Outdated SEO Practices You Should Avoid in 2023
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important asset to your website’s visibility. Website owners have been competing to rank higher since the ‘90s when Internet users first learned about web search.
Though it was very easy to rank higher on search engines back then, search engine algorithms changed and prioritized original and trustworthy content over everything else over the decades.
Since 1998, Google and other search engines are competing to deliver qualitative results. They improve the algorithms and ignore or ban the websites that try to be on top with poor content.
Search engines rely on their advanced techniques and algorithms to filter out good and reliable content from not-so-useful content. The sole purpose of search engines is to bring valuable content.
Google was the first search engine that ranked quality content and became the unbounded leader in the search engine market.
People started exploiting the algorithms in canny ways and that’s where algorithms started getting smarter by each second. The search engine algorithm learns and improves with its fine mistakes; you cannot fool it more than once. Your website really needs to be unedited on Google to rank higher. Serve what you have promised.
This blog will cover the bad and outdated SEO practices to avoid.
1. Carelessness Toward Keywords:
Keywords are the heart of SEO. Unquestionably. Keywords are the phrases that define the content and fundamentally, contain the essence of your content.
Google uses keywords to determine and index relevant and original content for search queries (a.k.a keywords) that a user searches in the search bar.
Digital marketers and content creators focus on using the right keywords in their content. Keywords are a crucial component of any successful SEO strategy but there are certain parameters to using them. Using the right keywords in a reliable manner leads to great visibility, more traffic, and a higher rank on SERP.
Following are some malpractices that you should avoid while working on the keywords:
a. Targeting Irrelevant Keywords: SEO strategies like keyword research and focusing on long-tail keywords are still relevant in 2023 as these practices help you find the perfect keywords for your content.
You should never attempt to target something that’s not in your business. A website providing apparel design services should never focus on targeting footwear design services. Keywords are uniquely designed and properly well-researched phrases that you should select logically.
b. Stuffing Keywords Deliberately: Keyword stuffing is another bad practice that many people use to rank their content quickly. However, a determined number of keyword usage is necessary in order to let algorithms know that your article also presents some specific search query.
See an example below:
We sell personalized gown designs. Our personalized gown designs are specifically created by our most creative experts. If you are looking for a dress that will make you feel like a celebrity, please contact our personalized gown designs expert and get personalized gown design dresses at your home.
Force stuff of a keyword is a big NO. Try to include some internal links to your article wherever necessary. Nobody wants to read a piece of content full of repeated words and hyperlinks in each line. Be true while you share your knowledge.
c. Not Caring for Keyword Density: Keyword density is the percentage that indicates the number of times a keyword or keyphrase has appeared on the given webpage.
Keyword density = Total number of words in an article/Total number of times a keyword is mentioned
The optimal keyword density is considered to be 1%-2%.
However, people started to use keywords more than the required keyword density. To avoid a bad user experience, making keywords invisible using colors that blend into the background and other tactics doesn’t work anymore. It is important to match the content that the user sees with the content the web crawler sees.
2. Creating Multiple Pages for All Keyword Variations:
Another bad SEO strategy that search engines are putting an end to is creating pages for all keyword variations. Marketers use this tactic to rank pages for all possible keywords by creating a separate page for each one.
The result is usually repetitive and unoriginal content on multiple pages. It is quite ridiculous if your users can’t find something interesting on your web pages.
Honestly, don’t bother to remove or improve the content. Search engines will do it for you. Google penalizes such websites by removing pages from SERP.
If you want to encourage your customers to visit your website, eliminate unwanted pages and merge the useful content. Once you blow away the malpractices and focus on creating valuable content, users will naturally attract to your website.
3. Using Exact-Match Domains:
Exact-match domains use the keyword as a domain name. Google used to prioritize exact-match domains earlier.
Say you are searching for the best business ideas, you may encounter a website bestbusinessideas.com in the first rank. This was how exact-match domains used to work. It was the easiest system to exploit and abuse. Marketers used to buy domains matching their keywords and search queries to gain more user traffic.
Google soon realized it was compromising the quality of top search results. The results were not what users were expecting. Google updated the algorithm and put domains way lower in the priority list.
In 2023, avoid this strategy and never make the keyword your domain name until it is your brand name. Someone searching for Adidas shoes will expect to see the Adidas website in the first place. Google understands this demand. You can still optimize the slug (the part of the URL followed by the domain name).
Following are some best practices to optimize a URL slug:
a. Keep the URL slug as simple as possible. Do not flood it with complex words.
b. Include relevant and reader-friendly keywords. Don’t stuff the keywords unnecessarily.
c. Try to make the URL slug unique. The slug that belongs to other pages is not a good choice.
d. Create a standard technique to name URLs and apply it to all pages and posts.
4. Forgetting Mobile Optimization:
Google prioritizes the mobile version of a site’s content. 5 billion searches are made each day on Google and nearly 63 percent of the traffic is originated from mobile devices. This stat makes a strong recommendation for having a mobile version of your website. This statistic makes a strong recommendation for a mobile version of your website.
Mobile search has seen drastic growth over the years. If you focus only on desktop optimization strategies, then you are surely working on a bad SEO strategy. It can downturn the rankings in SERP.
A good user experience is responsible for attracting the potential audience. You may turn them away by not providing a website that is responsive on mobile devices. You may practice the following practices to strengthen the SEO of your website:
a. Make sure to keep the same meta tags, headings, and content on mobile and desktop sites.
b. Mobile and desktop sites must have the same structured data.
c. Check the placement of ads, visual content, and forms.
d. If possible, get separate URLs for both mobile and desktop.
e. Design your website keeping in mind the requirement of the mobile layout.
5. Backlink or Comment Spamming:
You must’ve heard about this common practice of earning backlinks through spammy activities. One such way is to spam the comment section of relevant blogs with a backlink to your website that deliberately attempts to distract the audience from one site and shows them the way to your website.
Backlinks are important but if you are trying to achieve them with bad strategies, you will find your website last in SERP. Such methods no longer work in favor to attract the audience, but instead have been labeled as ‘spam’ by search engines.
Focus on building high-quality content. Let the organic backlinks come your way.
6. Article Syndication (Re-publishing Content):
Marketers misapplied the concept of link building. Back in the time, they used to write an article with one link to any of their web pages and publish that article on multiple sources. This was under the illusion that it helps in increasing the ranking for particular keywords.
Search engines failed to provide useful content to their users as the same content was served on top results. Search engines took measures to rank relevant and diverse content. Leaving no benefit for activities like re-publishing the content over and over.
Along with re-publishing the content, paraphrasing and rewriting are also not good options to practice in 2023. Though these techniques may save you from copyright cases, today’s plagiarism checkers are way more advanced. They can easily detect rewriting content. Try avoiding anything that’s none of your business. This will only cause harm to your website.
However, you can republish your old content. You need to update the right information in text, image, or video and that’s it, your brand-new content is ready to republish.
7. Aiming for Text Search Only:
Text search is not the only option now. Voice search has become a global trend. Mobile assistants and home assistants work with voice commands making the search easier than ever.
To work with the trends, you need to make additional efforts with your SEO strategies. Voice search rules work differently. If you are stuck at any point, you can ask our digital marketing specialists to guide you further.
Search engine algorithms keep updating their measures of identifying valuable content. But the fact is that genuine, original, and properly researched content will never rank low.
Read our guide on the best SEO strategies to make your page on top
With everything described above, I firmly believe that you are perfectly clear about the outdated SEO practices that you won’t implement in 2023. If you have any inquiries, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you at the earliest.