SEO Practices of the Past that You Need to Stop Doing Today

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: November 8th, 2015 | Updated: July 24th, 2019

Person using his laptop

Even if some SEO techniques are obsolete, some people are still practicing them. Others are simply not aware of how Google’s current algorithm works, while others are still hoping that those traditional strategies will still work today. That’s why we decided to shed light on the subject and created a list of techniques that have been effective in the past, but are no longer beneficial today.


Keyword stuffing

Example: “White is a word on a white web page that is white because the background is white. White is a color. White is not black. White is lighter than green. There also is bright white, dark white, off white, etc. etc.”

Keyword stuffing is the practice of putting the same set of keywords on the page title, meta title, meta description, alt text of images, and in the body of the content. Back in the day, SEO specialists do this technique to help their website rank on the first page of Google’s search results for their target keyword. Unfortunately, that’s not the case today. Because Google is constantly updating their Panda algorithm, filling your content with keywords will not cut it if you want your website to rank. True enough, manipulative SEO will not fly in Google’s environment today. If keyword stuffing is still part of your strategy, you better start scratching it off your plan.

Instead of using the same keywords, you can use different variations of them or other synonymous terms. Let’s say you want a page to rank for the keyword “Laundromats in Phoenix, AZ”. You can still achieve your goal without having to mention the same keywords to the point that it affects the clarity of your content. What you can do to is use related keywords such as “self-service laundry in Phoenix, Arizona”, “dry cleaners in Phoenix”, or “Laundromat in Phoenix”.

Use free keyword tools to know related terms and phrases to your target keyword such as Google Keyword Planner. Meanwhile, you can simply search for your target keyword and see what’s listed on the Related Searches section at the bottom of the search results page.

Thin Low-Quality Content

Are you still publishing blog posts that are low in word count and depth just so you can say that you’re “updating your site regularly”? If so, consider creating longer, more interesting, and more comprehensive content, typically 800+ words long.

When you have engaging content, readers will tend to stay on your site and read your posts until the end. As a result, your website’s bounce rate will definitely decrease, which means that you have greater chances of getting a higher placement on Google search results page (SERPS). More so, high quality content is more likely to be share-worthy. Who knows? Maybe that 1000-word article you lost sleep over will be viral in the coming weeks.

Additional tip: High-quality content will all be for nothing if it only reaches a small audience. That’s why you need to promote it to other platforms like social media sites. You can also ask bloggers who are in the same niche to feature your content in their future posts.

Irrelevant or Illogical links within a page

Are you still using irrelevant terms when linking from an internal blog post or web page to your landing pages? If so, you need to stop doing that now.

Always remember that each time you publish an article or blog post, your goal should be to improve your website’s user experience and increase engagement. It would be confusing for visitors if they click on a hyperlinked anchor text in the body of your article only to be directed to an irrelevant page.

Use internal linking in a strategic way if you want visitors to stay longer on your website. You can add click to action links within the body of the content to offer additional and relevant information to your readers.


Spammy blog comments

A blog comment is spammy if:

  • It has a keyword or key phrase that is hyperlinked going to one of your website’s pages.
  • It doesn’t add value to the page or conversation. Example: “Thanks for sharing this post! (link)”
  • It is placed in a heavily spammed page.
  • The commenter’s identity is shady, or appears like he or she is not a real person.

Example:“I am having a hard time getting links for my website. This is the reason why I always comment on other blog posts to promote my website. Here is my website [URL]”

On the other hand, a blog comment will not be considered spam if:

  • You interact with the author of the content through sharing your views about the topic. Dropping links are still possible. Just make sure that it doesn’t sound too promotional and make sure that it’s relevant to where you’re placing your comment.
  • It is placed on high-quality and relevant content. Check the link profile of the site using the Spam Scoring System of Open Site Explorer to make sure that it is safe to link from that particular page.
  • The name of a person who’s representing your website was used. This will help establish online reputation and build brand awareness for the website you’re promoting. Don’t just comment once just to increase the number of root domains linking to your site. Continue interacting with them on future posts so that you can build relationships with content authors. More than that, this can also help you gain citations from their future publications and other websites in the same niche.
  • Keywords are not placed on the field designated for the name of the commenter. That field is for the name of a person, and that’s what you need to put in that section. More so, if there’s a provided field for your website, use it to link back to your site.

Forum signature with spammy anchor text links

Don’t even bother putting keywords on your forum signature and linking it going to your website. This technique is a thing of the past and it wouldn’t work today. It would be more acceptable if you use the name of the owner of the website or the authorized person representing it.

Screenshot of a forum signature with a link going to your website

Participating in forums is an effective tactic if you know how to do it right. Make sure that you only join high-quality and relevant forums, and see to it that you provide useful and helpful information to the community. Forums related to your target niche can drive highly-targeted traffic to your website.

Social bookmarking

Because a lot of social bookmarking sites are heavily spammed, links coming from them may have little to no worth at all. Most of the time, it’s the latter. However, this can still work if you promote content on high-quality sites like Reddit. Just don’t rely on this strategy too much and use it at a minimal level.

Link directory submission

When you submit your sites to free directories that easily approve submissions, you are screwed. Directories that are low in value and don’t filter user submissions can cause danger to your site. But this doesn’t mean that link directory submission should be avoided. Just make sure to get your site listed on human-curated directories like

Article submission

In this video, Matt Cutts mentioned that you shouldn’t use article directories to build links, because this tactic has been abused and is continually being exploited. As a result, Google no longer puts value on links coming from them. Instead of this, you can do guest blogging as long as you can comply with quality guidelines.

Sitewide Links

The worth of a web page is not determined by the number of total links, but on the volume of root domains linking to it. That’s why, you’d rather have 100 domains linking back to you, rather than 1000 links coming from one just one domain.


Google is continuously improving their algorithm, and this means that you should learn how to adjust and comply with their rules so that you can stay off their radar. Prioritizing human users is the key. So just keep on striving hard, because if you keep on doing things right, all your efforts will eventually pay off.