SEO is a very broad field. Due to constant Google algorithm updates, various practices quickly became obscure. For example, a decade ago keyword stuffing was not only acceptable, but also a recommended search engine optimization technique. The peak of this trend came in 2005 and 2006 with the emergence of popular Google bombs. Soon enough, Google tweaked its algorithm and started punishing keyword stuffing in both content and meta tag sections. Uninformed web administrators who continued to use this technique quickly sent their websites to deep anonymity at the rock bottom of search results. Since then, Google released many different algorithm changes, which forced website administrators and SEO experts to constantly adapt to new ranking criteria. In this article we will analyze several wrong and outdated SEO strategies that can cripple your website’s traffic.
Using the same anchor text keywords
Same as keyword stuffing, adding too many anchor text links to your website or websites that link to your content may result in an SEO catastrophe. One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to anchor text is making hundreds or even thousands of links with the same anchor text keywords. This makes Google suspicious and can decrease your ranking. Instead, you should use a wide variety of keywords when linking to each post or page. For example, if you are selling furniture you shouldn’t only add ‘furniture sales’ anchor text, but various other keywords that revolve around the word ‘furniture’, like: ‘selling furniture’, ‘I want to buy furniture’, ‘tips on buying furniture’ etc.
Trying to do everything by yourself
Many web administrators take search engine optimization for granted. It is always better to outsource SEO tasks then to learn from your own mistakes and to possibly jeopardize your website’s reputation.
But even if you choose to avoid hiring SEO professionals, you need to learn about search engine optimization from educated and experienced people. Many SEO gurus like Andrew Raso wrote volumes of helpful articles that deal with SEO practices and they are ready to share their vast knowledge from this field in order to help inexperienced web administrators.
Not targeting long tail keywords
Long keywords improve website’s SEO traction, especially since Hummingbird update, which came in 2013. Specific long tail keywords can bring many visitors at your website’s doorstep and when it comes to authority domains, they allow you to build up your ranking, with no additional link building.
‘Long tail’ means that a key phrase usually has 4+ words, less search volume, but also much less competition. Of course, adding long tail keywords requires an elaborate Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends research and determining which combinations will bring the highest number of visitors to your website.
Your site’s rankings are, among other things, driven by the number of inbound links your website has. This made many web administrators and SEO professionals turn to black hat link building techniques. They are spamming comment sections of other niche-specific websites and buying links online.
These types of black hat links are unnatural, and Google’s algorithm can easily recognize them as such. Penguin update that came in 2012, was designed to penalize websites for these practices. That’s why you need to concentrate on natural links and avoid black hat link building.
More than 25% of all web content is duplicated and Google and other search engines can penalize your website for having too many pages that post the same content. Of course, some websites need to create similar or even completely same posts and pages, but then they should use canonical tags to tell search engine crawlers which page is the original one.
Search engine optimization is a very dynamic and demanding field. Every few years, we witness one or several Google algorithm changes that shape future content creation and web design. That is why one of the main priorities for every SEO professional is to constantly follow trends in this niche and adapt to all algorithm changes that may come along.