Which SEO Techniques Should be Avoided? (20 Tips)
SEO has always been a popular and valuable practice for any business. Businesses want to use SEO to ensure their site is found and ranked well in Google – and also that it brings in new customers. However, the search engine algorithm has changed dramatically in recent years, rendering many old tactics obsolete.
Nonetheless, Google continues to add new techniques and techniques to its algorithm.
This article will provide you with information on outdated tactics and what you should do instead.
Use this list of SEO techniques you should avoid:
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the practice of using too many keywords in the content of a website in an attempt to change its search engine ranking.
This strategy no longer works and can even hurt a website’s SEO rankings.
Search engines have gotten smart enough that they can tell when a website is using keyword stuffing and will punish this strategy.
Also, keyword stuffing makes the content of a website hard to read, which can turn off visitors.
To improve SEO, it is important to use keywords in a natural and relevant way. Instead of using too many keywords, it is better to focus on creating high-quality, useful, and interesting content that will attract and keep visitors.
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2. Hidden Text
Hidden text is text that users can’t see but search engines can.
It is often used to cram as many keywords as possible onto a page in order to change its search engine ranking.
But this strategy no longer works and can even hurt your rankings.
Search engines are able to easily find hidden text, and websites that use it will be punished for it.
Using hidden text can also hurt the user experience because it can make the page’s content hard to read and cause a lot of people to leave.
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3. Paid Links
Paid links are backlinks that are purchased in exchange for money or other compensation.
These links are often used as a way to manipulate a website’s ranking on search engines.
Using paid links is not an effective or ethical way to improve a website’s (SEO), and is considered against Google’ TOS.
Search engines have become sophisticated enough to detect paid links and will penalize websites that use them.
In addition to being ineffective, using paid links can also be risky, as it can lead to the website being penalized or even banned from search results.
To improve your SEO it’s important to focus on building natural backlinks. This can be done by making content that is useful and interesting enough for other sites to want to link to..
Another way to build high-quality backlinks is to do manual outreach to websites in a similar niche and offer them a free guest post for their site.
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Cloaking is the act of giving search engines different content or URLs than what users see.
It is used to trick the search engines into ranking a website higher than it should.
Cloaking is both outdated and an immoral way to improve a site’s SEO.
And cloaking carries a high risk of getting a manual Google penalty for your website – which is very difficult to recover from. I strongly recommend against using cloaking.
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5. Noindex Banners
Noindex banners are banners or other types of advertisements that are placed on a website but are not indexed by search engines.
While using noindex banners may appear to be a way to improve a website’s SEO by reducing the number of ads visible to search engines, this tactic is ineffective and can even be detrimental to SEO.
When ranking websites, search engines consider the overall user experience, and a website with a large number of noindex banners may be perceived as having a poor user experience.
In addition to potentially harming a website’s SEO, using noindex banners can reduce the website’s potential advertising earnings.
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6. Keyword Density Overload
3 reasons why keyword density overload is bad for SEO:
- It is no longer effective in improving a website’s ranking on search engines. Flat out, this tactic is old and does not work.
- Search engines can quickly recognize when a website is using keyword density overload and will penalize the website for it.
- It can make the website’s content difficult to read and turn off potential visitors. Remember, bad user experience is bad for your SEO!
7. Invisible Keywords
An invisible keywords are hidden text not visible to web visitors.
This tactic is often used as a way to stuff additional keywords onto a webpage in an attempt to manipulate its ranking on search engines.
But using invisible keywords is not an effective SEO strategy anymore.
Here are some reasons why invisible keywords are bad for SEO:
- Search engines have become savvy enough to detect hidden text and will penalize websites that use it.
- Using invisible keywords can negatively impact the user experience, as it can make the content on the webpage difficult to read and can lead to a high bounce rate.
- Using tactics like invisible keywords that are intended to deceive search engines can be risky. Because it can lead to the website being manually penalized or even banned from search results.
8. Flash Movies
Flash movies are bad for SEO for the following reasons:
- Search engines have difficulty reading the content within Flash movies, which means that any information contained within a Flash movie may not be indexed by search engines.
- Flash movies are not mobile-friendly, as many mobile devices do not support Flash.
- Flash movies can slow down the loading time of a webpage
- Using Flash movies can reduce the accessibility of a website for disabled people.
Instead of Flash movies, it is usually better to use other technologies that are better for SEO and mobile devices, such as HTML5.
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9. Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
A private blog network, or PBN, is a group of websites that are used to boost a website’s search engine ranking. Most people think that using a PBN is bad for SEO and is also risky for a number of reasons:
- Search engines can detect PBNs and will penalize websites that use them.
- Using a PBN can be risky because it is a clear form of black hat SEO, which is a violation of the terms of service of most search engines including Google and Bing.
- PBNs can be costly to maintain, as they require the purchase and management of multiple websites.
- It is generally more effective and less risky to focus on manual email outreach to websites in your niche to offer guest posts. Alternatively you can create amazing content that other website’s will naturally want to link to.
10. Negative SEO
Negative SEO on a competitor’s site is not a good idea for a number of reasons:
Google has openly stated that it’s wrong and will not work. And it may be illegal in some situations.
It can be risky because it’s hard to control the effects of negative SEO. The target website’s ranking could be entirely unaffected – or even backfire and actually help their rankings.
Rather than trying to bring down a competitor, it is always better to work on improving your own website and building a strong online presence.
Search engines can figure out if a website is using malicious SEO techniques. Don’t take a dumb risk when your effort can be used so much better elsewhere.
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11. Spam comments
Leaving spam comments on other websites is generally not an effective.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Most websites have mechanisms in place to detect and delete spam comments. This means that the comments are unlikely to be seen by anyone and be a waste of your time.
- Even if a spam comment is not detected and deleted, it is unlikely to be read by anyone and therefore will not generate any traffic for the website.
- Search engines can detect spam comments and may penalize websites that are associated with them.
- The “backlink value” of spam comments is essentially zero. Yet anther very old school SEO tactic that is now just a time sink.
12. Fake review
Leaving fake reviews does not help your SEO. These are very similar to leaving spam comments on websites or forums.
Most websites have ways to find and get rid of fake reviews, which means that most people probably won’t see them.
Fake reviews can mislead potential customers and damage the credibility of a brand… and it just doesn’t help your SEO anyways.
13. Poor content
There are several reasons why creating high-quality content is important for SEO and why poor content does not rank well on Google:
- High-quality content can significantly increase blog traffic, with some studies showing that it can increase traffic by up to 2137%.
- Poorly written or copied content is not informative or engaging for readers and can lead to a high bounce rate.
- Search engines have become sophisticated enough to detect low-quality or copied content and will penalize websites that use it.
- Google (and other search engines) prioritize user experience when ranking websites. That is why poor content can negatively impact the user experience.
- Instead of cutting corners with poor content, it is generally more effective to invest in skilled content writers.
By creating high-quality content your website can improve its ranking on search engines and attract more traffic.
14 Misleading headlines (Click Bait)
Using misleading headlines on your website can be bad for SEO because it can lead to a high bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave your website after only viewing one page.) A high bounce rate can be a negative signal to search engines that your website is not providing a good user experience.
This will negatively affect your rankings.
Basically, using a click bait or misleading headline means that far too often a person will click and then subsequent bounces from your website. This makes search engines may perceive your website as having lower quality and relevance for the search query.
15. Duplicating Content – Stealing Content
Duplicate content, or content that has been copied from another website, can hurt your SEO in a number of ways:
First, search engines want to give their users the best and most relevant results. When a search engine finds multiple copies of the same content on the web, it is harder for it to figure out which one is the most relevant and best. This can cause all of the pages with duplicate content to fall in the rankings.
Second, using duplicate content can get you in trouble with search engines, which can make it much harder for people to find your website in search results.
Third, using content from another website without permission can be seen as stealing someone else’s work, which can get you in trouble with the law.
In general, you should use original content on your website if you want to improve your SEO and stay out of trouble. If you want to use content from another source, you need to give credit and, if necessary, get permission.
16. AI Generated content
I know ChatGPT and Jasper.ai are very popular right now. However be careful.
Using AI-generated content can be harmful to SEO and get your website murdered by a Google algorithm update at anytime in the future.
Here are 3 reasons why AI content is bad for SEO:
Relevance and Quality: Search engines want to provide their users with the most relevant and high-quality results. AI-generated content may not always be as relevant or of the same quality as content created by a human – this can lead to lower rankings for your website.
Duplicate Content: AI-generated content may not always be unique and may be flagged as duplicate content by search engines. This will often lead to lower rankings and penalties from search engines.
Grammar and Coherence: AI-generated content may not always be grammatically correct or make sense! This is a big deal. It can be a negative signal to search engines and negatively impact your website’s rankings.
17. Exchanging Links Instantly & from Irrelevant Sites
Exchanging links with other websites, especially instantly and with irrelevant sites, can be harmful to your website’s SEO for the following reasons:
Relevance: The goal of search engines is to give their users the best results. When a search engine sees that your site links to a site that has nothing to do with the search, it may think that your site is less relevant to the search. This can hurt how well your website ranks.
Quality: Search engines also want to give the best results to the people who use them. If your site links to low-quality or spammy sites, search engines may see that as a bad sign and lower your site’s ranking.
Link Scheme: Search engines may see it as a link scheme if you trade links with other websites automatically or in a large number. This can lead to penalties from search engines, which can make it much harder for people to find your website through searches.
18. Spamming in Social Networking Sites
Spamming on social networking sites can hurt your SEO because it sends signals to search engines that are less relevant and of lower quality.
When a search engine sees that your website is being promoted on social networking sites with spammy or irrelevant content, it may think that your website is less relevant to the search query and rank it lower.
Also, promoting your website on social networking sites with spammy or low-quality content can send a bad signal to Google and cause your site to rank lower.
19. Poor Page Titles
SEO can be hurt in a number of ways by having bad page titles.
First of all, search engines use page titles to figure out what a page is about and list it in the search results. If a page title isn’t good, it might not accurately describe what’s on the page. This makes it harder for search engines to figure out what the page is about and can cause it to rank lower.
Second, page titles are often used as the title of the page in the search results, and they are also often used as the anchor text for links to the page. Users are less likely to click on your search result and visit your website if the page title isn’t clear or relevant. This can lead to a lower click-through rate (CTR), which is a bad sign for search engines and can hurt your website’s rankings.
Lastly, a bad page title might not attract or interest users, which can also lower your CTR and hurt your website’s rankings.
20. Creating Content Without Keyword Research
Keyword research is important for SEO because it lets you know what words and phrases people are using to look for the products, services, or information that you offer. This can help you make content that is more useful to your audience and more likely to be found by them.
Keyword research can also help you figure out how much competition there is for different words and phrases. This can help you find keywords that don’t have as much competition and are more likely to get your content higher rankings. It can also help you find long-tail keywords, which are more specific phrases that are often less competitive and can bring targeted traffic to your website.
Keyword research proves out what people are looking for when they use different queries. This can help you make content that is more likely to meet the needs and expectations of your target audience. This can improve the user experience and make it more likely that your content will be shared or linked to.
In general, keyword research is an important part of SEO because it helps you create content that is relevant, optimized, and focuses on the right keywords to make your website more visible in search results.
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