Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google search results; and in the quest for a higher ranking, digital marketers often adopt the very same tactics they should avoid in the first place. SEO content has evolved, but there are still those who don’t seem to have received the memo. Like an ex-girlfriend you cannot let go off, bad SEO tactics continue to hold back the true potential of your content. No matter the wealth of information and resources available on good SEO practices, marketers and content creators seem to fall back in a negative loop of an addictive habit. The time has now come to finally let go of all the outdated content tactics and unleash the true power of SEO.

The good news is that you just need a few simple tweaks.

SEO 2.0

Much like the World Wide Web has evolved, SEO has too, becoming more intelligent and smarter to any manipulation’s that we may attempt. Time was when the algorithms could be fooled into believing the true value of a web page by the very same tactics that we will address in this post. After the recent update from Google, you have a better chance of wining the lottery than trying to outwit search algorithms. The onus has well and truly shifted to original and creative content that remains relevant to the search topic. This provides a neat segue into our next section – the one you have been waiting for…

Bad SEO Tactics To Avoid

Without further ado, here’s presenting the lineup of bad content practices and habits that need to be locked away immediately:

1. Keyword Stuffing

This used to be the norm in the early heydays of the wild wild SEO content landscape. Content creators and marketers focused on one and only one thing: get the keyword into the content as many times as possible, grammar and logic be dammed. It worked quite well too. Then the algorithms got smarter. One thing that probably didn’t happen was the content did not widen up. Even today you will come across articles that display the bad habit.

The Good Habit: The keyword needs to flow with the sentence, be relevant to the topic, and appear once every 100 or so words.

2. Short Articles

If the keyword needs to be spaced out, it follows that the content needs to have a certain word count, especially if you have secondary keywords to fit in as well. And that is why sticking to short articles would be like committing hara-kiri. Google reads short content as information that is perhaps not well researched and shallow. It may be easier to generate articles that are not particularly long, which is probably why marketers still indulge in it, but the flip side is a loss in rankings.

The Good Habit: It may seem counterintuitive in today’s age of mili-second attention spans, but the experts agree that a 1000-word content is the right tactic to adopt. This gives you enough breathing space to fit in the keywords, while presenting a rich, well-researched article.

3. Quid Pro Quo Linking

In the days of dial-up modems and non-smart phones, marketers would often trade links with other sites, even if the two didn’t have anything in common. Imagine a legal practice website mirroring a link to a plumbing website. The reciprocal linking worked and worked very well. The nadir of the bad SEO tactic was when one link would lead to another page with more links, offering zero value to the visitor. Then, as always, Google and other search engines smartened up their act, pushing such manipulative linking practices to the back pages of search results.

The Good Habit: Ensure that the links embedded on your website lead the visitor to content that offers value, and more importantly, topical to the keyword. The higher the value of the links, think authority websites, the better your rankings.

4. Erratic Updates

SEO content is fertile with marketing potential, provided you water it regularly with blog posts and articles. The bad content tactic of not posting regular content is a shortcut to low rankings. Google downgrades the authority level on these sites, not to mention the reduced popularity among visitors because they have nothing new to gain.

The Good Habit: The takeaway here is that search engines, especially Google, thrives on fresh content. Why not then make it easy for your SEO content? Recent analytics estimate that websites that post at least once a day rank higher and receive more visitors.

5. Quantity, Quantity, Quantity

We just talked about how you need to post regular content for good SEO. What we need to add is that posting content for the sake of posting content is a bad SEO tactic to avoid. The search algorithm will soon figure out that you are simply stuffing updates, pretty much like stuffing keywords. What was once a common practice can now be compared to a pager – outdated.

The Good Habit: Your content marketing strategy for a higher SEO rank needs to focus on quantity as well as quality. Try and think of creative topics or even industry news that you can post on a regular basis.

6. Unrelated Posts From Guest Bloggers

Guest blogging is a good SEO tactic. What is bad is when the guest blog is not related to the website in question. When you see a post about finance on a sports goods website, you know that the search engine algorithm will be merciless in its judgement. Marketers practiced the bad content tactic and got away with it it too for a while.

The Good Habit: Guest blogging from authority writers relevant to your website and the keyword is the way to boost SEO. You could try and have a guest post every week or every fortnight.

Concluding Thoughts

It is as easy to indulge in bad SEO tactics as it is easy to maintain good SEO habits. For your content to truly work for you, stay ahead of the curve and relegate old, outdated practices to the trash bin.