Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important digital practices. Search engine optimization is essential to reach peak performance levels and garner traffic for your website. Search engines have evolved over the years, however, and their algorithms are constantly improving and adjusting to ensure a positive experience amongst their users.
Search algorithms also become much more adapted to identifying “black hat” and improper SEO. This wreaks havoc on any business that engages in outdated SEO tactics. Engaging in outdated SEO tactics can be detrimental to your business, causing your website to lose traction in the market and competitors to take your place. Below, we discuss outdated tactics that your business should ignore when developing your marketing plans.
When search engines were just beginning to gain popularity, the results that their algorithm displayed relied heavily on simple signals such as keyword density. This means the results that search engine users saw first on their results page were the websites that used targeted keywords in content frequently. While strategic keyword usage is necessary for strong SEO, keyword stuffing makes your page look amateur and unappealing to users. You want to inspire trust when users come to your business page. Keyword stuffing is not the way to do so.
Online engagement is pivotal to ranking. Search engine algorithms take into account user feedback and the rate at which users engage with the content. The more comments on a page, the better; that is if those comments match up to an actual IP address and not some spam company or account.
Comment spamming can be detrimental to your business’s listing within search engine results. If you notice that your website is more prone to getting spam comments from bots, you may want to think about limiting comments or reviewing them before they’re allowed to be posted on your site.
Duplicate content often won’t even rank on a search engine result, yet businesses insist it’s helping their online presence gain more traction. Search engines are incredibly smart. They figured out pretty early on that when users see the same content within the top search engine results, they’re hesitant to trust the results of the search.
The more diverse the content is, the more useful it is for the searchers. Knowing this, search engines now won’t rank duplicate content high within their search results, and often mark the content as spam. If you’re looking for a way to republish old content, think about paraphrasing or using non-canonical tags. Always backlink to applicable credible sources.
Exact Match Domains
Exact-Match Domains (EMDs) were once a widely-used SEO tactic. The EMD tactic means your domain would match the exact keyword or phrase of the searchers you were targeting. For example, if you were looking for an ice cream shop in Boston, your EMD would be icecreamshopboston.com.
Before search engine algorithms became more enhanced EMDs worked better than any other form of SEO. But they lost traction almost as soon as they gained it, as the algorithms picked up quickly on what people were trying to do with their EMD. People also started to see EMDs as less trustworthy, as they typically are harder to brand. While EMDs still offer the potential of ranking well in a search, it relies more heavily on other aspects of the website’s makeup and more advanced SEO tactics.
Writing For Bots
On the quest to expand your business’s presence within search engine results, it’s important to remember who your target audience is. Some businesses fall into the habit of writing for bots, or the algorithms that will determine where their website falls within the search engine results. This is mainly because in the early days of SEO businesses that repeated words and phrases or contained paragraphs of awkwardly melded information would rank higher than those who put thought and effort into communicating their product or business to real people.
Businesses need to address their audience’s wants and needs without making it obvious that they’re trying to get to the top of their search results. Make sure you’re communicating to the people who are going to be buying your product or using your business, as at the end of the day that’s where your profit will come from.
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