5 On-Page SEO Tactics You Should Ignore

One of the biggest problems with the internet is that redundant information can linger around for years. In a fast-moving industry like SEO, this can cause problems. If a beginner was to search for SEO advice, they might end up using tactics that no longer work.

In just the past three years we’ve seen massive changes in SEO and the ranking factors, but going back as far as 2005, we can see methods that would be extremely harmful to a website if used today. In this article, we’ll be looking at the five on-page SEO tactics that have been used successfully in the past, but that should now be avoided at all costs.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing was all the rage up until Google decided that enough was enough, effectively making the tactic useless. The idea of keyword stuffing relied on the idea that Google needed you to include keywords on the page to inform their algorithm about the topic of the content. Fortunately, as the algorithm has become far more complex, it can understand the content and therefore the keywords that it should rank for, even if they aren’t on the page.

In the process of this improvement, they have also been able to introduce limits that work based on the number of times the keyword is used as a percentage of the text on the page. These limits can very easily spot SEOs which are trying to abuse the algorithm by stuffing their keywords in the article, in the hope that it will increase their rankings.

Instead, it’s a far better idea to write naturally and then carefully use your keywords in powerful areas like your title, H1 or H2 tags.

Huge Word Counts

Even to this day, you’ll see SEO gurus talking about how long articles correlate to higher rankings. While we don’t dispute this data, the idea that you should force a massive word count is out of date.

In practice, this has led to many SEOs creating low quality work that is thousands of words longer than it needs to be. Instead, you should be focusing on answering the searcher’s questions and creating content that is valuable to them. If that can be done in 300 words, that’s okay. Waffling on and on without providing any extra value is a waste of your time and resources, plus it’s going to make building links to that article difficult because people will consider it as spam.

Article Spinning

Article spinning is another tactic that is extremely rare these days, at least on websites with knowledgeable owners. This tactic uses computer programs to ‘spin’ articles, creating hundreds of almost identical articles that use synonyms to make them ‘unique.’ This would allow the owner to publish their content all over the web without any effort, creating plenty of backlinks to their website. Fortunately, Google has become incredibly good at spotting spun content and will often refuse to even waste their storage capabilities on indexing it.

Without the pages being indexed, it’s impossible for the owner to gain any SEO benefit and it’s unlikely that anyone will likely even visit the page. Instead, you should be trying to provide value to the reader by creating a unique and helpful post.

Doorway Pages

The idea of a doorway page is to create a page on your website that will rank for a particular keyword. In theory, this is perfectly fine, but the problem is that all of these pages will lead users to virtually the same content.

In practice you might see that a lead generation website creates pages titled Plumbing NYC, Plumbing New York City, Plumbing NY City, Plumbing in NYC, etc. In this case, all of the pages are almost identical. This creates a poor user experience because the users are all being sent to nearly identical pages, rather than seeing something that is more personal to them. In some cases, these doorway pages can be excellent, but more often than not they are abused.

The reason Google stepped in was that a searcher could often find that the entire first page of the search results were doorway pages for the same company.

The Bait and Switch Tactic

The old bait and switch. To this day, many SEOs use this tactic and you might even be able to get away with it, but you’re taking a risk every time you use it. The bait and switch method is when you publish a piece of content that you can quickly market and therefore build links to, and then swap the content for a commercial page instead.

This causes you to have links pointing to a commercial page when those links were supposed to endorse an entirely different content. The bait and switch is an attempt to deceive the search engines into ranking your commercial content for competitive content.

It’s likely Google will continue to crack down on this method because it’s trying to deceive their algorithm. The point of a do-follow link is to endorse a page as useful or entertaining, but those links should carry no value once the content of the page is severely altered.