Search engine optimization has evolved drastically over the course of a decade. You can see a huge difference if you look at Google’s search page from ten years ago and compare it with today’s page. Not only has the appearance of the way Google algorithm works has also changed over the years. The same goes for SEO tactics and best practices.
With search engines becoming smarter with each passing day, you can not get away by using black hat SEO practices anymore. Unfortunately, many SEOs are still using outdated SEO tactics. These old-school tactics do not work anymore, which is why their website takes years to rank on search engines or even worse never ranks ever.
In this article, you will learn about seven outdated SEO tactics that do not work anymore and you should stop using them immediately.
Back in the days when the SEO industry was in its infancy, there is a common misconception prevalent among SEOs that SEO is all about keywords. As a result, they started stuffing keywords in pages to the point that it becomes harder to read and comprehend for the readers. Content with high keyword density is quite normal back in those days.
They thought that they could get higher rankings by stuffing more keywords in their content. Fortunately for them, that formula works back then but two decades later, this is not the case anymore. As search engines become smarter, the focus shifted from keywords to user intent. Today, search engines can identify the user intent behind the search query and show search results based on user intent.
Anchor text is basically a clickable text of a link. A few years back, anchor text was a huge ranking factor but not anymore. In the past, if you want to rank for a term, you need to include it in your content as anchor text. Just like keyword stuffing, SEOs started using this tactic extensively. Due to this, search engines like Google launched a crackdown and eventually stopped using it as a ranking factor.
Some started using long-tail keyword variation by adding suffix and prefix to the main keywords and spread them through their content. This tactic worked for some time until search engines started looking at the context in which someone has linked to your website. Using exact match keywords as anchor text only works well in the case of domain names and brand names.
Today, anchor text is no longer as important as it once was. This would be clearly evident when you look at the latest SEO trends. In fact, Google is giving more weightage to
If you have been doing SEO for quite some time then you might be familiar with link and article directories. Submitting your website and content to link and article directories was common but not anymore. There is a reason for that. Many articles and link directories have lost their effectiveness as a link-building tactic. If you still want to submit your website to these directories, I would suggest that you find directories with a high domain authority and domain rank and ensure that it is specific to the industry you operate in otherwise, there is no point in spending time and resources on this old fashioned SEO tactic.
Have you ever come across a website where the content looks odd? Keywords are stuffed unnaturally, or keywords are forcefully inserted in the middle of the sentence in a way that does not make any sense. You can still find such a website despite search engine guidelines discouraging it. This happens because they tend to create content with search engine crawlers and bots in mind and tend to ignore humans in the process. Therefore, their content looks odd to readers but not search engine bots. That is why professional digital marketing companies and mobile app development companies put users first.
With search engines putting more emphasis on user signals, this tactic has become obsolete. Search engines even track how much time a user stayed on your page before hitting the back button. It sends a clear message to search engines that users did not get the content they have been looking for. As a result, search engines will push your result down its search rankings and promote others.
SEO takes time. Your website will not rank on the first page of Google overnight. It will take somewhere from six months to years to reach the top spot. Unfortunately, not all SEOs are patient so they look for shortcuts that can deliver quick results. One of them is buying paid links. What they do not realize is that these shady SEO practices might give your website a quick boost, but you cannot sustain those gains over the long run. What is even worse is that it can also get your website penalized.
According to Google webmaster guidelines, paying for links that pass PageRank is not acceptable and can get you penalized in the long run. It is better to stop using this tactic as it has come to bite webmasters years after they have used this tactic. Yes, you might be tempted to buy links especially when you are a new site because it is harder to build links, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Another misconception most marketers have is that the more pages they have on their website the higher their website will rank on search engines. Due to this, they create a page for every keyword variation. Sadly, you cannot fool search engines with these tactics anymore as they have become smarter than ever before. Google Knowledge Graph powered by latent semantic indexing and RankBrain put the last nail in the coffin of this outmoded SEO practice.
Just like exact match keywords in the anchor text, many businesses started buying exact match domains thinking that it helps with search engine rankings. To some extent, it was true but with frequent algorithm updates and changes, things changed completely. From being more likely to rank higher to more likely to be banned for spam, it was a shift that no one expected. The lack of trust associated with exact match domains also makes link building complicated and also reduces conversions.
Which outdated SEO tactic you are still using? Let us know in the comments section below.