7 Outdated SEO Tactics You Shouldn’t Be Using

Times are changing and so is SEO. There are numerous old SEO tactics that used to work, but no longer do. In fact, many of them will even decrease your traffic or kill it completely. This article covers seven outdated SEO tactics that are no longer effective. By switching to the new, more effective solutions, you can get your site the traffic it deserves.

Outdated tactic #1: More links brings higher rankings

The number of backlinks your site had used to be a deciding factor in its rating. In fact, it was the third most determining factor according to the Search Metrics. However, times have changed and new sites with just a few links are outranking the old ones with many of them. That’s all because the links the new sites are using are more relevant. Nowadays, the links relevance trumps link quantity, and that’s all thanks to Google’s Penguin algorithm update.

Here’s a good example. When googling “business credit cards”, the site that came out on top is NerdWallet. This little-known site outranks the well-known Chase and American Express, which take second and third place, respectively. Surprisingly, Nerd Wallet has only 176 backlinks and only 136 referring domains, in comparison to Chase’s 293 backlinks and 69 referring domains, and American Express’ 90,000 backlinks and 343 referring domains. As for the root domain names, NerdWallet has less unique domains than American Express and Chase. Yet, Google ranks Nerd Wallet higher than Chase and American Express because it’s about quality not quantity of links a site has. So, spend your time building links that are relevant and topical to your site’s content.

Outdated tactic #2: SEO requires a lot of keyword-rich content

It seems logical that if you want your site to have a good rank for a specific word or phrase, you would need to have that phrase on your site somewhere. Previously, that’s exactly how the system worked. However, now Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI), which is a retrieval method that uses singular value decomposition in order to identify patterns in the relationships between the terms and concepts found in text. It is built on the principle that words used in the same context have the same meaning. What this means is that Google understands that “corporate credit card” is the same thing as a “business credit card” and therefore a site that uses “business credit card” will still be ranked for both phrases.

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So, don’t go overboard with keywords. Instead, make your content interesting and easy for people to read. Even if you don’t use the exact top-ranking keywords but still speak well about the topic, Google will still determine what terms you can be ranked for and put you there.

Besides, keyword research is not at all fun to read. Putting the same keyword 50 times in the same text will not win you any points with your audience. In fact, they would stop reading your content and linking to your site.

Outdated tactic #3: SEO is nothing more than links, content, and code

Five years ago, SEO truly was just about links, content, and code. Most of the sites that ranked high had many links, good on-page optimization, and low quality content. All of that has changed. Now, the thing that raises a site’s rank is a large social following.

That’s right – social media has a big influence on a site’s rankings. Sites that are popular on social media get seen by many people and usually get many backlinks. Social media also provides that great first push and traction a site usually needs. So, build a great social profile instead of building links.

Outdated Tactic SEO

Outdated tactic #4: Tracking rankings

Just a few years ago, every brand was busy tracking their rankings, but there is no longer a need for it. Having high rankings is great, but the search has now become a long tail game, with most of the site traffic originating from long tail phrases. Besides, the Panda and Penguin updates have made it harder and harder to manipulate the rankings. So, instead of trying to do that, use your time building long tail traffic through top quality content marketing. No more trackings of your ranking!

Outdated tactic #5: More pages equals more traffic

Wikipedia has thousands of pages and it gets a lot of traffic. Doesn’t this mean that the more pages your site has the more traffic it gets? Not necessarily. In order for the site to rank well it has to have quality pages. Once again, quality trumps quantity. In fact, low quality pages may actually hurt your site. Google’s Panda was created for the sole purpose of targeting websites with poor quality content and decreasing their search traffic.

For example, Wise Geek used to be a top ranking site due to its large amount of content but it quickly lost this rank after Panda was introduced. Wise Geek had a lot of content but it was low quality, and Google noticed it.

So, you don’t need a site with hundreds of pages! All you need is one that has truly valuable, high quality content users like. Just look at Quick Sprout and KISSmetrics. They don’t have thousands of blog posts but are still able to generate more than 500,000 visitors each month.

Outdated tactic #6: The more text you have, the higher your rank

There has previously been enough data to indicate that a page needs to have at least 2,000 words for it to rank well. However, that data has now been proven wrong. Upworthy’s pages have very little content but the site still manages to have a higher growth rate than BuzzFeed and Huffington Post. In fact, it is currently one of the fastest growing content sites on the internet. The little amount of content Upworthy has is enough to generate the site 750,000 visitors each month.

Therefore, it’s not all about the text anymore. Images and videos are also great content that can boost up the site’s rankings. So, add variety to your site and use as many different types of content as possible . Images, videos, quizzes, podcasts, are just a few of the many you can use.

Outdated tactic #7: Higher rankings translate into more traffic

Practically everyone seems to believe that high rankings mean a lot of traffic, but it’s one of the biggest misconceptions of the SEO industry. Yes, having a high ranking guarantees that your website will be seen by people, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will actually click on it. They may not find your meta tags appealing enough, or the keywords you’re using may not get a lot of search volume. To avoid these problems you can optimize your click-through rates and use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to find the best keywords.


SEO is changing and so should your SEO tactics. Don’t waste another minute adhering to the old, outdated strategies and principles because they will no longer get you the traffic they used to generate. Instead, spend your time on tactics that currently work. By avoiding these 7 outdated strategies and replacing them with new ones that work, you can boost traffic to your site and start seeing a difference in a month or two. It’s really simple – all it needs is a bit of attention.

Whether you are just getting started with Social Media or are looking to take things to the next level, we are here to make a positive difference. To get started, schedule a 30 minute interactive session where we can answer some of your biggest questions and give you direction on how to accelerate your online efforts. www.CompleteSocialMediaSuccess.com


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