Digital Marketing Technology

12 Outdated SEO Tactics That May be Harming Your Rankings

Written by Mike Khorev

Various inventions and innovations have seen huge progress in the information technology sector. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) algorithms are constantly changing, resulting in some major overhauls in the industry. These updates aim at combating some destructive optimisation practises or tactics that some web designers and marketers use to manipulate their rankings.

Continuous use of these old-fashioned tactics will not only be ineffective, but also hurt your website’s ranking. However, most website owners find it challenging to keep up with the right SEO tactics that impact their performance. This article will walk you through 12 outdated SEO tactics that could be killing your rankings.

1. Misusing Keywords

In the past, SEO used to stress the use of appropriate keywords in your content. Nonetheless, the use of too many keywords for delivering your message may lead to confusion, thus hurting your rankings. Keywords are very important for filtering your particular topic or context. Using too many keywords in your content will confuse readers, which leads to lower ranks in the search engine results.

2. Quantity over Quality

Content creation is one of the vital aspects of your SEO strategy. Thus, it is essential to generate top-quality content that appeals to the readers or your target audience. Previously, most website owners concentrated on achieving quantity content with low quality. The current stance of the SEO algorithms mean that focusing on quantity alone will hurt your SEO. You’ll need quality content appealing to your audience to get a higher ranking.

3. Using Anchor Texts Irrelevantly on Internal Links

Most website owners and brands capitalised on the exact-match feature of SEO by creating numerous alternatives to match another website to attract the customers’ attention. Most website owners used the same exact-match word as their content’s anchor text. Currently, including all the exact-match word variations on your website will hurt your ranking on the search engine results.

4. Keyword Variation

Keyword variation was one of the appropriate strategies when websites had keyword variations on their pages. Most of them used a different keyword on each page without taking note of the context in order to improve their ranking. However, keyword variation is a common tactic you should avoid as the algorithm will regard your content as repetitive and perhaps redundant.

5. Sneaky Redirects

Sneaky redirects was a popular SEO strategy most website owners used to get more traffic and monetise their sites. This is a feature that redirects users to a different page they didn’t intend to visit. Most search engines consider these black hat tactics, which will generally lower your search results ranking or even ban your website.

6. Purchasing Links

SaaS SEO agencies like Nine Peaks reveal that purchasing links for your site is one of the most outdated SEO tactics. In the past, purchasing links was one of the best tactics that sneaky site owners and marketers used to acquire backlinks, as the number of backlinks determined your rankings. With the current changes to rank higher in the search engine results, you should try to link your business’ site to a highly ranked website. Additionally, the search engine algorithms require that you earn these backlinks organically. You may wish to reach out to other businesses for guest blogging opportunities. 

7. Using Keyword Planners or Adwords

Most individuals use keyword planners or Google Adwords tools when researching their keywords. Most experts consider it an outdated tactic as it hides most keywords that algorithms think are commercially relevant. Additionally, the tactic lacks critical metrics like ranking difficulty and click-through rate percentages. Instead of this tactic, consider embracing using paid tools like Keyword Explorer to avoid hurting your rankings.

8. Not Considering User Experience

The main goal of most search engines like Google is to provide the users with the best experience. Google algorithms emphasise page loading speed and other factors like bounce rates when considering user experience. Make sure these aspects of your website are optimised, as well as your content, in order to improve your ranking.

9. Heavy Reliance on Link Building

Most web owners and marketers find their sites ranking in the middle ranks and use link building alone to push them to the top. It’s an SEO tactic that was effective in previous years, but currently, it may lower your ranking. Instead, it would be appropriate to consider having more in-depth content, improving quality, or optimising the site to enhance user experience.

10. Keyword Density 

Currently, Google algorithms no longer depend on the keyword density for ranking your content. You’ll be missing the mark if you’re writing while only focusing on a specific density. Therefore, concentrating on keyword density alone without producing quality content appealing to your readers may kill your ranking in the search engine results.

11. Link Manipulation

Links are essential features on your website to refer visitors to another site for additional or relevant information. However, Google will consider any link you create mainly for monetary or ranking benefits unethical or a link scheme. These link scheme activities lead to lower ranking as Google may penalise your site.

12. Article Spinning

This is a strategy most website owners and marketers use when searching for new content for their website, by using software to replace existing words in the original articles. With the advancement of Google technology, this could be costly. The search engine will regard this content as low-quality, thus ranking it lower. Therefore, it’s imperative to generate top-quality and unique content without spinning from an existing article.

Final Thoughts

When building your SEO or website, it’s imperative to understand that generating top-quality content that gives value to your reader will help you rank higher. With continuous updates and development of search engine algorithms, the tactics that worked in the past may not necessarily work today. 

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Mike Khorev

Mike is a senior SEO strategist at Nine Peaks Media, a B2B SEO agency that helps SaaS, software, IT and technology companies rank on the first page of Google with effective content marketing strategies. Nine Peaks offers performance-based inbound marketing, conversion rate optimization and search engine marketing services.