What SEO Tactics are No Longer Effective?

3 Oct 2019 Digital Marketing

Since the field of search engine optimization is constantly changing and evolving, it is important to keep up with what SEO tactics are no longer effective, as things that used to get you onto the first page of Google may no longer do so. In fact, certain SEO tactics that no longer work may actually hurt your website more than help it.

As search engine optimization experts, the team from FirstPage Marketing understands the importance of keeping up with the latest SEO techniques. That is why their team is always working hard to stay up to date in the world of SEO in order to provide our clients with expert advice and SEO services.

1. Putting Keywords Before User Engagement

While keywords are one of the most important parts of SEO because they work to inform search engines what the content on a website is about, trying to stuff as many keywords into your content as you can will make the content appear disreputable, lowering the click-through rate.

Instead of using keyword stuffing to try to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP), consider focusing on attracting clicks by writing copy that will appeal to your actual target audience. Doing so can help increase click-through rates, while also helping the website rank higher on search engines.

2. Using Exact Match Domains

Using exact match domains (using an exact key phrase that you are trying to target within the domain name) used to be a popular SEO technique that allowed websites to rise quickly in the SERPs; however, since Google’s algorithm update in 2012, exact match domains are now often to be considered spammy and untrustworthy, making them less likely to rank well. While there are some exact match domains that still rank well, it is important to note that these domains rank well in spite of the exact match domain and not because of the exact match domain.

A better approach to getting a domain name to rank well in search engines today is to focus on creating a recognizable brand, as well as a website that focuses all resources in one place rather than across multiple websites. By focusing on creating a recognizable brand, you will be able to build trust with customers and give your brand greater authority online.

3. Using Meta Keywords

Similar to meta titles and meta descriptions, meta keywords are pieces of information that can be picked up by search engines, providing them with additional information about the content on a website. While meta keywords used to have a real impact on search rankings, they became problematic when people started abusing them to rank for more search phrases. This, in turn, led to search engines no longer taking meta keywords into account in their ranking algorithms.

Even though meta keywords can still be filled in on a website, doing so will do nothing to help increase a website’s standings in the search results. Instead, you would be better off concentrating on writing solid meta titles and meta descriptions, using plugins like Yoast SEO, as they can have a lot of influence on click-through rates.

4. Buying Links

While buying links for a website used to be an incredibly popular SEO tactic, buying links is now expressly forbidden and penalized by Google to the point that buying or selling links may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Instead of buying links, it is important to strive to become a resource that people know, like, trust, and want to link to. While this takes a lot of time and commitment, providing users with quality content that is original and relevant will help your website rank better without running the risk of being demoted by Google.

5. Prioritizing High-Volume Keywords Over Intent

Even though prioritizing the use of high-volume keywords might seem like a sound plan for boosting your website’s search engine rankings, high-volume keywords can be incredibly competitive, making them difficult to rank for. It is also important to note that keywords with the highest volume may not always be the right keywords to target because they will not always match user intent.

Rather than focusing on targeting broad, high-volume keywords, consider targeting long-tail keywords used by consumers who are farther down the sales funnel and more likely to convert. These types of keywords tend to be less competitive, making it easier to rank on search engines, and are more likely to lead to new conversions on your website.

6. Publishing Duplicate Content

One of the most common on-page SEO errors that people make today is using duplicate content on several pages on the same website or on several different websites. Since user experience is now one of the most important ranking factors and providing users with unique content helps build brand recognition, using duplicate content can mark a website as untrustworthy.

When writing content for your website, it is important to try to have a 0% match rate between page content. If your website does have duplicate content, make sure to rewrite any pages that are too similar. A canonicalization attribute can also be used to communicate to Google that two or more pages are the same. The canonical tag can be used to tell Google which page is the preferred version of the content that should be indexed and given priority.

Knowing what SEO tactics are no longer effective will help protect your website from being penalized by search engines. To learn about some of the different search engine optimization tactics that will help your website appear on the first page of Google, get in touch with the SEO experts today.