Discover 12 old SEO techniques you NEED to stop using – WAU
The business world is full of traditional tools and strategies that are often described as “old but gold“, or in good London, old but valuable. In digital marketing, and specifically in SEO techniques, there is not always a place for the use of old strategies, and this is due to the simple fact that the algorithms […]
The business world is full of traditional tools and strategies that are often described as “old but gold“, Or in good London, old, but valuable.
In digital marketing, and specifically in SEO techniques, there is not always a place for the use of old strategies, and this is due to the simple fact that Google’s algorithms and other search engines are constantly being improved.
That is, what helped to optimize a website or content to obtain more and better organic results in 2003 can penalize your strategies today.
It should be borne in mind that the main objective of search engines is to bring the best response and search experience to their users. And it is based on this that, throughout its various updates, Google seeks to improve its conditions so that they find the most relevant content.
See the evolution of some of the most striking updates:
- Florida (2003): it was the first major update to Google’s algorithm and it took a good part of the low structural quality sites from the research highlights;
- Panda (2011): if Florida focused on the structure, Panda and most of the following updates aimed at improving the content, for example, giving prestige to sites and publications with few interrupting advertisements;
- Penguin (2012): update focused on backlinks. Google started to punish links acquired in an unnatural way;
- Humminbird (2013): inserted the importance of the semantics of the keyword and facilities as search suggestions resources for users;
- Rankbrain (2015): brought artificial intelligence to contribute to the interpretation and presentation of results. That same year, Google had also released an update that focused on friendly content for smartphones that was called Mobilegeddon.
In 2018, some updates corrected flaws in the algorithm called Fred, emphasizing user-friendly content for searches performed on the smartphone, but the one that most reverberated was undoubtedly the one that penalized low-authority content YMYL (Your Money or Your Life / Your money) or your life).
Sites that exploit this type of content, according to Google, can affect the future happiness, health, financial stability or safety of users. That is why there is a greater demand from the authority and reliability of these sites and authors.
With so many updates, strategies that previously produced excellent performance results can now be considered black hat techniques worthy of being penalized by search engines.
Do you want to know if any of them are still part of your digital marketing actions? We put together a list that deserves your attention. Check out.
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1. Try to rank by focusing only on link building
The update of the algorithm called Penguin 2.0 eliminated the strategy that many SEO professionals adopted when focusing massively on link building. It consisted of getting and making as many links as possible, even disregarding the domain of its origin.
The big problem with this strategy is to neglect several other factors that are extremely relevant to the ranking, affecting mainly the zeal for the content.
Link building, alongside quality content, is still one of the most relevant strategies in SEO and needs to be done efficiently.
It is not just the great acquisition of links that will put your website at the top. Focusing on just that can be a shot in the foot and even if you build a great backlink profile.
If your content, your website structure and your user experience do not share this quality, you will hardly achieve great results.
2. Focus only on ranking first and forget about other SERP features
In a traditional list, being among the first results clearly offers an advantage over the other results.
But, once that same page that this list is presented is also filled with other information resources that divide the user’s attention, it doesn’t make much sense to focus exclusively on being first.
To be clear, SERP is the acronym for Search Engine Results Page, that is, it is the search engine results page.
Thus, in the past, SERP presented only a list with links and a brief demonstration of the content.
Nowadays, considering the updates of the algorithms and Google’s focus on the user experience, it can present much more than links, that is, features that optimize the search performed.
Focusing only on the top positions of the research, then, is a limited strategy. It is necessary to think about optimizing the content for all the new opportunities that SERP presents.
In some cases, snippets of website content far beyond the first position are presented in the format of featured snippets, which are quick response boxes that are at the top of the search pages, that is, in a position that could be called zero.
In it, credits and a link to the full content are available.
They can be presented as paragraphs that describe the best concept or answer to a question, bulletpoint lists, numbered lists and tables.
In this video our expert André Mousinho teaches you how to get these featured snippets and rank at Google’s position 0:
2.1 Other features
The types of features that can be presented at SERP depend on the type of research performed. But, some of them are:
Rich snippets (and rich card):
In addition to the title and link of the content presented in the search result, rich snippets are complementary descriptions or representations of the content, such as the geolocation of a company or its evaluation using quality stars. Rich cards are variations for the mobile version of search;
Knowledge graphs and panels:
The graphs are presented on the right side of the survey and contain information about places or people in an organized and logical way, such as opening hours and days, contact details, links of interest, etc. For the panels they work in the same way but search for information from Google My Business and Maps lists;
For the user experience, some search results are best presented with images. Searching for the word “cute dogs”, for example, will present a sequence of images at the top of the page.
These examples are all free, but other strategies can also receive investments to privilege the user experience, and of course, the best ranking for the company.
3. Force the use of the keyword
The latest updates to the Google algorithm make it clear that the content that will be privileged in the ranking are those that really produce positive effects and quality of reading for search engine users.
When penalizing, for example, YMYL-type sites, Google wants to offer content that is relevant, and does not direct its users to actions that could harm their physical, financial health or the general well-being of society.
Along the same lines, if a publication has more to do with the nonsense accumulation of keywords and less with a message to be transmitted, its position will also not be among the first.
It is necessary to consider the fluidity of the content, the writing standards of the language and even the arrangement of the text blocks so that the content has a good positioning.
Remembering that Google knows how to interpret keywords, that is, if the word that has a high search volume is “Academia 2019 clothes”.
You do not need to repeat this KW within your text or use it in your title to rank, you must adapt it so that the title looks good and attracts the user. And it is clear that during the content you will write clothes “from” or “for” gym.
As you can see, Google interprets the search and the best-placed results are focused on “fitness fashion”.
4. Take Yoast too seriously
Yoast is a pluggin that suggests optimizing the content so that it has a good categorization by the search engine. However, as stated, it is only a suggestion.
Many professionals and companies, however, take their suggestions to the letter and end up editing the content and its settings excessively.
Remembering that Yoast is focused on good practices, not rules. And Yoast does not punish your site. You can have some little orange lights inside and still rank first.
Check out this other content where I explain point by point each Yoast evaluation you need to follow and which ones you can reveal.
Working with content taking Yoast too seriously favors search engines, but not necessarily the user experience. Therefore, this strategy is not currently recommended.
Want more tips on SEO? Access our free guides:
– Secrets of Organic Traffic
– Local SEO Guide
– Search SEO Trends Brasil
5. Making non-contextualized Link baits
Link baits are content produced to be a bait and attract other external and internal links to the site, as well as promoting their substantial sharing as they are fun, informational, controversial or of interest to the general public.
However, when not substantiated, it can have a negative character for SEO and end up penalizing the site as a whole.
An office furniture website, for example, should not use link baits talking about a child singer who has won a music contest, and unless she is related to your products and industry.
6. Bet on keyword stuffing
This tactic is a major focus of the first major update to Google’s algorithm, called Florida.
Considered a black hat technique, an unethical tactic for digital marketing, it consists of filling the text with keywords that are out of context, but that are high in search volumes and most commented subjects.
It was used both associated with link baits and randomly.
In addition to being penalized by search engines, this tactic is so detrimental to the reading experience that the target audience itself gave clear demonstrations that the content was bad.
That is, the keyword stuffing ended up affecting other parameters and statistics of the blog that determine its quality, such as the time spent on pages, for example.
7. Create a page for each variation of a keyword
SEO strategies today cannot have a single front, but that does not mean they need to have a page for each variation of the keyword. This, as has already been made clear, disperses the ranking effort.
Thus, for current algorithms, the ideal is to work on the semantics of the keyword on the same page.
Remembering that as Google interprets the search, it knows that the same page responds to different searches, but with the same intention.
See this example with our Digital Marketing content that ranks for:
In addition to strengthening the keyword by semantics, condensing its variations in the same place also favors another feature of Google search, related searches.
8. Consider that larger content ranks better
Long content may or may not be more informative than the rest, so its size alone does not guarantee good positions in the ranking of search engines.
They may have a higher volume of mention of the keyword, but we have also made it clear that this is not necessarily a positive factor for their optimization. Therefore, content must be large if each section is relevant and rich for reading.
In the survey conducted by Websites Are Us SEO TRENDS 2018, the trend of quality content is confirmed. Now, 69.8% confirm that publishing materials and posts on their blogs are their biggest investments in digital marketing.
This includes publications of various types and sizes. Evergreen, news, differentiated, rich, research, infographics and many others are included in the package, because together, they produce a more pleasant and efficient reading experience.
Each type of publication has a different purpose. Long, quality content also plays a crucial role in the strategy, but it does not always have an immediate, but long-term effect.
They also require constant control over updates in order to continue playing their roles.
In short, it is interesting that a post has at least 300 or 500 words, but without that number being rigid enough to prevent a relevant publication from being made because it does not meet these standards.
Light content is often more shareable, and the restriction of not publishing it because it is too small can take an interesting opportunity.
So keep in mind whenever the ideal size of a content is always the one that completely answers the question that brought the reader to it, regardless of the number of words.
9. Don’t use technical SEO
The evolution of the way of privileging the contents in the search results showed that the search experience is increasingly important and how the results are relevant. But that does not mean that some basic rules should not be followed.
There lies the difference between technical and creative SEO. While the first aims at organizing elements of the code and structure of the website, the other focuses on the user experience in search and reading, such as the semantics that have been mentioned a lot, but also the scannability of the content, the use of images to enrich the information, etc.
One of the main ranking factors today, for example, is the page loading speed. And every structural detail on your site can influence that.
Having a well-structured sitemap is also essential, after all, it’s up to you to guide Google’s robots while they crawl your site, showing the most important pages and leaving navigation crawlers and more optimized users.
Failing to use the elements of technical SEO can be a big mistake. The ideal is that there is a balance between the two.
10. Insert several keywords in the Meta Description
It worked, but it doesn’t work anymore. When search engines had, as it were, limitations in their research analysis and structuring processes, a solution was created for the association of sites and their main keywords: the Meta Keyword.
Basically, the developers of the sites and their content entered in this field what were the keywords that defined their site and want to be associated.
But with a lot of power comes a lot of responsibility. Or at least common sense.
And that is not what happened. Many websites started to select keywords that were strong, but had no relation to their content or made an endless list.
With the update of the algorithms, filling the meta keyword tags can even be considered a keyword stuffing, that is, a black hat that aims to circumvent the search engine.
However, it should not be completely abandoned, after all, in addition to the tags, there is still the title and its meta description. These two can and should be worked with naturalness and consistency, within their limit of 160 characters and varying on each page of the site.
11. Develop micro-sites in separate domains
This practice is not very effective because it shares the strength of the ranking strategies, after all, separating the links through the sites does not allow one to contribute effectively to the other.
The idea was to use small sites with different domains to publish the same content and thus gain more links from other sites, and with that, they hoped to attract more qualified readers to the topic.
In addition to the questionable results, it is a strategy that does not currently pass Google’s quality protection filters.
12. Buy links instead of focusing on content
There are many sites on the internet, so how do you make your content referenced and not the others? This is a desperate question and it is always accompanied by the urgency to rank as quickly as possible.
This mixture of disbelief with the latent need to win positions in the search engines has led many professionals to invest in the purchase of links on forums and websites that claim to be specialized in the subject.
Some points that confirm that this strategy is bad are:
- entities that sell links to a business also do so to other diverse stakeholders. That is, even though your project is interesting and this measure is exceptional, once listed in these contents, your link will be in the company of others of low quality that are anchored in this tactic; and
- considering the standards that the algorithms are always looking for, hire links can generate a peak of atypical associations that will attract attention from the mechanisms that fight black hats.
SEO techniques will continue to change, but contrary to what some people in the market say, they will never cease to exist. They evolve according to the new demands of search engines and have the same objective as them, to privilege quality content.
So, crossing out old SEO strategies and investing in relevant content for the target audience, the goals of content marketing planned for the website or blog will have much more relevant results for the business, allowing its other elements, such as the sales funnel and lead qualification to be accomplished much more successfully.