Search engines update their algorithms on an ongoing basis to ensure that users have the most enjoyable interaction experience possible. For the same reason, content that the system considers spammy or of low quality is removed from search results.
What does this mean for SEO professionals? It means that they need to keep up with updates, incorporate them into their guidlines and abandon outdated practices. Otherwise, it is possible to fall below the competition in search engine rankings.
Let’s take a look at which practices don’t produce good results.

Outdated approach to the use of keywords

Keywords are important for promotion, but many professionals use them incorrectly. There are several classic mistakes.

Irrelevant keywords for targeting

Very often, newcomers to SEO try to adjust content and metadata to the list of keywords obtained as part of the semantic core collection. The result is uncoordinated content that doesn’t align with user intent, but simply contains popular keywords.
This results in a loss of user interest from the start. Even good content won’t save from inconsistency with search intent. A user who has been misled will not finish reading what is written.
To the search engine, this is a clear signal of a site with bad content. This kind of thing is an outdated tactic that can even be classified as gray SEO.

Keyword density

Another outdated tactic is trying to achieve a certain density of keywords in the text. Search engines no longer pay attention to their frequency when ranking.

Keyword density

Today’s search engines don’t just scan pages for keywords, they consider the quality of the content and how well it answers the search query.

Keyword frequency and variants

Perhaps the most outdated approach to keyword work. The logic in this case is simple. Is SEO about keywords? So let’s put more of them on every page of the site. Alas, this does not work.
Search engines are already trained to detect such unnatural keyword stuffing. They are seen as a way to manipulate the algorithm. Such content, though not always, will be considered low quality. This also applies to an attempt to insert all possible variants of a keyword in the text. Do not forget, you create content for people, not for search engine robots.

Content Syndication

Most attempts to beat the system when it comes to SEO don’t work, but that doesn’t stop people.
Before 2011, a popular trend in SEO was article library or content syndication. This practice involved publishing content that had previously been released on other sites.
That all changed when Google released its Panda algorithm update. As a result, this approach began to have negative consequences for the site.
Today, content must not only be original, but also reliable, offering credible information and expertise.

Text uniqueness

Uniqueness is considered by many to be another gray method of SEO. This is an attempt to use special tools to recreate quality content using other words, phrases or word order in a sentence.

Text uniqueness

The result is a mishmash with the same meaning that was originally there. Although artificial intelligence is advancing in its ability to write text, it is still a long way from human beings.

Buying backlinks

Backlinks are an important factor in ranking, but bought backlinks usually do not produce good results.
As with other SEO practices, quality, not quantity, is important. If links are placed on low quality resources, or worse, created just for link building, it will damage the site’s position in search engine rankings.
Today, to improve the authority and visibility of the site it needs to have good quality links, not bought or created artificially.

Excessive use of anchor text

Internal links – a sign of a well-structured site which is convenient for the user. Most often they are embedded with anchor text – an HTML element that will briefly explain to users what content they will see on the link.
Anchor texts can be of different types, but anchors with exact occurrence of a keyword or several keywords are especially popular.
The release of Google’s Penguin algorithm update has changed the rules of the game. Over-optimized content is now out of favor.
It all comes back to the same conclusion. Create quality content that’s easy to work with for users, not search engines.

An outdated approach to keyword research

In 2010, Google announced it would no longer provide data on keywords entered by users. As search results increasingly adapted to user behavior, such a move was made in an attempt to preserve privacy.
Third-party tools have since emerged that have tried to replicate such data. But it is impossible to do this with 100% accuracy.
As a result, experts have to do their own keyword searches to get more information about the industry, audience, competitors, etc. Free tools are used more often. That’s how Google released Keyword Planner. However, you need to understand what’s behind the data displayed.
For example, the “Level of competition” displayed in the tool refers only to paid traffic and promotion. You will not be able to build a strategy for organic promotion based on that data.
Moz Keyword Explorer and Semrush Keyword Magic Tool may be an alternative, but they are not free.

Creating pages with all variants of keywords

A promotion method that offered content with all keyword variants has worked before. However, algorithms such as Hummingbird, RankBrain and others have taught search robots to understand not only variations of the same word, but also the topic.
A site’s visibility now depends on the value the content offers to users, not on the variation of a single word. This not only leads to cannibalization (different pages of the site are optimized for the same keywords), but also makes the site harder to use.

Targeting exact match with the search query

Targeting exact match with the search query

Promoting with a focus on exact match to a search query, in the hope of a higher rank, was quite popular until 2012.
But Google launched semantic technology and the Knowledge Graph to improve the quality of its search results. Artificial intelligence now understands context better, so it looks for the most relevant answer to the user’s question, rather than the site where the search query will be exactly repeated.

Buying domains with exact occurrence of the keyword

The presence of a keyword in the name of the domain makes sense, but to a certain extent. Much more important is that the domain relates to the brand.
The name of the brand should be concise. This rule works for the name of the domain.
Create good products, provide quality services under your name, and Google will improve your visibility for people who are relevant to your offer.

Reliance on third-party domain authority

If you’re doing link building or content distribution, make sure that the list of sites you plan to partner with considers more than just domain authority. It’s important to consider the following:

  1. Make sure the content on the site is relevant to what you want to promote.
  2. Check what kind of organic traffic the site receives for the keywords you want.
  3. if you need regional linking, make sure that the site is getting users from the right country or region.
  4. Check how relevant backlinks are published on the site.
    Domain authority score will help in the first stage to select quality sites. But this is not the only metric that should be considered in link building.

Low-quality content

Let’s be honest: There was a time when sites with bad content made it to the top of search engine rankings. But they’re gone.
Today, to rank above the competition, you must create quality content that best responds to the user’s query.
Before you move on to creating content, look at examples of what ranks high in search engine rankings for your keywords. Chances are, the content on the front pages is of good quality.

Outdated tactics are the way to nowhere
It may seem that outdated SEO tactics will bring quick results. But in the long run, you’re wasting your time.

Reject low-brow and spammy tactics. Only then you can not fear search engine filters and demotion in the rankings.


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