December 9, 2022
The WORST search engine optimisation recommendation I heard this yr (and what you need to do as a substitute)

The most typical grievance I obtain from audit shoppers and bloggers is the lack to “know which search engine optimisation recommendation to observe.” 

In contrast to search engines like google which might rank, re-rank, or penalize info or practices which might be unethical or unscrupulous in nature, the identical can’t be achieved by the common blogger weeding by a number of programs, gurus or podcasts.

Sadly, 2022 has taken issues to an entire new degree.

The quantity of emails and on the spot messages I acquired from bloggers asking, “Is that this true?” or “I used to be advised to do that, what do you assume?” can’t be quantified aside from to say, “It was rather a lot.”

Executing an accurate and competent search engine optimisation technique has by no means been more difficult, particularly in gentle of the explosion of recent web sites launched through the pandemic.

As such, understanding what recommendation is worth it and which is full and utter rubbish has by no means been extra vital.

To that finish, I current a number of the worst items of search engine optimisation recommendation I used to be requested about in 2022, with the hope that the solutions will assist you resolve what not to do.

Worst search engine optimisation recommendation #1: “I ought to by no means take away content material from my web site.”

The advantages of eradicating outdated content material from an present web site have been recognized and practiced for years.

Consider your web site as a backyard. All of the content material producing visitors, hyperlinks, and common social alerts are your flowers. All the pieces that’s not? These are your weeds. Similar to in an actual backyard, you possibly can kill your flowers if you happen to don’t pull these weeds.

Leaving expired, low-quality or skinny content material in your web site may end up in a myriad of unhealthy search engine optimisation outcomes, together with:

  • Diluting your general crawl price range.
  • Lowering general web site authority.
  • Creating web page and key phrase cannibalization points.
  • Lowering on-page UX and time-on-site metrics.
  • Reducing sitewide income per thousand impressions (RPM) for advert earnings.

It’s additionally been well-documented by Google’s John Mueller that low-quality content material on one a part of a web site can negatively affect the search rankings of your entire web site.

Backside line

For those who can replace and enhance present content material, do this! 

But when not, delete it, and transfer on. Suppose high quality together with your web site content material, not amount.

Worst search engine optimisation recommendation #2: “All I want is to write down longer content material to rank increased.”

It has been acknowledged repeatedly that phrase depend just isn’t a rating issue with Google. And but, every day, I run into shoppers who’ve been directed to write down an extended useful resource as their principal technique to “recapture” a misplaced rating or enhance present visibility.

When requested about phrase depend, Mueller mentioned, “simply blindly including content material to a web page is not going to make it (rank) higher.”

What does assist a useful resource is including content material that’s helpful to the viewers.

For instance, no one needs to learn a 2,000-plus-word treatise on artichoke hearts. As such, understanding what your viewers is looking for and what’s thought-about “helpful” can nonetheless be complicated to the common web site proprietor.

Backside line

A content material replace or rewrite has to have a clear function and an understanding of why your web page isn’t rating within the first place. 

  • Is there an intent mismatch together with your question? 
  • Does the web page have technical deficiencies? 
  • Are you competing in opposition to a lot larger websites? 

These are only a few inquiries to reply earlier than deciding “simply to write down an extended useful resource” for rating consideration.


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Worst search engine optimisation recommendation #3: “I ought to embody my focus key phrase in each web page heading.”

Throughout the “good ol’ days” of search engine optimisation, it was quite common to optimize a web page round a spotlight key phrase by together with the main focus key phrase within the title, the meta description, the URL, and each heading on the web page.

For instance, only a few years in the past, a typical recipe publish making an attempt to rank for “banana cream pie” could have appeared like this:

<H1> Finest Banana Cream Pie
<H2> Why this Banana Cream Pie is the Finest
<H2> Banana Cream Components
<H2> Step by Step to Make Banana Cream Pie
<H2> Banana Cream Pie Questions & Solutions
<H2> Associated Banana Cream Pie Recipes
<H2> Banana Cream Pie (recipe card)

Sadly, following Google updates from November 2019, and later introduced Core Updates in January and Might 2020, a transparent sample emerged whereby bloggers who had been over-optimizing their headings (amongst different points) suffered decimated rating and visitors drops.

The sample was extremely simple to see in audits and on-line Fb teams and was quickly backed up by a Meals Blogger Research by search engine optimisation agency Prime Hat Rank printed in February of 2020. 

Within the examine, meals blogs noticed a 60% drop in direct Google search engine visitors to recipes and posts that had engaged in heading key phrase over-optimization.

Thankfully, bloggers who went again by their web site and began de-optimizing their headings ended up with recoveries by the Might 2020 Core Replace, or a lot later, when Google did their subsequent introduced replace in December.

Backside line

Any advice to stuff your headings with key phrases just isn’t solely outdated recommendation however probably harmful for the common web site within the present algorithmic local weather. 

Referencing your key phrase naturally within the H1 and one or two different H2s appears fantastic. Greater than that, it is going to look spammy and ought to be prevented!

Worst search engine optimisation recommendation #4: “Alt textual content ought to be used for search engine optimisation key phrases.”

Alt textual content, or various textual content, is likely one of the most vital and misunderstood subjects in all of search engine optimisation and accessibility. Having good and proper alt textual content for photos is not only a easy search engine optimisation finest follow, however it’s important for folks with visible disabilities who go to the positioning.

Alt textual content exists at the start to explain the picture to somebody who can not see it. The main target is on these accessing the positioning with display readers who can not see the picture and, as such, should have the pictures learn out to them for descriptive functions.

Nothing annoys visually impaired customers greater than visiting a web site and seeing each picture learn out as “key phrase – key phrase – key phrase.” 

And but, even in the present day, with as a lot literature that exists on the proper use of alt textual content, this nonetheless occurs greater than it ought to!

Backside line

Ditch the key phrases and describe what’s within the photograph to somebody who can not see it.

Do not say “picture of” or “photograph of” in your alt textual content. Be brief however descriptive.

Lastly, add a “interval” on the finish as a immediate for display readers to know the alt textual content has accomplished.

Though the Semrush suite of instruments is, by and enormous, a top quality funding for customers and SEOs alike, that is its greatest downside. In its identification of poisonous hyperlinks, the device fails!

I’ve but to run a crawl for a consumer with Semrush and have the device not spit out an enormous “Hazard, Will Robinson! Hazard!” warning when reviewing a hyperlink profile.

Semrush identifies random hyperlinks as poisonous after which recommends that the consumer submit a disavow file. The issue with this advice is it is pointless and fully arbitrary.

Google may be very clear that:

In actual fact, Google doesn’t even have a concept of toxic domains, and blindly following a device that claims “in any other case” ought to at all times be prevented.

Backside line

Except you will have a guide motion, or you realize you inbuilt unhealthy hyperlinks your self, a disavow file is an entire waste of time for the common web site proprietor. 

Ignore the instruments and transfer on to one thing else that may truly assist transfer your web site.

Ultimate ideas

You have heard that search engine optimisation is a marathon, not a dash. As with all marathon, it is all about coaching and preparation. 

Do not derail your search engine optimisation marathon by succumbing to poor recommendation baked right into a course, a podcast or a guru making an attempt to promote you their newest device.

As a substitute, use a bit frequent sense and push again in opposition to recommendation that “could” appear questionable when given. The location you save could also be your personal. Good luck on the market!


Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor writer and never essentially Search Engine Land. Workers authors are listed right here.


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About The Writer

Casey Markee

Casey Markee is the proprietor of web consultancy Media Wyse. An search engine optimisation for over 20 years, he has been working completely with meals and life-style bloggers since 2015. Throughout that point he’s labored with hundreds of bloggers throughout each recipe area of interest possible. He likes lengthy walks to the fridge and again and believes bacon and sweet corn are gourmand meals.

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