Outdated SEO Keyword Practices You Should Avoid
There are so many ways webmasters and “marketers” continue to misunderstand keywords’ role in general SEO initiatives, and how they shouldbe used in the day-to-day strategy.
Let’s take a more look at specific types of keyword abuseand mismanagement, including irrelevant usage, writing for a specific keyword density, and keyword stuffing.
Irrelevant Keyword Targeting/Confusion All too often, novice SEO practitioners try and fit their content and messaging within the confines of their keyword research (and not much else). These “marketers” will shape the content and its metadata to represent keywords it’s not properly aligned with, nor the proper intent of the users conducting the searches for the high-volume keywords being targeted. This causes brands to likely lose the attention of readers before ever having the chance to communicate a real message with them. If the keywords marketed for don’t align with the content on the page, the disconnect will hinder the success of content even if it’s otherwise of good quality. Don’t try to mislead users and direct them to content that is misrepresented by high-volume keywords in order for increased visibility. Google knows what this looks like, and it can truly be defined as an obsolete SEO practice (as well as a “black hat” technique, in many instances). Keyword Density Writing for a specific “keyword density,” like many keyword-focused marketing tactics, is just missing the mark. Google no longer depends on keyword density (or the ratio of specific keyword usage to the overall page copy) to determine whether a webpage is an effective source for answering a search query. It is so much more advanced than simply crawling for keywords; search engines like Google use a multitude of signals to determine search results. While keywords remain important to the topics and ideas they represent, they are not the lifeline for ranking for high-value search queries. The quality of content and how the messaging is delivered are the lifeline for that. Keyword Stuffing This is probably the oldest trick in the book. SEO is about keywords, right? So, loading up our webpages with keywords, especially the same high-value keyword we are aggressively targeting throughout the website, is going to help us show up higher in search, thus outranking out competition? Absolutely not. Search engines have, for a long time, known what keyword stuffing is and what kind of text combinations are unnatural. They notice these as attempts to manipulate search results and demote the content as such. Yes, there may still be valuable content that uses simple keyword stuffing, either intentionally or unintentionally, that is not demoted because of its actual value to users. Back in the day, webmasters trying to game the system wouldgo as far as putting every keyword variation of a high-value keyword in thewebsite footer or, even more sketchily, make those keywords the same colour as the site’s background, effectively hiding them from humans but not the search engine crawlers.