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5 Outdated SEO Tactics You Should Stop Using

Posted by Catherine Hatch on Tue, May 29, 2018 @ 10:41 AM

Google has changed drastically in the last five years, meaning SEO tactics have changed as well. In order to stay relevant and keep your website on the first page of Google, it’s essential to adapt to these changes. Despite these updates, many businesses and marketing companies are still using outdated SEO tactics. We’ve compiled a list of the top five outdated SEO tactics that many businesses are still using. Check it out below to help you adjust your strategy and make sure you’re up to date on the latest trends. 


1. Keyword Stuffing

Many blog writers are still attempting to stuff their pages with keywords to improve their Google rankings. In old SEO practices, having your target keyword appear many times throughout your page would help Google match the searched keyword to your page. However, Google has gotten smarter. Instead of matching exact keywords, Google can now understand what your page is about and what the searcher is looking for. Therefore, it’s more important to have quality content than to stuff keywords into your page.

What to Do Instead:

Just write a good article! Include your keyword, but don’t focus on writing it into your article as many times as possible. You should also include terms related to your keyword, as it will help Google understand the general topic of your article. Because Google no longer looks for word-for-word matches to rank searches, keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Instead, write a quality article using words that help Google understand what your article is about to improve your rank for searches involving general topics rather than exact keywords.

2. Keyword Variations

In addition to keyword stuffing, one of the old ways of doing SEO was to include as many variations as possible of a keyword. The thinking behind these keyword variations is to ensure you rank for any variation a searcher might type in. However, this logic was only sound when Google based its rank on exact word matches, rather than the overall meaning of a page and a search.

What to Do Instead:

When writing your article, include your keyword and words related to it to help Google understand the topic of your page. Instead of variations that aim for exact matches, include variations of your keywords written as questions. Because voice search is on the rise, the inclusion of questions and long-tail keywords is more important than ever, as it will help your page rank for voice searches and appear in Google’s rich answer box.

3. Link Stuffing

Including links, both internal and external has always been an important part of proper optimization. However, the old way of doing SEO involved including as many links as possible. The idea was that more links equals more references to other sources, increasing the reliability of the information. However, now ranks the quality of these links, only valuing pages that link to other quality pages. The number of links is no longer as important as the quality of the links included.

What to Do Instead:

Don’t focus on the number of links included on your page. Instead, find a few high-quality links that are related to the topic of your page and include them strategically. When choosing which links to include, you should check whether the pages rank highly on Google. If Google likes the pages you’re linking to, it will like your site as well. With new SEO practices, quality matters more than quantity in link inclusion.

4. Building Too Many Pages

The old way of doing SEO involved building as many pages as possible to rank for as many keywords as possible. Because it was difficult for a single page to rank for more than one or two keywords, the idea was to create as many pages as possible to ensure ranking for the maximum amount of keywords. However, Google no longer looks for exact keyword matches, meaning pages with slight variations of different keywords are no longer necessary.

What to Do Instead:

Organize your site into topic clusters and pillar pages. Choose the few overarching topics that represent your website. For business websites, these topics will typically be your most important products or services. Within these topics, you can choose subtopics that are relevant to each overarching topic. These topic clusters will help you build pillar pages, in which site visitors can read about a general topic, then click to get more detailed information about more specific topics. Because of Google’s push to understand pages and websites rather than match for specific words, topic clusters and pillar pages are the best way to organize your site to rank for your target keywords.

5. Tracking Keyword Rank

Keyword ranking is mostly dead. For a long time, keyword rank was the most important aspect of SEO. However, keyword rank now changes too frequently to track effectively. Your site can rank differently at different times of day. Google also has developed the ability to learn about your searches. It will rank pages based on your interests and previous searches, meaning every individual’s Google results will look different. Local search will also affect search rankings. For this reason, tracking keyword rank will not provide any valuable insight into the success of your site.

What to Do Instead:

Focus on the quality of your content. Checking your rankings periodically is a good idea, but you shouldn’t worry about the difference between second and fourth rank, as it will change frequently. When checking your rank, be sure to have different people search at different times to give you a better understanding of your site’s strengths. Rather than focusing on your ranking number, look at the sites ahead of you and find out what they’re doing differently. Look at the topics they cover well and learn from them to improve your own site’s ranking. Include topic clusters, pillar pages, and lots of descriptive phrases that will help Google understand your page. Rather than keyword stuffing and cutting corners, you should simply focus on creating the best quality site possible to improve your rank on Google.


ImageWorks, LLC | CT Search Engine Optimization

While professional SEO services can offer many opportunities to your business, you should never depend on SEO alone for the growth of your business. The companies that thrive on the online world have a comprehensive approach and utilize both online and offline marketing strategies. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.

By integrating all of today's Web tools such as SEO, social media, pay per click, and blogs, ImageWorks, LLC can turn your site into a lead generation tool.

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Topics: SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Outdated Marketing Practices, Outdated SEO Practices

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