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In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), nothing stays the same for a long time. In order to achieve high results in search results and not to fall behind the competition, it is extremely important to follow the latest trends and changes in Google algorithms. Creating a campaign based on outdated guidelines will not bring the expected results. Moreover, it can even harm your website’s reputation. To help you identify and eliminate potentially dangerous SEO practices and ensure proper SEO , in the article below, we’ve put together ten actions that shouldn’t be used anymore because they just don’t work.
The SEO world is dynamic. Google and other search engines are constantly improving their algorithms, which can change up to 600 times a year . Even slight modifications can result in the existing strategies that kept the site in high positions simply stop working. Updates like Penguin and Panda have revolutionized the way search engines work. It is a waste of time on strategies that have long ceased to be effective and will not help you improve search results for your website.
SEO strategies that don’t work anymore
Learn about SEO strategies and methods that only waste time and resources. They are not effective in building the visibility of your website. Read the list below and update your knowledge!
Optimization for desktops only
For many years, marketers have focused on the appearance and operation of the website only on computers. Today it is not enough. Consider how often you use your phone to search on Google. Whether you are looking for the nearest restaurant, remembering when your favorite sports team is playing the next match, or looking for a review of a movie you are going to watch, you probably use your phone to get to the information you are interested in much faster.
We all tend to do a lot of searches on mobile devices. Therefore, it is very important that the websites are well converted to the mobile format. Otherwise, your site’s ratings will drop. From March 2021, Google indexing robots only consider the mobile version of the website. Keep this in mind when designing and developing your website . Google recommends that all websites have a responsive design that can easily adjust the page display size to the device while maintaining accessibility and aesthetics. The key is to provide a positive search experience for users, regardless of the device. You can read more about it in the article: Mobile site optimization for SEO .
Excessive focus on keywords
Back in its infancy, search engines relied heavily on counting the number of times a keyword was used on a page, and then determining what the site should rank in the search results. As a result, many SEO strategies have been to populate your site with as many industry-related keywords as possible. Google and other search engines have put an end to this by minimizing the value they attach to keywords. Now, Google uses Latent semantic indexing , which was developed around February 2004 and has become more and more visible with each update .
Today, website owners are expected to have high-quality content that will be of interest to their target audience. The focus should be on writing for users, not for search engines. Keywords should be placed naturally in the text. Keyword stuffing goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines .
Over-optimizing your content for key phrases will have a negative impact on the readability of the text and the user experience, and thus may harm your domain rankings. Instead, it will be more advantageous to create content that is valuable and interesting in the eyes of the audience. If you care about keywords, use synonyms and related terms. Don’t worry, search engines will still understand the purpose and message of your content.
Currently, over 70% of all Google searches are made up of long keywords. For this reason, it is also worth focusing on the use of longer phrases on the website, called long-tail keywords. These types of phrases generally generate less traffic, but tend to show a much higher conversion value than short keywords because they are more specific and help attract a new, more motivated audience .
Long keywords are valuable to businesses that want their content to rank in Google organic search results, but potentially even more valuable to advertisers running paid search (SEM) marketing campaigns. By targeting longer, more specific keywords in your AdWords campaigns, you can get higher ad rankings on relevant searches without paying for each click .
Duplicate content continues to be a problem faced by many websites. The presence of duplicates on the site may also be perceived by the algorithm as an attempt to mislead and manipulate the search results. Search engines may also find it difficult to identify the portion of the draft text that should be displayed to users. These types of problems can even result in the complete removal of the domain address from the Google index.
To avoid duplicates, it’s a good idea to audit your domain and remove duplicate content. Tools such as Siteliner can be used for this . Most of all, however, when creating content for your website, avoid copying a large amount of text from other websites or other pages on your website. However, if repetition of certain content is unavoidable, it is worth informing Google about it through canonization. Thanks to this, you will indicate to the algorithm the canonical URL address that should be displayed in the search results .
Creating multiple subpages
Despite the 2011 update to the Panda algorithm, some marketers still believe that creating multiple pages can get more traffic to your site. However, creating content just to have more pages is not a good solution. The focus should be on quality, not quantity. Without engaging and valuable content for the audience, a large number of pages on your site will not help improve search results .
Currently, low-quality content may result in the imposition of a penalty by Google, so it is worth focusing on creating such texts that users will want to read, which they will come back to and which they will want to share with other Internet users .
Ignoring meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are short pieces of text that appear in the search results list. They provide data about the website to both search engines and users visiting it. In other words, they make it possible to identify what type of content is posted on your site. Therefore, meta descriptions are very important for SEO.
Appropriate optimization of meta descriptions allows you to highlight the most important parts of the content, and thus make your website stand out in the search results. The meta description should contain an accurate description of the content of your website. It’s also a good idea to include long keywords. This short text can decide whether users click on the link to your website, so it’s worth taking the time to optimize it. At the same time, it should be remembered that each of the popular search engines has its own individual character limit, which are respectively:
- Google – about 158
characters / 920 pixels,
- Bing – about 168 characters / 980 pixels,
- Yahoo – Approx. 168 characters / 980 pixels  .
Number over quality in link building
Link building has become one of the most important SEO strategies. Until a few years ago, SEO was mainly about getting a large number of links. Today is different. Building or buying as many links as possible without paying attention to where they are coming from is one of the riskiest SEO strategies you can engage in .
Of course, links are still the main variable in Google’s algorithm. A website that does not have enough high-value links may be considered insufficiently valuable to rank well on Google. Search engines are now also smart enough to know whether a particular page from which a link comes is trustworthy and whether it has a genuine link to the site they are referring users to. Poor quality, irrelevant links can harm your SEO. In turn, valuable and relevant links can significantly strengthen your presence on the Internet. Keep in mind that a few high-quality links are worth more than hundreds of low-quality links .
Bypassing Local SEO
Due to the Pigeon algorithm and numerous updates that have taken place so far, the lack of adaptation of the content to the local community significantly limits the possibilities of improving search results for a given domain. Currently, as much as 46% of searches are local , so local SEO plays a very important role in optimizing your website for search. It is especially important for traditional companies serving specific cities or provinces.
Google has over 87% of the market share , so the first steps taken in terms of local SEO should start with this search engine. A good starting point is to create a Google My Business listing. However, it cannot end there. Local SEO is much more than GMF. Don’t ignore other local search engines and services, such as Bing, Yelp, and Apple Maps, which users also use to search for local businesses.
Google My Business is the first and fundamental step towards local SEO optimization.
“Submit” your site to Google
Many SEO marketers still believe that submitting information about a site to Google will positively impact their rankings. This view is not reflected in reality. Google is able to index your site without submitting it, and submitting it has nothing to do with ranking.
We propose an alternative solution: If you are in the process of redesigning your website, or you are creating a completely new website, instead of sending the website address to Google, create an account in Google Search Console and use webmaster tools. By using the “Index” -> “Sitemaps” tab, you can upload a sitemap XML file, thanks to which Google will receive information about new pages in your domain on an ongoing basis. It’s also a good idea to set up 301 redirects on your web server so that Google (and people who bookmark your site) can associate old web addresses with new ones.
Relying on automated content generators
The last tactic to close the list is automatic content generation. It is a relic of a bygone era of SEO that needs to be discussed separately. In the past, automatically generated content was the backbone of many successful SEO campaigns. This contributed to a multitude of articles that were not worth much. Currently, however, search engines can easily recognize this type of content on websites and can impose ranking penalties on websites that use such solutions. Even the best SEO solutions will not be able to help you rank higher in the SERP if you use automatic text generators that you do not edit afterwards.
Of course, creating new content for a company blog is time-consuming, and coming up with new topics can be difficult. But instead of relying on total automation, it’s better to use idea generators. One of them was made available by Hubspot and is a great support for creators to plan their blog content monthly. Of course, you still need to modify the titles you receive, but the idea generator can help you at times when you feel tired of the topic and lack creative ideas for new articles .
Theme suggestion for the phrase: SEO obtained from Hubspot’s idea generator.
Summary: Focus on what really works for SEO
As you can see, a lot has changed over the years in what is considered to be effective in the world of SEO content optimization and improvement. Fortunately, with this awareness and the desire to explore new solutions, you can move forward. If you are still using any of the above tactics, it’s time to give it up and focus on SEO ranking factors that can realistically help your website rank high in search results.
However, if you need help in the development of your internet marketing – please contact us . For over ten years we have been helping companies on the Internet, acquiring traffic for them and turning it into conversion. Our marketing strategies are a unique combination of SEO and UX. Tell us about your business goals and check what solutions we can offer you.
Appropriate website structure, errors on the page, correct URL addresses – such issues significantly affect the effectiveness of positioning, therefore the skillful creation of redirects on the website should be one of the important elements of the positioning strategy. However, you should remember about moderation – the lack of redirects is a serious problem, but their excess can also weaken the website. Correctness and optimization of implementation are important in developing User Experience. The smoother, more convenient and easier a given user browses a website, the more time he or she will spend on it and the more likely to return to it. Redirects affect not only website traffic, but conversion as well. Consider online stores – each time a potential customer encounters a 404 error, the chances of it being that he will decide to continue browsing the assortment and the final transaction. It is worth regularly monitoring the operation of the website and checking if all redirects are functioning flawlessly, then we increase our chances of quickly detecting any errors and fixing them before it has a negative impact on the operation and effectiveness of the website.
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