Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most essential components of a digital strategy. It encompasses everything from writing content to creating CSS stylesheets and, if done right, it can help skyrocket a brand’s online success.
Of course, SEO is fluid and ever changing. Techniques that worked five years ago may no longer perform half as well today, and it can be hard keeping track of what works and what doesn’t.
To help cut through the confusion, we share the tactics that could hurt your website’s chances of ranking well on Google. Here are three outdated techniques you should take out of your SEO strategy today!
1) Keyword stuffing
Back in the early 2000s, Google would choose which sites to rank by searching for keyword occurrences. Unsurprisingly, this encouraged site creators to lace their keyword through as much of their content as possible.
Google’s algorithms are far more sophisticated nowadays, and keyword stuffing is considered a “black hat” practice (meaning it goes against search engine guidelines).
Not only does spamming keywords look messy and unnatural, driving away potential customers, but it could lead to Google labelling your site as spam.
Although keywords are still important, you shouldn’t over rely on them. You should instead focus on creating relevant, informational content your readers will find valuable, as well as making sure your website is clear and easy to navigate.
2) Buying backlinks
Having good content is one thing, but being trusted as a source of information is another.
That’s where backlinks come in. Backlinks – when a different website links to your own – are an important part of an SEO strategy, as they tell Google that another website finds your content valuable enough to link to it. This, in turn, improves your credibility rating and helps you rank higher.
So the more backlinks you have, the better, right? Not exactly.
Google doesn’t just look at the number of backlinks you have – it looks at the quality of your backlinks, too. Backlinks from high-authority websites will add to your credibility, while backlinks from untrustworthy sites can actually count against you.
Some websites will offer to sell you backlinks in bulk, but these will usually be very low quality. Avoid these, and instead focus on organically building links with PR, outreach, and – ultimately – by making sure you’re putting out high-quality and informational content that’s relevant to your industry.
3) Scraping content
Coming up with original content can be a time-consuming process, which is why some site owners copy or “scrape” content from other sites to use on their own. They may believe that having more content is better for their SEO, even if that content is duplicated.
Because the content can already be found elsewhere, websites with scraped content do not offer any value on their own. Google will detect this and lower their rankings accordingly. Scraping may also count as copyright infringement in some cases, which could get the site owner in legal hot water.
Although it can be a slow process, it’s much better for SEO to create your own high-quality, useful content. This will make your site stand out, earn more organic backlinks, and rank higher as a result.
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