7 bad SEO tactics that won’t live until 2022

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Most bad SEO tactics should be obvious. Still, I’m still amazed at how often many websites use these outdated and often dangerous SEO strategies.

I see a site every day that still uses at least one of the following bad SEO tactics.

What’s even worse is that many of these tactics never worked so well initially.

Here are seven perfect examples of bad SEO tactics you should avoid, at least if you want to rank on the search engines:

  1. Keyword stuffing

When you hear “SEO” you usually think of keywords and that’s okay. However, word density should be metered into your content.

Ten years ago, “keyword density” was a ratio of how many times your keyword was used compared to other words on the page.

There was a magic number that you must use. There was a sweet spot just a few percentage points that made all the difference in the world.

The closer you get to that number, the better your ranking is, right?

Obviously, this is all nonsense. But that’s how people felt back then and what was the norm.

We ended up with a “keyword stuffing,” which involved using the keyword on the page as many times as possible.Google’s algorithm was certainly simpler at the time.

It was easier to handle it.The same cannot be said today.

Not in a world where we live with RankBrain and natural language processing.

The good news is, you don’t have to put a bunch of keywords into your article anymore.Google is getting smarter. You need to think more about topics related to keywords, related keywords, and long tail keywords.

Suppose you have a long tail keyword for each blog post. Instead of repeatedly putting it in the content, you should focus on subtopics and related ideas.

It means extracting all the semantically related information and context around a topic.Better yet, you can create new content around each one.Building a “network” of content to cover an entire topic will be much more beneficial in the long run, and you never have to worry about being hit by a Google penalty or an update to its algorithm.

Use internal links intelligently to link your content.Unwanted comments at the bottom of the articlesThis is one of the most boring tactics.You read an awesome blog post and jump into the comments.After all, lengthy discussions in a blog comments section can often be more valuable than the content itself.

However, sometimes you scroll through the 200 comments to leave your words and see spam comments.

Comments like this completely kill any conversation.Leaving comments can be a great way to build a relationship with the blog owner and other readers.

There can be issues when you try to do it on a large scale by inserting your backlinks.Many commenting platforms, like Disqus, have obviously caught on.

They are trying to control this by blocking certain accounts.Unfortunately, if your site gets big enough, you will have to fight spam comments.

This is why the majority of platforms today put the links in the comments in nofollow. Untracked links tell search engines not to give credit or convey any authority to that link.

Which means that not only are spam comments annoying, they are useless (or almost) too!Here are some tips to avoid this problem. You can also force users to enter their name or email address to leave a comment.

This way, they must be logged into WordPress before joining the discussion.You can even configure your site so that you can manually approve comments.

This allows you to search each of them for links that contain spam before approving them.The blacklist is useful for repeat offenders.

The next time each member of the blacklist tries to add a comment, it will be sent directly to the recycle bin.3. Poor user experience (UX)Google doesn’t just look at links and keywords to rank your site.

Search engines collect all kinds of data.One example is your usage data, which is basically how people interact with your site.

For example, if you have a high bounce rate where people leave right after their visit, that’s a red flag!It tells search engines that people can’t find what they’re looking for.

And if so, your site doesn’t have to be very useful.It’s not the only thing they watch, however.

For example, your SEO presence could take another hit if your design is lousy and outdated.Previously, search engines, especially Google, only looked at hard data to determine ranking factors.

However, they introduced a questionnaire during this period to collect qualitative feedback as well.For example, they asked people to browse websites and answer a few basic questions. Poor quality site design and content could now come back to haunt you if you received bad ratings.A more recent example of this is “Mobilegeddon”.

If your site is not mobile responsive, displaying properly on everyone’s mobile device, you will also take a hit.

Google even released a mobile-focused update as more people browse the web and search on mobile devices.

Not only is a poor quality mobile website hurting your conversions, it can also hurt your SEO presence.

Start by using Google’s mobile test tool to see how your site performs on mobile devices. They will even give you tips to speed it up.

The overall load speed of your site can have a huge impact on SEO as well, so try PageSpeed’s analytics tool. He will give you advice on how to speed up your site.

If you’re still having issues, consider using a usability testing tool like this to see where users are getting stuck on your site.

  1. Artificial links

Back then, people put white text on a white background.

I am not joking.

The trick was that no one could see it, but the search engines could.

Visitors to the site would have no idea what was going on. And then site owners could use keywords all day

 

day and all night.You don’t have to be a genius to realize that Google isn’t that much of a fan of this tactic.

However, this same tactic is being used for other purposes now.Hidden links are just one variation of this tactic.Other “unnecessary” links are hidden from view.

For example, widget links can also put you in hot water.These are considered “unnatural” links. This means that someone didn’t create them on purpose to “reward” the site they link to.Instead, these links are often bundled with other software.

When you add the widget to your site, you are also unknowingly adding backlinks to the creator of the widget.You also often see them on the links of WordPress themes.

They are sometimes found in the footer of a site that uses this theme.Now, let’s be clear on something.You want referring visitors to click on this link because they might like what they see.

You want them to come back to your site and buy.

However, using links like this in a website’s footer or sidebar for link building can get you in trouble.Instead, Google recommends that you make untracked links (Noffolow) to make sure your link profile stays clean.

Other terrible backlink strategies include paying for links or exchanging links between multiple sites you own.

5. Duplicate or duplicated contentDuplicate content or duplicate content is often content that has been copied from another location.

It’s especially bad when you copy and paste content across different sites.For example, there used to be a piece of software called “article spinners” that would take a piece of content and mix up the words.

Then you can repost it elsewhere for easy links to your site.It was fairly easy to detect, however.Another common problem arises when content is essentially stolen elsewhere.This is another obvious fact.

But, many times you will cause your own duplicate content issues, and you might not even realize it.For example, the same content may appear in more than one place on your site.

This is detrimental because Google may not know which page to pass the authority to.Your “credit” is divided and distributed over several different pages.

Many times you won’t even know what’s going on.WordPress, Joomla 4, and other blog designs often cause this problem.

Often, the same page can be accessed through different menus, resulting in multiple URLs for the same page.There are a few middle and advanced techniques to avoid this by diving into your site’s code.

In particular, you must choose your canonical URL to tell Google the original page to index.

Several tools like UberSuggest, Ahrefs, Semrush can help detect and fix them.6. Intrusive interstitial ads This one looks more confused than it is.

The “Intrusive Interstitial Update” was aimed at intrusive ads that effectively block someone’s screen.You click on the link and the site begins to load.However, before you can actually start reading a single line, something pops up to cover all of the text.

It could be anything from ads to those annoying auto-playing videos to pop-ups.Remember a few minutes ago when we were talking about bad UX?The same principle applies here.

If you do things that annoy visitors, you will be in trouble.Google will even soon start issuing warnings on websites for “annoying ads”.Google has officially stated that there are repercussions on websites:

To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages with content that is not easily accessible to a user when transitioning from mobile search results may not rank as well.

Even pop-ups can start to become a problem.There is always a fine line between SEO tactics and conversion tactics.

Other terrible backlink strategies include paying for links or exchanging links between multiple sites you own.

5. Duplicate or duplicated contentDuplicate content or duplicate content is often content that has been copied from another location.It’s especially bad when you copy and paste content across different sites.

For example, there used to be a piece of software called “article spinners” that would take a piece of content and mix up the words.Then you can repost it elsewhere for easy links to your site.

It was fairly easy to detect, however.Another common problem arises when content is essentially stolen elsewhere.This is another obvious fact.But, many times you will cause your own duplicate content issues, and you might not even realize it.

For example, the same content may appear in more than one place on your site.This is detrimental because Google may not know which page to pass the authority to.

Your “credit” is divided and distributed over several different pages.Many times you won’t even know what’s going on.WordPress, Joomla 4, and other blog designs often cause this problem.

Often, the same page can be accessed through different menus, resulting in multiple URLs for the same page.

There are a few middle and advanced techniques to avoid this by diving into your site’s code. In particular, you must choose your canonical URL to tell Google the original page to index.Several tools like UberSuggest, Ahrefs, Semrush can help detect and fix them.

6. Intrusive interstitial ads This one looks more confused than it is.The “Intrusive Interstitial Update” was aimed at intrusive ads that effectively block someone’s screen.You click on the link and the site begins to load.

However, before you can actually start reading a single line, something pops up to cover all of the text.It could be anything from ads to those annoying auto-playing videos to pop-ups.Remember a few minutes ago when we were talking about bad UX?The same principle applies here.

If you do things that annoy visitors, you will be in trouble.Google will even soon start issuing warnings on websites for “annoying ads”.Google has officially stated that there are repercussions on websites:

To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages with content that is not easily accessible to a user when transitioning from mobile search results may not rank as well.

Even pop-ups can start to become a problem.There is always a fine line between SEO tactics and conversion tactics.

 

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