10 Outdated SEO Practices to Avoid in 2024

Giant search engines are constantly changing their way of perceiving and delivering results to users. Especially Google, since it frequently shifts to enhance the user experience by prioritizing relevant and valuable content and penalizing outdated SEO practices.

outdated SEO practices

Now they have become ineffective and harmful to website rankings. So keeping up with SEO enhancement is a must for website success. In this blog, we will break down the 10 outdated SEO practices you should avoid in 2024. So, without further ado let us jump into it.

What Are Outdated SEO Practices?

Outdated SEO practices refer to techniques that were once effective for improving a website’s ranking on SERP. But now they are ineffective or harmful due to updates in search engine algorithms. 

These practices are often referred to as ‘black hat‘ SEO tactics. Practicing them will cause penalties from search engines. As a result, you will get lower rankings or even de-indexing of your website. 

In 2024, you should avoid outdated SEO practices because search engines like Google have become much more sophisticated at detecting manipulative SEO  practices. They prioritize high-quality, relevant content and penalize websites that try to game the system.

  1. Keyword Stuffing
  2. Buying or Exchanging Links
  3. Prioritizing Quantity Over Quality
  4. Neglecting User Experience (UX)
  5. Over-optimized anchor text
  6. Ignoring Mobile Optimization
  7. Focusing Only on Top of Funnel Keywords
  8. Hidden Text and Links
  9. Exact Match Domain (EMD)
  10. Bulk AI Content

List of Outdated SEO Practices to Avoid

Let us break down each of them and surf through the insights:

1. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is an outdated search engine optimization (SEO) technique. It involves overloading a web page with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. This practice was once a common tactic used by webmasters. Because at that time keyword density was a ranking factor. The aim was to increase the preference of the page ranking higher for those terms. However, keyword stuffing in the content was unreadable. Eventually, it caused poor user experience. It harms the natural flow of language and offers little to no valuable information to the reader.

Today, keyword stuffing is strongly discouraged and can have severe negative consequences for a website’s SEO. Modern search engines, particularly Google, started to prioritize high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that benefits users. 

Algorithms like Google Panda have been specifically designed to penalize sites that engage in manipulative practices such as keyword stuffing. Websites caught using this tactic can suffer from reduced search rankings or even be removed from search results entirely.

2. Buying or Exchanging Links

Outdated SEO Practices

Buying or exchanging links is an old SEO practice that involves one website providing a hyperlink to another website in return for compensation or reciprocal links. This practice was used as a method to manipulate search engine rankings. 

Google, valued the number of inbound links to a site as a signal of its authority and relevance. Websites engaged in link buying or reciprocal link exchanges to artificially inflate their link profiles to boost their search engine results page (SERP) rankings for that reason.

Since it offered a shortcut to achieving higher rankings without the need to invest in creating high-quality content or engaging in legitimate marketing and outreach efforts, it was a quicker, as well as riskier, strategy compared to the white-hat SEO practices. 

This practice is now strongly discouraged and can be damaging to a website’s SEO health and result in penalties. Even using AI as well. Search engines, particularly Google, brought updates, such as the Penguin algorithm. It has been designed to reward sites that earn links naturally through the creation of valuable content and legitimate outreach. As a result, the focus has shifted towards building a natural backlink profile through high-quality content, user engagement, and ethical SEO strategies.

Prioritizing Quantity Over Quality

Prioritizing content quantity over quality was an old SEO practice. The focus was on producing a high volume of content with less focus on the content’s relevance, accuracy, or value to the reader. This approach was based on the belief that more content would lead to more keywords.

To increase a website’s visibility people often produce low-quality articles, blog posts, or web pages. Its intention behind this practice was to cover as many keywords as possible to attract traffic from search engines. The content produced was typically article-spinning, paraphrased, and others.

This led to a cluttered internet space filled with low-quality, irrelevant content. Also, makes it harder for users to find genuinely useful information. Now, in 2024, prioritizing content quantity over quality is strongly discouraged. Now you must establish EEAT and helpful content. 

Updates like Google’s Panda and Hummingbird have been specifically designed to penalize low-quality content. It rewards websites that provide a good user experience with well-researched, informative, and engaging content. 

For example, a website that used to publish ten low-quality articles a day might find its rankings drop significantly, while a competitor focusing on one well-written, informative piece per week could see an improvement in SERP positions.

Ignoring User Experience (UX)

Outdated SEO Practices

Ignoring User Experience (UX) in SEO practices refers to an outdated approach. Back then websites were optimized primarily for search engines, not for the people using them. This method focused heavily on building backlinks without much consideration for how users interacted with the site. 

The idea was that as long as a website ranked high on search engine results pages (SERPs), it would generate traffic. Visitors’ positive experiences when they landed on the site did not matter. This approach often led to websites that were difficult to navigate, loaded slowly, and increased bounce rates.

Google’s algorithm updates, such as Panda and Hummingbird, penalize websites with poor content quality and reward those that provide a great user experience. People then realized only content can not stand enough to provide a great user experience. 

A better website navigation also matters. For that reason, improving user experience is crucial. Such as: integrating UX with SEO is not just about appeasing search engines; it is about creating a website that fulfills the needs and expectations of its users, ultimately leading to better performance and success online.

Over-Optimized Anchor Text

Over-optimized anchor text is like that friend who tries too hard to impress and ends up making things awkward. Back in the day, SEO was a bit like everyone trying to push each other to get Google’s attention. The idea was simple: if you wanted your website to rank for a particular keyword, you’d make sure that keyword appeared in the clickable text (anchor text). 

The intention behind such outdated SEO practices was to have as many backlinks as possible. Websites would have backlinks with anchor texts like ‘best chocolate cake recipe‘ repeated over and over, regardless of whether it made sense in the context or not.

The reason this tactic became so popular was because, for a while, it worked like a charm. If a lot of links point to a page with the specific anchor text search then engines assume that the page must indeed be about the best chocolate cake recipe. 

Finally, Google had to step in and lay down the law. Enter algorithm updates like Penguin, and started penalizing websites for over-optimizing their anchor text. Imagine clicking on a link that says ‘best chocolate cake recipe‘ and ending up on a page that’s selling kitchenware. 

That’s what Google wanted to avoid. These days, a more natural link profile is favored, with a mix of branded, generic, and keyword-rich anchor texts that reflect how real people link to content.

Ignoring Mobile Optimization

Outdated SEO Practices

Ignoring mobile optimization is an outdated SEO practice. It overlooks the importance of making websites user-friendly on mobile devices. Back in the day, when desktops ruled the internet, this might have been a minor concern. 

But now, with people mostly on their smartphones more than ever, ignoring mobile optimization means you are essentially turning out to be a massive potential audience. Imagine trying to navigate a desktop-optimized site on your phone, pinching and zooming to read tiny text or click big links. Frustrating, isn’t it? That’s exactly what you are subjecting your mobile users to without mobile optimization.

Google has made it clear that mobile-friendliness is a significant ranking factor. It means ignoring it can hurt your search engine visibility. For example, a local bakery that hasn’t optimized its website for mobile might lose out to a competitor. 

Simply because the latter is more likely to show up in mobile search results. With mobile searches often leading to immediate actions, like visiting a store or making a purchase, not being mobile-friendly can directly impact your bottom line. 

Focusing Only on Top of Funnel Keywords

Focusing only on top-of-funnel keywords is like trying to make friends by only talking about the weather. Sure, it is a safe topic that everyone can relate to, but it is not going to deepen any relationships. 

In the SEO world, top-of-funnel keywords are those broad, general terms that people might search for when they’re just starting to look into a topic. For example, a shoe store might target ‘women’s shoes‘ hoping to target those who are looking for footwear.

The reason this strategy was popular was because it increased visibility. By targeting these broad terms, websites aimed to appear in as many searches as possible, thinking this would naturally lead to more traffic. 

But focusing only on top-of-funnel keywords means you might attract a lot of visitors who aren’t actually interested in what you are offering. They might be looking for information, sure, but they’re not necessarily ready to buy.

Now, here is why sticking to this old-school tactic might not be the best move today. People are now looking for specific answers to specific questions. Continuing with our shoe store example, someone searching for ‘best running shoes for flat feet‘ is likely further down the funnel. 

It is closer to purchasing someone just searching for ‘women’s shoes.’ By focusing only on broad terms, you are missing out on connecting with a more engaged audience ready to take action. Plus, with the rise of voice search and personal assistants, long-tail keywords (those specific, often longer queries) are becoming increasingly important.

Hidden Text and Links

Hidden text and links are one of the oldest and most outdated SEO practices. This tactic is all about text or links on a webpage that is invisible to the casual visitor but perfectly visible to search engine crawlers. 

This could be done in several ways, such as setting the text color to match the background (white text on a white background, for instance), hiding text behind images, or using CSS to shove the text off-screen. The idea was to stuff these hidden nooks with keywords or links that would make search engines think the page was more relevant or valuable than it was.

Well, back in the early days of SEO, search engine algorithms were simpler creatures. They relied heavily on the presence of keywords to determine a page’s relevance to a search query. So, by loading a page with hidden keywords, webmasters could trick search engines into giving their site a higher ranking. 

Today in 2024, using hidden text and links is considered a lethal black-hat SEO practice that can lead to unrecoverable penalties by search engines like Google. So, it is best to keep everything in plain sight. After all, no one likes to be tricked, not even search engines.

Exact Match Domain (EMD)

Outdated SEO Practices

Okay, so what’s an EMD? In simple words, EMD is a domain name that exactly matches a search query which is likely to drive traffic to a website, like a brand name. Imagine you are in the business of selling vintage teacups. 

In the old SEO days, if you had a domain like ‘vintageteacups.com,’ you were pretty much setting yourself up for success. Because search engines, like Google, used to give a lot of weight to domains that exactly matched search queries. It was like telling the search engine to look no further since you are exactly what they are searching for.

People are diving into it, for visibility and traffic. If someone typed in ‘vintage teacups,’ and you owned ‘vintageteacups.com,’ your site would likely pop up first, bringing loads of potential customers. It was a simple and effective strategy to earn the top spot with minimal effort.

Now, relying solely on an EMD is a red flag. it limits your brand. Imagine if ‘vintageteacups.com‘ wanted to expand to selling vintage plates and silverware. The domain suddenly becomes restrictive. Since it is not reflective of the broader business, in today’s SEO, EMDs might still have their place, but they’re no longer the SEO gold coin.

Bulk AI Content

Bulk AI content is a quick, easy way to produce content in large quantities. What if you’ve got a website that needs to be filled with articles, product descriptions, or blog posts? 

Instead of spending hours upon hours writing them yourself or hiring a team of writers, you turn to AI tools. They can generate all this content for you in a fraction of the time. It is like having a robot army digging out words while you sit back and relax.

Now, why did this get attention? Simple! the more content you have, the more likely it is that Google will notice you, right? Plus, with such a high volume of content, you could target a wider range of keywords. 

Getting a wider reach for your audience to find you. Businesses and SEO professionals saw this as a great strategy to fill their sites with content and hopefully get a leg up in the search engine results pages. And it turned into outdated SEO practices.

But here’s the twist: as search engines have gotten smarter, they’ve started to see right through this tactic. It is no longer enough to just have content. It has to be good quality over quantity. Bulk AI content often lacks the human touch and the depth in tone. 

It misses NLP as well. It can come across as bland, repetitive, or even nonsensical, which can hurt your brand’s reputation and drive visitors away. Plus, Google’s algorithms have been updated to prioritize unique, valuable content. 

So if your site is stuffed with AI-generated fluff, you might find yourself sinking rather than swimming in the SERPs. In the end, while AI can be a helpful tool, relying on it to mass-produce content could be more of a setback than a shortcut in the long run.

A Recent SEO Practice That Turned Outdated: Parasite SEO

Parasite SEO just turned into an old SEO practice in 2024 even though it recently started to get attention. Well, you must be wondering why parasite SEO is not working and why you should stop using it in 2024, right? 

Let’s break the ice further, Parasite SEO refers to the practice of using the domain authority of established websites to rank higher in search engine results. It is like getting a quick ride from a friend who’s already at the front of the line and winning the race. This strategy involves publishing content on high-authority third-party sites to earn their SEO juice to boost your own site’s visibility.

Now, why has this approach been so popular? it is simple: it is a shortcut. You do not need to be spending months or even years building up your own site’s authority. You could just get a site that’s already a favorite in the eyes of search engines and drop a piece of content amidst their traffic.

For a while, it worked like a charm, with affiliate marketers and SEO experts. However, the SEO in 2024 has changed. Slowly, the effectiveness of parasite SEO is not what it used to be. Search engines, like Google, have become much more sophisticated. 

Google’s 2024 update has placed a stronger emphasis on content quality. It is made clear that any form of SEO, including parasite SEO, must provide genuine value to users. The update has also improved spam detection, which means that low-quality content or manipulative tactics are more likely to be penalized.

So, relying on parasite SEO can be risky. It puts you in the hands of the third-party platform. If they change their policies or decide to remove your content, your traffic could vanish overnight. Parasite SEO can be seen as taking advantage of another site’s hard work, and if done unethically, it can damage your reputation and relationships within the industry.

Lastly, parasite SEO might still work to some extent, still, it is a risky and potentially short-term strategy in 2024. The focus has shifted toward an ethical SEO strategy that will stand the test of time and algorithm updates. So, it might be time to say goodbye to the parasite approach of outdated SEO practices and invest in building your own site’s authority the right way.

Using an Expired Domain Is It Considered an Outdated SEO Practice?

Outdated SEO Practices

Using expired domains is indeed one of the outdated SEO practices that have been used for many years. This approach involves purchasing domains that have previously expired. You can use their existing backlinks and authority to boost SEO for another site. But in 2024, you must avoid this strategy due to the latest Google algorithm updates.

In March 2024, Google rolled out updates specifically targeting expired domains. The updates aim to penalize practices where expired domains are being used to manipulate search rankings. Google now considers expired domain usage as spam. Relying on manipulative tactics like expired domain abuse can offer short-term gains but ultimately lead to vulnerabilities and potential penalties.

Latest SEO Trends and Best Practices Are Key to Success in 2024

Wrapping up, it is clear that SEO in 2024 is more dynamic and complex than ever before. You must keep up with the trends in this industry. Make the strategy ahead of the outdated SEO practices. As we’ve seen, old tricks and shortcuts are quickly becoming dumped. They are being replaced by a focus on quality, user experience, and ethical practices. 

So, let’s keep our minds open to learning all the way. After all, in the fast-paced world of SEO, being a lifelong learner isn’t just an advantage, it is a necessity for success in 2024 and beyond.

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Mahmudul Hasan

Mahmudul Hasan is an English Literature graduate with a passion for writing and reading on any topic. He has a passion for creating WordPress content. He loves watching indie films, doing music, and painting.

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