5 SEO Trends You Should Ignore
Digital marketing is an integral process in one’s business. Regardless of the size of the enterprise, a great digital marketing strategy will either put your company in the black or in the red.
And one of the rising stars in online marketing is SEO.
If you have been living under a rock and this acronym doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry we won’t leave you in the dark.
What is SEO?
In a nutshell, SEO or search engine optimization is the process of organically ranking your website on SERPs (search engine results page). And we don’t mean just ranking on the second or third page, but ranking on the first page is the ultimate goal.
What does this mean? When you rank on the first page, it means your website gets more chances of getting viewed. And the more views, the more chances of getting conversions. In laymen’s terms, it means getting more customers!
But of course, Google’s algorithm doesn’t let you off the hook that easily. You need to craft your content carefully; blogs, videos, infographics, homepage, and even images so that they’re SEO-friendly. Ergo, following SEO trends.
Why Are SEO Trends Important?
If Google hadn’t imposed any rules to rank first on SERPs, the entire algorithm would be in anarchy. So what Google did was implement these SEO trends so Google’s algorithm can give every visitor a seamless and enjoyable experience.
The entire aim is to give every user what they’re looking for. That means, whenever they type something, the content must be relevant and of high authority.
So you have to make sure every detail on your content is optimized for SEO to please Google’s algorithm and be on page one.
The titles must be relevant to the query, the entire content should be valuable and high-quality, the keywords must be skilfully sprinkled on the content, inbound links must have a high domain authority, and even words on the outbound links must be relevant to the visitor’s query.
If you don’t understand a lot of these mumbo jumbos, we will get to that in the next section. So go on, keep on reading.
Top 5 SEO Trends You Should Ignore
You might be wondering why we were so hell-bent on getting you to focus on SEO trends and now telling you to ignore them.
In case you haven’t gotten the memo, Google updates its algorithms roughly 500 to 600 times annually. That’s quite a lot if you ask me. Majority of these changes might be minor, but more often than not, Google surprises everyone with major algorithm updates that will drastically affect how search results are ranked.
But of course, a lot of speculations and myths are making rounds to this date, and we’re here to save you all the guesswork of what’s effective or not. Here are some of the five SEO trends you should ignore:
- Keyword Stuffing
Keywords are one of the primary metrics in SEO. To rank on page one, you have to make sure that the right keywords are sprinkled carefully in your content. However, digital marketers thought that if your content has a high keyword density, Google will most likely find your content more relevant.
Think again. That has long been buried into one of Google’s algorithm archives back in 2011.
Keyword stuffing is following a “keyword, keyword, keyword” format which not only looks annoying but also doesn’t make any sense at all.
Many SEO marketers believe that if you put all your focus keyword in every sentence/paragraph/line, you’ll get on Google’s good graces and rank first. But this is considered black hat SEO.
Black hat SEO are techniques that manipulate how the search engines rank the value of every content, also known as spamdexing.
While there is no cookie-cutter rule as to how many times the main keyword should appear in your content, SEO experts say mentioning it at least three times would suffice. As long as it doesn’t sound gibberish, then you’re good to go. Every keyword has to be strategically placed in all the right paragraphs so that it sounds natural. And that, my friends, is considered a high-quality content.
- Using Exact Keywords
This had been a widespread practice for digital marketers, freelancers, business owners, and SEO mentors for quite some time. But what some don’t know is that this had been allowed when keyword stuffing was permitted.
Using the exact “main” keyword means sprinkling the EXACT keyword all over the content so that when you’re reading, you’ll sound like a robot. While this was once accepted in the esoteric realm of SEO, it’s now going to do more harm than good to your website.
There are three types of keywords every digital marketer, and business owner wants to rank for:
Head keywords consist of single words that can be spread out in your content. These keywords are vague and the most difficult to rank. For example:
Body keywords contain at least two words. Head keywords are narrowed down to a particular niche. They have a mid-level difficulty in ranking. For example:
- Digital Marketing
Finally, long-tail keywords which are the easiest to rank because of less competition are keywords in short phrases. For example:
- Digital Marketing Courses
- Types of Digital Marketing
The new Google algorithm states that you can have the main keyword and other long-tail keywords so everything will seem natural.
Some website owners, developers, and content managers utilize pop-ups thinking that they get a higher probability of getting more conversions.
Pop-ups can contain any call-to-action buttons or just any kind of ad you want to integrate into your site. However, Google implemented the “Intrusive Interstitial Penalty” back on January 10, 2017.
This update is bound to give users a better and seamless experience by not being barraged with a gazillion pop-ups while they’re browsing online.
After all, Google’s primary goal is to provide every user with an enjoyable browsing experience so that they continue to use Google. That’s probably why Google covers 75 percent of search engine results.
Although Google still ranks the most relevant content, having too many annoying pop-ups will have some points against you in Google’s algorithm. So better not risk it. A simple piece of advice would be to incorporate pop-ups as flawlessly as possible so that they’re not disrupting the user’s experience.
- More Affiliate Links
Affiliate links are links you weave in your content so that you get a commission every time a user clicks on the link or purchases from the said affiliate link.
It’s one of the few ways a blogger monetizes from his craft. Create some articles and put in an affiliate link here and there and voila, instant moolah in your bank account. And I’d be lying if I say, they don’t work. They’re a lucrative form of online marketing that’s making waves within content writers, digital marketers, or just about any website owner.
These people probably think that Google’s all smiles with a handful of affiliate links in your content. But Google “Fred” doesn’t think so.
Last March 2017, there was an update called “Google Fred” wherein websites are penalized for having too many affiliate links in their content. Google said that this gives users a hard time looking for the information that they want because they get all these “recommendations” just so the site owners can get a commission.
So to provide users with a better browsing experience, ads and affiliate links are now limited and should be relevant to the initial topic. According to the report, most of these sites who stubbornly sprinkled affiliate links had seen a considerable decline in traffic from this update. And when we say huge, that’s around 50 to 90 percent decline.
According to Google, this gives the algorithm the impression that your primary goal is to sell all these affiliate site’s products and services instead of providing information to the users.
- Focus on Inbound Links
Inbound links or backlinks are the links that come from other websites “linking back” to your site. Remember what I mentioned about links with a good reputation? Websites with a high page authority or domain authority that link back to your site will tell Google that your site is worth ranking for.
So technically, the more inbound links you have, the more you’ll increase your online presence. And yes, that’s partly true. However, you should not focus on incoming links alone. Outbound links are as equally important.
On the contrary, outbound links are the links from your website to another website. Google finds these links valuable if the external site is useful, relevant, and have a high ranking in Google as well.
As long as you keep the right balance between the two and as long as you’re smart in choosing these industry or authority sites, Google will have you ranking in no time. Also, when linking to another site, it’s better to have it opened in a new tab so the users will always go back to your site.
SEO is and will never be a dying digital marketing trend. As technology changes, the number of users also increases. And as this online evolution continues, Google’s algorithm will perpetually update their formulas to prioritize its users’ uninterrupted experience. In line with this, it’s better to keep up with the pace and be on the lookout for new SEO trends that will help your site rank.
Author Bio: Sarah Brooks, an ardent blogger, loves to write about digital marketing and web development. She frequently blogs at Local SEO Rankings, one of the leading SEO agencies based in Jacksonville, Florida.