Using outdated SEO techniques can not only cause a complete stop in your marketing efforts – it can also damage all your efforts up to that point.
Today, we learn more about the SEO tactics that you should definitely avoid. The following ten techniques might have worked in the past, but have since been disregarded as impractical and insufficient. That is why most professional SEO companies will caution you against ever using them. So, the following ten outdated SEO techniques are the ones that can no longer meet the basic standards of SEO application. Therefore, continue to use them at your own risk and that of your business endeavors:
#1: Keyword abuse
People often have a hard time drawing the line between just the right amount of optimization and over-optimization of content. As a result, they end up abusing the keywords they want to position for. And this is not something that Google and other search engines look upon lightly. In fact, abusing keywords will easily get your page or article banned in the eyes of search engines. What does this mean in real-time?
Take this article as an example. It would be one thing to make several mentions of outdated/ineffective/traditionalist SEO techniques. Now imagine if I was to do it in every other paragraph, caption, headline, etc. Not only would the entire text be unreadable but search engine bots would most likely sanction it for abusing the keyword and its variations. And this is what we should avoid in our content optimization efforts.
#2: Automated content creation
At the beginning of SEO, providing huge amounts of content was enough to earn value from search engine algorithms. Nowadays, writing for bots will get you only so far. The content you provide needs to focus on the target audience that you want to convert into customers, and it has to be useful above all else. So, you need to make sure that each word counts. Otherwise, you are walking down the dark path of one of the most common outdated SEO techniques – automated and distant writing.
Certainly, it is important to create content that satisfies search engine standards. However, this should not be the focus of your content strategy. Instead, you need to make sure that, first and foremost, the article answers the topic and that it does so in a reader-friendly manner. So long as you put that as the primary objective while placing bots as your secondary objective, you should have no issues with avoiding outdated concepts.
#3: Article Marketing no longer does the trick
This particular tactic is still open for discussion in the opinion of a lot of SEO experts. After all, article syndication is often considered as one of the oldest forms of digital marketing. And it made sense, up until the point when Google introduced the game-changing Panda update in 2011. Once it came into play, all attempts at gaming the system through high ad-to-content ratio fell in the water.
Today, not only does the Panda update sanction articles with thin content and thick ads, but site visitors are also more likely to leave your website in such cases. This approach is making online users lose interest in your website, expertise, and therefore – your business. Hence, the notion of using your blog to bait readers into clicking on ads is definitely not worth the trouble it can potentially bring down on your site.
#4: Spinning content is top among outdated SEO techniques
Today frowned upon as one of the more popular black hat SEO techniques, spinning existing content into a new one is no longer as effective. So, if you are in the habit of recreating quality content using rephrasing and similar wording, you might as well give up. Start looking for new ways to appeal to your audience. A majority of people today are searching for new takes on frequently asked questions and obstacles. They won’t just read your article – rather, they will look at several ones to better research the topic in question.
If they were to find out that your article was just a slightly paraphrased version of an older article – they will give up interest. And even worse so, you will end up losing any credibility as an expert in your niche. Therefore, it is definitely among one of the commonly seen traditional yet ineffective SEO techniques. You need to have your opinion on the topics you write and find a way to present it to others in a manner unique to you.
#5: Buying links is a definite NO
There is a lot of importance in building a strong and quality backlinks strategy. After all, it is an essential part of any SEO development plan. However, there are certain lines that you just shouldn’t cross, buying links being one of them.
Like most SEO tactics, if it seems shady, you probably shouldn’t do it.
Buying links is no different.
Once upon a time, it was routine practice to quickly pay to get a high volume of links pointing at your site.
Now we now that backlink profiles need to be maintained and optimized just like the websites we oversee, and low-quality domains with far too many backlinks pointing to a website may be dangerous to a website’s health.
Google can easily identify low-quality sites, and it will also identify when those sites are sending an abundance of links out that they shouldn’t be.
Today if you want to legitimately help boost the authority and visibility of your website, you need to earn links, not pay someone to build them manually.
So, rather than turning to the once-popular practice of cashing out piles of money for overnight backlinks from low-quality domains, you now need actually to earn links towards your website. Why? Because Google can easily identify low-quality sites that give an abundance of links to your site for no reason whatsoever. This is what one might define as your typical red flag for spam and potential ban.
Avoid this popular notion among outdated SEO techniques by creating an outreach team that will openly communicate earning or trading links with other websites. Only by doing so can you hope to avoid the potential harm that search engines can bring down on you and maintain a healthy backlink profile for your website.
#6: Over-using anchor text
One of the key traits of a well-optimized website is the development of a quality internal linking structure. And to achieve this, you need to incorporate optimized anchor texts that will lead to your target landing pages and blog posts. However, it is easy to recognize an unnatural anchor text for the sake of pursuing a particular keyword. And Google’s Penguin update made sure of this. That is why robotic anchor texts are no longer as effective.
#7: Obsolete keyword research tactics
Although traditional steps such as proper keywords research are still in play as far as SEO planning is concerned, the means by which one does it changed. You can no longer shoot in the dark and hope to hit a keyword that will work for your company. Instead, you need to make the effort and invest time and resources in finding adequate tools for finding the top-matching keywords for your niche and location.
Gone are the days where you could research relevant keywords using free tools such as Google’s keyword Planner. Although many marketers still use it, the fact that it can’t calculate for free competition makes it useless in creating an organic search strategy.
#8: Separate pages for synonymous keywords
Imagine having a 1000-word page for six corresponding keywords, each one linking towards each other and your homepage. Now consider that this used to win companies several spots on the first page of search results. However, then came algorithms such as Hummingbird, RankBrain, etc. With them, Google was able to understand that different variations of the same keyword can signify a similar (if not same) topic.
This outdated SEO approach not only leads to selfishly clinging to a particular keyword but it also leads to negative user experience. Imagine having to click through several similar pages to find what you initially needed. Luckily, people soon realized that optimizing a website for keywords and search engines instead of target audiences was a bad practice.
#9: Focusing on exact match search queries
Before the full deployment of the Google Knowledge Graph, the notion of focusing efforts on exact-match search queries was prevalent. However, given the many variables that this particular strategy involves, it wasn’t so long before the approach became outdated.
With all the past updates that Google introduced and the ones that it’s working towards, exact keyword matching is no longer as important as it used to be. Nowadays, search engines are able to analyze each word in a search query and match it with the articles that best answer those words. So, you don’t need to target exact keywords so much as cover a wide range of long-tail keywords with your blog.
#10: Exact-match domains are among the outdated SEO techniques to steer clear from
At a certain point, this was a viable way to fool Google and other search engines into positioning your brand at the very top. And this was despite the quality or extent of the services or products you provide. That is until Google realized that exact-match domain names are not a 100% guarantee for quality.
The conclusion – as long as you run a top-rate moving company and offer reputable services, Google and other search engines will make your brand visible. They will do so on a broad scale, reaching the masses.
#11: XML Sitemap Frequency
We should never try to manipulate search engine crawlers so that our website is crawled more than others because it believed new content was published or substantial site changes were made.
But, since webmasters did that in the past, the sitemap is used quite differently than what was once intended.
Previously, webmasters could give a priority number to each page of a website listed in the sitemap ranging from 0.0 to 1.0.
Since that was never quite used correctly, crawlers don’t even honor the frequency rating.
It’s simple really. By choosing to try to use old tricks to win a new race, you are already doomed to fail. However, by making the decision to disregard outdated SEO techniques of the past and embracing new and innovative SEO strategies, you are on the winning end. It opens the path toward digital marketing success for your business. And that is all you truly need at the end of the day.
As a skilled veteran in the world of SEO, KBI Marketing is acquainted with both current and outdated SEO techniques. We understand what works best for the moving industry as well as sibling industries. Our experience and knowledge offer top-rate solutions when it comes to search engine optimization. If you would like to learn more and ensure that your moving business comes out on top of your list of competitors, call us and schedule a free website marketing analysis today!
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