Getting your website to climb the rankings in the Google search is impossible without SEO nowadays. Unfortunately, there are many websites and business owners who still use outdated SEO practices.
Some of them used to be SEO best practices, and then Google released an update that left them in the dust. Some of the practices were always black hat SEO (not allowed) and were designed to game the system. Today, you can’t have a successful SEO strategy without offering quality to the visitors. To help you do that, let’s look at some outdated SEO practices you should avoid:
Anything Even Remotely Resembling Keyword Stuffing
You certainly already know that keyword stuffing is not only frowned upon, but Google also punishes you for it. However, what you may not be aware of is that there is a big gray area between keyword stuffing and proper keyword usage. Let’s say that you’ve done your keyword research. You now have a list of keywords and you decide to build your content around them. That would be the right way to approach SEO.
However, it’s an entirely different situation if you try to abuse or mismanage those keywords. You might create material that isn’t relevant or valuable to the people who search for that specific keyword you’re using. Or you might be suffering from the “keyword density” disease and trying to stuff a keyword where there’s no natural place for it in the content. As search engines get smarter and start to evaluate content more as humans do, this type of borderline black hat SEO might get you in trouble.
Not Writing for Humans
It might be the most commonly seen outdated SEO tactic. Unfortunately, many website owners and marketers still hold onto the idea that it’s the search engines they should cater to.
To get rid of this notion, remember the last few top-ranked content results you saw on Google. You’ll quickly realize that they all read like they were written for humans, not crawlers. If you want to know the first of many SEO best practices, it is always to create content for humans and the search engines will know how to recognize quality.
Outright Trying to Cheat the System
Finally, there are website owners who intentionally engage in black hat SEO to cheat the system. Some of these corrupt practices are:
- Hidden text and links;
- Doorway pages;
- Guest posting networks and link manipulation;
- Article spinning;
- Automated queries to Google and content automation;
- Duplicating content;
- Sneaky redirects and cloaking.
It’s important to note that cheating the system is now virtually impossible, as Google is continually refining its content evaluation practices. Various Google updates have already made many of these harmful practices completely non-viable.
A good SEO strategy can be worth a lot to a growing business, but it takes time to see the results. If you’d like to speed up the process, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.