The most widely-used search engine, Google, was launched 20 years ago, in 1998. Businesses using search engine optimisation or SEO today are pretty much at Google’s beck and call. But did you know that the concept of SEO predates Google?
The term itself originated back in 1997 and that’s also when websites first aimed to rank high on search engines’ directories. After more than 20 years, SEO has morphed into a different creature from its early form. So, as you say hello to the New Year, you must also say goodbye to outdated SEO practices.
- Keyword Manipulation
- Rubbish Content
- Exact-Match Domains
- Optimising for Robots
Any SEO firm in Brisbane worth their salt knows that keyword manipulation doesn’t work. Even to this day, though, some marketers and digital marketing agencies do not understand the role and proper use of keywords in SEO.
More specifically, keyword density and keyword stuffing are some of the oldest tricks in the SEO book. Some marketers still use keyword-focused marketing, relying on the ratio of specific keyword usage to the overall web copy.
Unfortunately, loading your web pages with keywords, even high-value ones, isn’t enough to outrank the competition, much less to rank high on search engine results pages or SERPs. Search engines’ AI web crawlers are much too smart not to notice unusual combinations of text. So instead of ranking higher on SERPs, search engines may even lower your ranking because they see that you’re stuffing keywords without adding valuable content.
There was once a time where bad content could still obtain good rankings. What is bad content, you may ask? Stolen or plagiarised, thin content or keyword-stuffed content make for bad reading – and bad ranking. There was a time when search engine crawlers, though, would give poor-quality content high rankings on SERPs, making them look like worthy results for users.
Now, however, search engines such as Google have already set guidelines determining what is good and bad content. Now, content that web pages create must have a level of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness or E-A-T. Basically, your content must be something that adds value or new knowledge to your users or target audience, published on pages with clear purpose and intent.
Before, having a high-value URL or brand name (meaning your business may have been called Brisbane Laundry with a www.brisbanelaundry.com.au website) would rank you high on the SERPs. Google once trusted brands with high-value URLs to provide a specific service to their market. Now, not so much.
By staying true to your brand, running a good company, providing a great service and using SEO best practices, you don’t even have to put the name of your service in your brand name. Google will do the work for your brand, making it visible to people who are searching for the service you provide.
Since Google’s AI or search engine crawlers are smart enough to know whether you’re keyword stuffing and producing bad content, it shouldn’t be a surprise that these technologies also know when you’re writing content for the very robots that crawl through your webpage.
The best thing you can do is write for humans, keeping their user experience in mind, instead of writing for the bots that understand the variations of repeated keywords.
Technology, including the internet, is evolving just like most every other thing in our lives. This means you should leave behind things that aren’t working efficiently anymore. As you left beepers and VHS in the 90s, the same decade SEO was created, it’s also time to leave behind digital marketing practices that no longer serve their purpose, in the present day.