The Latest SEO Trends You Should Ignore

The Latest SEO Trends You Should Ignore

In this post, I’d like to address some particular SEO trends I see many marketers fall for that are really nothing but a waste of time. Keyword density is a huge ranking factor Remember the days when jam-packing content with a targeted keyword phrase would send it soaring to the top of the SERPs? Kind of like this monstrosity: It made for some lackluster content and provided very minimal (if any) real value to readers. Since then, any SEO marketer in their right mind made sure they weren’t doing any keyword stuffing. Just hit that perfect keyword density, and you’re good to go. This line from Backlinko summarizes it perfectly: You have to use exact match keywords There’s another keyword-related myth I would like to put to rest. But don’t ignore outbound links: I mentioned in a post on NeilPatel.com that “outbound links or links that point to external web pages from your own site can actually impact your blog authority. In fact, Backlinko listed outbound link quality as #31 of Google’s 200 ranking factors. But isn’t it a disadvantage when people exploring your site are directed to an external site? Jamming your site with affiliate links is no big deal Ah…affiliate links.

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Given that Google changes its search algorithm 500-600 times each year, it’s not surprising marketers get confused sometimes.

Speculations about the latest SEO trends run rampant and are a breeding ground for many myths.

For this reason, it’s sometimes difficult to tell fact from fiction.

Of course, the Internet provides the perfect framework for misinformation to spread at an alarming rate.

As a result, many marketers waste their energy and resources implementing useless tactics that don’t get any results.

Or worse, some implement harmful techniques that get them penalized.

It’s a bad deal either way.

In this post, I’d like to address some particular SEO trends I see many marketers fall for that are really nothing but a waste of time.

Here we go.

Keyword density is a huge ranking factor

Remember the days when jam-packing content with a targeted keyword phrase would send it soaring to the top of the SERPs?

Kind of like this monstrosity:

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It made for some lackluster content and provided very minimal (if any) real value to readers.

Thankfully, those days are long gone.

Panda put an end to that back in 2011.

Since then, any SEO marketer in their right mind made sure they weren’t doing any keyword stuffing.

But here’s the thing.

It left a lot of questions regarding proper keyword density.

Obviously, keyword stuffing is a bad idea. That’s a given.

But many SEO marketers still seem to think that keyword density is a huge ranking factor.

They end up putting a lot of time and effort into getting it just right.

Just hit that perfect keyword density, and you’re good to go.

But this isn’t the case.

While it is true that keyword density is a ranking factor, it’s by no means as important as it once was.

There’s no reason to stress about it.

It’s something that you should be conscious of, but it shouldn’t command all your attention.

In other words, there’s no need to drive yourself crazy trying to reach the optimal keyword density.

This line from Backlinko summarizes it perfectly:

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You have to use exact match keywords

There’s another keyword-related myth I would like to put to rest.

And that’s the idea that you should use only exact match keywords.

Let me reference the red apples example one more time:

Beyond the annoying keyword stuffing taking place here, take a look at how every use of the keyword is an exact match.

It sounds ridiculous and unnatural!

That’s not how humans talk.

If it’s unnatural, it’s not adding quality.

And if it’s not adding quality, it’s not contributing to the user experience.

The bottom line is you should use exact match keywords only when it makes sense and sounds natural.

If it makes your content sound clunky, you’ll want to ditch it or use a variation of the keyword.

The concept of always using exact match keywords is extremely antiquated and dates back to when keyword stuffing was acceptable.

But neither has a place in current SEO best practices.

Pop-ups are an automatic deal breaker

In January 2017, Google launched an update known as the “Intrusive Interstitial Penalty.”

Here’s a snippet from the Google Webmaster Blog regarding this update:

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The primary purpose was to provide a better experience for mobile users, ensuring their browsing doesn’t get disrupted by ungodly pop-ups like these:

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This created an uproar in the SEO community with people being deathly afraid to use any type of pop-up on their sites.

And it’s easy to see why.

Why would you want to…

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