4 Outdated SEO Tactics You Should Stop Using

04 Mar 2019

By Jodie Palmer

You may not realise it, but many of us still use outdated SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques thinking that they have a positive impact on our website’s rankings. Search engines have changed the way they rank websites.

Some of the tactics that were effective for your company ten or even five years ago just won’t be as effective as they used to be or in some cases can be detrimental to your websites ranking and your brand.

There are lots of old techniques out there that need to be replaced and retired; we’ve listed four below to get you started.

KEYWORD STUFFING

This has got to be one of the most extensively used tactics in the SEO industry.

Ever seen a webpage that reads like this:

“John’s bargain Luton landscaper is the go-to bargain Luton landscaper for all of your landscaping needs. Get in touch with a bargain Luton landscaper today.”

This is what is known as “keyword stuffing”. Adding dozens of keywords, especially the same high-value keywords into your content in the hope of search engines picking up on this and placing your website higher in the search and ultimately outranking the competition. Unfortunately, all this results in is a lot of unnatural sounding text that is irritating for the reader, the risk of losing rankings and the possibility of your website being penalised. As algorithms have evolved, search engines are now savvy on keyword stuffing and treat it as a method for manipulating search results.

Instead, use your keywords intelligently and with usability in mind. When creating content, concentrate on what matters to your audience and not how many times you can fit a certain keyword or phrase into it. If you do this, you’ll probably find that you naturally optimise for keywords anyway.

EXACT AND PARTIAL KEYWORD MATCH DOMAIN NAMES

It’s easy to think that having a domain name which is an exact or partial match to the keywords you are ranking for will result in your website ranking higher in SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages).

For example:

·         handmadetiles.com

·         uniquetiles.co.uk

·         kitchenandbathroomtiles.net

 

In fact, this used to be true. Google would value exact-match domains and websites were able to move up the search rankings very quickly. However, in 2012 Google adjusted its algorithm which caused the influence of EMDs (Exact-Match Domains) to drop dramatically. EMDs now have exactly the same chances of ranking high or low in SERP’s as all other domain names and in some cases, they have a greater chance of being picked up by algorithms for manual reviews.

Instead, keep your domain name consistent with your brand. EMDs don’t sound like real brands, they aren’t going to stick in the memory of your audience and people aren’t going to have positive associations with them. Building a brand is about building trust and credibility, the more trustworthy your website and domain look, the more likely it is that you will gain traffic and rank higher.

You want to make it easy to increase your brands exposure and that includes having a domain that is brandable too.

OUTDATED LINK BUILDING TACTICS

As revealed in 2016, backlinks are one of the top three ranking signals in Google’s search algorithm. However, there are many outdated and often considered shady link building tactics that are still being used to this day. These old link building strategies are penalised by search engines.

Using these outdated techniques is risky stuff and the results are shorted lived, therefore we highly recommend staying away from them.

What are these outdated link building tactics?

·         Buying Links – Once upon a time, lots of people were paying to get high volumes of links pointing to their site. However, paying for links has been a violation of Google’s guidelines for a while. If you want to increase the authority and visibility of your website honestly, then you need to earn links, not pay someone for them.

·         Link Exchanges – Exchanging links to get as many as possible regardless of if they are relevant or valid.

·         Spam Blog Commenting – Leaving a comment with a link back to your own website on other people’s blogs.

·          Link Directories – A large number of pay-for-placement web directories exist, many are automated sites designed to make money and not to help people connect with the relevant content.

OBSESSING ABOUT KEYWORD PLACEMENT

This isn’t to say that you don’t need to bother about your keyword placement. You should still make sure that you target the most important elements with your keywords; this includes the page title, headline (specifically the H1 tag), the body text and the URL. It just means that there is no need to spend excessive amounts of time and energy over every little detail.

Instead, replace obsessing over keyword placement with taking the time to identify and use related keywords and topics. Google cares more about whether your content can solve the searchers problem. Make sure that your content uses the words and phrases that search engines know the searcher will associate with your topic.

A good example of this is if you were trying to rank for “Quaint London Boroughs” and your page doesn’t include the words Hampstead, Notting Hill and Richmond. Not including these makes your chances of ranking much lower even if you get your keyword placement perfect.