Semalt About Obsolete SEO Practices: 7 Outdated SEO Tricks To Forget About
One of the key features of SEO is frequent changes. Algorithms, the weight of ranking factors, market competition, and even user behavior patterns are changing. All this together makes specialists keep their fingers on the pulse and constantly make adjustments to their methods of work.
At the same time, in our area, like in no other IT area, there are many myths and misconceptions that experienced optimizers ignore, but beginners and clients perceive as truth. Usually, we are talking about outdated methods of work, which once provided a good effect, but today they can rather harm.
We decided to list 7 outdated SEO techniques that should definitely be abandoned. Use this as a checklist, it is possible that you yourself continue to use some of them.
Spammed Title and Description
Believing that optimizing one page for a dozen keys will get you Top for more is the same as hoping to increase revenue by placing racks of spare parts for small cars, racing cars and military trucks in the same room.
Both search engines and people do not need such "spam", one landing should be optimized for one group of keys with the same intent.
This applies primarily to meta tags since there are still more opportunities for adequate integration of semantics into the text. But if you try to cram all the requests into Title / Description, the result will most likely not work out very well. Something like this:
"Covers for iPhone 5, 6, 7, 8, silicone and leather cases for iPhone, buy male and female cases for Apple iPhone - sports and with a battery"
Moreover, the example above is at least more or less readable, but there are craftsmen who turn titles into a simple listing of key phrases.
Not only do search engines not like this, but they also take into account the reaction of users, that is, the click-through rate of the site's page titles in the SERP, which over time affects the rankings. And the CTR is unlikely to be high in our example.
When composing Title and Description meta tags, take an example from ads in contextual advertising - focus on getting the user interested and making them want to click on the link. And keywords should be entered as organically as possible without harming readability.
SEO texts on category pages
Thanks to the efforts of search engine filtering, over spammed texts that until recently were filled with catalog section pages in most online shops are quickly becoming a thing of the past. The penalties are coming suddenly, and the consequences for offenders can be very serious. Punishment comes suddenly, and the consequences for violators can be very dire.
In pursuit of a form, some SEOs completely lost their meaning along the way, and this text spam took on grotesque forms in the form of a dozen thousand characters of text on categories, into which up to a hundred keys were interwoven.
And if the argument about the illogicality of this venture was not enough for many, then the risk of getting a filter should be a good argument even for especially stubborn conservatives.
Articles-sheets about nothing
One of the most "unkillable" delusions that stubbornly does not want to disappear from the minds of many - the more text there is on the page, the higher it will be in the Top and the more traffic it will bring. The apotheosis of this belief for us once became an article on how to boil eggs, 14,000 characters in length without spaces, according to the TOR compiled by one of the SEO companies.
It's easy to guess that trying to inflate a one-page topic to the size of a university diploma will fail. Therefore, after such practices became widespread, the community still encountered Google's spam filter.
A much more correct approach is to start in determining the volume not from the technical analysis of the pages in the SERP or something similar, but from the need to reveal the topic. Competent coverage of one topic on a page with a good structure, text design, and written by a person "in the subject" will give a much better effect than a pack of rewrites written by budget copywriters from the exchange.
Domain master key
Websites with a domain such as "mattress-xxx" or "xxx-mattress-maker" are much less common, but the exact occurrence of the key in the domain name is still common practice. Such a site evokes little credibility, and it doesn't sound very good.
Perhaps the only advantage of such a domain is that it is easier to compose anchor text for backlinks. But there are many more drawbacks, and they clearly overlap the possible profit.
Instead of dwelling on keywords, you need to approach naming more responsibly. It is necessary to register a website address that would be consonant with the brand name, evoke positive associations. Soundness and ease of memorization are much more important than just entering the key into the URL.
Messy link buying
Links by themselves are not some magic pill that guarantees top rankings. While a good link profile can help you get the most out of a competitive category, you need to understand that, as with many other things in SEO, quality is important here, not quantity.
The abuse of purchased links, their chaotic purchase, and the anchor list spammed with direct occurrences of commercial keys can do much more harm than good.
Google's Penguin algorithm is actively fighting those who continue to work according to the old methods, trying to aggressively manipulate search results.
Instead of bulk buying cheap links through exchanges, a much more correct approach is to precisely "pump" the necessary pages with high-quality links from articles through content marketing through external resources. Such links also generate conversions from the target audience, which is tracked by search engines and also has a positive effect on ranking.
Ignoring usability and user interests
Previously, SEO specialists were often reproached for the fact that in pursuit of adaptation to search engine algorithms, they eventually ignored the interests of users. There is some truth in this since we still come across sites that, although technically refined, are simply inconvenient to use, with an outdated design and texts stuffed with keys. These are clearly not the principles of work for which the future belongs.
Anyone who continues to believe that the whole SEO strategy comes down to only working on technical and text factors is greatly mistaken. Modern search engine optimization includes a whole range of areas, which together are aimed at achieving one goal - to meet the needs of the target audience.
You need to forget about old habits and start working on tasks such as:
- improving the usability of the site;
- improving the quality of landing pages;
- adaptation for mobile devices;
- acceleration of page loading;
- improvement of behavioral factors, etc.
In general, you need to work on the site comprehensively, and not try to find another loophole in the algorithms to quickly get to the top. And then, after the next update, start all over again.
Usability, mobile-first, Universal SEO, commercial factors, and other areas of work - these are the things without which it would be difficult to imagine a high-quality search engine promotion today. But it was not always so.
A few years ago, while promoting their own and client sites, some specialists did not bother with such a thing even in competitive niches, not to mention projects for regions. It was enough to pump the project well with links, and the Top for the necessary queries ceased to be a problem.
Then, unique content was considered as a "silver bullet", which, in especially neglected cases, developed into pumping the site with sheets of text at all possible entry points. Often this worked well, but the time of this technique is also in the past.
Today, any SEO specialist understands that work on a website should be complex, it should be developed in all directions. They try to convey this to the promotion customers since this understanding is no less important for business. Betting on one thing is not only pointless but also risky. Indeed, if the priorities in the algorithms change, you can lose everything at once.
It is easy to see that all the promotion methods listed in this article have something in common - they are all aimed at "sharpening" the site and its pages for search robots, without regard to the real value for users. This is the main mistake, since both today and in the near future, search engines will focus on solving the exact opposite problem - to provide the highest quality results specifically for people.
If you, as a website owner or an SEO specialist working on its promotion, strive to achieve a similar goal, everything will be fine for you. Websites with good usability, no technical errors and unique, informative content will attract visitors from search without any problems. After all, what people like is also like search engines. And for that, I would advise you a powerful SEO tool, all in one, which will really facilitate the promotion of the sites you manage, it is the Dedicated SEO Dashboard (DSD). I strongly advise you to adopt it.
What other SEO techniques do you think have lost their relevance and should definitely be abandoned? Write them in the comments!