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Old school SEO techniques that don’t work anymore

Old school SEO techniques that don’t work anymore
With over 6.5 billion searches per day, nearly 80% of these on Google, and 95% of all clicks organic rather than paid, it’ll be no surprise that we focus on the marketability of the websites we design and build. In this journal article we discuss several SEO practices that, if you’re still doing, you should drop immediately.

Using old school techniques won’t improve your rankings, and they may prove dangerous to your search strategy. Some of the older techniques can actually harm your domain rankings, in the long term decreasing your traffic. Take a read of some of these techniques below to find out what you shouldn’t be doing.

Page titles and meta descriptions

Don’t cram your page titles and meta descriptions with keywords. On top of it not working, it looks spammy to potential customers. When writing your page titles and meta descriptions, imagine what the user wants to see and ultimately will click on. If a title is crammed with keywords, it’s unattractive. Make it readable, explain what makes you different to the competition and give them a call to action to make them click. More clicks equals more traffic, which in turn improves rankings.

Internal linking anchor text

If you’re linking to another page within the same website/domain, avoid going overboard on your anchor text (the bit that people click on). Linking internally is useful, but overdoing it can cause a negative impact. In the old days, keyword cramming the anchor text used to help with search engine optimisation, but now it has the opposite effect – Google will penalise what it sees as inappropriate, spammy, manipulative or overdone.

Multiple pages for every keyword variant

Four to five years ago building multiple pages for every single keyword variant was the way to go. For us, you could have a page for “Digital Agency Chester” as well as “Marketing Company Chester”. Now, this doesn’t work at all. You’ve got the risk of duplicate content, an awkward and unfriendly user experience and a lot of hidden pages from the navigation. Instead, build out one page that targets everything. Be intelligent with the phrases and words you use, so include variants within your title, meta description and page content, but don’t overdo it.

Link directories and paid links

Avoid every kind of link directory or farm, and any website that is offering to give you a link in exchange for a fee. These websites often have a high domain authority when tested, but are no doubt blacklisted by Google. Being listed by these directories can harm your domain authority as it can be seen as spammy.

Multiple microsites or websites on separate domains

Similar to the multiple pages approach above, don’t have multiple domains with similar websites on them all promoting your product or service. Rather than spreading yourself too thin and risking duplicate content and having to update more than one website, focus on one all-encompassing website. Put all of your efforts into one website/domain, which in turn will help you to gain domain authority much faster and much better.

Exact/partial keyword match domain names

Having a domain name such as, in our case, may match a search term perfectly, but they don’t sound like a real or memorable brand to a user. Google has become smart to this, and now will prioritise the ranking of a brand name over a domain name stuffed with a keyword or phrase. It’s all to do with trust – the more trustworthy your website and domain look, the more likely you are to gain traffic and therefore rank.

Avoiding the above and switching from some of these old school search engine optimisation techniques that don’t work to some new ways of thinking will hopefully improve your rankings. If you’re struggling with your strategy and would like to discuss it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or phone.


If you enjoyed reading this article, why not take a look at some of the others we’ve written? If you’re interested with the latest digital news, trends, advice and much more, then head over to our journal!