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You’re doing SEO wrong — 5 SEO trends and tactics that are seriously outdated

Make sure you’re not using these outdated SEO trends that some are still using.

Ranking on Google is an ever-changing game, and for those who aren’t up with the times, this means that once fresh SEO trends and tactics that are now outdated might still be used. Let’s jump right into this.

1. DESKTOP-ONLY OPTIMIZATION; NOT MAKING USE OF MOBILE OPTIMIZATION

Mobile traffic is another metric that is measured by Google to determine rankings. While a lot of people use desktops, a lot of people also use personal phones/cellphones. Optimizing your website for only desktop devices is something like the cardinal SEO sin.

With personal, hand-held technological devices being used more and more everyday, people are ditching their desktops. In fact, the average human spends more than four hours a day on their phone! This means that your web visitor’s mobile experience is more important than ever.

The drawback of accessing websites through mobile back then was that it was difficult to navigate, given the smaller screen, and some features simply didn’t work or translate well in terms of functionality when using a mobile device. 

Now, however, Google likes mobile-first websites! This means that Google asserts the mobile version of a page for ranking before the desktop version. Why? In the past few years, the number of mobile users accessing the internet through their devices has gone up at a rapid rate. This means that more websites are being accessed through mobile.

Think about it like this: Most of the time when you’re out and about searching for a place to eat, or a nearby gas station, or a convenience store, you’re using your phone, right? Most people aren’t sitting at home on their desktop Googling these things; they’re mostly already out on the road, phone in hand, searching. 

So, your website has to use a responsive, mobile-friendly display that functions well on all devices. Not having your website optimized for mobile would affect the user experience, as they would not like to go into the trouble of navigating a cumbersome website on their devices. 

One of the best ways to make a webpage mobile-friendly is by applying a WordPress theme that is responsive to mobile, using text with readable zoom, and using Accelerated Mobile Pages. 

Related article(s): Old Is Not Always Gold: Outdated SEO Strategies You Should No Longer Use

2. KEYWORD STUFFING

Leave the stuffing to the turkeys, shall we? It’s true that publishing any kind of content means that keywords must be present. But keyword stuffing is a thing of the past (even though many still do it today).

In the past keyword density was used heavily by search engines to rank up search terms. But Google introduced new metrics and a better focus on content and webpage quality and keyword stuffing became a thing of the past.

Getting out of this habit that has been done (and accepted) for so long isn’t an easy process. Even we’ll admit it’s been hard and we’re still working our way out of that habit. But the good thing is that you’ll reap better rewards if you create content that still has keywords, but with a more natural flow. Doing this creates more readability for your audience. 

Avoid cramming a lot of keywords into a single post or page — doing this could actually dent in your search rankings! This is because Google tends to see web pages that are overloaded with keywords as low-quality. Use keywords moderately, and use similar or relatable keywords.

3. USING EXACT ANCHOR TEXT

“Exact match” should be left for finding your significant other… not SEO. This SEO strategy used to help get your web pages rank up, but could now get your website penalized by Google. 

Google views exact anchor text matches as unnatural. It’s best to refrain from this practice to keep your rankings safe. Instead, think about your users and the anchor text will come out naturally. It’s also better to use longer anchor text that flows into the content — it looks better and also prevents you from getting penalized by Google.

4. SHORT-FORM BLOG POSTS; LONG-FORM ARTICLES WITH LOW QUALITY

Blogging is great, but  creating 250- to 500-word posts on a topic simply just isn’t going to work these days. Longer content that answers all possible questions takes precedence over short articles that address one part of a main topic.

Related article(s): Nine Outdated SEO Practices Businesses Still Rely On

At the same time, regardless of the length of an article, it will not rank high in search results if the content is poor. Long-form articles are recommended for better ranking, but they still have to contain useful referable information.

The length of an article will only work to your advantage when it is made up of information that resonates with your audience. Articles should be conversational, using natural-sounding language that is easy to understand, especially when the content is lengthy. 

Your website should also be updated regularly with new, engaging content. Don’t commission articles once in a while and proceed to dump them all at once on your website. If possible, have a publishing schedule to grow consistency in readership.

5. WRITING FOR ROBOTS

PSA: Writing unnatural isn’t natural. And search engines know it.

The belief is that writing for the web means we should repeat a subject by its proper name every time it’s mentioned. This includes variations and plural/non-plural versions of the word so that “all bases are covered.” Yeah… no.

The idea behind this outdated tactic was that if the keyword was repeated in several different versions, this would lead to the page ranking well. This simply isn’t the case anymore.

Search engines have advanced enough to understand that repeated keywords, their variations, and the unfavorable experience associated with repetitious phrases in an article are generally bad content. Write for humans, not for search engine crawlers (or any other robot, for that matter). After all, humans are the ones searching for topics, clicking your article and reading for information. 

Related article(s): 12 Completely Outdated SEO Practices You Should Avoid

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