SEO practices to avoid
When was the last time that your website went through a site audit? When was your SEO strategy last implemented? If it has been months, it is important to add it to the to do list. If it has been years since an SEO audit, there is no longer time to wait.
This is because keywords change, their ranking changes, backlinks can fall off, links are redirected, anchors, URLs and so many other elements of SEO could be different, including the methodology.
In the early ages of Google in the ‘90s and 2000s, the strategies listed below were common practice, but as the year went on, and 2010 was the start of some of the biggest changes in Google’s SERP, methods that were once popular have faded out and shouldn’t be practiced.
These are the top six SEO practices to avoid, but can still be found being practiced today.
1. Keyword stuffing
One of the most commonly heard of SEO practices to avoid is keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is to add keyword stuffing as many times as possible into a single piece of content. See how that second “keyword stuffing” doesn’t make any sense? Google is smart, it will know that sounds off too.
Just because a keyword is added repeatedly, doesn’t mean it is helping anything. It creates content that is harder to read, doesn’t flow naturally, can create confusion, and doesn’t improve the user experience.
2. Thin content
Google states that one of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that there it contains plenty of rich content, relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.
But with thin content, this is content that is written with little to no value or authentic content on the page.
Ever wonder if your website falls into this category? If this is the case, Google Webmaster will alert you that your website has thin content.
This is most commonly known as Doorway Pages.
One keyword pages are pages that are created on a website to simply rank that specific page with one single keyword. The only thing that is different is the keyword. The rest of the content is the exact same, but one keyword is changed.
Back in the wild west days of Google and other search engines, if you wanted to rank for a keyword and quickly, you could create a landing page with that keyword and that was its only purpose.
What happened when there were multiple variations of this keyword? A new page was created for each different variation of the keyword. A great example of this would be creating a different page for all the keywords listed below:
Imagine creating a new page for each one of these keywords, and the only thing that was changed was the keyword. This is not only the easiest way to get in trouble with Google, but this creates a confusing user experience.
3. Guest blogging (the wrong way)
Guest blogging is a great way to get your blogging content in front of a brand new set of eyes, but at the same time, it is important to make sure to work with the best websites out there. If a company does a ton of guest blogging with irrelevant content and other websites, it is no different from irrelevant content and keyword stuffing, and it hurts your analytics and ranking.
Guest blogging, done the correct way, can provide reputable backlinks and website traffic to your website.
Offer to write a post, offer verbiage with your own backlink, and do an entire audit of their website before reaching out to the business.
4. Content text length
A simple search of “how long should my content be” will populate over four billion results in Google. There is plenty of websites out there and experts that suggest content be over 1,500 words or more; while other states that over 2,000 is the ideal length for content.
The focus should be on answering the search query first and foremost, and from there, optimizing the content to ensure that both searchers and search engines find it relevant.
5. Low-quality links
Low-quality links, also known as spammy backlinks, are links that are referring back to your website from low-quality websites. Links are one of the top-ranking factors that Google notices from websites.
The higher quality and reputable backlinks a website has referring back to their site, the better that website will do in search engines, especially Google. This shows that your website is a credible one in the industry.
When SEOs first began with backlinking, the more links the better, and it didn’t matter where the links were coming from. However, as time has changed practices, this was one of the first changes that was made!
The saying, “quality over quantity” holds true when it comes to backlinks.
6. Republishing the same content
The methodology of taking old content, updating it, and publishing it does not pertain to this section of this blog. What this means is that this content is not updated at all.
The content is the exact same as before but republished as if it is “new” content. If there is an old blog that is ranking lower, and instead of adding valuable content to it that makes it more relevant and up-to-date, this blog is just published, this is the black hat version of this methodology.
Updating blog content can be as simple as switching out old links, adding graphics, videos, new statistics, adding some new trends, or really anything that makes the article more relevant.
These outdated strategies can cause a website to be blacklisted in the most extreme cases on the search engine, but for the most part, Google will flag your website or your pages will slowly go down in ranking.
The biggest point to remember is to always hire the best SEO experts and professionals in the industry. Make sure to ask questions during the initial and final process of interviewing an agency!
For more information on SEO strategies, contact us today.
Avoid these outdated practices!Join the new world of SEO!
Posted In: SEO and Search Marketing