several keywords at the same time, right?
While that might seem like sound logic, there’s also something else it does – Makes your site look way too sketchy. No person who has an email address and has any experience with spam messages will ever click on this kind of page. And that is a big problem. The reason for that is that how users interact with your site is getting increasingly important in SEO. Google is making a big push toward tracking user engagement and employing that information for ranking pages. That’s pretty much what Google RankBrain is all about that, which has become the third most important ranking factor. As a consequence, even if by some miracle you end up on the first page of Google, your lack of user engagement will erode your standing over time. So, this definitely is one of the SEO tactics that no longer works.
2) Exact-Match Domains
One bad SEO tactic that needs to go is the usage of Exact-Match Domains (EMD). Exact-match domains are when you include an exact key phrase you are trying to target within your domain name. This can be something like: “bestpizzainkoramangala.com” or “cheaphealthinsuranceforcitizens.co.in” or “bestdogfood.in”. This used to be a popular technique to rise quickly in the SERPs as it allowed you to rank more easily than with a normal, branded domain. It was also a great way to create a network of microsites targeting exact phrases.
However, the times when this worked are long gone. In fact, in 2012 Google announced an algorithm update targeting exactly those types of websites and demoting them in the search rankings. That is not to say that exact-match domains don’t work at all anymore. However, just as going all keyword crazy in your page titles, with this practice the risk to be considered spammy and untrustworthy is much higher. That, in turn, means less people will click on your site and visit it. We have already settled why that is problematic for your search rankings.
3) Developing Only Short, Thin, Non-Comprehensive Content
Short content has its place. Not so much in SEO. Based on several studies, the most-shared and the highest-ranked content is long-form (1,900-3,000 words). BuzzSumo analyzed more than 100 million articles. The most-shared posts were long-form. Backlinko studied 1 million blogs, and found 1,900-2,000-word posts at the top of Google.
4) Posting Content Erratically Instead of on Schedule
If you post content consistently, you’ll feed Google, your website, and build your email list. HubSpot looked at blogging frequency data from over 13,500 marketers and agencies. Those who blogged 16+ times per month earned the most traffic and the most leads. Post consistently and regularly to build up your content library – but, make sure not to lose quality in the process.
5) Prioritizing Quantity Before Quality
Google cares about quality content, in a big way. Poorly-written, crappy content does NOT contribute to high rankings and is a bad SEO tactic. According to Google Quality Rater Guidelines, Google says that pages with the highest quality achieve an intended purpose and demonstrate a high level of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). Focus on Creating Better Content. Create content that is much better than the results that already exist in the top five results on page 1 of Google for your keyword/term.
6) Publishing duplicate content
The content that you produce needs to be as original as possible. There are many plagiarism checking tools The ideal match of your content should be 0%. According to an SEMrush study of over 100,000 websites, one of the most common on-page SEO errors is duplicate content. This bad SEO tactic is a rookie mistake and should be avoided at all cost. Fresh content is rated more highly on Google.
7) Buying Links
This is an old and outdated SEO practice. Buying links is expressly forbidden and penalized by Google nowadays. Google views each link to your site essentially as a “vote of confidence”. If you buy links, Google equates that to vote rigging. In Google’s Webmaster forum, Google says that buying or selling links may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
By now, the most important SEO technique is this: Create a user-friendly website with content that creates value for your visitors. If you can do this, search engines will take notice and reward you for your efforts. Of course, there is a lot that goes into this but in essence, that’s what it comes down to. Now that you know of these above bad SEO tactics to avoid, you’re better equipped to rank well. Hope you make the most of it