Anyone wanting to attract internet users to their website knows and often dreads the words search engine optimization. SEO: Three letters that determine how successful your website will perform on the world wide web and how likely people are going to stumble across it when using a search engine such as Google.
Having a clear and consistent SEO strategy in place is important, but what worked well a couple of years ago might now actually do more harm than good. Here are some of the most outdated SEO strategies that you should definitely avoid.
A keyword or keyphrase is what internet users type in the search box to find answers to a question, solutions to a problem or things like the nearest bakery in their neighbourhood. The better your website content matches trending keywords, the more likely you will be found in search rankings. However, the times where keyword density was the most important factor are long gone.
Stuffing your keyword into every second sentence not only makes your content extremely hard to read, it is also very annoying and does not provide any value to the reader. Therefore, Google will more likely ignore your website.
The same goes for trying to rank multiple keywords on a single page. All you will achieve is confusing search engines as to what point you are actually trying to bring across. If you find you have more than one angle or topic to focus on, break it up into smaller chunks and spread them over several pages.
Keyword Meta Tags
We still get asked if we have added the keyword meta tag to our clients website. It might surprise you that the answer is no! The reason for this is that this small piece of code that used to be so important is now obsolete. As far back as 2009, Google stated that they do not use the keywords meta tag.
Google attributes links to your website with higher quality content, meaning the more external pages link to your own, the more of an expert you must be and should therefore rank higher in search results. Because of this, some companies have taken shortcuts in the past, participating in link-building schemes such as buying and selling backlinks. Some of these practices are not only damaging your reputation, they are also violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in penalties such as your website being completely removed from the Google index.
Bulk submitting to search engines
Back in the day, it was common practice to add your website to hundreds or even thousands of search engines and web directories simultaneously to ensure you were found faster and more often. It was common to pay a few dollars and for someone in a far-flung country to run their software to bulk submit your website to search engines and directories all over the world.
However, search engines (and we really mean Google) have not only become a lot more powerful over the last 20 years or so, they have also become more intelligent and complex. This made bulk search engine submissions useless or even downright suicidal for your website rankings. They still exist, but this practice has become known as link-spamming and is rather frowned upon, more likely sending you into “time out” than boosting your rankings.
Matching the domain name of your website exactly to a trending keyword or keyphrase was a common practice for quite some time to very quickly and efficiently boost your rankings. However, Google changed its algorithm back in 2012 to combat this phenomenon, as a high number of exact-match domains proved to be of low quality. Exact-match domains are likely to be flagged as spam or irrelevant when they also sit on a website with poor quality or spammy content. This doesn’t mean that exact match domains have no benefit at all if you have great content and a genuine product or service.
Hiding keywords in your page
Adding text to the page the same colour as the background was an SEO trick that came about in the late 1990s. The very early days of internet marketing! It worked for a little while until the search engines caught on. Now it’s a fast track to nowhere on Google! What you would do is hide a bunch of keywords that you wanted to be ranked for on your page. You could repeat them over and over again and they didn’t even have to make a coherent sentence.
Staying on top of your SEO is not always easy. If you think your SEO strategies need an overhaul, talk to the experienced team at Energise Web today. We will talk you through the right steps to get your website back into the game.