Which SEO Techniques Should I Avoid?
Mar 15, 2021
Ranking on page 1 for Google is what every website owner strives towards. However, Google’s ever-evolving algorithm can make it difficult for those to navigate the world of SEO. As a digital marketing agency, we come across many outdated SEO techniques that are still commonly used today.
Whilst ‘White hat SEO’ is the term used for ‘good’ SEO practices, aimed at real users, ‘Black hat’ or ‘Grey hat SEO’ are practices targeted at search engines to try to trick the algorithm to rank higher. These techniques are either ineffective, come with risk, or both!
Here are 4 outdated techniques to avoid:
Keyword stuffing is looked down upon by search engines. Whilst it’s important for your pages and content on your website to be dense of the Keywords you want to rank for, Keyword abuse refers using your Keywords in every other sentence.
This type of content is not enjoyable to read for the user and can result in Google shadow banning your pages. For those unfamiliar with the term, shadow banning refers to when the search engine limits the visibility of a website. Google will do this if it detects that a website is cheating the system by using excessive ‘Black hat SEO’ techniques.
Keyword stuffing falls under a ‘Black hat’ technique and should therefore be avoided.
Exact Keyword matching
This is not a technique that search engines can penalise your site for, but one that is ineffective nevertheless!
In the past, Google’s algorithm would match results up with a search query based on the exact match of Keywords. However, Google search results will now show the most relevant content for your query, even if it does not have the exact match of Keywords that you typed in. This is because over time, the algorithm has learned alternative Keyword phrases for each exact match.
“Keywords are without a doubt the most commonly recognised aspect of SEO…. Since marketers first began optimising online content, keywords were the MUST HAVE. However, times have changed and, more importantly, Google’s algorithms have changed.
Say, for example, you're in need of a Carpenter in London. Rather than force the words 'Carpenter London' into your content as many times as possible, take a step back and work with the topic rather than singular words.” - The Digital Marketing Team
As every SEO specialist knows, regularly updating your website with fresh content will boost your ranking. This is what has made blogging so powerful over the last few years.
But coming up with original and niche content to write about can be hard, which makes ‘content spinning’ a quick solution. This term refers to content that is re-worded from other sources, in a way where the source isn’t entirely plagiarised, but is not original either. The downside of using ‘spun content’ for your SEO strategy, is that because the internet is saturated with similar content, it won’t rank very well.
‘Spun content’ is also more difficult to read because it forces the writer to change words that do not best fit the sentence. This will turn users away and decrease your chances for backlinks and credibility.
Last but not least, we strongly advise against buying backlinks.
Backlinks are essential to SEO. The higher number of quality backlinks that a website has, the higher it will rank. This is because if lots of users are linking back to your website, then it signifies to Google’s search engine that you are a credible source.
Backlinks take time and effort to acquire naturally and can only be achieved through creating high quality content. This makes buying backlinks a quick and easy shortcut, however paying for them is strictly against Google’s policy and can result in unfavourable consequences.
Google can issue penalties for websites that buy backlinks which can again, result in the site being shadow banned. As search engines have advanced, it’s more difficult to get away with this approach than it once was. This is because the majority of backlinks are low quality ones and sold cheaply – linking to low quality websites that have no relation to yours. This will easily raise suspicion.
So, what are the most effective techniques in 2021?
The most effective way boost your organic ranking in 2021 and beyond is to focus on having a long-term SEO strategy in place instead of looking for quick win techniques. Strong SEO consists of being authentic, producing high quality content, conducting in-depth Keyword research to understand how your audience search for you and paying attention to the technical performance of your website.
Understanding how the algorithm works and working with it, instead of trying to beat it, is the best approach to go with.
For further reading on how to boost your SEO, click here.
At Website Success, we are always keeping up to date with the latest SEO changes and we only ever practice ethical ‘White hat’ techniques to improve your website ranking holistically.
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