When Charles Darwin propounded his evolutionary theory, he might not have imagined a world where people live and work online. Fast forward to the 2020s, and everything has changed. But one thing is still the same: only those who adapt (survival of the fittest) will leave a remarkable impact on Earth. In digital marketing, SEO is transforming like never before, with every search engine releasing and updating its webmaster guidelines. Keywords are a matter of interest for these webmaster guidelines. Some of them get updated, and some will become outdated within a snap of time. Still, some of us use these outdated keyword practises, which are affecting our websites badly.
This article throws light on 5 Outdated Keyword Practices in SEO that every digital marketer should be aware of.
The oldest trick in the book It implies adding keywords to your content as many times as possible, even if they’re not relevant. It could be either putting a high-value keyword in the website footer or making those keywords the same colour as the site’s background.
- Google once considered keywords a high priority for search engine optimisation, as search engines used to rank certain phrases quickly. The result was that the website became uncomfortable to read, and the end users got low-value content. But later, Google acknowledged that it was a mistake, as every website competed for the top position.
Hint: Make user experience your first priority by using relevant keywords naturally. Keyword density should never be more than 3%.
Targeting Multiple Keywords
- Warren Buffet once said “Never test the depth of a river with 2 feet”. The same logic applies to SEO. Search engines are pretty good at identifying keyword synonyms, and if caught, your SEO score will go down accordingly without even giving you a hint or a chance to defend.
- Similar in the case of dedicating each page to one particular keyword related to the same topic. This was once a useful tactic to rank well. Now it does more harm than good. It leads to plagarism and duplicate content leading, to keyword cannibalisation. Fortunately, algorithm updates like Hummingbird, RankBrain have helped Google understand those variations.
Hint: If you want to cover a slightly different topic, consider writing a new article instead.
Targeting Exact-Match Search Queries
- Practically speaking, perfectionism is a disease. Nothing in the world is perfect. Even Earth is not purely spherical. When it comes to SEO, websites love to retain the top spot for exact-match search queries to trigger an increased click-through rate. It is meant not to provide better value to users but solely for the traffic.
- Back in the early 2010s, it was a popular practise to buy exact-match domains to rank higher for search engines. But this practise was abandoned after the deployment of the Google Knowledge Graph. Buying exact-match domains is not a goner anymore.
Hint: Conducting keyword research and using long-tail keywords. Make sure to keep them consistent with your brand.
Over Optimized Anchor Text
- When developing your internal linking strategy, you will typically use anchor text with relevant keywords. Having high-value keywords in your URL makes sense. But what some SEO managers do is link a word or phrase to other unrelated content, thereby providing fluid sentences instead of writing them. Stuffing your post with URLs can make your content tiresome.
- It is like when your barber over does the haircut you asked for. The end result is spoiling your entire mood. Since Google’s Penguin update, it can easily identify “over-optimised content” and unrelated internal links and backlinks.
Hint: If you can include a relevant link, feel free to add it to natural anchor text.
- As the name suggests, it is a black hat SEO practice generally practised to increase traffic to a website by frauding users. Nowadays, search engines won’t value backlinks from irrelevant sites or those from a completely different niche. Receiving backlinks is only valuable if the other sites are relevant to your content and use appropriate anchor text.
- Since clickbaiting can easily be reported, it will increase the spam score of your website and eventually result in its removal from the SERP.
Hint: Focus on writing your content with your readers in mind, not search engines. It should be short, concise, and meaningful.
Suppose you are listening to Spotify music and suddenly a weird ad comes from nowhere. How do you feel? It will ruin the entire mood, right? I personally hate it. Website content creation and blogging is not an exception. If normal users like me hate it, surely search engines will also hate it. Google or any other search engine strives every day to make life easier for a common man like you and me. So any attempt to game the system does not work out in the world of SEO. Remember, you are writing for humans, not search engines.
So my question is, Will you cheat on someone who is honestly trying to help you? The choice is yours. The golden rule in SEO is that Good Things Come to Those Who Wait. Run a good company and offer great products or services, and Google will do the work of making your brand visible for relevant searches. If necessary, You can consider using an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO to highlight keyword-related issues you can address