Have you ever wondered what the most common SEO myths are? I’ve looked into the most common myths that seem to keep returning and researched them for you. This is a must-read for anyone considering hiring a search engine optimization business or doing SEO on their own.
SEO Myths Explained
These days, SEO information abounds on the Internet, bookstore shelves, and just about anywhere you look or listen. Most SEO myths have one thing in common: someone, somewhere, is usually profiting from them. As a result, don’t anticipate these falsehoods to vanish anytime soon. With the following tips, you may educate yourself and learn to distinguish between reality and fiction:
Myth #1: Only the top place is important
Many business owners’ ebooks and other materials will emphasize the importance of being at the top of search results, whether on Google Search, other engines or even in places like social media. However, surveys have revealed that individuals frequently glance at other options and scroll down the page. Being on the first page of a search engine, for example, can help you gain a lot of traffic. Furthermore, search engine ranking is only one piece of the equation. Google now includes other results on the page, such as social recommendations and local results, which means you have a lot more options, and being first isn’t as important as it once was.
Myth #2: You can do SEO on your own without any assistance
SEO simply refers to a set of tactics and procedures used to boost the likelihood of web visitors visiting your site. It is true that anyone can learn these strategies, and if you are the owner of a website and want to perform your own SEO, you may take the time to study and use them. However, SEO is a complicated subject that encompasses a wide range of topics, including online marketing, coding, technical elements, and public relations. Most business owners just lack the resources necessary to perform an excellent job with SEO, which is why so many services exist to assist them. If you want truly good outcomes, a simple IT worker or online marker is typically insufficient.
Myth #3: META tags are essential
In order to rank well, every page on your site used to require META tags. These are short pieces of code that provide a list of keywords and a description to Google. These would be used by the search engine to determine what your website was about. However, these no longer have any bearing on your rating. In order to index websites, Google and Bing both ceased caring about META tags. They are, nevertheless, not useless. For example, your description tag will frequently display next to the link that appears in the search result, so it’s still an important part of the process.
Myth #4: Keyword-rich domain names get a higher ranking
It used to be that the URL you used was really essential back in the dot-com era. Google gave the domain name a lot of weight, and if you could secure one with your keyword in it, you’d have a major advantage over the competition. This is why, in the late 1990s, a lot of firms paid a lot of money for domain names. However, the indexing procedure now solely considers the content of your pages rather than the domain name. That name is still significant because it is seen by others, but it will not help you rise in the rankings.
Myth #5: You must submit your website to Google or other search engines in order for it to be found
Google and other search engines used to provide URL submission forms where you could email your site to them. They still do, but the procedure is no longer necessary. These engines’ crawlers are now intelligent enough that any new site can be discovered in a matter of days, if not hours. The only time you’d have to worry about submitting your site is if it wasn’t indexed automatically after a few days for some reason.
Myth #6: Adding a sitemap to your website will help you rank higher
You can submit a sitemap, which is an XML file containing links to every page on your site, through Google’s webmaster’s interface. It is not necessary for site owners to submit such a file every time they make a modification. Submitting a sitemap has no effect on your results; it simply adds pages that haven’t been indexed yet. It will not be required if your site is standard and contains links to all of the pages.
Myth #7: Search engine optimization has nothing to do with social media
Prior to the introduction of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, SEO was the only way to generate organic traffic. However, now that social media is ubiquitous, the distinction between the two is becoming increasingly blurred. While some marketers still regard SEO and social media as two separate entities, the truth is that they are inextricably linked. Google, for example, has begun to include its own social network, Google Plus, in its search results. If you can persuade enough significant people to talk about your product and link to it, their recommendations will appear in any Google search result that their friends perform. This has a direct impact on SEO. Facebook, on the other hand, has begun pursuing search with the launch of its Open Graph engine, which searches based on friends and interests. As a result, the two spheres are inextricably intertwined, and they are getting increasingly so.
Myth #8: CSS files are not read by Google
Myth #9: You must constantly refresh your home page
Some people believe that by constantly changing their home page material, they would rank higher, while others believe that by not updating it, they will rank worse. In most circumstances, this isn’t the case, because if you have a sales page that promotes a product, there’s no incentive to update it unless anything about the product changes, which Google anticipates.
Myth #10: Your H1 header is more important than the remainder of your material
Google and other search engines can examine the structure of your page, but you should be aware that many websites are built differently. As a result, no one tag is more valuable than another. An H1 tag is a simple header that corresponds to a CSS entry that allows the visitor to view your website in a specific way. If you use H2 tags instead, or if your keywords are largely in the text rather than a special CSS tag, it has no effect on how Google ranks your website.
Myth #11: Linking to other high-ranking websites can help you rank higher
Some websites attempt to connect to a large number of other high-authority websites in order to boost their ranks, but this is ineffective. Google’s PageRank algorithm determines how high your site will rank, and it is dependent on how beneficial your site is to others, thus it will only consider how many other people connect to you. It makes no difference if you link back to them. Otherwise, any website may rise to the top by linking to millions of other websites, which is not the case.
Myth #12: Using automated SEO techniques is usually considered spam
Many people utilize automated SEO techniques that aren’t considered spam. Many businesses have large websites and rely on automated scripts to handle much of the SEO work. The outcome, not the level of automation, determines whether or not a strategy is spammy.
Myth #13: Search engines ignore the title tag
The text that is visible to users, such as what shows on the screen and is rendered in a web browser, is the majority of what Google sees on your site. As a result, it’s easy to assume that the title won’t be taken up. Your title, on the other hand, is critical for SEO because it is the text that displays on the link that people will click on. Not only is it used by Google to improve your position, but it will also be visible to visitors when they click on your website.
Myth #14: Usability has no bearing on SEO
The goal of SEO is to increase traffic and keep visitors on your site so they may be entertained or purchase your goods and services. As a result, SEO and usability work hand in hand, because usability is what determines whether or not someone remains on your site for a long time. People will quickly move on to the next search result if your site is difficult to use or browse. Layout and usability will also be considered by search engines. If your site is difficult to navigate for your visitors, it will be difficult for the crawler as well, and poor usability can have a negative impact on your results.
Myth #15: The best backlinks are.edu and.gov
Most.edu and.gov websites are well-ranked and have a high authority because they are normally official sites that are well-maintained and spam-free. However, this is merely a result of how they are cared for; there is no assurance. The mere fact that they have a domain ending in.gov or.edu has no bearing on your ranking. If you have a backlink on one of these sites, it will only be as effective as the site’s authority. The fact that it is an educational or government site gives you no advantage. A backlink on an obscure.edu site will not help you any more than a backlink on an obscure blog will.
Myth #16: SEO is determined by the number of links a website has
The belief that having the most possible backlinks is the key to a successful SEO campaign is based on a misunderstanding of how ranking works. Any ranking system, such as Google’s, Bing’s, or Facebook’s, will rank websites depending on a variety of factors. All of these aspects must be addressed in order to achieve successful SEO, and having a large number of links is only one small piece of the jigsaw. Each link also gets its own quality rating. A single link from a well-known news source discussing your product is often far more beneficial than spamming hundreds of connections to obscure blog sites.
Myth #17: Backlinks is more powerful than content
Because SEO takes time and money, it’s unrealistic to expect to be able to accomplish everything feasible in every aspect of internet marketing. So many decisions must be made, and some may be tempted to prioritize link building over the content. The purpose of SEO, on the other hand, is to increase traffic to your website. Quality, not just quantity, is critical. Without strong content, your site has no value to anyone, and as a result, any benefit gained from the more links will be rapidly lost. In reality, the most beneficial hyperlinks are rarely ones you can access directly. They’re testimonials from celebrities in your niche, news sites, and anyone who has previously established themselves as an authority on your product.
If you have good content, those links will come to you on their own, either through PR or word of mouth. However, a flurry of backlinks from low-authority blogs will do you no good, and any ranking you gain from them will be short-lived as those sites clean up their links. Instead, concentrate on your target audience and figure out who you’re writing for. Producing high-quality content will benefit your site in the long run.
Myth #18: Using paid links will result in a Google ban
There are a variety of ways to obtain links, some of which require payment. However, not all paid links are negative; it all depends on how the payment is made. Many websites, including Google, provide advertising services. You can buy an ad on Adwords, go to another ad network, or use one of the many sites that provide their own ad services. While some may not provide you with a ranking, some will, and those are entirely real. Although paying a site that specializes in your subject for a link in a strategic spot is unlikely to get you blacklisted, keep in mind that there are tactics that will. Purchasing a large number of low-quality links is one of the most effective ways to have your site removed from the index.
Myth #19: All you need is good content
Building an army of links isn’t going to help you keep the traffic for very long, and having good content isn’t going to help you keep it for very long either. The majority of individuals feel that good content is essential for a successful website. You can assure that your readers will want to visit your site and remain for a long time by providing them with engaging, valuable material. However, simply constructing it is insufficient to make it known. Even a great site needs to conduct some SEO to get visitors. Any site’s branding is critical, and getting your brand out there through SEO is the only way to get those eyes on your content.
Your articles and posts must be accompanied by positive incoming signals, which includes employing many of the standard SEO techniques that can help you rank in search engines so that people can find your content.
Myth #20: Google penalizes some websites on purpose
Anyone who has worked in SEO has been perplexed by odd reductions in ranking at some point. Even though you appear to have done nothing wrong and have boosted all of your marketing efforts, Google has decided to rank you lower. It’s easy to believe that your website has been penalized in some way, but this isn’t always the truth. Google expressly stated that it would only penalize sites that violate their terms of service by actively pursuing unethical practices such as spamming people. In the vast majority of cases, the issue lies elsewhere. Other sites’ actions, not yours, could be a contributing factor. For example, your competitor may have received a big number of links as a result of their appearance on a popular television show.
Another possibility is that Google altered some aspects of their internal algorithm, which occurs frequently and can be terrible for some websites. Many people recall the Panda upgrade, which affected millions of websites’ rankings. Unfortunately, finding the main cause and correcting it can be difficult in these situations, and you may simply have to work harder at SEO to regain your rating. Refrain from resorting to spamming tactics or blaming it on Google.
Myth #21: If you use Google AdWords, you’ll get special treatment
AdWords is a Google tool that allows you to run ads on other websites to promote your own. Any online marketing campaign should include it. However, AdWords alone will not help you improve your rankings. Some people believe that if a corporation pays Google, Google will treat them better in organic search, however, this is not the case. Organic results and paid adverts are clearly distinguished on any average search page. A PPC ad campaign will give you a ranking in the sense that it will make you visible on the advertisements side of the page, but it will have no effect on your organic ranking.
Myth #22: SEO is a once-and-done process
This is a common blunder made by many websites. When a site is brand new and has only recently been developed, the owners will invest in SEO and then assume that everything is done. SEO, like real-world marketing, isn’t something you can perform once and then forget about. Rather, it is a continuous operation that must be completed over a lengthy period of time, often the site’s entire lifespan. This is due to the fact that the internet is not a written encyclopedia, but rather a media that is continually changing. New competitors emerge search engines alter their algorithms, new marketing opportunities emerge, and once-valuable links can become stale and irrelevant.
You can ensure that your rating does not decline by regularly monitoring your SEO efforts, and you may continue to focus on new strategies that may prove to be more effective.
Myth #23: SEO firms can provide assured results
This is a common, yet utterly false, promise made by several marketing firms. They say that if you use their procedures, you will get assured results. However, no one can claim that a process is infallible, just as SEO is not something that you perform once and then forget about. Everything evolves on the internet, and you never know when something that worked previously may no longer work. Some strategies are plainly superior to others, but no one can promise success. Also, if there was a miraculous way to acquire a high ranking, you can bet it would leak out at some time, and then everyone would use it, rendering it useless.
Myth #24: Placing too many links on a single page can result in a penalty
Some individuals believe that having a particular number of links on a page can harm your rankings. Placing more than a hundred links on your landing page, for example, is bad for Google and will result in you being punished in some way. While it is true that spamming links on a website is not a good idea, and the Google bot can tell when a page is being used as a linkbait, you should not be afraid to produce pages with a lot of links. There will be no penalty as long as they are relevant and part of your site’s normal navigation. The worst that can happen in these situations is that Google decides to ignore part of a hundred links, but that’s it.
Myth #25: Internal links have no bearing on SEO
Many people simply consider linking in terms of backlinks, focusing solely on getting other websites to link to their own pages. Internal linking is vital, just as your site structure is because search crawlers aim to behave as much as possible like a normal online viewer. Google will be able to tell if your site has poor internal navigation, and you may get penalized as a result. Take the effort to build solid internal links and a simple navigation strategy for your website. This is a simple process that you should not skip.
Myth #26: The amount of Facebook likes or tweets is the most important factor in SEO
The signals generated by these sites are fed into search engines in real-time, and social media has acquired a vital part in how people obtain information on the web today. Because of the amount of time individuals spend on Facebook and Twitter, no modern business should neglect social media. However, no single social media site can be considered the holy grail of SEO. Even while obtaining Facebook likes is beneficial, it is no more so than the numerous other methods available. Also, others argue that while many individuals spend a lot of time on social networking sites, they do so to talk to friends rather than to buy items, therefore the value of a like is still not as widely known as the value of a high Google ranking.
Myth #27: Keywords aren’t as important as they once were
In order to attract more visitors, websites used to be built with a paragraph at the bottom crammed with keywords, a practice is known as keyword stuffing. In recent years, savvy marketers have understood that this is no longer necessary; in fact, search engines strongly discourage the practice. This isn’t to say, though, that keywords aren’t still vital. While keyword stuffing should not be done on a page, having a reasonable percentage of your keywords in the actual text is still important. When someone searches for a term on Google, the number of times that term appears on your page is still significantly weighed.
Myth #28: Using larger headers will help you rank higher
Because search engines look at the layout of your site, header tags like H1 and H2 are important. You need headers that make sense and contain your keywords so that the search engine knows what the content is about. However, the size and style of these headers, as well as the CSS arguments you use, are irrelevant because Google and other search engines are more concerned with content and usefulness than with artistic design.
Myth #29: Keywords must be exact synonyms
Although it is true that words must match what people type into a search engine, there are arguments for utilizing words other than the keywords you have chosen. Most terms, for example, have a large number of synonyms, which people frequently put in. You can be sure to get those queries as well if you use a bigger number of keywords. Furthermore, while keywords will get your site to the top of the search results, whether or not someone will click on your link is determined by the headline of that link. You get more than merely repeating a list of keywords by having an interesting title, something that people want to click on.
Myth #30: Google Analytics can track people’s movements
Because Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics program on the internet, some people believe they are being watched. However, Google has said numerous times that no personal data is transmitted through Google Analytics. Indeed, if you utilize this service on your own website, you’ll see that all of the data you have access to is anonymized, and you only see numbers rather than people.
Myth #31: You should finish your website before focusing on SEO
Although SEO can be considered as a type of marketing, and most marketing efforts are undertaken after a site has been created, there are some actions that should be taken before that. For instance, you should ensure that your site has a good layout, navigation, META tags, and titles, among other things. All of them are part of SEO and should be completed while the site is being built. Remember that search engines can locate your site as soon as it goes live, so make sure your SEO is ready for when Google crawls it for the first time.
Myth #32: Purchasing links, likes, or tweets will improve your website’s ranking
There are numerous websites that sell Facebook likes, followers, and other social media services. Those services are frequently advertised as being inexpensive, such as 10,000 likes for $10. However, in the vast majority of cases, they are not worth the investment. For starters, they’re almost always bogus accounts, bots that mass follow for a fee. Because they aren’t real individuals, no one will see those social signals, and as a result, they won’t help you rank higher. Worse, many websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google, prohibit such behavior, and if you are caught, you may be delisted.
Myth #33: Paid links are always from unverified sources
Many of those bought connections will come from questionable sources, such as bots or proxies, in the case of bulk services. Many legitimate websites, on the other hand, sell links in the form of advertising or even special treatment. You may have highly valid links on high authority sites in certain circumstances, and those can help your site rank higher in search engines.
Myth #34: Google is incapable of detecting bad or spammy links
Some people who buy bulk links or use automated methods to spam blog posts believe that Google will not detect them and that their unethical tactics will benefit them. Because Google and other search engines are not part of the secret police, this may be accurate in many circumstances. However, while individual poor connections may go undetected, the greater risk is that the sites on which your links are put will be discovered and removed from the index, or that the algorithm will be changed to make those backlinks irrelevant. You may notice a significant shift in your rating as a result of this.
Myth #35: It’s not a good idea to have too many outgoing links
Some people believe that only a few outbound sites should be linked to. There is only one situation in which linking to other sites might be detrimental to your ranking: if you join a backlinks network solely to improve your position. In such circumstances, if one site is discovered, it is possible that all of them will be attacked. In any case, Google and other search engines are unconcerned about the number of outbound links you have, and there is no restriction to how often you can connect to other sites.
Myth #36: You don’t need PPC marketing if you have good SEO
Even if a site spends a lot of work on SEO and has excellent organic results, PPC advertising can be beneficial. Surveys show that those who click on advertising and those who click on organic links aren’t always the same, so doing both can be worthwhile if you have the funds. PPC links are also guaranteed to cost you only when someone clicks on them, and they are not affected by algorithm changes like the Panda update.
Myth #37: You can tamper with search results
Many marketing sites try to spread the misconception that they can control search rankings in ways that aren’t possible with standard SEO. The goal of SEO is to improve your website’s ranking. If there was another way that truly worked, it would be considered SEO by definition. The truth is that there is no magical technique to manipulate search rankings, and when someone claims to be able to, they usually mean that they will employ unethical methods to boost your ranking. However, using spam and other spammy tactics puts your site at risk. You might get a boost today, but you’ll pay for it afterward.
These are some of the most common SEO myths, as well as some of the most important aspects of SEO. SEO takes time because it is a continual and never-ending activity, but it pays off handsomely. What SEO entails is the inclusion of numerous changes on and off the website, which can only be done efficiently by SEO professionals, so consider twice before falling into the wrong hands.
- Content Source: EzineArticles
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