Google receives around ninety percent of all world searches. This means what Google says goes! Their algorithms are constantly changing, evolving and becoming more sophisticated as each year passes. Most are considered good changes for those who play fair by providing relevant, useful content and avoiding black hat tactics. Plus, with the ever increasing use of mobile devices, the way we search has also demanded changes.

While certain SEO strategies remain as important as ever, if you do not change with the landscape chances are your online presence will simply fade into it.

Bill Willis, a UK freelance SEO specialist with 20 years in the industry, offers his insights into the top things what NOT TO DO in 2019

Here are the TOP 10 SEO tactics to drop in 2019

1 – Google no longer puts the onus on keyword density to work out the relevance of a page to the search query (although keywords continue to be important). Keyword stuffing as well as including keywords in completely irrelevant content is a sure-fire way to crucify your ranks. Not only does it leave your visitors dazed and confused, it makes Google very (very) angry. Indeed, it is now considered a black-hat tactic.

2 – Do not write for the robots. Your content must be natural, informative and relevant. Google’s bots have become very sophisticated and able to recognise bad syntax. Do not concentrate on what you THINK the robots want to hear. Instead concentrate on getting your message across to the visitor or providing them with useful information. It is not clever these days to simply repeat yourself and try to cover all the bases.

3 – Article farming is out. While regularly adding content to article directories and syndicating articles worked once upon a time, when Google unleashed the Panda in 2011 this tactic became history. If you are still doing it in 2019 it really is time to throw in the towel.

4 – Today, the black hat tactic of article spinning is about as useful as the jumbled up rubbish it created. If you have the software now is definitely the time to delete it.

5 – Quality backlinks are still considered valuable by Google. However, backlinks coming from websites that have the simple function of giving you a backlink can be very harmful to your ranks in 2019. Google can recognise these low quality websites handing out more links than it takes to fill a stadium with Smarties. Stick to quality not quantity or pay the price in ranks.

6 – Since the Penguin update Google has become very good at recognising over optimised content. This strategy generally included creating pages with keyword stuffed content that covered just about every variable of the keyword target – Indeed, some websites virtually ended up cannibalising themselves in the pursuit of ranks. Rankbrain has also made it easier for Google to realise when variations are being used.

7 – Google Knowledge Graph has put the last nail in the coffin with regards to creating websites with the sole purpose of targeting exact-match search queries with high traffic volumes – Usually, to sell something that had absolutely nothing to do with the search query.

8 – Domain names with exact match high volume keywords WERE used to drive traffic to a website, regardless of relevance. Ultimately this resulted in many confused users. Of course it makes sense that having keywords in your domain name relevant to your business can give users a good indication of what your site is about in the first instance. However, this is no longer regarded as a significant signal to Google’s algorithms anymore.

9 – In the past the sitemap could be manipulated by webmasters by prioritising pages with 0 or 1, thus dictating what content was prioritised by the search engine crawlers. Today this is completely ignored and they decide what content is important: Therefore rendering this practice useless. Additionally, sending Google to crawl your website too frequently can result in penalties.

10 – While it was always annoying, the simple fact was even the worst content in the world could gain decent ranks. This is now well and truly a thing of the past. Forget regurgitating content with less information for the user than a black hole.

So what’s the bottom line? In 2019 black hat SEO is about as hot as grandma’s underwear. You want ranks, you have to do it one way and that’s the right way!

SEO in 2019

21st February 2019