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Are You Still Following These 10 Outdated SEO Practices?

Are You Still Following These 10 Outdated SEO Practices?

by Adrian Ababei on Mar 20 2017

Are you still “stuffing” your web pages with keywords? Does your SEO strategies still revolve around piling keywords instead of attracting clicks? Are you (God forbid!) still submitting your website to directories? Are you still putting low quality, irrelevant “link baits” on your website, aiming only to shock/stirring curiosity and thus to easily gain the clicks you crave for? Then we can only add this: “The 90's have called, they claim these outdated SEO practices back!

Web technology has changed dramatically since the 90's, the digital arena has changed tremendously and guess what: the bots, too, have got so much more sophisticated! Keyword stuffing and old-school link building won't get you far, especially in the long run.

Here are some of the “dusty” SEO practices you should ditch:

1. Creating a Dedicated Web Page for Every Target Keyword

Having one page targeting one single keyword, then another one targeting a slightly different keyword and so on, till you get yourself a nice “bundle” of single pages targeting almost identical keywords, is one of those “tried-and-true” old-school SEO practices!

Well guess what: Google's got way smarter than that and you should be... over-smart!

With upgrades such as RankBrain and Hummingbird, you can no longer “trick” Google into ranking your Drupal website with such an old-fashion SEO tactic.

An “updated” SEO practice, in this respect, is to try and naturally “sprinkle” your main keyword, along with its variations, across a single page. Go for the meta description, body content, headline etc. 

In other words: go for TOPIC-matching pages, not for a single target keyword-focused ones.

2. Adopting a Multiple Subdomains/Multiple Microsites Strategy

Now this (still) is another highly popular SEO technique! 

How does it work? Instead of putting together all your digital marketing efforts to optimize a single, heavy-content, complex website, you get them “diffused” on several microsites. You fork your website into multiple microsites/subdomains.

And you're trying to keep each one of them ideally optimized, to give each one its due attention, of course!

“More” might seem like “more effective” to you at first, like getting “more” successful results, from an SEO point of view. In fact, it's just the same result that you'd get if you had just one website's content to focus on, to invest your time, energy and SEO expertise in. Just that it's “spilt” in several directions (miocrosites/subdomains)!

In this case, the results you'll get are, for each smaller site, just the fourth/third or maybe the fifth parts of the results you'd get if you administered/optimized just one large website instead of a “constellation” of microsites!

It would be far more efficient to get one website ideally optimized for a high ranking position, than to try and push forward a whole “ecosystem” of smaller websites, wouldn't you agree?

3. Building Your Keyword Strategy on AdWords' “Competition” Results

and on cost per click”, we should add, as well!

If you're still “fueling” your company's keyword planning strategy with those results that you get using AdWords' “Competition”, you should stop! Or at least perceive that data simply as a rough guide.

These tools won't reveal to you which is the competition set, how dense and qualitative your competition's content is, whether they manage to both “lure” visitors in and to serve them precisely the content they're looking for and so on.

In a nutshell: do keep an eye on the competition scores that you can see in Adwords, but keep in mind also that there are many other factors building a “competition” and determining how hard it would be for you to rank one word or another.

4. Keyword Stuffing: One of the No Longer Effective Outdated SEO Practices    

The more the merrier”, right? “More target keywords”, we mean, all piled in your web pages' titles and your meta descriptions is sure to bring you more links, more traffic, right?

Well, not anymore! Since it's clicks that you're craving for and since it's the online users that you should try to lure in the first place (not search engines), keyword stuffing is no longer an effective SEO tactic.

Online users have got a lot pickier, a lot more  cautious when it comes to spamming, and “asking without giving anything back “(e.g. digital marketing not focusing on delivering valuable content) so you should expect them to avoid you website when they read your keyword-overloaded titles and meta descriptons.

Do insert your keyword, but don't overuse it! Do strive to make your meta description sound like an invitation for searchers to delve into your website's unique, valuable content and not as a “desperate attempt to trick them in. Not merely as a list of keywords! 

5. Matching Your Target Keyword With Your Domain Name

If you or your company's team of SEO “gurus” are still “faithful” to this SEO practice, you'd better discard it from your “toolbox” of SEO tactics immediately!

Since you're only guiding your own visitors to your competitors' websites! You're simply offering your competitors more traffic on a silver plate!

Not to mention that, besides your own visitors, who'll gradually start to avoid your website, since it has a name that sounds “not trustworthy”, no authority site in your niche will agree guesting your content, either. 

Therefore: stop using your target keyword as your domain name. You want your it to sound more branded, much more credible than that!

6. Using Unfocused Linkbaiting Techniques

Another one of those outdated SEO strategies that you should leave behind, if you're still using it is this: using irrelevant link “baits” to draw users on your website.

In high quality content's “kingdom” you just can't expert this SEO tactic to be effective any longer!

Instead, go for on topic “link baits”, using content that is, indeed, a perfect match to the current one on your website. Moreover, focus on value-added content for your link “baits”, that draws in both links and attention!

7. Using Inappropriate, Spammy Internal Links Anchor Texts

Mind you stay out of the “sketchy”, “spammy-looking” or (even worse) manipulative anchor texts' zone! It might have been a widely used SEO technique a few years ago, but it's turned into a highly risky one! It's one of those outdated SEO practices with a negative impact on your website, pointed out by those from MOZ themselves!

Google's started to value well-written and relevant anchor texts used in internal link building. Make sure yours are perfectly usable (you'd better ditch the “lower font” SEO practice for your anchor texts, thinking that it's for search engines and not for searchers that you're inserting them after all) and relevant and you can stay assured: you'll be in Google's “safe zone”!  

8. Overlooking Other Search Engines

Do put searchers/website visitors first, Google second, and mind you don't stop there! You'd better start considering winning other search engines' attention, as well!

Signing up on Google Search Console and following Google's webmaster guidelines on a regular basis should be completed by sustained SEO efforts for gaining traffic from other search engines, too. Think Bing, think Yahoo and you'll be actually thinking of all those iPhone users that are not using Chrome, but these two search engines.

Why should you overlook two potential sources of traffic (even if they're really Google's rivals)? Especially since you have tools like Bing's Webmaster Tool to support your SEO efforts on?  

9. Undermining Mobile Optimization's Importance

This is not just one of the outdated SEO practices, or better said “mindsets”, that you should ditch, but a very risky one, too!

Just think of Google's AMP initiative and the stress it started to lay upon users' optimized mobile experiences!

Undermining mobile optimization's importance is almost a “prehistoric” SEO mindset if we compare it to the whole “mobile-first” philosophy!

Now, in this respect, here is a quick “starter kit” from our team of Drupal developers in Toronto, that you could easily implement for getting your Drupal website mobile-friendly:

 

  • stay away from Flash and other software that's incompatible with mobile devices

     
  • ensure that users can zoom out/zoom in the written text

     
  • space out your links so that users can tapped on easily

     
  • read all the guidelines included in Google's AMP

     

And since we've tackled the mobile optimization's issue, allow us to add a last piece of advice: resist the temptation of using intrusive, annoying interstitials!

What do we mean by “intrusive”? Well, those types of interstitial which are almost impossible for users to close, making it impossible for them to gain further access to the content on your website. Google hates whatever users hate these days! And we guarantee you that making your content less accessible will get on their nerves!

10. Still Applying Old-Fashioned Linking Building Methods 

These practices have been “the holly Grail” of link building for a long, long, way too much time. So, no wonder that many Drupal website owners and even so called SEO “experts” are still so “fond” of them.

Our advice for you: let go of the past, a past dominated by (now) outdated SEO practices and, step into the future!

Let's sum up some of these emblematic link building strategies which (surprise, surprise) do not work any longer:

 

  • submitting on generic directories, where you could easily enlist your website: they're such a waste of time in 2017, so why bother?

     
  • article submitting and here we're referring especially to those websites where there's no editorial review whatsoever

     
  • buying backlinks

     
  • posting comments on forums along with optimized links

     
  • unnatural usage of keywords in your links' anchor texts (do not underestimate 2017's crawlers)

     

To sum up: invest time, expertise and creativity in producing value-added content and keep in touch with others in your field and ... links will come to you! No need to step into the “black” (hat)” zone for “grabbing” them!

And it looks like we've just reached the end of today's post on outdated SEO practices that you should leave behind! We sure hope that it will help you do your own “spring clean up” of your dusty SEO techniques and that it will boost your own SEO strategy's efficiency!

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