Outdated SEO Practices or Dead SEO Techniques:
Search engines, especially Google keep updating their algorithm to improve search results and user experience.
SEO before 2010 was a lot easier and even was not a topic of debate. People launch a website and within a few days or weeks, they start ranking on the first page. Even the most powerful terms such as website authority, content quality, website architecture, URL path, loading time, and user experience hold so much value on today’s SEO world that had less or no impact before 2011.
But from 2010 to 2013 there was an era of a paradigm shift in the world of SEO marketing when Google introduced its highly decorative AI, the Caffeine algorithm, the Panda algorithm, the Penguin algorithm, and Hummingbird.
Even with Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates, Google took down millions of websites because of various reasons. Even when Google rolled out Caffeine in 2010 it made 700 changes in a year.
Out of thousands of Google’s updates in these 10 years, Panda, Penguin, and the Hummingbird were the most lethal as they started vanishing millions of low-quality websites.
Let’s understand what was the purpose of Panda, Penguin, and the Hummingbird algorithm updates! And how these algorithms made most used SEO tactics useless.
- Outdated SEO Practices or Dead SEO Techniques:
- Panda Algorithm:
- Penguin Algorithm:
- Hummingbird Algorithm:
- Core Web Vital Update 2021:
- 1. Publishing Thin Content:
- 2. Republishing the Same Content with Different Title and URL:
- 3. Buying Exact Match Domain:
- 4. Flat website Architecture:
- 5. Creating Keyword Cannibalized Content Pages:
- 6. Keyword Stuffing:
- 7. Over using Exact Match Anchor Text:
- 8. Buying Links or Creating Thousands of Links from Directories or Other Irrelevant Forums Listing:
- 9. Link Exchange:
- 10. Slow Page Load Speed and Bad User Experience:
- Closing Keynote on Outdated SEO Practices:
Panda was launched on February 23, 2011, with the objective of showing high-quality sites higher in SERPs.
The things do not end here. The other crucial task of Panda was to demote the ranking on SERPs of all the sites that have thin, duplicate, stolen, outdated or low-quality content.
The Penguin algorithm was rolled out on April 24, 2012. With the clear goal, Penguin was introduced to take down the ranking of all the websites that have cheated Google by creating unnatural backlinks just to gain the high domain authority and ranking in the Google results.
Nowadays link building is the most critical and highly challenging task for every blogger and online business. But before 2012, link building was a super easy task. Website owners were creating thousands of backlinks on a single day from bogus places such as directory submission sites, forums, search engine submission, blog commenting, paid links, and many other spammy ways.
So, this work was assigned to Penguin to penalize all those sites that have spammy or unnatural backlinks.
Hummingbird was officially introduced on September 26, 2013. The objective of the Hummingbird algorithm was to get a sophisticated understanding of the intent of searchers’ queries in order to show them more relevant results.
Hummingbird” is aimed at making interactions more human, in the sense that the search engine is capable of understanding the concepts and relationships between keywords.
From 2013 to now, the Hummingbird algorithm is making search results more human and continuously improving billions of queries, and providing end-users more personal search engine results pages.
Core Web Vital Update 2021:
Core Web Vitals are part of Google’s page experience score metrics that are determined on three factors i.e., largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay(FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).
Now, Google decided to identify user experience issues primarily based on the site’s page loading performance, ease of interaction, and visual stability of a page from a user’s perspective.
On June 15, 2021, Google slowly started rolling out Core Web Vital update and on August 4, 2021, Google made several improvements to the Page experience report.
Therefore, all the websites will lose their traffic and ranking if they do not work on Google’s Core Web Vital that is LCP, FID, and CLS.
In this blog, I have pointed out all the 10 outdated or dead SEO practices that you should avoid doing on your website.
1. Publishing Thin Content:
There was a time when website owners were successful even by publishing just thin content. Some of them were publishing 600 words of content and even some of them were publishing less than 500 words of content and were able to drive millions of traffic on their site.
Apart from it, article spinning, stolen content, or bot-generated content were also in huge practice by many bloggers and publishers. At that time there were no such regulations or search engine bots that can track such activity so most of the people were happy doing that.
Then Google and other search engines realize the fact that if they do not stop such outdated SEO practices, very soon we will lose credibility and trust in the eyes of users and nobody will visit us.
Finally, on February 23, 2011, Google introduced the Panda update. Now, the Panda algorithm can alone takedown or demote your website if you are doing any of the spammy or shady practices related to content. With the clear intent, Panda was launched to promote 100% original, in-depth, and quality content on the top of Google and demote all the sites that are practicing thin, stolen, copied, duplicated, plagiarised, bot-generated, or low-quality content.
2. Republishing the Same Content with Different Title and URL:
Another shady trick was to republish the same content on the same or different website just by changing the titles and slug of the pages. People also used to publish content from other forums like Medium, Business2Community, Quora to their website. But with the Panda update, if you do this, you will lose ranking, traffic, and EAT of your website.
3. Buying Exact Match Domain:
Suppose you want to create a website on digital marketing and write content on the same. So, with this trick, you buy the domain name on the exact keyword “digitalmarketing.com”. Similarly, if anyone wants to do blogging on cold coffee, they bought a domain name on coldcoffee.com.
This was the blogger’s highly practiced trick to get quick ranking and traffic. Even they start dominating in their niche only in a few months. Because exact match domain was making Google understand your blogging niche.
But now, it is an outdated SEO technique. Even in an interview, Google’s John Mueller said that you must focus on creating a brand name rather than buying an exact match domain.
I blog in digital marketing and cover topics like SEO, PPC, SMM, Google AdSense, Affiliate Marketing, and blogging but rather than buying an exact match domain name, I focused on building a brand name. And I picked the name The Blue Oceans Group for my website. Similarly websites like Alexa, Amazon, Myntra, Apple focus on brand building rather than buying exact name domain. It’s an outdated SEO tactic.
4. Flat website Architecture:
Before 2010, search engines like Google were not giving a damn about your website theme, architecture, and design. Website owners were also less focused on design and many of the websites were flat in their architecture.
But now Google gives so much value to website architecture in the ranking. Website architecture mainly considers the layout of your web pages, pillar pages, category and subcategory pages, fonts, color, and even index and no index pages. It helps Google to understand the overall content and its linking with the other pages.
5. Creating Keyword Cannibalized Content Pages:
To drive a flood of traffic people started creating multiple pages on their site by targeting the same/similar keyword. This outdated SEP practice is known as keyword cannibalization or content cannibalization. But Google algorithm updates like Hummingbird and RankBrain start penalizing for such activity. Now if you practice such a thing, your web pages start competing with each other, and it ends up with a drastic fall in ranking, traffic, click-through rate, and conversion rate. Not only this, your website starts losing authority. So, if you are still doing this, stop it! Otherwise, Google will devalue your pages without any hesitation.
I personally know many popular websites that are victims of keyword cannibalization.
6. Keyword Stuffing:
Since SEO is more about keywords, people thought that if we overload our content with keywords it will do magic. So they start keyword stuffing and over-optimizing their blogs to get quick ranking and traffic. At one-time keyword stuffing was one of the most popular and now one of the most outdated SEO practices and techniques.
Now, if you are thinking that aggressively stuffing keywords in the content can get you a quick ranking, then it is not more than a delusion.
Even Google crawlers can be suspicious and they flag your content unnaturally by saying you tried to manipulate the search engine.
So, you get nothing but there are heavy chances that Google would devalue your web pages on the SERPs.
So, I would suggest you not practice keyword stuffing. I am also not saying that you should not highlight your main or high-value keywords but try not to overload them. Use your main keyword only 1 or 2 times in each para and try to sprinkle your content by using some LSI keywords.
7. Over using Exact Match Anchor Text:
Anchor text is the clickable text a reader sees in a hyperlink. Before the introduction of Penguin, using exact-match and keyword-rich anchor text was the top standard and best on-page SEO practices. Hence, if you are over-optimizing your content by overusing exact match anchor text just to impress Google and the search engine bots, then Penguin will consider this act unnatural and non-user-friendly.
Since Penguin, Google has been better at identifying over-optimized content. Therefore, Google prefers more natural-sounding anchor text over the exact match. So, you should optimize for both the search engines and humans. Otherwise, you will probably fail.
The golden rule about producing well-constructed content is to produce user-friendly and natural content with relevant anchor text.
8. Buying Links or Creating Thousands of Links from Directories or Other Irrelevant Forums Listing:
As we all know that backlink is the backbone of any website’s success. It plays a vital role in establishing the domain authority of your site. The higher DA your site has, the higher chances you will dominate in your niche.
Hence, to build links, people started many unethical and shady practices such as buying links, forums and directory submissions, social bookmarking, guest posting on irrelevant sites, blog commenting, and many others.
In other words, after content, backlink was the most exploited thing in SEO marketing. So, Panda was introduced to sort out content issues. Then on April 24, 2012, Google introduced The Penguin algorithm update to tackle wrong backlink practices by bloggers and other website owners.
When Penguin was rolled out, billions of backlinks that were linked with millions of websites became MASSIVE WORTHLESS.
In fact, link-building practices like social bookmarking, blog commenting, and web directory submission almost become IRRELEVANT.
So, if you are practicing bulk link building from these sites or forums, stop doing it in 2022. It is an outdated SEO technique that can only waste your time, money, and other resources. Not only this, many websites were permanently blocked by Google for doing such fraud practice.
9. Link Exchange:
Link exchange is another famous outdated SEO practice that was used by bloggers, especially on Slack. As you can guess from its name this strategy works as “follow for follow”. Suppose you have website A and someone has website B, you ask B to give a do-follow link for your website and in return, you will do the same.
This way SEO marketers used to insert a hyperlink in one of their pages in exchange for a backlink.
But now, if you build links in exchange for a link, Google bots will flag it as a wrong link-building technique and penalize your website in many ways such as diluting your links, decreasing your site’s DA, or even demoting your web page.
10. Slow Page Load Speed and Bad User Experience:
Before 2014, almost every website was very busy to impress search engine bots only. They were not serious about page load speed and user experience. You will be shocked to know that most of the websites have a load speed of more than 3 seconds. Some of them take more than 30 seconds to load. Do you really think that today your audience is going to wait for 30 seconds just to load your page? I don’t think so!
Always remember, Google wants to rank sites that satisfy its users’ search intent and experience. Sites with fewer SEOs but high on intent also rank and compete.
Now if we talk about mobile optimization, you will be shocked to know that over 40% of the top 500 fortune companies’ sites failed the mobile test. So, leave a random website, even top fortune companies are not currently mobile-friendly.
To tackle such a problem, on 15 June 2021, Google rolled out one of the biggest algorithm updates known as Google Core Web Vital Update. Google CWV task is to determine page experience score mainly on three factors i.e., largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay(FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).
Therefore, if you are not concerned about page load speed, user experience, or mobile optimization, it’s high time, you should be. Otherwise gradually you will lose your keywords ranking, traffic, and E-A-T on the SERPs.
Closing Keynote on Outdated SEO Practices:
If you want to use this infographic on your site, send an email to [email protected] and we’ll provide you the embed code 🙂
- 1. No keyword stuffing
- 2. No content duplication or plagiarism. 100% quality content over quantity
- 3. No link buying, selling or spamming.
- 4. Optimize your website and its pages WELL for both Mobile and Desktop.
- 5. Equally work on load speed and page user experience as user experience is SEO now.
And after Google Core Web Vital Update, the better the user experience of the web page, the more likely it receives weight from the search algorithm to rank and perform.
In short, do SEO activities to impress humans, not bots.
Now, the 2022 era will be for those bloggers, publishers, and online businesses that will work for their users and strictly follow Google guidelines. Any violation can be lethal from a drastic fall in traffic and ranking to the permanent blacklist of your website from Google.
The great news is honest, hard-working and ethical SEO marketers’ work will now pay off and fraudsters will automatically vanish. There is NO PLACE FOR BLACK HAT SEO Marketing.
I hope you find this blog on dead SEO Practices helpful. Now, if you have any queries or doubts then leave a comment. I almost reply to every comment.
And if I have missed any points or you want to add something, let me know by leaving a comment. Any feedback, thoughts, and opinions are always welcome!
Q.1 What are the dead or outdated SEO practices that can lead my website to a permanent blacklist by Google?
A. If you are posting stolen, duplicate, thin, or copied content then Google can easily detect and can ban your website. On the link building front, if you are buying links or creating thousands of unnatural or spammy links then also Google can blacklist you.
Q.2 What are the 3 major things that I should take care of while creating content and building links?
A. You should only create 100% original and high-quality in-depth content as Google always prefers 100% quality over quantity. Take care of on-page SEO, especially Title, slug, description, H-1, H-2, H-3, and H-4 headings, paragraph length, inbound and outbound links. Always optimize your content with the main keyword and LSI keywords, but never over-optimize. As far as link building is concerned, always build natural backlinks on high DA-relevant websites.
Q.3 What should be the ideal page load speed of my website and web pages?
A. An excellent website and its webpage should load in less than 3 seconds on all types of devices that including desktop, mobile, and tablet.
Q.4 Can I practice some sort of black hat SEO techniques along with white hat SEO?
A. No. You can’t! And you should never practice such things that are are against the policies or guidelines of search engines.
2 thoughts on “10 Dead/Outdated SEO Practices You Must Avoid in 2023”
Great post! I really liked all the practices you shared. I think it will benefit a lot of people in the market. I have seen many people use these practices in their daily strategies and it affects their rankings. I will be sharing this article with everyone in my network to help them prevent these mistakes. Thanks a lot for putting together all the outdated practices and compiling them into such an informative post. Looking forward to reading more of your articles.
Thank you, John, for sharing your thoughts! I am glad you liked the post.