Most internet marketers agree that there are some strategies that should not be used. Read on for 3 SEO tactics to definitely avoid.

1. KEYWORD STUFFING

Back in the day, keyword stuffing was a popular internet marketing tactic that was practiced by many marketers. Keyword stuffing refers to repeatedly inserting keywords into website content with the intent of manipulating search engines into ranking you highly for these terms.

Example of Keyword Stuffing:

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Not only does keyword stuffing fail to give you an advantage from an SEO standpoint, it also creates a poor user experience. Search engines have caught on to tactics like keyword stuffing and no longer favor sites that use them. In fact, with the way Google’s algorithms have evolved, keyword stuffing can negatively impact your site’s rankings. Users are also becoming savvier by the day and are quick to identify when web copy sounds contrived and uses keywords in a way that doesn’t align with natural speech. This creates an off-putting experience for the visitor and lowers their levels of trust in your site and your organization. It also does little to convey your brand or drive conversions.

2. PAID LINK BUILDING

Buying backlinks that point toward your site is never a good idea. There are “SEO” companies that will place links to your website on irrelevant and low-quality sites and “directories” for a nominal fee. Usually these paid listings are poorly written and surrounded by paid links to other websites. Google looks at the quality of the websites that link to you and considers them when ranking your site. If you have low-quality websites linking to you, this can negatively impact your site’s rating with Google.

As with keyword stuffing, paid link building used to work in marketers' favor, but Google algorithm updates such as Panda and Penguin along with their other ever-evolving formulas, have rendered this tactic obsolete.

3. IGNORING META DATA

Meta data (or meta tags), gives information to the search engines about what your webpage is about and what terms and topics it should appear for in search results. Meta data is located within your web page’s code, but it’s not visible to website visitors.

The main meta tags to focus on are the Meta Title and the Meta Description.

In your website code, the meta tags look like this:

This translates into the search engine result that appears on Google when people search for terms related to your website. For example, here’s how the above code would display on the Google search engine results page:

 The Meta Title translates into the title of the search engine result (in purple) and the Meta Description translates into the description text of the search engine result (in grey).

Neglecting meta data means you are not proactively telling the search engines what terms and topics to rank your webpage for, which leaves the content of your search engine result up to chance, which is not an ideal route to take in SEO, or in your marketing as a whole.

Effective search engine optimization guided by a sound strategy can work wonders for your website and business. But falling into traps of old, outdated SEO techniques can really work against you. To give yourself the best chance of reaching your business goals, make sure your SEO techniques are well-researched and competently implemented.

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