Some of the tested and proven SEO strategies can become outdated, especially after a major or minor Google algorithm update. If you continue using these methods, they could pose a major risk to the success of your search marketing strategy. Here are some of the old school strategies that worked well before but are no longer effective.
Focusing on Keywords Instead of Clicks
After you have done your keyword research, you may be very eager to place all your main keywords in the title. So for a niche that targets fishing equipment, you may put “fishing reels”, “fishing gear”, “fishing rods” in your title and at the top of your web page. Although it is important to have all your primary keywords in the title element, it is less important than getting your readers to click through your links. Unfortunately, putting so many keywords together looks spammy. So your users may not want to click on them. The number of clicks that your site receives is now an important SEO metric in Google’s algorithm. What you should place at the top of your page is an enticing title that will attract more readers and more clickthroughs. A good example would be: “An Exclusive Collection of Fishing Reels Used By Award Winning Anglers”. This will entice searchers to look at what the best fishermen are using.
Using Targeted Keywords as Anchor Text on Internal Links
Some years back, using your target keywords in the anchor text for internal links helped to boost rankings. Recently, this practice has not only become ineffective, it has attracted penalties from Google. They now see this as a means of manipulating their ranking system. That does not mean that you should not use internal links. You can place them in the navigation section, in the sidebar, or footer. Add them to your content in a way that is relevant and flows well. To avoid being penalized, don’t use anchor text in a place where the font is too small to be seen or in an obscure place.
Creating Separate Pages for Each Keyword Variant
This is one of the SEO strategies still widely used today because it was once an effective one. Several years ago, creating a different page for each slight variation in the main keyword was a good way to improve your rankings, even when it required producing some awkward sentences. But with the Hummingbird update, Google now prefers a single page with many variations of the keyword included. So it is better to fit the keyword variations into different elements of the page like the title, headline, content, and meta description.
Buying Links and Acquiring Links from Article Directories
Link building is an essential aspect of SEO. But you must acquire your back links with care. Buying links from promoters of a private link network, or from link providers on Fiverr, can put your website at risk. Avoid promoting your site on generic directories set up for SEO. In fact, you should avoid all article directories that permit you to submit the same article without any editorial review. Even press release sites have been penalized by Google. So avoid looking for cheap links from vendors offering to build thousands of links for you for less than a hundred dollars.
Producing Content Without Any Strategy or Focus
It is still common to see people producing and promoting content that does not have any strategic focus or obvious benefit to your brand or your readers. For instance, if you look at the adverts at the bottom of many websites, you will see content with a title like: “Seven celebrities who like to wear skimpy clothing”. People who use this type of content to attract visitors feel that as long as they have traffic, the means of attracting it does not matter. This strategy will hurt your brand, especially now that Google has developed a knowledge graph and places high-quality content at the first position in response to searchers’ questions. From now on, you should create top-notch content with data and analysis that will attract plenty of links and press attention.
Now that you know the old SEO strategies you should avoid, take steps to start implementing the recommended alternatives. This will help you to improve your ranking in organic search results and attract more targeted traffic to your website.
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