Outdated SEO practices can harm your online presence in various ways. You need to stay up-to-date with industry to avoid negative impacts on search rankings, penalties from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex or Duckduckgo and limited visibility in search results.
Also, you need to understand the difference between “outdated SEO” and “black hat SEO.” Black hat SEO is something that blatantly violate search engine guidelines, often focusing solely on short-term gains without considering user experience. These tactics prioritize search engines over actual users, providing little value to your target audience.
What is Outdated SEO and How it is Different from Black hat SEO Techniques?
Outdated SEO encompasses similar tactics used in black hat SEO but without the intention to deceive or manipulate search engines for artificial success. Instead, it arises from limited or shallow knowledge about search engine optimization or a lack of expertise in the field.
It’s essential to recognize that having insufficient knowledge can be detrimental when providing SEO services as an SEO expert for businesses.
Outdated SEO Practices to Avoid for Digital Marketing
By staying updated and using ethical and user-centric SEO strategies, you can ensure long-term success with digital marketing and meaningful results for your website.
Wrong Keyword Density and Focus
There is a significant difference between optimizing for keywords within content and topic focus areas, and having an excessive focus on exact match single term (or very targeted and limited term) delivery in SEO. When creating content for your website, it is important to complete keyword research to really understand user needs and to pitch the content accordingly.
Optimizing content requires knowledge of keyword usage and maximization to avoid bad SEO practice. Repeatedly using the same keywords in content for the purposes of ranking for that single term is a dated tactic that has limited long-term potential.
When you are creating content, consider the following questions as this will help to identify whether you are too keyword-focused content of websites and social media sites.
Are there other pages on the website with similar content?
When you create landing pages targeting keywords or LSI keywords (keyword variation) for effective SEO strategy, it can be difficult to distinguish the purpose and value of each page.
So, you should review your similar content pages and remove repeated keywords or small groups of keywords. Then, objectively assess if the remaining content provides unique value. If not, you might be overly focused on exact matches or single keywords.
Is there much term variation on your website copy?
The presence of natural phrase and term variations in your content indicates its depth. Just like in quality articles, journals, or research papers, digital branding, you shouldn’t immediately see a clear optimization intent in your digital content.
Therefore, you need to copy and paste your website content into a Word document and use Ctrl + F to find all instances of the exact match keyword for International and local SEO marketing.
Compare the frequency of this term with other relevant terms (excluding adjoining terms). If there’s a significant imbalance, you may need to revise the content by adding variations, synonyms, and enhancing user-driven value.
Would you speak to someone in the same way you have written your content?
It can be a valuable exercise to read your content out loud. If you work in an open-plan office environment this may be slightly more challenging, but your content quality will increase when you add this simple step into your editorial process.
It becomes almost embarrassing to read aloud excessively keyword stuffing or keyword-focused content because it is so apparent that either the content created has very minimal standalone value, or that the content has not been created with people in mind.
Tip: When you write content, leave at least a few hours between the first draft content creation and its actual live publication and check stuff like keyword stuffing or other outdated SEO technique options. During this time, take on other non-related tasks. Come back to the content and read it out loud.
Book a meeting room if you are conscious of people seeing you talking to yourself, and imagine you are speaking this same content to another person (ideally someone whose opinion you value highly).
If you feel even slightly embarrassed by what you are writing, do not publish that content – consider keyword usage and rework it with the user in mind.
Are you using keyword density tools?
A keyword density tool is a means to provide a percentage (stat) to measure the number of times a specific keyword is mentioned on a web page compared to the total number of other terms on that same page.
There are many article checking tools like Surfer SEO, Marketmuse, Writerzen for checking the keyword and semantic keywords in an article.
First, there are valid reasons for using keyword density tools for improving SEO performance and identifying excessive key term focus. This question should be considered, to assess why you are using a keyword density tool.
If you have target percentages for keyword inclusion in quality content, or believe that you have an optimal keyword density, you are potentially walking a very thin line between optimizing and spamming.
When you add something to your website, that content – whatever its form – will usually have an intended audience and You should your SEO tactic according to that. If you are adding articles and pictures to your website and hiding it from users, you need to consider reasons behind doing it. Ask, what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Hiding content, like making it invisible by using the same color as the background, focuses solely on search engine optimization while disregarding the user’s experience.
This should be avoided.
Another example is styling links to appear as regular content, even though they have link functionality. There are valid reasons to hide certain content.
For instance, you may have repeated content like financial services terms and conditions that shouldn’t distract from the page’s main purpose. In a quality content, you should avoid hiding or white coloring certain articles.
This type of content may be hidden from view, and may require extra user action to view it (eg clicking on ‘read more’, a tab of content, or other functionality). As with many of these dated tactics, there can be valid reasons for using them.
The purpose of being aware of the negative uses is for self-evaluation. You should question whether the tactic you are using is the right one, or whether it is likely to be potentially damaging to search engine success over the longer term.
If you are hiding content from the user the main questions to ask yourself are:
- Why don’t I want the user want to see this content?
- What is the need for the content? /Who is this content for?
- What am I hoping to achieve with this content?
Also known as bridge pages, gateway pages, and by a few other names, a doorway page is a web page created to spam the search engine results pages with low quality and very low user value content in order to rank highly and pass that traffic onto another web page or location.
These can often be seen in location pages with zero unique value that repeat the same small set of keywords excessively and redirect to another destination after the user clicks on the search engine advert. There can be good reason to use these pages, but you if you do make use of them, you should ask yourself:
- What is the purpose of the doorway pages for search results?
- Do these pages have backlink profiles as an outdated seo strategy?
- Are the pages for people or for search engines?
- Is the focus and value of the page very restricted, or is the intention
- to drive lots of generic traffic to the page?
- Do the pages have standalone value or are they simply watered-down versions of other deeper SEO content pages on the site?
- Can people visiting these pages access the remainder of the website’s main content, or are they limiting the user experience?
Also referred to as scraped or copied content, duplicate content is any content that is originated on other websites that you include in part (large parts of content rather than small snippets or references) or in full on your website with or without express permission, or in many cases not referring to the content creator source. This is also an outdated SEO tactic that tries to hack google search optimization in a wrong way.
The intended outcome from this duplication is to drive search engine rankings and likely impressions, traffic and sales from that content without investment in its creation. Duplicate content can also refer to content that exists on other sections and pages within your own website.
When it comes to duplicate content consider the following questions: What is causing the duplication? It could be other sites scraping your content, it could be your content management system (CMS) creating multiple versions of pages, and it could be you intentionally copying other website content for leveraging artificial search gains – there are many other scenarios that can fall into this area of self-review.
- Do you have a number of pages on your site with limited user or content value outside of the website template?
- Is all of your website content accessible for crawling and indexation? Do you promote your content in its entirety, or large parts of it on external websites?
Low-quality Link Building
This is another one of the outdated SEO strategies that is forbidden in modern SEO and digital marketing. This includes creating masses of high-volume and low-quality links, link farms and irrelevant link building. It also involves repeatedly seeking external links from other websites for the purpose of passing authority to your site (and ultimately fake or artificial search engine and ranking gains), regardless of the quality, relevancy, or audience perceived value.
Links are one of the most important google ranking signals for the major search engines to attribute value and relevancy to a web page or website, and while there are many effective and required link-building tactics necessary to support SEO objectives, quality is a defining measurement.
When you consider low-quality link building, some of the key questions to ask yourself are: What is the goal of the link?