Every organization is somehow searching for one answer-
"How to rank on the first page of Google?"
And, the answer lies only in one word, which is “up-to-date.” Yes, they need to be updated, not only with their content or stuff but also with the SEO techniques they are using for several years now.
That is because it is a tough chance for a website to rank organically on the first page of Google, especially if they're a very specific sort of website unless they are not updated with the SEO practices.
It is true as behind the scenes of digital marketing isn't always pleasant, and most of the times, it seems as if half of the job is breaking the bad news to the clients. And, when it comes to today’s real world, it is all about pay-to-play, and there is nothing like free publicity in the rules.
Also, as there's no single formula for success, similarly, there isn't a single global truth to which sort of marketing works for all; every vertical is equally important to keep in mind.
And, as Google keeps on getting smarter and algorithms keep on improving, the only thing which will increase your rankings is by making a website that's more accessible to users.
So, keeping all that in mind, let's take a look at those tactics that are now out-of-date.
1. Using Keywords Repeatedly in Content
It seems logical that the targeted page should have this keyword feature prominently if you want to show up for certain keywords in search engines.
Indeed, the number of exact match keywords in the text was considered very important. And ideally, a given keyword would be seen 3% or more in the text and the page title, but only in the early days of Google and SEO.
And, no wonder this activity also resulted expensive for user experience because the top priority for website owners was to cram as many keywords as possible onto the page. Even the quality of the information was a secondary consideration.
However, today’s scenario has changed. Yes, now Google’s technology enables it to pick up on synonyms and similarly-worded phrases. Also, they are keeping in mind whether the content written for the user is unique, concise, and helpful or not. Also, they want it to be relevant to the keywords you’re trying to rank.
In all, we can say that the ideas or the general gist of the content are now more important than the keywords. Hence, keyword stuffing is one of the quickest ways to turn Google off.
2. Focusing on Google Only
This might be the problem you are not aware of yet because maybe everything is going smoothly. So, right now, all you need to do is to go back & look at your stats. Yes, check out how much of your organic traffic comes from Google only? Exactly, what percentage is it?
As you surely wouldn’t put all of your retirement plans in one stock, so why would you put so much at risk in your current life by keeping all your eggs in one basket? Hence try creating a diverse traffic portfolio.
3. Keyword Rich Titles and Descriptions
We already mentioned about keyword-rich content. But now, we are talking about keyword-rich titles and description. It was a solid SEO practice to use as many of your keywords in the page titles as you could.
For example, if you were targeting a keyword like ‘Fitness Band,' then words like ‘Smart Fitness Band’ and ‘Fitness Tracking Band’ would have been well served with a title like:
Fitness Band | Smart Fitness Band | Fitness Tracking Band
Well, you may have found success with such a page title, assuming you had everything else in place. But now it has changed! Do you want to know what changed? Well, that one thing is the internet users wised up now.
Yes, now people have stopped clicking spammy listings in search engines. Ultimately, they are looking for human-oriented titles instead of an algorithm. And keeping that in mind, even Google’s job is to appease its users, so website managers need to write titles that draw people in and encourage them to click.
Now, the titles look like this if you compare it from the above example:
Fitness Band | Check Out For Large Range with Free Shipping
This difference is so clear. It can be seen that it is written to spark the interest of the user. Also, it is more likely to attract visitors to your website.
The same rule applies to the meta descriptions. Instead of seeing an incoherent string of keywords that don’t form proper sentences, users are looking to be persuaded by learning what you’ve got to offer.
4. Using Anchor Text in Links
As explained earlier, SEO professionals used to generate as many backlinks to their pages as possible, especially by utilizing the keyword they were hoping to rank.
And no doubt, this anchor text was often the first signal of what the page was all about for Google also. Plus to encourage the search engines to associate a specific keyword with a web page, the anchor text method was thus quite valuable, as well as an easy way.
So, it became clear that website managers and SEO professionals were gaming the system, with an unnatural number of inbound links with the same anchor text being created. But unfortunately, that is exactly the opposite of what Google wants.
And, that’s not it, performing this practice today can hurt a website’s keyword ranking. Hence, it definitely should not be a big part of your SEO strategy.
It strictly illustrates the fact that Google is all about making rankings as natural and organic as possible. So, to get ranked, looking for shortcuts or tricks is the wrong way to go about or even think about when it comes to SEO.
5. Building Links Anywhere and Everywhere
As what appeared on the website did not present a complete picture, so putting inbound links was the only solution to this problem. That is because those links could provide some indication of the relevance and importance of the website.
The website owners went out of their way to get links wherever they could as backlinks became a prominent ranking factor. It means wherever possible, commenting on blogs and forums with exact match anchor text linking back to web pages and getting paid listings were all in trend.
But the trend is changing all the way. And, these SEO practices are not considered good today. Also, the earlier practices were more readily associated with spammers, which search engines don’t want to encourage or reward. Plus, Google is looking for the quality of these links instead of the quantity of links in one post.
Hence, rather than paying or mass commenting on any vaguely relevant forums or blog topics, it’s now important to earn high-quality links to your website from relevant websites that have some exclusivity.
6. Stop Creating Shallow Content
It happens many times that people try to write a long article but with no quality. But it is high time now. Even Google's Panda Update clarified to stop sites with poor quality content, and that too long ago. Just imagine - is there any advantage for you to produce the content that no one will read? Would it even affect your rankings in a good way?
So, you need to check your website if there is any low-quality content. Also, locate the word count column in your WebSite Auditor workspace. If it is not there, add the Word count column to your active columns by right-clicking on the header of any column to enter the workspace editing mode. Further, by clicking on the newly added Word count column, sort the pages by their content length.
Many times, a short article could work very well. Moreover, to locate problematic spots across your site, a word count ranging from 100-500 words is more of a good indicator. Yes, by doing this, you can look into these cases in detail. We are not saying create small articles, because obviously, you need comprehensive articles to explain, so all you need is good quality content regardless of its size.
Start creating rich plus engaging content, optimize for the comprehensiveness so that your target readers enjoy reading. Also, cover more types of context than you would for every keyword variation and make it relevant for a wider range of topics.
7. Having Multiple Exact Match Domain Names
In the early days, there was a common technique to register several domain names and redirect them to your main site or set them up as alias websites. However, the concept here was that if you owned the domain xiomifitnessband.com.us, and your website was active there, then it would be easy to rank for the keyword 'Xiaomi Fitness Band’ for example.
Well, this might be effective earlier, but now this technique is obsolete because of the changed perceptions of internet users. There is an element of distrust associated with them because many of these kinds of domains do not sound or read like real brand-names.
And, due to this scenario, they often get fewer clicks and earn more authority from Google than other branded domain names.
To Wrap Up
So we have seen, how with the coming years, SEO is evolving. We are not saying that old tricks are not in use anymore, but it might cause you some serious damage if used.
Hence all you need is to move on, stay up-to-date, and also embrace content marketing to educate, inform, and entertain your visitors.
In this way, not only Google will reward you, but your users will thank you for it too.
We hope you find this blog useful. Thanks for reading!