6 Outdated SEO Strategies You Should Stop Doing

6 Outdated SEO Strategies You Should Stop Doing
6 Outdated SEO Strategies You Should Stop Doing

As user behavior and preferences change, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies also evolve. For the past few years, Google has introduced several algorithm updates that redefined the digital marketing landscape.

Sticking with outdated approaches to SEO can significantly pull down your website’s rankings. This subsequently leads to missed opportunities in attracting and converting consumers, and ultimately, rendering your digital marketing strategy ineffective.

If you’re using these 6 outdated SEO strategies, you should consider modifying your approach:

1. Keyword stuffing

Over-optimization, or keyword stuffing, remains the most common pitfall for creators to this day.

This means repeating a particular keyword way too many times in a given page, in the hopes of ranking higher for that keyword. This is compounded even further by using the keywords in an unnatural and ungrammatical way.

Continuing to do so will have your website penalized instead by Googles’ Panda algorithm update, as it can be seen as a black hat SEO technique. It also lowers the quality of your content.

What you can do:

  • Write for human readers, not search engine bots.
  • While there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule for the keyword density, try to limit it between 0.5% and 3%. You can use plugins like Yoast SEO to gauge this.
  • Target one focus keyword and a few relevant long-tail keywords.

2. Using short-tail keywords

Google’s Hummingbird update made it possible for search engines to understand search intent better and to make semantic search smarter.

Because of this, there has been a shift from using short-tail (single-word keywords such as “designer”) to long-tail keywords so that Google can better understand the context of your content.

While you won’t get penalized by using short-tail keywords, continuing to do so won’t help you rank your content as well as targeting long-tail keywords would.

What you can do:

  • Use keyword research to gain insight into how users are most likely to phrase their search queries.
  • As an example, instead of using “designer” as your focus keyword, use “graphic designers in Fort Worth Texas” for a clearer context.

3. Poor-quality backlinks

Link building is valuable to SEO. Back in the day, it was “acceptable” to buy links in exchange for goods or services; it was also common practice to engage in reciprocal linking (link-for-link exchanges).

However, with the Penguin update, Google is moving against spammy link building schemes and devaluing websites that still practice them. Penguin’s push for more high-quality web content also signifies a shift to better-quality backlinks.

This means that the relevance of the links you use matters more than anything — for example: when you hyperlink an anchor text that talks about “web designers in Texas” and the link leads to an unrelated link that’s not about web designers.

What you can do:

  • Be sure that what you link back to in your content is relevant to the topic and the anchor text.
  • Link back to quality and authority sources — for example, choose research websites over personal blogs.
  • Do strategic guest posting for link building. Find authority websites that are related to your field and reach out to them if they are up for a guest post.

4. Keyword-rich anchor texts

This involves unnatural-sounding anchor text that links back to spammy links. For example: “To get the best wedding rings for your wedding, you need to look for the best wedding ring suppliers in Texas.”

The Penguin update gives priority to natural-sounding anchor texts over-optimized or exact-sounding ones. Otherwise, websites that still use this technique will be penalized.

What you can do:

  • Focus on the quality of your content. Use links where it flows naturally to the narrative.

5. Focusing on content length

Resources are divided as to what the “perfect” page length is: whether long-form is better than short-form, and vice versa.

This led to content creators focusing too much on the content length, often targeting an exact number of words (for example, keeping the length 500 words, no more and no less) — and often at the cost of the quality of the content.

While the Panda update devalues weak, thin-content pages (those with less than 200–250 words), what it aims to achieve is for pages to have valuable, high-quality content regardless of the length.

What you can do:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity. Some topics require short-form content (less than 1,000 words), while others may require lengthier text. What’s important is that you get your point across, without writing for the sake of content length.

6. Content spinning and scraping

Content spinning means paraphrasing old content to make a new one. There are several article spinning software solutions available, often producing poor-quality and over-optimized content.

Content scraping, on the other hand, is lifting original content from other websites and publishing it as your own. This is, in itself, plagiarism.

But before the search engine algorithms got so sophisticated, spinning and scraping were “acceptable” to SEO, when the quantity of content took precedence over quality.

Today, search engine bots and plagiarism checkers are smarter. They can easily detect spinning and scraped content even when a few parts were paraphrased. The Panda update also heavily penalizes pages that have duplicate content.

What you can do:

  • Write original content as much as you can. If you need to write about a popular topic where surely others have written about too, always make sure you add something of value that others have not.
  • If you want to re-publish an article to your website (for example, in the case of news websites), be sure to follow the original publisher’s content syndication guidelines and to apply a canonical tag to your content so that search engine bots can trace back the original content and not penalize you for duplicating.

The Bottom Line

These are but the top 6 SEO strategies that are deemed outdated. There are several more to be expected as search engine algorithms continually improve.

The key here is to stay updated with the latest trends and to focus on giving your audience a great web experience through your content.

Read more about SEO tips and tricks at https://www.ilfusion.com/blog.

Written by

Ilfusion Inc. is a full-service creative agency located in Fort Worth, TX with talents in web, design, video, social media and marketing consultation.

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