10 SEO Strategies That Are Considered Outdated and Ineffective

Some SEO strategies are certainly outdated and ineffective, but some seo strategies that have been around for a while are still quite relevant – find out which of these 10 you should be using.

10 SEO Strategies That Are Considered Outdated and Ineffective

The world of SEO or Search Engine Optimization keeps on updating itself with new tactics. However, there are many SEO professionals who still stick to the old and outdated tactics, even after knowing that these tactics are not going to deliver results anymore. In fact, even Google warns people from using such tactics. So, if you do not want to waste your effort on such tactics then you should definitely go through this article. Here we will talk about 10 SEO strategies that have become outdated, but are unfortunately still common practice.

1. Link and article directories

There are many directory submission services still offering the same old mass url submit and it is true that type of directory submission is pretty ineffective. That being said, if you want to spend your time and effort in the right way then go for the niche-related directories, the ones that follow stringent editorial guidelines because these are still of great SEO value. Going for the low quality and irrelevant link or article directories will take you nowhere, because such directories do no serve any real value to the online audience; hence, they are ignored by the search engines. Likewise, you need to avoid article directories loaded with low-quality content. These types of article directories have been so heavily targeted by Google that they can have a negative impact on your seo strategy.

2. EMDs or Exact Match Domains

A few years ago, EMDs were quite a hot topic and just about everyone was registering dozens of EMD domains to rank for search terms. They were considered a big thing in the world of SEO and they were effective. Unfortunately, when Google modified their search engine algorithm, the importance of EMDs vanished as did their rankings. Today, most EMDs are usually flagged as spam.


3. Reciprocal linking

The practice of manipulative linking is easily spotted by the search engines these days. It is a practice in which website A links to website B, and in return, website B also links back to website A. The negative aspect of this practice is that a lot of online marketers blindly trade links with non-relevant websites. As a result, the link contained in the content does not prove to be useful for the visitors and is either disregarded by Google or worse acts as a negative signal to your site.

4. Flat URL structure

When people create a website using WordPress, a lot of them don’t really understand site hierarchy and as a result, when search engine crawls through the web pages of your website, it treats all pages with equal level of importance. our site needs a certain structure. Otherwise, it’ll just be a collection of pages and blog posts. Your users and search engines need structure to navigate through your site, to click from one page to the other. Google, specifically, uses the structure of your site to determine what content is important and what content is less important. If you want your website to get higher ranking then you should not go for the old SEO tactic involving a flat URL architecture. If you are running a WordPress site, check out the Yoast SEO Plugin to help you easily avoid any issues.

5. Underestimating the value of guest blogging

A lot of people think that guest blogging is not an effective SEO tactic anymore. But, the fact is that guest blogging is still a great way to gain great exposure as well as drive strong credibility signals to your site. However, it is true that guest blogging has changed significantly. Just like all SEO tactics, so many people were abusing the benefit of guest posting by posting irrelevant content on the high-ranking websites, just for the sake of backlinks to rank. Fortunately, Google came up with strict policies, and posting irrelevant content does not work anymore. Guest blogging is still an excellent SEO tactic that any good SEO Expert will use – you just have to use it in the right way.

6. Keyword stuffing

Most people have heard of keyword stuffing and know that keyword stuffing is bad; however, many new site owners and start ups are still using keyword stuffing as a tactic to get their sites to rank.

“Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose). Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

I’m not sure why keyword stuffing is still prevalent; however, the search engines have become smart enough to quickly demote a site that is stuffing keywords in content in an attempt to rank.

7. Identical anchor text

Use of exact-match anchor texts can prove detrimental for the SEO of your website. When you focus too much on exact match anchor text for link building then it will create an unnatural pattern that the search engines look for as a key spam signal. So, when using anchor text as part of your link building strategy, anchor diversity should be a massive part of your strategy. Here is a quick guide to help you understand the different types of anchor text and how they should be used:

  • Exact Match Anchors – These are links that have one of your key phrases (exact match) as the anchor text (ie “link building”).
  • Key Phrase Variations – These are links that have one of your key phrases in the anchor text but the anchor also contains other words that are not part of your key phrase (ie “this is why link building is important”).
  • Brand, Natural and URL Anchors – These are anchors that have no reference to your key phrase, unless your key phrase is part of your brand (ie “Pixel Productions”).

Homepage Anchor Text Ratio Formula:

  • 80%-95% of your links should fall in the Brand, Natural and URL Anchor category.
  • Up to 10% of your links should fall in the Key Phrases Mixed Into Anchor category.
  • Up to 5% of your links should fall in the Exact Match Anchor category.

Inner Page Anchor Text Ratio Formula:

Your inner pages should have a slightly different breakdown.

  • 35%-45% of your links should fall in the Brand, Natural and URL Anchor category.
  • 40%-50% of your links should fall in the Key Phrases Mixed Into Anchor category.
  • Up to 20% of your links should fall in the Exact Match Anchor category.

8. Web Pages for Every Variation of a Keyword

If you are still creating web pages for each and every variation of keyword as an SEO tactic, you are definitely wasting your time. Search engines have become so smart especially with the advent of semantic search that this practice has been rendered completely useless. For example, if you have a website dedicated to HAVC services, it is quite unnecessary to come up with separate pages for keywords like HVAC cleaning, HVAC maintenance, HVAC repair, etc.

Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding a searcher’s intent through contextual meaning. Through concept matching, synonyms, and natural language algorithms, semantic search provides more interactive search results through transforming structured and unstructured data into an intuitive and responsive database. Semantic search brings about an enhanced understanding of searcher intent, the ability to extract answers, and delivers more personalized results.

9. Paid Links

We all know that according to the Google webmaster guidelines, paid links are considered completely illegal. However, paid links are an SEO tactic that is still widely used by many seo consultants and service providers. Why? Because webmaster know that they need links to rank. Sometimes a webmaster weighs the risk to reward and sometimes they are ignorant to the fact that someone is doing this on their behalf. Paid links can be a kind of grey area, but here is a guideline to help identify the type of links you should be avoiding:

  1. Explicit Links – the most common form of paid link where one webmaster sells a link in exchange for money.
  2. Trade for Links – The practice of exchanging a link for a gift item close to the value of what someone would pay to get that link.
  3. Gifting Links – Gifting an item in exchange for a link (pretty close to point number 2, but is more commonly applied to the practice of giving a product in exchange for a review with links pointing back to your site.)

10. Low Quality Content

Many online marketers do not pay attention to the quality of the content they are posting. Google has no place for ‘low quality content’. Before you post content on your website, you must make sure it is interesting, relevant, and useful for the online audience.

How can you make sure you content is NOT low quality in the eyes of Google?
That’s a fair question and here is a quick outline to help keep your content on track:

  1. Any content you publish should be unique.
  2. If your writing on a specific topic that has been covered before, you must make sure that your content has added value making it different and superior in some way.
  3. Reference other sources using external links for added trust signals.
  4. Make sure our content is answering a specific question or solving a specific problem.


So, these are the top ten SEO strategies or tactics that are considered bad, outdated and ineffective, but still being used by many. As you can see there is some gray area when it comes to using some of these 10 SEO strategies, but hopefully the information provided in this post will help you put together an effective SEO strategy by illustrating what practices you should steer clear of.