11 outdated SEO tactics that should terrify you
1. Link Directories
Link directors served as a way to categorize websites so that people could quickly find what they were looking for. Thanks to the simplicity of installing and using the software, link directories exploded in popularity. Since they didn’t provide any real value to visitors, search engines began to ignore most link directories — and they quickly lost their effectiveness.
As a general statement, you should avoid link directories entirely.
2. Exact-match Domains
Exact-match domains were a hot topic because they became a crutch for search engine optimization. It was easy to publish a site on an exact-match domain and rank quicker than a traditional, branded domain.
Exact-match domains have the same potential to rank as any other domain.
3. Reciprocal Linking
Search engines view a link to another site as a “vote” for that site — so reciprocal linking is essentially saying, “If you vote for me, I’ll vote for you.” Seem shady? Well it is...
This tactic, though ineffective, still stumbles along slowly.
4. Flat URLs
This isn’t really a “tactic” as much as it is just the default way WordPress is set up, and most people don’t know that they need to change it.
Flat URL: http://examplewebsite.com/page1/
Nested URL: http://examplewebsite.com/topic1/page1/
A flat URL structure makes it more difficult for search engines to understand the hierarchy of your website because all of your pages are treated with the same level of importance. Nested URLs create structure and hierarchy to your website.
If you're using WordPress - The first step is to change your default permalink settings. It’s important to think this through thoroughly because changing it later means having to setup many redirects.
5. Guest Blogging
Website owners attempting to keep search engine happy with constant fresh content were all too eager to publish a steady stream of posts from guest authors. Marketers soon began submitting guest posts to any website that would accept them in an attempt to acquire a link.
Google understandably put an end to this nonsense. Websites were penalized and some never recovered...
6. Keyword Stuffing
Back when search engines were only capable of interpreting simple signals, like keyword density, stuffing keywords into a web page to make it rank better was another abused tactic.
This doesn’t work — and more importantly, it makes your content look like a blabbering toddler wrote it and you lose trust from your visitors.
7. Keyword Pages
The old approach of creating a separate page for every keyword variation has died as search engines have become smarter.
If you’ve created individual pages for each keyword variation in the past, you may be tempted to leave them. You have to purge the unnecessary pages and merge content. Then create any applicable 301 redirects to the merged content page.
Don't create a page for every keyword phrase. Instead, create a comprehensive page for a keyword topic. Then include sub topics on that page that are relevant and use a sub heading for the keyword phrase.
8. Paid links
Paying for PageRank-passing links has been a clear violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines for a long time.
You might think you can be really careful — buy just a few links to get some traction and stay under Google’s radar — but that’s not going to happen. It's not worth the long term risk...trust us on this one.
9. Low-quality content
Effective SEO requires you to regularly produce high quality content — which can be difficult for those without dedicated marketers. This can lead to rushing content creation, or outsourcing it to budget services. The resulting content is often the text equivalent of a 3rd grade english class or cookie cutter copied from their archives.
The days of producing simple content just for the sake of publishing are far behind us thanks to Google’s Panda update in 2011.
Your content should be robust, well-written, accurate and engaging.
10. Writing for bots rather than humans
If you’ve ever seen content that repeats a keyword or awkwardly forces a keyword phrase into a sentence in a way that doesn’t make sense, then you’ve seen an example of someone writing content for bot visitors rather than human visitors.
This was popular in the early days of SEO, but SEO has come a long way. You don’t need to do this anymore.
Write for humans, because they are the ones buying your products or services.
11. Automated Linking
When links became essential to SEO, marketers sought ways to maximize their link-building efforts using automated software. They blasted their links into all over the web by the thousands.
There is no way to automate high-quality link building. That requires creating amazing content and developing relationships to earn links. There are no shortcuts to quality link-building.
Orignial Source: Search Engine Land
Image Source: SEO Blog