In Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and digital marketing there are bits of information that are repeated over and over again but in reality, are false and idealess. In my experience, some of the most misleading information online is about SEO. Unless you are careful enough when doing your research, you might be tempted to believe the SEO myths that will only succeed in stagnating your digital marketing efforts. In this post, we look at the top 20 SEO traffic engaging myths everyone should know about. Read on:
- That you must submit your website to Google
That you must submit your site to Google so that you appear in the search results or get ranked is a fallacy. The truth is, a new website can submit its URL directly to Google, but Google itself, can still find any website even without submitting its URL and rank it.
- That more links work better than more content
Previously, SEO typically worked by building as many links as possible. In fact, building the most links was the surest way to ranking higher. Even today, links building is still one of the most essential ranking factors. Therefore, you must build links in a more different fashion than what you are already used to.
- That SEO is all about ranking
Even though the placement of search results and click-through rates are closely related, ranking is not any longer the ultimate goal like it used to be. While studying click-through rates as well as the user behavior we find that the searchers are likely to select top search results, especially the first three listings. Nevertheless, on the successive pages, listings that are around the top of the page also exhibit similar click behavior. Even without all that, rankings alone guarantees no success. After all, what’s the need for ranking well for a term, getting tons of traffic and not making a dime from it?
- That Meta Descriptions impacts greatly on search rankings
Meta descriptions are elements of HTML that precisely describe the contents of a webpage. You must have seen them on Google’s SERPs, where they’re used as preview snippets. Most likely, Google’s algorithm uses the Meta descriptions to determine search rankings.
- That pop-ups hurt search rankings
As an inbound marketer, you’d love to create more memorable experiences for your website visitors, while also striving to generate leads for the sales teams. Most marketers prefer to have a pop-up form on their website pages to help them generate these leads. In any case, pop-ups work, but misusing them may cause a lot of controversy on whether marketers should use them or not.
- Keywords optimization is the key to SEO
Before, it used to be essential that you write content that matches your exact keyword. At present, Google uses a machine-learning algorithm known as RankBrain, which uses a variation of Word2vec for finding keyword topics related to one another. The RankBrain uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to set in a massive amount of written language into mathematical entities, dubbed vectors, which the computer can understand.
- That keywords must be an exact match
When writing, there is no reason to repeat keywords all through your content. On the contrary, you need to use the keyword or a keyword ranking software to bring the information out in a way that it is useful for your audience. Nothing kills the content like an awkwardly framed headline just so it includes one keyword phrase or worse that which forcibly repeats a keyword phrase.
- That H1 is the most essential on-page element
Though H1 is an important element but honestly speaking it’s not the most essential element on the pages. Talk of the webpage content structure and outline, it is a tiered approach of presenting info to users as well as search engines. Your choice of header tag that the headline is wrapped in do not have much influence on your SEO.
- That homepage requires more content
There is a homepage littered with content and that which barely have any content? As a gateway to your business, your homepage is the best opportunity to make your first impression as well as convey what you are offering your consumers. It’s not true that the homepage requires more content to be ranked high, however it requires relevant content and information that makes sense to prospective consumers.
- That content is all you need to rank high
You have probably come across the phrase “Content is KING.” Well, in my capacity as a content marketer, content is less of a king, but rather more of a much-valued business partner in terms of site design, links, and usability. Typically, while content and links are both essential in the SEO world. You need to have both because none will work without the other.
- That a secure https encrypted website isn’t important for SEO
Have noted the difference in HTTP:// and HTTPS:// URLs? Most likely, you must have seen that one has an additional “s”, especially when browsing on sites that require sending over delicate information. It means that connection to the website in question is encrypted to prevent hackers from intercepting any of your data. Therefore, https encrypted site, as well as SSL, are essential elements for SEO ranking. You can buy cheap SSL from ClickSSL to secure your website.
- That page speed is not so important
According to Google, the speed of a page can only be used as a tie-breaker when all the other factors are the same.
- The myth of keyword density
A few years down the line, keyword density used to be very essential for ranking purposes. Later, Google got smarter and disposed of keyword stuffing as a feasible practice. Even people who had been investing their efforts on keyword density could no longer find them helpful.
- That you don’t need a sitemap
Presently, sitemaps are not so good to have for your websites. When Google finds it hard to crawl a portion of your website, Sitemap enables the crawler to better find the pages. Eventually, both XML and HTML Sitemaps are going to be the best way for Google to find all the pages on a website to be ranked or indexed due to the reduced size of navigational elements.
- That big brands did it, it must be right
The worst mistake a business or individual can ever make is do something because others did the same. There are lots of websites imitating wrong website decisions from one another because they think big brands or first comers are always right.
- Algorithm Devaluations and penalties
Google has two different site devaluations. Some of the algorithms include Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, Pirate, Layout, etc. these algorithms can giveth and taketh away; meaning that not every website sees devaluations from the update of these processes, most of the sites see positive results. In other words, this is known as “algorithmic change” and not a penalty.
- That duplicate content has a penalty
There is NO and has never been a duplicate content penalty. Google has a filter for duplicate content, such that if there are two or more similar content, Google will not rank both of the contents for the same query. Instead, it will rank only one.
- That social media helps you to rank
The social media as a whole can help you get exposure, which may earn you links and citations and hence better rankings. However, this doesn’t mean that posting on social media is integrally helpful when it comes to being ranked. Social media won’t give you links but will encourage other people to link back to you. Additionally, social media posts may escape the ecosystem and provide you with a true website link. It’s more about visibility and getting people to share your content.
- That buying Google Ads can improve your site organic ranking
This is a big NO. If you invest in PPC alone, it won’t improve the organic search rankings. No matter how much budget you allocate for Google AdWords, your site may still live and die in organic by the organic algorithms. There are other effective ways of boosting website organic rankings.
- That the more the pages the better
Most people think that if you have many pages, you’ll get more traffic to your site. As it is with link-building, content creation isn’t just about having more pages, but you need to ensure you are focusing on the quantity as well as quality too. Without good content, you cannot rank well and even the many pages you created cannot be of help.
With this constant change in mind, myths and wrong information get spread fast, and since the search engines only share a little info about its changes, and advertisers find it hard to master the change algorithms. Internet is so full of misinformation as well as bad advice regarding how to invest your money, cook, weight loss, sports, and digital marketing among others. Always be watchful.
Isabel Speckman is a North Carolina-based freelance writer and work-from-home mother of two. In her 10 years as a professional writer, she’s worked in proposal management, grant writing, and content creation. Personally, she’s passionate about teaching her family how to stay safe, secure and action-ready in the event of a disaster or emergency.