10 Old School SEO Practices You Should Stop Following Now

To better facilitate online users with better user experiences, search engines are always on the go when it comes to updating, refining and improving.

10 Old School SEO Practices You Should Stop Following Now

Hence, business owners who rely heavily on online advertising are required to pay attention to the effectiveness of their SEO strategy in order to continue maintaining their website’s search engine ranking result and earn more business opportunities.

With the dawn of 2017, the SEO strategy for this year has begun making changes as well. Are you still guilty of using these 10 old school SEO practices?

1. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword Stuffing

While it is true that keyword stuffing contributed to SEO ranking in the past, this is an SEO practice that is considered obsolete today. The more does not necessarily equate to the merrier and piling more target keywords into your titles and meta descriptions no longer give you the desired effect. Remember that you are targeting both online users and search engines, not just appealing to search engines alone. Inserting keywords into meta descriptions, titles and tags, in general, are recommended. However, take care not to overdo it. Make sure that the description is worded organically as an invitation for online searchers to visit with the intent to find valuable resources instead.

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To avoid such mistakes I suggest you follow these 5 tips:-

  • Write For Human, Not Machine: Your writing must be addressed to human not machine bots. Try to be connective towards your audience. Focusing on the keyword is different, however, don’t think obsessive about these keywords. Just try to connect the content to your audience.
  • Remain pertinent to the topic: Do not stray from your topic. Choose keywords that are relevant to your audience. In simplest way to put it as, think of you as one of your audience, then brainstorm that what they might want to search and use keyword relevant to that.
  • Keep an eye on the Keyword Density: Remember one thing, the keyword density must not exceed 5% ever. The range for the keyword density is 2-5%. This means 2-5 words per 100 words.
  • Avoid using repetitive words: Just imagine you’re reading a content which has repetitive words. One word keeps on repeating. What will be your thoughts about that? Obviously, Bad! Bad! Bad! So don’t do the same mistake.
  • Long-Tail keywords are the new trends: These are keywords which contain phrases. In general, there are two to three phrases in a single long-tail keyword. This is the new trend. Try it.
2. Multiple Microsites/Subdomains

Multiple Microsites/Subdomains

Many website owners make the mistake of thinking that splitting website content into microsites/subdomains and keeping each ideally optimized would garner more success. Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to SEO practices. By splitting up efforts like that, website owners are essentially earning a smaller result compared to results they would earn when optimizing for one website in its entirety. Optimizing SEO for one website is a lot more effective than maintaining multiple microsites.

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Do not ever involve in the Multiple Microsites. However, if you’re one of these 5, then I recommend you to merge your subdomains. Check out these Markers:

  • Your main site and microsite are in the same niche and covers the same target audience.
  • Your microsite is generating organic traffic which is valuable to you.
  • You change the content periodically to avoid copied content penalty.
  • Your analytics shows that your microsite is one of the top referrers to your main website’s content.
  • You report on two different websites separately and then merge the numbers to check the overall performance.

If you are facing the above issues, I suggest you merge the microsite to your main website. For more details, you can check this link.

3. Targeting only 1 Search Engine

Do not make the mistake of targeting only one search engine. While it is true that Google is a popular search engine that has accumulated a lot of online users, keeping diverse traffic portfolios is highly recommended. Take an objective look at your website stats- what percentage do Google visitors contribute? Are there other users who are making use of other search engines? How can you refine your SEO practices and efforts to gain traffic from other search engines? Bear in mind- not everyone uses chrome. One such example would be certain iPhone user demographics. By focusing on only one search engine, you are missing out opportunities that stem from other potential sources of traffic, why narrow your window of opportunities?

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  • Now, see there are so many practices you might wanna try. Give it a thought, are you certain that your target audience just uses Google? Targeting just a single search engine has same irrelevance as my question is. Look at facts and figures I got. According to Rand Fishkin of MOZ, Google is used by 68.9% of the total internet user.
  • My simple question is when does 68.9% became equivalent to 100%. This is just like a kid who attempted the question paper of 70% only. Now, does that kid have any chance to score 80 or 90? Of course not. There is no chance for the kid to get 70+. I don’t think I have to give you a detailed explanation for that. So, just like the above case, you cannot expect a 100% success or even half of that when your connectivity is not full.
  • Nowadays, the trend of vertical search has also increased. If you want to penetrate the market deeper, you have to get your hand into the dirt. So, stop targeting one search engine. Nobody knows when that Search engine will stop and all your work will be undone in a flash. So, keep yourself equipped with as much as search engines you can to have to have a full healthy organic traffic.
4. Neglecting Social Signals

Neglecting Social Signals

Revolving SEO practices only around links, code and content is an outdated practice process considering the internet behavior of users today. While it is still important that business owners maintain such SEO practices, one should not neglect social signals as well. Social media creates a significant impact on SEO rankings these days since it serves as an optimal way to draw interest as well as quality backlinks and website traction. Make sure to incorporate social media platforms into your SEO strategy.

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  • Now, this problem holds its ground in around 2014, when there was an environment of confusion whether search engine takes anything into consideration such as likes and share in social media while ranking in its SERP?
  • This confusion was cut short then by Google’s Matt Cutts clarification. He told that Google does not look at the number of shares or likes or followers while ranking the website. This further creates confusion as his previous comment says that, the social media plays a significant role in drawing organic SEO. However, it was cleared that both the statements of Matt was valid and not contradictory.
  • There is ripple effect when social media take action. Social media does inform the Search Engine Bot which topic is trending or not. So, the Search engine knows when your engagement is higher through social signals.
5. Link Baiting

Link Baiting

Link Baiting is one of the worst outdated SEO practices to cling to, especially when relevancy is a requirement when it comes to search engine optimization. The use of unfocused irrelevant links can actually cost you quite a lot instead of benefitting you these days- the more irrelevant your links are, the higher your bounce rate. The higher your bounce rate, the lower your search engine ranking will be since search engines deem your website unuseful. Instead of link baiting, use content that is a perfect match to the content of your website instead so that you add value, thereby encouraging more online visitors.

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  • Now, as I said above, relevance is a requirement nowadays. You’re not writing or publishing for machines, you’re doing it for humans. A human understands the relevancy factor. Now, just think for a minute. if you are seeing an article on cigars and then I gave you a link on the fashion of actors. How can you say it as relevant?
  • People are smart nowadays, they understand what is happening and why. So, spamming around is not a great idea. If you bait the links, the bounce rate increases exponentially. And it is also not good for your website brand image. So, be careful and avoid this link baiting process.
6. Poor Backlinking

Poor Backlinking

Speaking of links, the concept of more links equals better rankings is yet another example of outdated SEO practices to discard. Backlinks these days are required to be relevant, quality should be the goal instead of quantity. Backlinking to dubious directories, article sites, and other sketchy locations can result in Google and other search engines penalizing you instead. Make sure that your backlinks are from authoritative sites with healthy rankings of their own!

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  • First thing, “All the Backlink are not Good”. There used to be a myth that states, all the backlinks are beneficial. However, that is not true. With its new algorithm, Google emphasizes on relevancy and quality. So, the backlinks need to be of quality websites and must be relevant to the nature of your website and content.
  • Spammy backlink tactics can cause harm. Yes, go for it and you will see in the meantime that how the search engine is punishing you for spreading spams. I think you don’t want to take that risk. So, avoid it. Use only quality and relevant backlinks. Everything will be at their best.
7. Matching Domain Names With Target Keywords

Matching Domain Names With Target Keywords

Matching target keywords to your domain names may have been an SEO practice that worked in the past. But with the passage of time, this SEO practice serves as a detriment instead since it creates the impression of untrustworthiness. These types of domain names fail to sound like real brand identities, and can actually hinder you from getting the clicks you deserve. Domains with target keywords do poorly when it comes to content marketing and gaining press mentions since they do not sound credible.

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It is very simple to solve. Exact Matching Domains (EMD) and Partial Matching Domains (PMD) are histories now. To avoid any future conflicts, follow these steps.

  • Useless spammy URLs (should not sound spammy)
  • Use Short URLs.
  • Use something more clever to get a .com name.
  • Try for something more catchy. A catchy domain can help you establish an authority.
  • Since, Google stops giving it preference after 2012, then why bothers.
8. Determining Ranking Difficulty using Adwords’ ‘Competition’

Determining Ranking Difficulty using Adwords Competition

Do not base keyword research on CPC or the competition scores on Google Adwords! They are not correlated with the ranking difficulty when it comes to organic SEO results! They do not offer information when it comes to the density and qualitative nature of your competitor’s content, neither do they display what type of links and social mentions your competition uses. There are other factors that contribute to competition and how difficult ranking could be so while it is useful to keep an eye on the scores, they should serve only as a rough guide.

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Using a CPC for analyzing ranking difficulty was always insufficient. The data are incomplete, hence incomplete data are irrelevant as well. So, there is no catch. Stop using it and move on.

9. Focusing Solely on Ranking

On the subject of outdated SEO practices- solely focusing on rankings is no longer an effective SEO practice. While earning good ranking results are a desirable outcome, the SEO game has since changed their priority to long tail phrases. Place your focus on long tail traffic instead and keep track of that by making good use of content marketing strategies!

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I want to wisecrack this particular point by jotting down few factors of why focusing solely on ranking is harmful to SEO. SO, these will act as a reason to stop focusing solely on SEO.

  • You end up putting all the effort on a search engine, not users.
  • This will result in increased burden on resources.
  • It is not a clean reflection of SEO success.
  • Keywords are increasingly difficult to track accurately.
  • You’re limiting yourself massively.
10. Poor Content

Poor Content

Search engines like Google make use of latent semantic indexing, which is a method to identify relationship patterns between terms and concepts in unstructured text collections. So instead of writing content that is keyword reach, user-friendly content should take priority.

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How they define a poor content is very deep. However, I would love to give an answer for what a good writing is. Make these content changes in your post. You’ll find a whole lot of difference,

  • Keywords should be spread along at least 2% – 5% of the total word count.
  • Web sites with ample advertisements than content will drop in SERP rankings.
  • Search Engine crawlers are very tricky. They identify poor content by checking spelling mistakes, or grammar mistakes. Hire a writer if you face trouble in writing mechanics.
  • Do not hard sell your products. This can drop your website. Offer your visitors some beneficial information.

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