Everyone who has some experience with SEO knows this strategy evolves regularly. Google changes its algorithm at least 500 to 600 times a year. In addition to that, the company rolls out a few major updates every year.
Search engines and SEO are directly and deeply connected. Naturally, all changes to the algorithm impact SEO. This means that some strategies that used to work before the changes were made no longer do.
You should stop wasting your time on obsolete techniques and focus your resources on SEO techniques that work today. We’ve mentioned some of the most out-of-date and useless SEO tactics below.
1. Using Over-Optimized Anchors for Links
Most people don’t even realize that this type of link building is outdated. In fact, Google considers them unnatural and doesn’t think they add much value to the user experience.
When you link an exact match keyword with content, the link is considered over-optimized and created solely for backlink spam. When your anchor phrase isn’t an exact match keyword but an introduction to what you might find in the link, it is considered valid.
Here’s a look at the right and the wrong way to do links:
- Wrong Way – If you want to rank for best SEO services and use “Clients need best SEO services to stay ahead of the competition.” This is considered spam as the link provides very little value.
- Right Way – If you’re writing an article about SEO and mention information like “Google is the most popular search engine and receives around 79% of global desktop search traffic.This link provides information and contributes meaningfully to the user experience.
If you use the wrong method, stop immediately and conduct a thorough audit of your link profile. Remove all over-optimized links before they have a chance to compromise your rankings.
2. Focus on The Number of Links
This is one of the most common mistakes inexperienced marketers and business owners make. They focus on getting as many links as possible instead of thinking about the quality of the links. This causes more harm than good, especially if source links from dubious places.
Getting links from link farms or buying links online are black hat techniques. Google has expressly forbidden any link scheme that might artificially manipulate the page ranking.
That’s why it is important to focus on the quality of the links instead of the quantity. Getting good quality links can be a little time consuming and requires effort. You need to reach out to high-authority websites and ask them to consider your content.
However, the effort is worth it because backlinks from trustworthy websites have a significant impact on SEO.
3. Traditional Keywords Stuffing and Related Techniques
Keywords are still a very important part of SEO. They are anchors that draw the engine’s attention. However, things have changed a little since Google introduced machine learning and AI. Search has become intent-based. It doesn’t just find content that contains search keywords, it now considers the user’s intent behind the query.
This means you won’t rank high on SERPs regardless of how many keywords you add unless your content matches the intent of the search user.
Keyword stuffing is a black hat technique. Google’s Panda and Hummingbird algorithms can sniff out all content with keyword stuffing and implement penalties. Your content is at risk if the keywords don’t really match the content.
For example, if you’re writing content for a travel website and mention an unrelated keyword like a celebrity’s name several times, you might get into trouble. Similarly, including dozens of keywords that disrupt the flow of the content can lead to penalties as well.
Instead of function on traditional keywords and related strategies, focus on intent-based search. Use long-tail keywords that mention the location and are specific. Make sure your keywords work well with voice search. Include question phrases and casual language for best results.
4. Page Per Keyword
This is another SEO strategy that’s not just obsolete, but can also affect your ranking. Many marketers used to create a list of related keywords and then create a page for every single keyword.
For example, they would take keywords like “experienced lawyer,” “cheap lawyer,” “affordable lawyer,” and “qualified lawyer,”etc, and create content on every keyword.
This works when it is executed correctly and used in only in blog or content marketing posts. However, it doesn’t work if you use this tactic in your primary website as service pages.
Such a strategy confuses users and hampers their experience. Google has upgraded its algorithm and knows how to spot these pages.
Instead of creating different pages for similar keywords, focus on what your customers will really want. Consider common questions or concerns, and create content based on them. This will not only help your website rank higher but will also help you earn your customer’s trust.
5. Guest Blogging to Gain Links
Guest blogging for the sole purpose of gaining links gets a strict no from Google. The search engine giant isn’t completely against guest blogging, especially if it is done correctly.
Guest blogging should involve publishing relevant content on trustworthy websites in your own industry. For example, a marketer might publish content on marketing on websites like Entrepreneur, Inc, Adweek, or Forbes. This means they are targeting the right audience and providing a good user experience.
This form is guest posting focuses on building authority and brand. It also focuses on educating the target audience and sharing knowledge.
The wrong type of guest posting involves posting content on a platform that isn’t connected to your industry and doesn’t provide any value to a user.
For example, if you’re an interior designer, you have very little reason to guest post on a dentistry website. This is the kind of posting that Google frowns upon and will take action against.
These are old, obsolete techniques that are only a waste of time and effort. Instead of using them in your marketing strategy, focus on finding new techniques and strategies that work in the current environment.
Derek Luise is working as a Jr. content writer and blogger with Ranking By SEO. He can be seen blogging about digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, etc.