The search engine optimization (SEO) industry is evolving at a fast and continuous pace.
You’d be surprised at the number of techniques “experts” used just a couple of years ago that are entirely ineffective now! Advances in artificial intelligence (and Google’s algorithms) make it easier than ever for bots to identify genuinely valuable information as opposed to content developed to cater to the search engines. You must change your strategies to keep up.
Gaining new knowledge is one of the best ways to stay ahead, but sometimes it’s what you’re still doing is the real problem. Avoid these old school hacks at all costs. If you haven’t stopped using such techniques, they could be leading you down a perilous path.
In this article, we have listed some obsolete and old school SEO techniques that have either become irrelevant or would not give you the best results.
There was a time when one could submit article directories. Article directories can be understood as a short bio with a backlink. So whoever picks the article for republishing has to add the same bio and the link on their website too.
However, after a certain period, Google started recognizing article directories as link farms that contained low-quality content. Google even rolled out the Panda update, which contained algorithms to stop valuing such backlinks altogether. Hence, it is advisable not to waste time on them.
Article spinning is a tactic that can be used for creating a huge amount of low-quality content. It is typically done using software and does not require hiring people to write or rewrite the articles.
A content or article spinning software can rewrite a single content piece at a time in multiple ways, which helps in creating an infinite number of new articles. Although all of these pieces contain the same content, they have slight variations in the writing style.
Since the content is put together by software, it might not always read well or make sense. A general rule is to avoid using article spinning software to create content.
Keyword misuse can include irrelevant keyword targeting, keyword stuffing, as well as writing content for a specific keyword density. These can be understood in detail below:
In many cases, it so happens that a marketer does not keep the users in mind while ranking for high-volume keywords. They mostly pay attention to how to rank higher on search engines. This way, marketers tend to lose the reader’s attention.
Google improves the ranking of a website only if the right message is being communicated to the readers. High-volume keywords can enhance content visibility only if it is ranking higher in search engines.
Since SEO is all about keywords, keyword stuffing is on such an old school SEO technique that is used to rank high on search engines. Marketers tend to add high search-volume keywords in a website, wherever it is possible.
However, now this technique has become old and ineffective as search engines have started preferring natural text combination. Having high-quality content, along with the target keywords, would make your website rank higher, rather than just stuffing keywords randomly.
The density of the keywords also used to play an important role in ranking a website higher on search engines. However, now Google does not depend on keyword density.
Google keeps a check on whether the web pages are effective in addressing the problems of the search users. Content quality and the quality of the message being conveyed are some of the important factors for SEO.
Low-Level Guest Blogging
Guest blogging used to be about finding high-ranking websites that had a page rank (PR) and a high domain authority (DA). Bloggers used to do anything to get a link, even if it meant deviating from the actual topic of the website.
Website owners particularly loved this SEO technique as it did not cost them anything. However, the strategy might not always make sense.
Although there is value in guest blogging, the major point to be noted is that you should put a topic that is related to your niche website. It is also important to provide high-quality content to the readers. You also need to ensure that the topic of the website is related to your website or blog, and the content is valuable for the readers.
Instead of finding a domain that reflected a business brand, In the past, many people used to select a keyword and then search for a domain-based the exact match of that keyword.
This used to happen not only on the web but also on social media platforms, such as Facebook. Such keyword-based domains tend to defeat the purpose of creating a business brand as such domains are considered to be spammy. Rather, Facebook has specifically banned the use of keywords for naming pages.
Keyword-based domains also tend to do poorly with content marketing, link earning as well as guest posting. This is because such domains do not appear trustworthy and credible.
Using such domains can even draw clicks away from your website and push your readers towards the competitors who appear more branded and competent. For these reasons, keyword-based domains act more like a barrier.
Use of Anchor Text
The use of anchor text, especially in the internal links, used to be a technique that used to have a positive impact on the SEO ranking of your landing page.
However, in the past few years, it has been observed that Google is giving less importance to this and has even penalized the websites where such anchor text appears spammy, manipulative, or inappropriate.
In case the internal link is in the navigation, footer, sidebar, or the content, and it is well-written, relevant, and has high usability, your anchor text is pretty safe.
However, if the internal link has low usability or does not appropriate, it makes your website sketchy. Google might even penalize you in such a scenario.
Having too many Pages for a Website
An old school SEO expert might suggest that you need several different pages on a website for ranking each keyword separately. This means that you would end up with a different web for every keyword, even if they are closely related.
With this technique, the overall content ends up being weak as it is not geared towards the users but rather on the keyword.
Google can easily detect if your content is keyword-based and whether it is serving the user’s intent or not. It can even penalize you if your content revolves around the same keyword.
Having multiple web pages that cling to a particular keyword can also impact user experience negatively. It is thus important to create content that is user-centric rather than keyword-centric.
Although now it is considered outdated, however initially, SEO experts used to recommend adding the target keywords into the meta tags and meta descriptions. It was considered that the bots would crawl the meta description, and rank the web page based on this small information.
As a result, the meta descriptions that the users saw in the search results were more of a keyword-stuffed garble, which made little or no sense.
Google now has an official stand that meta descriptions do not affect page rankings, though that might not be 100 percent true either. While the actual text of the meta descriptions may not impact the rankings, Google takes into consideration the number of people who click on your web page.
If the meta description causes a user to click on your link, it indirectly supports your SEO efforts and enhances the overall ranking of your web page.
Quantity Over Quality
It does not make sense to add pages to your website if the quality of content is not good. These days, high-quality content is the key to rank high on search engines.
You should stop churning out article after article if you do not have anything meaningful to say with each one of them. Readers want to dig deep and gain value from the content that you create.
A good way to ensure this is to shake up the content type. Offer long-form video, text, infographics, as well as other visuals to your audience. You should also stop writing short articles or 300-word missives that outline an idea but do not give any real and actionable information.
Unfocused and Non-Strategic “linkbait”
Catchy titles on one website that leads to an unrelated or irrelevant content on another website is a big turn off for users. The main idea behind this old school SEO technique is anchored in the belief that the backlink to your website is what matters the most.
However, it is important to remember that you need to create content that gels with the link and adds value to the reader. Many search engines such as Google have started discarding such links altogether.
Engaging in Comment Spamming
SEO specialists and bloggers used to post comments on several relevant blogs to create backlinks for their websites or blogs. One could even indulge in mass posting with the help of software and spun text.
However, today this has become one of the old school SEO methods that no longer work and might even be considered spammy by search engines.
The best way to avoid being scammed is to try posting relevant blogs and of high-quality. This way, not only would you be able to attract your target audience, but would also be able to build good relationships with other community owners and blog owners.
Using Short-tail Keywords
Long keywords are gaining paramount importance in today’s digital world. One needs to use long-tail keywords to stay ahead of the competition.
According to a survey, about 70% of Google searches are made up of long-tail keywords. Thus, you should forget about short keywords and phrases. Long-tail keywords also tend to have less competition, a higher purchase intent as well as a higher conversion rate.
Neglecting Mobile Optimization
With the introduction of Google’s mobile-first index, the digital world has started moving to smartphones and tablets. High-speed internet, as well as the introduction of 5G, has also contributed to the mobile-first approach.
A mobile website which has a low page load speed would not have a good user experience. It can also hurt the search engine ranking of a website. Since about 50% of Google searches are done on mobile, the page load time on mobiles has gained paramount importance.
Mobile SEO is an important practice wherein you can optimize your website for smartphone and tablet users across the globe.
Since the number of mobile users is increasing with time, it is important to ensure that you optimize your website for mobile SEO. Work on it to ensure that a user can search for the required information on your website easily and quickly.
Not Including Images
For a long period, it is used to be fine to neglect images on your website and still rank higher on search engines. Website owners and marketers did not use to use alt text or image files to boost the page relevance.
However, with the growing importance of on-page SEO, not including these would prevent your website from ranking higher on search engines.
Since search engines cannot see or read the images on a website, it is important to give an alt text to the mage along with a relevant file name so that the search engine knows what the image is all about. If you do not create text, you lose a huge opportunity to be visible on the search engine results page.
With the continuous changes and updates in SEO, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest developments in the industry. It can turn out to be a huge problem if you are using old SEO techniques for your website. Above, we have listed the old school or outdated SEO techniques that you should avoid remaining at the top of the game.