3 Old SEO Practices that No Longer Work

3 Old SEO Practices that No Longer Work

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been around for a long time, well over two decades. That may seem like a short amount of time compared to other technologies that have been around forever (like the phone, or the TV), but in terms of the Internet, two decades is a really long time.

Long enough for SEO to have changed drastically and evolved significantly over the years to where best practices today for SEO bear only a passing resemblance to some of the tactics we used to use.

As a provider of SEO services in Florida, we’ve had to adjust and adapt how we do things for our clients over the years. Some of the tactics we swore by years ago no longer work.

Here are some old SEO practices that no longer work and should be abandoned in favor of things that do work.

Pursuing Keywords Over Clicks

Keywords used to be the cornerstone of good SEO. They still matter, but the way we use keywords has changed.

Formerly, it was a good idea to put a bunch of keywords all throughout your meta tags, such as the title tag, the keyword tag (back when it actually meant something) and the description. If you sold baby clothing and accessories, for example, you’d cram your title tag with keywords like “Baby Clothes | Baby Shoes | Baby Toys | Infant Sleepwear | etc.”. Your meta description would look something like, “Acme Baby Store carries baby clothes, baby toys, baby shoes, infant sleepwear, etc.” .

That’s not really how things should be done today. Today, you’re supposed to optimize for clicks first, then keywords. Clicks means you’re trying to attract humans to click on your link based on what humans – not computers – find appealing.

So, your meta description could be something like, “At Acme Baby Store, we believe in giving parents the best for their children, from top brands in baby clothes to educational baby toys.”

That’s much better from a human standpoint.

Making SEO Pages for Every Keyword Variant

One thing that worked until about five years ago was picking a keyword, then creating pages for every variant of that keyword.

If “baby clothes” is our main keyword, we’d create pages focusing on “newborn clothes,” “infant sleepwear,” “toddler jumpers,” “infant onesies,” etc. Or even brands, like “GAP baby clothes,” “Carter’s infant onesies,” etc.

What’s better now is if you have one page that basically targets all of them. You create a page that focuses on the topic, not the keyword, and intelligently incorporate those sub-topics throughout the page. This is because while the keywords may differ, the intent is basically the same: the searcher is still looking for baby clothes.

Google will recognize that your page covers all associated topics and will reward the page for it.

Using Exact Keyword Match Domain Names

A part of SEO in the past was picking a domain that had an exact or partial keyword match for the term you wanted to rank for.

For example, if we wanted to rank for “SEO services in Florida,” we could create a page that had the domain “http://seoservicesinflorida.com.”

People still do that, but it’s not always recommended. The SEO value is really low, plus – and this is important – people don’t tend to trust links like those. They look sketchy and too promotional, and aren’t nearly as valuable as a branded domain name, or a clever pun, or something more interesting.

What are some old-school SEO tactics you’ve seen used that aren’t used any longer?