The growth of technological advancement has also revolutionized internet marketing strategies. It can be clearly observed marketing strategies effective five years ago aren’t productive now. Same is the case with SEO. Search engines have grown smarter and more sophisticated with the implementation of AI and machine learning – and algorithms continuously improve thereby rendering the ranking system ever cleverer.
There are however many businesses practicing old SEO strategies most of which are now considered spammy activities. Being a consultant I come across several businesses utilizing strategies that no longer work. Actually, this issue is what inspired me to write this article. The tactics discussed herein may vary in their effect on your business – a few may be ineffective though harmless, while a few others may actually be detrimental to your SEO strategy – yet every business involved with SEO could benefit from this write-up, and in fact use it as a reference to see whether or not their approach is up to date.
1. Utilizing Link Directories:
Well, to be honest for the most part, link directories were not that useful anyway – these were very common but only before the Search Engine became so efficient and all-powerful.
Link Directories were widely implemented to increase popularity although these don’t provide much of a value to the visitors on any given website. The reason why search engines adjusted their algorithms and began to ignore the link directories. Now, having a directory with low-quality links can even get your site penalized by search engines.
Marketers started using grey hat techniques and utilized a few software to submit articles to thousands of directories, but low-quality content which doesn’t provide any value to people basically caused websites damage rather than doing any good. Todaythe general conception therefore is that Link and Article Directories containpoor content and don’t really help in boosting the rankings.
2. Flat URL Structure:
The default URL has a linear structure and doesn’t help search engine to better understand the hierarchy of the pages within the site. The search engine won’t understand the mutual relationship of the pages of the site clearly with a flat hierarchy. So the best practice is to change that flat structure of your site as soon as you can so that crawlers can better crawl through your site. And your content can better attract the crawlers in the future.
3. Exact match domain:
Exact match domain became very popular for a while. This strategy used to give a quick boost to a site’s ranking. The whole idea of exact match domain was that your site name matched exactly with the keyword people were using for their searches eg: Spectrum services could use the domain spectrumservices.com to directly land traffic on their corporate website.
This technique died instantly when Google started making the algorithms more sophisticated and smarter. Back in 2012 the trend of exact match domains went on a decline. Now, an exact match domain doesn’t guarantee higher chances of ranking better, rather that possibility remains the same as that of any other domain. In fact, exact match domains have higher chances of being flagged by a search engine than other domain names.
4. Automated link building software:
Links certainly have high importance in SEO. We now know high-quality links can help improve the ranking of your site. Before the era of smart search engines, marketers however used to utilize link-building software to gain exposure – this was frequently used in a bid to be recognized by search engine algorithms. The usage of these software caused random links to be posted on different platforms like forums, blog comments/discussions, etc. to gain attention. You must have seen comments like “check out the link” etc. in the middle of a discussion that is the least related to the posted link.
Automated link building software is still used by several businesses, although it is considered a black hat activity. All the SEO people need to realize is the link building process cannot be automated – it develops with high-quality content and valuable relationships with webmasters.
5. Pages for Keyword variation:
Creating separate pages for variation of keywords was a common practice and used to get a great load of traction but this strategy really doesn’t work now. As search engine crawlers have grown smart and can detect these simple and clever hacks within seconds.
Google’s AI, RankBrain, etc. can even detect the keywords that are not displayed within the content. In fact they tend to penalize your site for using such black hat techniques.
6. Getting Paid links for the site:
You won’t want to violate the guidelines provided by Google Webmaster. Buying links can certainly help improve the rankings of your site unless you get caught by Google. We all must have practiced it at some point in our SEO career but that doesn’t mean we can never get caught. Now, if a search engine detects you’re getting yourself paid links to improve rankings, the whole effort of yours will go in vain. Google considers both buyer and seller equally guilty.
7. Linking sites to one another:
If you have multiple businesses in different domains there is no point in building a network of interlinked sites. Interlinked sites must be relevant to each other. Linking sites without relevance just to create high-quality links is a false practice and won’t really have aneffect on your site’s ranking.
You certainly are not rewarded by the number of links you build, but that of quality links you have acquired. In fact you can also get penalized for this practice now. Linking your sites to other credible websites can give an instant boost to your website’s ranking on SERPs. A single link from a credible website like Forbes is way better than several backlinks from low DA sites.
I hope this article has helped you in identifying the old SEO techniques you’re still practicing. In order to keep up with the latest SEO tactics keep a keen eye on Google algorithm updates. Google keeps on modifying its algorithms which have direct effect on SEO practices. Remain mindful of the fact, progress in SEO is non-linear – constantly evolving with every passing day. It’s an ongoing process of learning and unlearning. So keep yourselves updated with new trends in the SEO market.
Saira A is a content strategist at Spectrum Voice and has keen interest in technology and sports. She absolutely enjoys educating people out of her experience. She is constantly writing to enable her readers to achieve their set goals in SEO, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, PPC, SMM and Affiliate Marketing.