5 Obsolete SEO Tactics you should Avoid Completely
Search engines are changing and evolving all the time and SEOs are constantly trying to pick up the pace and stay up to date. However, it is still surprising to see how many people have a complete misconception of what SEO is, and are still using antiquated tactics that are not only a complete waste your time but could actually end up tanking your site. In this article, we’re going to give you a few examples of completely outdated SEO tactics you should avoid at all costs.
There was a time when all you had to do was post as many links as possible on high PR sites and boost your search engines results that way. But boy, have things changed. Google quickly realized that people were gaming the system and were using shady link building techniques or taking advantage of link farms, irrelevant forum profile or .edu links. Google is always striving to provide the most accurate and relevant results to their users. It is putting more and more emphasis on social mentions instead of mere links to rank sites. It is actually wiser to have few links these days since too many links from bad or irrelevant sites could actually hurt your rankings.
But what about negative SEO do you ask? Well, the threat of negative SEO is very real and there are many ways you can address it. If you don’t know what negative SEO is, it is a technique that competitors may use to create the impression that your site is using bad linking techniques in order to get you penalized. The only way to make sure it doesn’t happen is to always be aware of your link profile and disavow links that you think may be malicious. Checking your link profile is pretty easy and there are tons of free and paid tools that will allow you to check which sites are linked to you. All you have to do next is use Google’s disavow links tool and submit the links that are suspicious.
This is probably one of the worst things you could do if you’re trying to improve your site’s search engine position. Keyword stuffing is when you try to squeeze as many related keywords into your site’s content and tags in order to trick search engines and rank for more keyword terms.
While this method used to be commonplace back when search engines were still in their infancy and their algorithms could only interpret simple indicators such as keyword density, this method will get you noticed by search engines and instantly penalized for it.
Keyword stuffing is not only a bad idea SEO-wise, but it also leads to unnatural and overall poor content that won’t resonate with your audience. This then increases your bounce rate, which unlike keyword density, is an actual signal that search engines use to gauge a site’s quality and SEO rankings.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use keywords wisely on your website. But instead of having a list of terms and trying to hit a particular keyword density, you should have a short list of long tail keywords that you base your content around. Try to include them as naturally as possible inside the text. Long tail keywords are more laser targeted and show more buying intent, which leads to more conversion at the end. If you want more information about how long tail keywords work and how to use them, you can learn more here.
Link Farms and Article Directories
Ah, the good old days of article marketing, back when sites like EzineArticles was king and all you had to do is add a few links to your writer bio and watch your rankings skyrocket. Article marketing was once the end all be all of SEO for many people. It also used to be a good technique to generate traffic and link juice back when backlinks where the most important metric for SEO. Since then, many of these sites have been demoted and the method has become completely obsolete. Article marketing is taking a whole other form today and guest blogging is a much more efficient way to attract traffic and increase your number of organic links.
Link farms were also once very popular with SEOs, but they have long since fallen out of favor with search engines. If you want to make your links work for you, you should instead focus on reputable directories closely related to your niche.
Reciprocal linking is also one of these link building techniques that were once ubiquitous. It used to be common practice to ask people to link back to your site when you linked to theirs, even if it was completely out of context. But trying to use reciprocal links in this day and age will get you nowhere. Organic links are the name of the game nowadays, so any type of manipulative linking technique will instantly get you the boot.
Exact Match Domains
Exact match domains were once a very popular SEO technique and predicated on the idea that using the exact keyword you were intending to rank for as your domain name would help you rank better. While the technique seemed to work for a while, it also gave birth to all kinds of bizarre URLs. Google eventually cracked down on the practice and your domain name itself doesn’t hold any weight anymore SEO-wise. Not only that, but EMDs also have a much higher chance of getting flagged for spam, either through manual action or bots. They’re also not very brandable, so any possible SEO benefits you would get would be negated by an unmarketable and pretty much unusable domain name.
SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it process, and if you lag behind, your rankings will eventually suffer. If you’re using any of the techniques above on your site, make sure that you stop immediately and talk with an expert on how you correct the situation.