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4 outdated SEO practices you should ditch


We tend to stick to old school methods because we get comfortable with them. But when it comes to the technology that your startup depends on, it’s important to stay updated with techniques that are sure to work. Ranking algorithms for SEO are constantly updated by search engines in order to provide relevant results to user queries.

Google announced the use of Rank Brain last year, which is an artificial intelligent system. It is believed to find even the pages that don’t have the exact keywords mentioned in the search query. This goes to show that there are now various factors that determine relevance for SERP, making the conventional ones such as keyword density and linking quite outdated. Here are four such SEO practices that have collected dust.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

Keyword stuffing

Everybody knows that this is the most outdated of all techniques and yet, nobody really wants to let go of it. Search engines used to rank pages based mostly on keyword density, but now there are many other factors that determine the relevance of your page,ultimately deciding your rank.  Repetition of short keywords like the name of a company is still okay, and actually a necessity. But repetitions of long tail keywords (e.g. quality leather bean bags, bean bags of high quality leather)clutter your page. What is the point in bringing traffic when the user is unimpressed by the final product? Moreover, search engines are now proficient in recognizing and penalising over-optimised content.Optimising meta-descriptions,too, with keywords is no longer a contributing factor for your rank.

Abusing anchor links

Hyperlinks, whether internal or external can help increase the traffic into your website, but overdoing it or not doing it right can be counter-productive. Avoid attaching irrelevant links to anchor texts simply for the sake of high visibility.If a reader clicks on a link only to be directed to an irrelevant page, they are not going to be happy about it. Click bait links are manipulative and are no different from spamming. Your anchor texts must also have fewer and more specific words in order for the backlinks to actually serve their purpose.

Article spinners

Article spinners were created in order to produce pages for every keyword variant. They replace words and phrases in order to provide alternate versions of the original article. This practice of ‘spinning’ was created with an aim to increase the probability of showing up on SERP because higher number of articles back-linked to your websites meant higher rankings.It worked like keyword stuffing but on a larger scale. But search engines have updated their ranking algorithms in order to filter out low quality content. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm devalues such spun content.

Link building techniques

Sending your website to link directories and article mass production and submission would have increased your SEO ranking a few years ago, because they are ways of back-linking to your website. In fact, there was a time when Google recommended link directories as an effective way of increasing visibility. But people, naturally, misused and exhausted this tool by submitting links and articles of low quality. In order to maintain a standard quality, Google began minimising their index of cached link directories, which made this technique outdated. Websites can now face a penalty for associating with link networks.

User interaction is one of the factors that search engines are believed to include in their ranking system. This is why it’s important to complement your SEO techniques with high value content because at the end of the day, that is the only thing that’ll improve user experience, and quite frankly, the only factor that’ll give your web-based content the attention it deserves.

About the author

A drifter. For now, I have a tent pitched in the neighborhood of writers that I accidentally strolled into a few years ago. They just can’t get me to leave.

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