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Like everything else in the market, Search Engine Optimization has changed a lot too. The techniques that used work well earlier are not sufficient for the Competitive market we have today. While many of the Digital Marketing Techniques have remained significant even today, Search Engine Optimization has evolved a lot and the tactics have changed.
Changes that took place have made web and search better as the implementation of SEO enables the most relevant search results on the top Search Engine Result Pages. No doubt that the new tactics are more efficient. If someone keeps using the Outdated or “Obsolete” SEO Techniques, a lot of their hard work will be wasted.
We have listed some outdated techniques that are not only inefficient but also harmful for your web pages and your company.
One of the most important functions of Search engines is to collect data from websites by Crawling and then this data is Indexed. When a search query is entered, this indexed is searched and results are shown to users. For better Crawling and Indexing, you can take care of few things as mentioned here.
1. Keyword Abuse
The webmasters and marketers need to understand the appropriate usage of keywords in order to formulate the perfect day-to-day strategy for their business. There are a number of common mistakes people make when it comes to keywords. Let’s understand what is keyword abuse & mismanagement and how to avoid it.
- Irrelevant Keyword Targeting/Confusion
Keywords that are targeted should align with the content on the page. Sometimes marketers misunderstand the relevance of the keywords or maybe they get confused by the analytics data and keyword performance. This leads to use of irrelevant keywords in the Meta data and Titles. This may result in readers leaving the page before they read the content. Not only that, the brand name will be harmed and people will be drawn away by the irrelevant keywords on your page and there’s a good chance they won’t prefer to check your pages again.
Even if you have very good and relevant content on your website, if your keywords don’t align with it, the overall success of content will be difficult. Your users are smart too, if you try to mislead them with the keywords, they will understand it and as stated above, they might not visit your pages again. Also, Google understands such black hat SEO Techniques, so, if you have such content on the pages, you might get them blocked by Google.
- Keyword Density
Earlier Google used to depend on the keyword density to understand how effective source a page is for answering a search query. That is no longer the case, now Google crawls through the content and indexes the pages based on relevance. Writing specifically for a pre-decided word density will not give you good results; rather concentrate on delivering your message clearly through the content.
- Keyword Stuffing
One of the oldest “trick”, keyword Stuffing has become inefficient because search engines can detect the irrelevant or “unnatural” content. Just stuffing specific words on your pages without worrying about how it looks or sounds will not help you get audience. Plus, Search Engines will not be manipulated by this. Yes you can use simple keywords a number of times if that is required, that content will not be demoted but unnatural keyword stuffing irritates both the users and the search engines.
Earlier webmasters even did keyword stuffing in the website footer or they used to put the keywords on the page in the same colour of the page so the keywords were hidden from the readers but not from the search engines. That wouldn’t work now so make sure you write for people not search engines.
2. Writing for Robots
Don’t you get irritated when you visit a webpage which has content that doesn’t make sense to you? It’s obvious to get irritated by the content which has been written for robots and not for humans. Web robots crawl through the pages and earlier these crawlers were not able to understand the little tricks people did to fetch their attention. So the web robots or crawlers used to give page high rankings based on the repeated use of keywords or their variants. That doesn’t happen now, now crawlers have advanced and they can identify repeated keywords.
3. Article Marketing & Article Directories
Publishing articles specifically oriented to promote one’s brand used to be an effective way. And people didn’t really care a lot about the content whether it was unique or not. Google’s Panda Update in 2011 was specially to do away with such bad content. In today’s time, you need reliable High quality, thorough content which is written by experts and it is unique in idea and style.
4. Article Spinning
There used to be software with which one could produce or recreate quality content by changing words or phrases of already existing articles. This was a popular back-hat technique and this was effective because this way you could get an article that didn’t look like the source article but it delivered the same message. Why this doesn’t work now? Because the markets have become really competitive; and just changing few words or phrases of an existing article will not bring freshness in your content. You need to write according to the contemporary market trends and consumer demands. Though Artificial Intelligence is advancing in the direction of producing unique content, it will be a really long way before it catches up with humans.
5. Buying Links
Another old shady technique, this one is still in practice but is really not as effective as it used to be because Search engines have gotten much smarter now. If a bad website sends a lot of backlinks, Google can identify it easily. So, don’t pay to get links built manually, rather earn them by providing good, unique and relevant content that gets trustworthy & authoritative backlinks. Again, if a low quality domain fetches far too many back links pointing to it, it may be harmful for the website.
6. Anchor Text
Anchor text is an HTML element that we put in the content to tell users where they can find some more relevant information. Internal linking of content had been useful for years and it has many types- branded, website name/ brand name, Exact match, naked, headline or page title etc. Keyword-rich anchor text isn’t as effective now as it used to be as Penguin, google are able to identify over optimized content.
7. Obsolete Keyword Research Tactics
To understand the User intent keyword performance, it is vital to understand the new analytics tools like Google Keyword Planner, which were not available to early marketers and they had to do a lot of research by themselves. Now we have efficient tools but the results of these tools may require some interpretation and may not be completely sufficient to give clear picture of the competition, region or industry etc. So, the marketers today also need to do some research at their end to understand their actual competition. Moz Keyword Explorer Tool and SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool can also be used for this. For competition analysis, Google Trends is also helpful.
8. Targeting Exact-Match Search Queries
To rank in the Top Search results, marketers target exact match search queries whether or not they actually pertain to the business. This could increase the click through rate for the site. But now Google Knowledge Graph has changed things and targeting exact match queries is not sufficient.
9. Exact-Match Domains
Like brand names, domain names should also be concise and sensible. Putting valued Keywords in the URL can be good but if it doesn’t lead to good user experience, it’s pretty much use less. Now Google doesn’t fall for Exact match domains, rather it follows the Behavioral data to give relevant information to users. You just need to set up a business that fulfils the demands of people and do everything logically at your end.
10. XML Sitemap Frequency
Sitemaps are extremely important to any website, they speak shortly but effectively about the website’s content and its relevance to the information users seek. Manipulating the sitemap to confuse the search engine crawlers is not a good practice. It might have worked for the old webmasters but now the crawlers are all smart they can identify between the actual changes in the site and the manipulation of sitemap. Crawlers respect the frequency rating if the site adheres to the best practices of XML Sitemap.