10 Outdated SEO Trends You Should Avoid in 2019

Posted by Maulik Patel

May 15, 2019

SEO 43 min read

Are you the one struggling hard in SEO with no results?

Are you doing your best, but still not reaching the targeted audience?

Do you perform all kinds of analysis, and still your strategies come up empty-handed?

If yes, then there is a pretty good chance that you are sticking to old, outdated strategies which don’t work anymore. On the contrary, their impact is negative on your website and your rankings.

Since the day Google started releasing algorithm updates, SEO strategies are changing at a fast pace. Marketers either upgrade their strategies or change them entirely. Some still remain in the old loop because of a lack of awareness. If you are the one, you showed up at the right place.

Here you will learn about Outdated SEO strategies that don’t work anymore in 2019. In fact, some of them might be harmful based on Google’s algorithm updates.

Keyword Stuffing

When I worked only as a writer, SEO specialists always gave me a set of keywords to include in my content. At that time, keywords were more important than content. Now, instead of keywords, I focus on building valuable content. If I find any keyword included naturally in the content, I insert a link to it instead of pushing the keyword forcefully in between the content.

No matter how much you try, forcing tons of keywords in-between the content makes it look unnatural. Also, it makes reading and understanding the content hard for users. When Google noticed a diminishing user experience due to keywords, it implemented Panda Update to stop keyword stuffing. Now, if your content caught more than 3% of keywords, you may face Google’s update penalty.

Solution: Create content naturally as if you are talking to someone. Then find keywords suiting well to your business and, then only put the link. This is the most natural way to include keywords in the content. You can also interlink other web pages through relevant words.

Exact Keyword-Based Domain

Once upon a time, using a micro-site or blog with a domain name matching with exact keywords was considered as the best way to get quick rankings. For e.g. using Tampa contractor as tampacontractor.com or residential architect Miami as residentialarchitectmiami.com. The idea worked like fuel to engine getting an instant headstart towards high rankings. I myself wrote articles for such sites in the past.


Now, they do work but not in the same way as in the past. The more chance these domains have to gear up high rankings, the riskier they are for flagship or spam. Generally, users don’t trust such sites. They are not as brandable as a website with a brief name. Today, users have full authority to mark websites as Spam or block them forever. Once the website faces flagship, all your struggles towards its content will go down the drain.


If you want to create a mini-site from where users can redirect to your site, select a domain name targeting a particular niche, not the keyword. Keep your focus on that niche and create content accordingly. Put links naturally on the relevant words.

Reciprocal Linking

You give, I give – reciprocal linking is two website owners agree to link back to each other’s website. One of the most popular and skyrocket formulas for link building.

Search Engines view one website’s link to another as a vote. Of course, it increases value only if it’s done naturally like Guest blogging. Web owners don’t take the reciprocal link as seriously as guest blogging sites do. They dump traded links anywhere on the site without even considering their relevancy. Link building without relevancy affects negatively the website’s rankings. Also, they don’t add any value to either content or visitors.


Again and again, I suggest staying as natural as possible. Provide valuable content in exchange for backlinks to your website through Guest blogging. Participate in blog comments or social media groups and put links only where asked.

Keyword-rich Anchor Text Backlinks

Anchor-text – text with a clickable link – is a surefire way to get rankings for words included in the Anchor-text. For e.g., if you want to rank for “best social media management tool”, you can put this as an anchor text in as many places as you can. On your blogs, guest blogs, other website links, etc.

The problem with any foolproof SEO strategy is: marketers tend to overdo it in the greed of getting higher rankings in less time. They forget the fact that Google is no less than a spy. When it sees the abuse of any strategy, it releases another update to put a stop to exploits.

When Google released the first Penguin Update in 2012, it changed the whole game of link building. Anchor text backlinks were one of them. According to Penguin Update, if Google catches the same anchor text again and again, you are more likely to get penalized. For e.g., if you have used “PayDay Loans” everywhere as an Anchor-text, Google considers it as overstuffed and penalizes your site.


Target different anchor texts instead of focusing only on one. Create content and put links to different anchor texts. From there, you will get an opportunity to target different types of anchor text within the blogs.

Here’s an example of Search Engine Land’s Anchor Text:


“Click Here” Invitations

“Click Here”, “Visit here”, etc., are kind of time-consuming and forceful. Users are in a hurry. They want instant solutions for their problem. Already they wasted minutes to land on your site from Google. At that moment, if you command them to visit another link again, they will lose patience, and go back to Google in search of the site with an instant solution. So, if you are relying on “Click Here” words for users to take action, make sure their impact is not as effective as you think. On the contrary, they increase the bounce rate of your site.


As a user, I do click some links to get what I want. Only if the site promises me that they have a solution to my problem. For e.g. I was looking for a weight loss. While scrolling through Instagram, I saw a Video Ad for a weight loss program through Latin Dance. People in the video were general people, like me, dancing and showing before-after results – this is the promise an app made of weight loss while enjoying the dance. I didn’t hesitate a bit to click and paid. And that’s how you have to think when you want users to take action. Promise them at first glance that you have a permanent solution to their problem.

Big, Long Sales Letters

Since the age of Facebook and Instagram, users don’t have any reason to read those big, long sales letters. Unless they hide some deals and discounts. Still, discounts and deals in an image format are much more effective than words. So, stop wasting time in writing long letters, and use the same time in building something creative and less time-consuming.


Go for promotion on social media sites using visual content. Send emails with attractive images unveiling the benefits of your product and available discounts for a limited time period.

Flat URLs

Either you never paid attention or are just too lazy to give names to URLs. In any case, you are making a big mistake.

Flat URLs are the default names of your website URLs given by WordPress.

For e.g. yourwebsitename.com/page1/

Flat URLs confuse search engines to understand your website’s structure as they treat all your web pages equally. While a descriptive URL conveys the value and relevancy of web pages with each other.

For e.g. yourwebsitename.come/topic1/page1

It gives a clear idea to Search Engines what your web pages are about and how they correlate with each other.


Change your default URLs and give them a suitable name. Categorize them and manage subcategories. URLs of subcategories must come under the URL of the main category.

For e.g. domain.com/products – Category

domain.com/products/nameofproduct – Subcategory

Search engines easily crawl such manageable and clearly-stated websites.

Blind Guest Blogging

Previously, any blog on any website would mean backlinks resulting in good rankings. Now, any blog to any website may consider a part of spam under the below-given conditions:

  •  Low-quality guest blogging sites
  •  Zero relevancy of guest blogging site with your website
  •  Low-quality blog

If you are doing guest blogging for the sake of backlinks, you may end up with irrelevant sites. There might be a vast difference between your audience and theirs. Google takes irrelevancy very seriously when it searches for spam.


Find out which sites have a similar audience to your site. For e.g. for a mobile app development company, a relevant site is TechCrunch and Mashable. You can go to some infamous sites as well. Just make sure they are relevant and high-quality sites. Approach these sites to publish your valuable blog. No promotions here.

Traditional Advertising

Do you still believe in yellow page advertising or print media or newspaper advertising? If you do, then you are not aware of the ever-growing online population. Given the fact that the smartphone is handy and addictive. Users always take it whenever they get time. In leisure time, users won’t even think of checking out yellow pages or physical copies. Their mind around mobiles. For search, they think of two words only: Google it. Nothing else matters.


Stop wasting time and money on yellow-page advertising or print media. Instead, switch to flourish more on online magazines, social media networks, and podcasting.

Paid Links

Another shortcut to reach higher rankings – Paid links. Website owners think like this is the only thing Google can’t catch as it doesn’t have access to your online bank accounts from where you pay for links. Right?


Google has its own way to catch spammers. You can be sure of yourself while buying links but you can’t guarantee the deeds of the opposite party. Google has keen eyesight to hunt down unnatural patterns from the sites that offer such privilege. Once Google reaches there, it will penalize not only the site that asks for payments but also those who are part of this whole paid link process.


Stay natural. Build links naturally like publishing valuable content on high-quality sites or publishing and promoting blogs on social media sites. Dig deeper to explore more on natural ways to reach the targeted audience.

Formal Content

Writing content just for the sake of writing? Nobody is gonna read it.

Tell me, if you fail to attract users to your content, how will you even convince them to read about your products or services?


Valuable Content is a direction for users toward your business. Google’s first page is saved for those who offer value to their users. If you go on a search for “best app development companies”, Google gives you a list of companies – not a website of the best company – written well by a writer.


Ditch your thinking on the more content you have, the higher rankings you get. Change it to the more valuable content you have, the higher rankings you get. Concentrate on answering users’ questions through content. Give them guides and instructions on achieving something relevant to your business.

Link-Building Blast

The idea of link building is so much popular that some SEO specialist put links on anything that come in there way. Blog comments, forums, guest blogging, over-promotion on social media, bookmarking, directories, etc. Not mentioning the fact that they execute all this without considering the quality of other sites.

When Google announced First Penguin Update, sites over-using link-building were the first thrown far away from the rankings. No matter, how much all such tricks sound legitimate, Google never forgives those who overuse strategies.


Stick to relevancy. Limit your promotion. Instead, focus on creating content with context i.e. create content suitable for the site. For e.g., videos and images work well on Instagram while links to blogs show better results on Twitter.

Wrap Up

You may have noticed some repeated words. The common one is: to stay natural. Well, that’s the key to SEO. Valuable content with natural keyword targeting will help you stay natural even if Google comes up with another update in the future. Staying natural keeps you ahead of Google updates as well as your competitors.


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