If there's one thing you should know about search engine optimization, it's that nothing stays the same for long. In fact, it doesn't take much to learn about the flip side of the coin: all it takes is a little too long of not keeping track of the latest trends and changes. To make sure that doesn't happen to you, we're now going to shed light on some SEO tactics that used to be very popular, but aren't worth much today, so we'd like to hereby pass them off as obsolete!
1. extremely short content
At the top of the trick list used to be often optimizing content for a text length of less than 300 words. While these extremely short texts used to be very successful in SEO campaigns, nowadays content marketers and brand managers have an easier time with Google and other search engines if they write longer, informative passages.
2. forcing a keyword-based title
Meanwhile, forcing keywords in the page title has changed status from "required" to "unnecessary." Rather, focus on finding a title that is meaningful, strongly relates to the content of your page, and also relies on humorous techniques like alliteration.
3. using too many meta keywords
Apart from the fact that using too many different keywords per page makes a rather unfocused impression, listing terms in the "keywords" meta tag also gives away to competitors which keywords you would like to rank for. Since the keywords specified here no longer have any effect on the ranking anyway, you should rather leave this meta element unfilled. Instead, focus on placing the most important keywords and common synonyms in your web texts in a natural way.
4. quantity instead of quality when linking
When it comes to inbound links, you might think, "The more the merrier." However, this truism has not applied to search engine optimization for a long time. The truth is that buying bulk links and forgoing quality links to other relevant opinion leaders does not help your website rank better. On the contrary, if Google notices unnatural link building, you will even be penalized and can quickly lose rankings you have already gained.
5. take every opportunity for guest posts
Not too long ago, it was irrelevant whether you delivered good or bad content, as long as you just took every opportunity to post guest posts. Much like link building, this practice has shifted significantly towards quality. Whether you're guest authoring on other people's websites or other companies are posting on your blog: Make sure that the brands in question are a good fit for you and that it is high-quality content that will bring you a good reputation.
6. neglecting good image markup.
Including images on websites is another popular way to promote your products and services in an appealing way. However, one thing is often forgotten: Writing alternative text for these images. If you don't label your images correctly, you give away the opportunity for search engines to display this content in matching search queries. Neglecting images and image texts therefore also means a big disadvantage from the SEO perspective.
7. use exact keywords
There once was a time when using exact - and sometimes nonsensical - keyword phrases in website text was the most effective way to improve SEO results. Today, you convince not only potential customers, but also search engines more with high-quality, linguistically sophisticated content. Google & Co. now also understand plural forms, synonyms, etc. So don't cling to a stiff phrase, but build content sensibly around a keyword area.
One thing is clear: Nothing is set in stone. If you want your website to rank well on a permanent basis, it's best to make sure you're always up to date. Because Google and its algorithm optimizations do not sleep!