The most exciting, and also frustrating, an aspect of search engine optimization is that the rules at least slightly change every year. What worked last year might not work during this one. As consumer habits largely change, so do search engine algorithms. Therefore, you may find it rather shocking to realize that some SEO techniques you have been using throughout the past couple of years are no longer effective. You are doing things that no longer work and wasting time. Read below to learn more about SEO tactics you should ditch this year:
Clickbait headlines, where highly attractive headlines scream for attention promising exciting things that the content doesn’t have, are on the way out. Social media was the first to get rid of clickbait headlines. Search engines like Google have updated algorithms to check for quality of content based on repetitions and usage of certain terms. So, if the content doesn’t offer what the headline promises, then it will not be ranked as high anymore. If your content relied on clickbait headlines, it’s time to change tactics. You can still write highly appealing headlines, but make sure these match what’s actually in the content.
If you are on a wild spree to link content to various reputable websites to get higher rankings, then you are on a futile search. Google no longer looks only at links and keywords to rank your website. What it mostly looks for is usage data that indicates user experience. For example, if a website loads quickly under 3 seconds and has a low bounce rate, then this is a high ranking website according to Google’s latest algorithm changes. No matter how well placed the keywords are, if the UX for your website sucks, your rankings will be as well. Therefore, to improve SEO, make sure your website loads fast, is easy to navigate, and doesn’t have a massive bounce rate. Need help improving UX? Then hire a third party SEO expert like First Page to get things right this time.
Just like your college English professor, Google and Bing would punish you for plagiarized, or rather duplicated, content on your site. Don’t copy and paste content from elsewhere unless you are utilizing that content in new ways, such as for adding a quote from a newspaper article to a blog post. The age-old tactic of using same content while changing the wording a bit no longer work because algorithms are usually really good at spotting this. Therefore, if you are in the habit of reusing content for republishing purposes, it’s time to stop now and avoid a penalty.
An interstitial is a sort of a pop-up screen that requires user feedback. For example, if you go to a beer website and suddenly sees a pop-up screen that requires you to declare yourself over 21 to enter, then that is an interstitial. There are necessary interstitials, such as that with age declarations, and intrusive interstitials. For example, if a user is browsing through content and suddenly sees an interstitial asking them to subscribe to a newsletter, then that is an intrusive interstitial. These really need to go now because they ruin UX. Google can detect intrusive interstitials and it will hurt your ranking.
Instead of the above, which are no longer effective, learn more about SEO trends that are overtaking the New Year. Improve your company’s existing SEO strategy based on the new trends and get rid of the old.