Few marketing services change as rapidly as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Google. Each year, the search giant fine-tunes its algorithms around 500 to 600 times. While most are minor adjustments, there are major shakeups almost every quarter that force SEO marketers to adjust their tactics and strategy. Unfortunately, habits die hard, especially when old-school techniques have already fossilized into habits. Here are four that you shouldn’t be doing anymore.
Google’s initial algorithms depended on keyword density, or the amount of times a word or phrase appears in a body of text, to determine relevance. Unfortunately, the design persuaded a generation of SEO specialists to think that spamming keywords was a good idea, creating a phenomenon of unreadable content composed of a string of phrases.
Thankfully, Google changed their methods, saving billions of users from suffering through badly-composed webpages. However, numerous practitioners still spam keywords, especially since some customers still have outdated ideas about SEO.
Links have always been critical in search algorithms because websites and articles that are regularly linked back are assumed to be extremely helpful and authoritative. Unfortunately, this quirk ensured that SEO marketers would try to build links quickly using any scheme possible, including outright buying them.
Google clamped down hard on the overabundance of useless linking. It emphasized that links had to be earned, and that automated, spammy links would be penalized. Despite shutting down the excess, links are still a valued factor for search algorithms, so some SEO specialists take shortcuts to create them.
As an industry, SEO is barely more than a decade old. However, for most of that decade, internet use was synonymous with desktops or laptops. Not anymore. Mobile search has eclipsed desktop search in the summer of 2015. Since Google prefers to serve mobile-friendly sites to people on mobile, websites that don’t optimize for smaller devices are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
SEO habits grew out of the “gaming” the quirks of the reigning search engine’s algorithms, with savvy practitioners molding their tactics and strategy to work around the program’s math. However, we have to remember those algorithms were born out of the need to connect people to the content that is most relevant for them.
Many in the industry have forgotten this. Those that didn’t were the smart ones: They prioritized quality content that people appreciate and share, as well as a superior website user experience that encourages them to stay and return. In spite of the many tweaks performed by Google, sites that poured their efforts into creating compelling posts rather than taking advantage of algorithms continue to be ranked highly in the search results that matter to them.
With the rise of digital marketing, more brands are investigating the potential of SEO to . Always be prepared to listen to the experts but make sure that they know the latest trends to ensure the of your brand’s SEO marketing campaign.