SEO strategies are continuing to evolve as consumer behaviors shift in line with algorithm updates.
What was once good practice in 2010 and 2015 for SEO professionals has quickly become outdated in many cases for a 2019 digital marketplace. SEO Shark keeps up with the latest techniques and know this can be exhausting never ending process if personally done.
Therefore, it is important for professionals and amateurs alike looking to improve their optimisation skills to throw away the techniques that are now ineffective or labeled as black-hat strategies.
Time to pinpoint what strategies are out of date and how modern optimisers can score traction with legal techniques that will be rewarded by the search engine.
Outdated SEO Technique 1: Paid Links and Link Directories
Google’s Webmaster Guidelines outline that paid links are very much an illegal practice for SEO practitioners and when caught, there will be stiff penalties and sanctions imposed. That risk alone means that the buyer and the seller are under severe scrutiny, so why engage in that type of activity when there are so many other strategies that can leverage clicks and genuine traffic?
Link directories follow in a similar vein but rather than being deemed illegal, they are simply inefficient given the power of search engines. That would be a result of the Penguin algorithm update of 2012. Low-quality links are punished in the ranking system so the idea that quantity will override quality is inaccurate.
Outdated SEO Technique 2: Stuffing Keywords
The Hummingbird algorithm update of 2013 changed the landscape when it came to stuffing in keywords for SEO purposes. Google was now well aware of what was occurring as practitioners cynically flooded their written content with the right terms to artificially boost their standing against peers and competitors.
Before the search engine had the capacity to identify the practice, it was relatively easy to skyrocket up the rankings. In 2019 it is important for operators to steer away from exact keywords at all junctures and include related terms that expands on their repertoire.
Outdated SEO Technique 3: Flat URL Structure
There is one key mistake that SEO operators continue to make when it comes to their URL structure. Many participants have the idea that the simpler they apply their structure, the easier it will be for the site to rank well. Google have updated their own operating model to ensure that this is no longer the case, requiring additional information to crawl and compare the importance of each page.
A flat URL example would look something like this:
A superior structure would look something like this:
That additional piece of information to categorise and establish a hierarchy within the URL is important because it sets up a range of tiers that makes the crawling process easier. The search engines will be appreciative for brands that engage in that type of exercise.
Outdated SEO Technique 4: Generic Over Local
Local SEO is the way to go for brands that want to target a specific corner of the market. From major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane to regional locations like Byron Bay, Townsville or Esperance, it is important that 2019 operators integrate these postcodes into their campaigning.
It is now a misconception to believe that the generic approach is the right one because it could attract more consumers from a wider catchment area spanning a state, country or continent. Whilst brands can expand into those regions given a sustainable optimization process, the best practitioners win a sizable share of a market to win those rankings and build momentum from there.
Before long the SEO tip sheet for 2019 will be out of date itself as individuals in 2025 and beyond will have to embrace new strategies to be effective. Yet there will be no returning to these techniques given the rate of innovation and the awareness by Google to recognize these maneuvers.