SEO practices can make or break the success of our business websites. While some of the most effective SEO tactics are timeless, in order to keep up with the ever-evolving Google algorithms, it’s important to be aware of outdated, potentially harmful methods.
To help you improve your ranking and stay ahead of the curve for 2023, we’ve put together a list of 8 SEO practices you should leave behind this year. So join us as we take a look at what worked before but could now cause more harm than good.
1. Keyword Abuse
Your best approach to keywords regarding SEO is to let them flow naturally in your content. Thinking that you must use a keyword a certain number of times in a 500- or 1000-word piece is outdated.
Websites used to get away with stuffing their pages full of keywords until Google got wise to it and started penalizing it. And don’t think you can include keywords invisibly on your page by adding them in a font that matches your background color. Google sees all and will penalize you if you try this.
While keywords are important, they’re important because of the searcher’s intent. If you provide content with the “right” keywords but don’t add value or benefit the reader, your SEO will suffer.
2. Excessive Worry About Anchor Text
Anchor text is the text on your web page that is linked to a reference on another page or site. When your anchor text naturally matches up with a keyword, that’s good.
However, forcing anchor text to have keywords isn’t good. It leads to an unnatural narrative flow and won’t benefit your SEO.
Write so that your keywords flow naturally; if they are appropriate as anchor text, that’s great. However, there is no real reason to worry too much about having keywords in anchor text.
The most important guideline for anchor text is that it is relevant to both the linked resource and your page.
3. Spammy Guest Blogging
There is nothing wrong with guest blogging. When you write a guest blog post on a relevant industry or niche website, you can earn high-quality backlinks and raise your profile.
However, attempting to guest blog on every website that will have you does not help your SEO. For example, if you own an insurance business and a website about dress shoes allows you to write a guest post, you do no one any favors.
When guest blogging, try to get spots on important websites in your industry. Likewise, only offer guest blog posts on your website to people who write for websites in relevant industries and niches.
4. Quantity Over Quality Mindset
Yes, Google likes websites that have a steady flow of fresh, original content. Yes, when you add relevant, well-written content, you enhance your SEO.
However, adding content solely to have more pages isn’t good. “Spun” articles are an example of this.
“Spinning” articles is an attempt at generating a lot of content quickly by formatting articles with strings of synonyms that will be substituted in various iterations of the article.
Not only do the spun articles provide little to no added value, but they also violate Google’s stance against duplicate content.
Another example of quantity over quality is posting content daily for no reason other than to increase your site’s content.
Creating a content calendar with a steady drumbeat of new, original content is your best SEO strategy. It takes time, but the SEO value is long-lasting and more significant than it would be if you used underhanded tactics.
5. Writing for Machines
It’s easy to fall into the mindset of “writing for machines” when working on SEO. While crawling, indexing, and ranking are done by algorithm, search engine algorithms aim to provide people with the best content for their needs.
The ultimate consumer of your content isn’t an algorithm but a person. Write for the people who want to know about your business and the problems it can solve.
When you write for people instead of machines, you naturally avoid SEO problems like keyword stuffing. Your goal with every piece of content should be to provide something of value to your readers.
Start there, and then worry about including keywords naturally, structuring your content logically, and adding relevant links. Not only will the algorithms reward you, but your readers will trust and value your content.
6. Multiple, Interlinked Websites
Some businesses attempt to turbocharge their SEO by creating multiple websites based on valuable keywords and then interlinking them. For example, buying up domains like
and then creating a mesh of links among them will do little than wear out your writers (or your budget for freelancers).
The biggest danger is creating a lot of duplicate or low-quality content. Search engine algorithms will penalize this content for not giving users much value.
Only have the number of websites that makes sense for your business. For example, if you do both traditional and online publishing, it may make sense to have one website devoted to each of those.
Building multiple websites that are barely distinguishable from each other is a waste of time and effort. Moreover, it will not benefit your SEO strategy.
7. Exact-Match URLs
This is an extension of the last tip. Buying up domain names that match all your top keywords and top search queries is an attempt to game the search algorithms, and it doesn’t work.
Suppose your potential customers are interested in insurance for Florida vacation homes. You, thinking ahead, bought the domain insurance-for-vacation-homes-in-florida.com plus several others with similar keywords.
While this tactic may have worked several years ago, it no longer does. Google realized that these exact-match domains compromised the quality of the search results and began penalizing them. The penalties will always outweigh any benefit you may gain from buying exact-match domains.
Instead of buying exact-match domains, optimize domain slugs. Slugs are the part of a URL that follows after the domain name (yourwebsite.com/florida-vacation-home-insurance, for example).
8. Letting Mobile Fend for Itself
Mobile searches dominate today. Moreover, voice search is becoming increasingly popular.
Responsive web design and optimizing page load speed are essential now. Optimizing your websites for text search is still critical, but optimizing for voice search is gaining importance.
People use their mobile devices all the time now, for business as well as personal use. You ignore the mobile experience at your own peril.
Do You Need Help With SEO?
Outdated SEO techniques can do more harm than good for your website and brand. You could end up being penalized by Google, which would decrease traffic to your site.
It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and best practices if you want to ensure that your website is visible to potential customers. Luckily, our team of experts is always on top of the latest changes in the world of SEO.
We would be happy to help you revamp your website and incorporate the most up-to-date and effective SEO techniques. Set up a call with our team today. We would be happy to discuss your SEO needs and options.