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9 Outdated SEO Techniques Still Practiced Today

| Posted in category Search Engine Optimization

man on laptopSearch engines evolve fast. In fact, they evolve incredibly fast. Every now and then rankings algorithms change, and good old search engine optimization practices stop working. However, some folks manage to lag behind. As a rule, these are SEO newbies who stumble upon outdated SEO advice and cannot tell it's outdated, or amateur SEOs who know very little SEO and are going half-blind with their optimization practices.

Are you sure your SEO is not stone-age? Hurry up and check this list of antique and, for the most part, useless SEO techniques that some people still practice nowadays.

1. Using meta keywords

This one deserves the first place. There are still a lot of SEO "experts" who think high of meta data and meta keywords in particular. So, here is the deal - meta keywords don't help your site rank higher AT ALL! Neither do meta descriptions. And, even though catchy meta descriptions do make your site stand out among other websites in the search results, they do not do anything for your SEO. The only piece of meta data that should be paid attention to is title tags, that's it.

2. Submitting to search engines

Or paying for search engine submission, which is foolishness in the utter degree. So, if somebody promises you to submit your site to 800 different search engines, most of which you are not targeting anyway - don't fall for that.

There is very little need to submit your webpages to search engines. Instead, focus on link building. Once you start getting links from other (indexed) sites, your linked-to webpages will get indexed automatically. What also helps is creating an XML sitemap (our WebSite Auditor tool does that, by the way), doing internal linking (linking pages within your site) or bookmarking your webpages on different bookmarking sites.

3. Relying on H1 tags for high rankings

It has been proven that using your major keywords in headings can boost your rankings. Also, a lot of SEOs still think that marking those headings with H1 tags (as opposed to marking them with H2-H6 tags) makes them more prominent to search engines. It's been proven that whether your heading is in an H1 or an H3 tag - it doesn't make that much of a difference to search engines. So, I wouldn't think much about it.

4. PageRank Sculpting

Some people still believe that using "nofollow" on links to other sites helps them retain their PageRank-passing potential, so that they can use it for other purposes. Alas, my friends, this is not so! Google designed the "nofollow" attribute quite a while ago to fight comment spam. However savvy SEOs started using it for PageRank sculpting. Thus, in 2009, Google updated its algorithm, and now, reportedly, even if you use "nofollow" on an outgoing link, your PageRank will evaporate.

5. Striving for higher PageRank

Google says that PageRank is only one of the 200 (now even more) signals that they take into account when ranking a site in the SERPs. So, no need to check your PageRank each time you have a spare moment. Moreover, Google is believed to update the information in Google Toolbar (the only place where a non-Googler can see his or her site's PageRank) only about twice a year, while your actual PageRank changes every second. So, what you see in the toolbar could be not accurate in the first place.

6. Fanatically spamming blogs and forums

Ok, spamming blog and forum comments used to work before Google introduced the "nofollow" attribute. Which was, let me see... In two thousand fivvve! Doesn't work any longer. By comment spamming I mean leaving useless, short, poorly written comments and sticking a link in those. It actually can be counter-productive these days.  By doing so, you are risking your brand's reputation. For example, if you spam all forums with the comment "Buy my LovelyProduct!", nobody will ever buy your lovely product.

7. Doing only reciprocal links

Yes, reciprocal links are the easiest to get, I agree. And it never hurts to get some for your site. But these should be mixed with some nice, juicy one-way links or links that at least appear to be one-way (the ones you get when you realize 3-and 4-way linking). So, instead of sweating all day doing the "link to them-ask for a link" routine, better come up with a smashing link bait piece and prepare to cash in.

It should be mentioned, however, that reciprocal linking could be the only way for brand-new sites to get any links at all, as such sites might not have enough content or reputation to attract one-way links.

8. Creating pages for bots, not for people

By new Google standards that emerged after the Panda/Farmer update, even the content that’s well written, grammatically correct and unique may be considered redundant, useless and high rankings-unworthy. This is because of the huge amount of content online that's written for the sake of having more content. Google claims to be smart enough to measure whether the stuff on your webpages grabs users' attention or not. They now take into account the amount of time users spend on your site, click-through rates, etc. So, instead of writing "content", tell stories. 😉

9. Not making use of analytical data

Some SEOs still think that tracking page views, conversion rates or sales is not their department. They could not be more wrong. I'm not saying that SEOs should be responsible for measuring intricate marketing data. But being guided by that data in your SEO efforts is a must. It's the new normal. As an SEO, you should see what's working out and what's not working out on your site. You have to figure out what helps or kills your conversion, and so on.

Have already checked the list and made sure you are not killing too much of your time on these outdated SEO techniques? Bravo, you are on the right track. Stay tuned for more cutting-edge SEO stuff!

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