Once upon a time in the ‘90s webmasters and site owners could rank for terms simply by mentioning those terms over and over again. Anyone who owned a site or tried SEO back then knows what we’re talking about: keyword packed footers, 200 character page titles, 500 character descriptions and meta keyword fields that bloated the backend code like a whale.

Surely this isn’t still going on, right? Well, if you look around, it’s still out there.

example of seo over optimized textWeek after week we see sites that still feature SEO tactics from five or ten years ago and at this point, are doing more harm than good. You may be thinking, “I didn’t build this site, I acquired it” or “we haven’t touched our SEO in years, so what’s the harm?”. If you own the domain, you own the consequences. Here are a few things you can do to straighten things out:

1. Find a Reputable SEO – Look at resumes, read up on qualifications and look for a professional. Buzzwords don’t mean results and respected SEOs have earned that respect over time. If an SEO is offering bargain-bin pricing or guaranteeing #1 ranking in Google…that’s cause for concern.

2. Get an Audit – sites aren’t valid or up-to-date forever, so take stock of your site health and current organic ranking from time to time.

3. Think About a Refresh – Just like a computer or a smartphone, today’s cutting edge technology won’t impress anyone (including Google) in 3 – 5 years. You don’t need to build a new site every few years, but your site should keep up with best practices.

None of this is meant to scare clients away from SEO…quite the opposite. If you’re wondering about the health of your site, reach out to a search professional to keep the search engines from punishing you for past mistakes. After all, every business should have an online presence and work to maintain search engine rankings…the internet isn’t going away.