SEO is essential for any website that you want to get ranked on search engines. However, some SEO practices are now outdated and should be avoided at all costs. Check out these practices that can harm your site and brand.
Why do some SEO practices need avoiding?
Search engines such as Google work continually to improve their algorithm so they can offer search users a positive experience.
Due to this they find out and remove things they think are low quality or which are deemed to be spam from the results page.
So, if you haven’t been keeping an eye on your website in terms of good SEO and original high-quality content, your website might fall behind in the rankings.
Now, let’s move on to find out which SEO practices you want to avoid.
1. Never misuse keywords
Keywords are an important part of any content as it is how search engines match content to those searching.
However, many people misunderstand keywords and over stuff articles with them. Here are some of the most popular ways people misuse keywords in content and suffer because of it.
- Filling the article with keywords, in other words over stuffing;
- Using keywords in places that don’t make sense;
- Improper use of keywords;
- Keywords not aligning with the content of the page;
- Writing and using keywords to a specific density.
Keyword targeting causes confusion
Many people try to fit their content around the keywords they want to use, instead of the other way around. All that is important to them is getting their keywords into their articles as much as possible.
However, this can confuse. Readers can quickly lose attention before you have got the message across to them. While you want to increase the visibility or keywords it doesn’t read well and if the content isn’t interesting and it doesn’t answer the question that brought the reader there, they will leave your site confused.
Many years ago writers would write content that had a certain keyword density. For instance, this could be anything from 0.6% to 1%.
However, today this is not important. More important is that the keywords are added into the content naturally and the content reads well.
Keyword density is no longer dependent on how well a webpage ranks for a search query. Today Google and other search engines use many signals to determine where a webpage should appear in the search results.
Keywords are important, but only if you know how to use them and they are relevant to the content.
What is most important is that you write the content for humans and not the search engines.
2. Avoid article marketing
Many people made use of article directories to boost their SEO and to a point; it used to work quite well. Today it is a different story.
In 2011 Google launched the Panda update and this changed everything. The update targeted content farms along with directories and any other site that offered low-quality content.
Today Google puts a lot of emphasis on high-quality original content. Therefore, article marketing should be avoided.
3. Don’t put a spin on it
A lot of content with relevant keywords included is good for your site and in the past, people used article spinning software to recreate an article.
They took a good high-quality article and spun it, (changed words, phrases and paragraphs) to turn it into a new article.
However, often these articles did not make sense and were not the high-quality content that search engines wanted. Today article spinning is considered black-hat.
The algorithms of Google know which content has been spun as often it is garbled and makes the same points as the original content. This is no good for search engines and for sure, no good for readers.
Many of the backlinks bought are links from low-quality websites and these should be avoided. You only want high-quality links to your site. The links should be from sites that are relevant to yours too.
Only high-quality backlinks will help you to boost authority for your website and you have to earn them by using high-quality content on your website.
5. Writing low-quality content
Content is still king on websites but the content has to be high-quality. Your website will do better with just one or two well-written long-form articles than it will from several low-quality short articles.
You need to avoid:
- Stealing content from other websites;
- Using thin-content;
- Stuffing keywords into content;
- Writing non-credible content.
Any content you write needs to be well written, it needs to read naturally, it has to be relevant to the topic and title and it should provide the information and answer questions that brought the reader to the page.
All of the above are SEO practices that are outdated and which you should avoid. To reach the top of the search engine rankings you simply cannot cheat.
The only way to get to the top is to write high-quality content that is unique and relevant. The ranking algorithm of Google continually changes and keeps improving.