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Five outdated SEO practices you should avoid

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The framework of SEO is endless. And the more time and energy you invest into it, the more efficient your digital marketing efforts will turn out. However, developing the perfect SEO strategy is never as easy or as simple as one might presume. It takes time to create the ideal approach for your SEO efforts. And even if you manage to discover the right approach at a certain point, you still need to keep up with current trends. Why? Because using outdated SEO techniques can not only cause a complete stop in your marketing efforts – it can also damage all your efforts up to that point.

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The following list includes some of the most common rule-breaking black hat techniques used today. Make sure to take note of what these techniques are, and avoid using them.

1. Over-emphasising Keywords in Your Content Strategy for SEO

We all know that keywords are good and you should certainly use them in your marketing strategy. However, if you solely focus on keywords, you’re going to emphasise terms with a high search volume which may be less relevant to your personas and what they care about.

So, ensure the keywords you are using are relative to your website and/or business. While it may be tempting to use highly searched (but irrelevant) keywords, this tactic has been proven to be a waste of time. Even if you gain more visitors from this, you won’t gain any sales from it because visitors were expecting to see something else and will likely just leave your website.

Search engines will not always catch this right away, but when they do, your ranking will be penalised for it.

2. Using paid links and link networks

There are a lot of questionable businesses on the internet that will offer to create more backlinks for you, for a price. They will claim that their services will improve your rankings, but Google can pretty easily find out that you’re doing this and penalize you for it.

Google actually has a tool called Penguin designed to apprehend sites that buy links and use link building networks to spam Google search results. If you want to build links, you’re going to have to do it the hard way: by writing quality content that reputable websites actually want to link to.

3. Content Spinning

New content on a regular basis is excellent for SEO. However, because it’s such a time-consuming task, website owners will try and get around this by “spinning” their articles to give the illusion of fresh content. Article spinning is done by taking one article and producing multiple versions of it by changing some of its words, which is commonly done using some sort of spinning software. The idea is to trick the search engines into thinking it’s fresh content. The problem is that these spinners often produce horribly written content that doesn’t provide any new or sometimes even relevant information to users.

4. Over-using anchor text

One of the key traits of a well-optimised website is the development of a quality internal linking structure. And to achieve this, you need to incorporate optimised anchor texts that will lead to your target landing pages and blog posts. However, it is easy to recognise an unnatural anchor text for the sake of pursuing a particular keyword. And Google’s Penguin update made sure of this. That is why robotic anchor texts are no longer as effective.

5. Focusing on exact match search queries

Before the full deployment of the Google Knowledge Graph, the notion of focusing efforts on exact-match search queries was prevalent. However, given the many variables that this particular strategy involves, it wasn’t so long before the approach became outdated.

With all the past updates that Google introduced and the ones that it’s working towards, exact keyword matching is no longer as important as it used to be. Nowadays, search engines are able to analyze each word in a search query and match it with the articles that best answer those words. So, you don’t need to target exact keywords so much as cover a wide range of long-tail keywords with your blog.

While there are always new tricks for gaining an illegitimate SEO advantage, search engines are becoming smarter, too. So it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be caught. The short term gain is not worth the long term consequences, so make sure to keep that white hat on and play by the rules.

Our aim is to keep you on top of your competitors when it comes to online searches. We want to bring you more business and this is a promise. Old school tactics no longer work like they used to.

Our SEO services are an all inclusive inbound marketing service that touches every piece of the organic web. Such as content marketing, organic promotion, social media and more this means we cover it all.

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