5 Obsolete SEO strategies and techniques you should leave behind

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Image courtesy of Scott Ashkenaz at Flickr.com

No matter how good they were: the strategies and techniques mentioned below are already obsolete. If you’ve gotten used to them for positioning your content on social networks and especially on search engines, it’s time for you to update and pay attention to the new trends of search online optimization. Remember that this activity requires a lot of plasticity and adaptation to the new and ever-changing circumstances of the digital world.

1. Meta Keywords

These HTML tags used to go on the head of websites and served to provide targeted information to search engine crawlers, browsers or other applications. Meta keywords were not visible to users, and some of them subsequently turned into objects of over-optimization, in particular, those directed to the search engines. Well, Google has stopped taking this element into account to position websites in searches. The content of meta keywords is actually indifferent to Google, so it does not bring any value at an optimization level to include keywords in this tag. There is still some reason to use this tag, though. YouTube still use it for its internal search engine. However, the quality of contents trend will manage to eventually change it all.

2. Cloaking

Cloaking is not only obsolete: Just like any Black Hat practice, it was never recommended. When we talk about Cloaking we are talking about hiding website contents, so that users don’t perceive the same information than the search engine. The goal of cloaking is to trick the latter for better positioning. Normally, the most common form of cloaking includes showing Google’s robot a content with an artificially high keyword density that users can’t read because of the website features (by adding texts of the same color as the website’s background, with a high repetition of keywords, for example.) Those contents are unnatural to internet users and that is why they see another content, apparently more natural. The problem is that Google penalizes it, and, according to the new SEO trends, it is simply pointless.

3. EMD Domains

For many experts in the art of SEO, these domains are desperate amateur attempts per se. EMD domains, increasingly infrequent nowadays, are those that exactly match the search terms in their titles. For example, if a user searches for “Kentucky used cars,” and there is a website called “usedcarskentucky.com”, Google will position it, at least in theory. Nevertheless, these domains are not relevant positioning factors in any search engine today (at least in the most used,) and, therefore, are no longer qualified as an efficient technique. It is more important that your website has a responsive design and quality content that users look for and keep looking after finding them in their searches.

Read also: The 3 Most Important SEO Tactics for 2017, by ReputationDefender

4. ‘The more pages, the more traffic’

Nope. It is false as a three dollar bill. Quite simply, if your websites are not of high quality, you will not have a good positioning. Instead of truly helping you, adding too much content, especially mediocre content, can be harmful to you.

In fact, Google launched an update called Panda, aimed at websites with low-quality content. Such websites were penalized and their search traffic declined. Take a look at WiseGeek: this website came to rule the ranking due to the large amount of its content, but that did not save them from the Panda merciless update and know it’s down in the search positions. Stop it. Stop creating websites with thousands of pages and rather focus on creating high-quality content for your own good. Some blogs attract thousands and even millions of visitors a month, and none of them have massive publications.

5. Unnatural links

Until recently, including as many external links as possible was an effective strategy for uploading positions on Google, regardless of their origin. Of course, links are still an important factor today, but what matters is the quality of links, not their quantity. If you introduce an excess of elements in the equation, the specific weight of the links at the time of ranking in the SERPs will be reduced. Include them naturally. The massive exchange of links is even penalized by Google since it is usually carried out by using email sending bots.

Links are still in the very bones of the internet, so to speak, but people have overused this pointless strategy.

What is Google doing? On the one hand, its algorithm includes more and more signals (other than incoming links) that indicate the relevance or popularity of a website in particular. For this reason, social signals (shares in social media, for example) are a key factor. On the other hand, Google Penguin has made enormous efforts to distinguish the natural links that really point out a greater relevance of the linked web.

Recommended: The Past, Present, and Future of SEO

Keep learning, keep updating your tools. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot!

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