SEO Myths And Facts
Over the years, it’s safe to say that we’ve heard and declined hundreds of SEO myths. Often these come from unreliable online sources and obviously budding SEO analysts & businesses that have unfortunately been listening, read somewhere or provided out-of-date or plainly inaccurate information in the past. But the point comes that why is there so much false information being shared & circulated?
“Years ago, SEO was like ancient ayurvedic medicine.
Today, SEO is much more of a blend of art and science.”
8 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind In 2019
The truth is that the digital scenario is constantly evolving, therefore something that worked in the past, may not work today. It’s essential to remain up-to-date, compliance and ahead of Google’s updates to truly succeed in SEO, but by listening to false SEO myths, you could be underperforming when it comes to organic search rankings.
Now, let’s take a closer look at a few of the common SEO myths that are still out there.
1) Create amazing content and outrank your competition
Since Panda was introduced in 2011, there has been an agitation about creating high-quality content. We’ve even heard people stating that your website will be penalized if your content is believed to be of low quality as per Google guidelines. This is FALSE.
At the same time as creating high-quality content is important, it isn’t enough by itself. A recent study by Brian Dean of Backlinko explains how creating amazing content is just the beginning of your journey.
The final step is crucial…
Once you’ve created an amazing piece of content and this will definitely increase the page’s authority in near future, you will need to monitor progress through rank tracker tools like Analytics tool (Google Analytics) and backlink monitor (Ahrefs).
These tools will help you to improve your content and monitor the progress of all your hard work!
2) Meta tags aren’t important for SEO
Meta tags are snippets that appear in the <head> section of the page’s source code and are generally used to communicate the set of information about the niche of a page with the search engines crawlers.
The most common meta tags are:
- Title Tag – the title of your page (up to 60 characters); this appears at the top of your browser and in the SERPs.
- Meta Description – a brief description (up to 160 characters) that describes the page.
- Meta Keywords – a list of keywords that you think relevant to the page.
- Meta Robots – a rule for the search engine crawlers/bots of what to do when they land on your page.
Note – Some SEOs defer the use of meta keywords because these days Google is not giving much attention to webpage incorporated with it. It is regarded as old days tactics.
When we hear this statement, we assume that individuals are referring to meta descriptions, as it is common knowledge that the title tag is one of the most important on-page element, whilst meta robots are required on every webpage.
We will start with the meta description…
Meta descriptions don’t directly contribute to your organic rankings, they are an essential element for driving click-throughs from the search engine results page (SERPs). Many recent studies also suggest that pages with a high click-through-rate (CTR) receive a ranking boost by Google, thus increasing your organic visibility over time.
Now onto meta keywords…
For SEO newbies, you won’t remember the days when Google and other search engines used meta keywords in their core algorithms – this was eliminated as webmasters spammed the feature by overusing/inputting hundreds of variations of the keywords! This is generally called keyword stuffing.
Back in 2017, Google ignores meta keywords, but this doesn’t mean that this strategy is completely dead. Other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing still uses meta keywords in their ranking algorithms, therefore by adding in a few relevant phrases on each page, you are increasing your organic footprint.
3) The more pages on a site, the better your rankings will be
Quality over quantity is true when it comes to the number of pages on your website. A common misconception is that you require hundreds, or even thousands of pages to be supposed to have a high-PR (page rank) site, however, this is just another common SEO myth!
Having too many pages published on one website/blog may hold responsible for lower pages rank, cannibalization (two pages competing against each other) and decreased reader engagement if not implemented efficiently.
The moral of the story; concentrate on generating high-quality pages that will deliver value to the user, rather than many low-quality pages for SEO purposes.
Rather try to invest time and money to craft incomparable content which communicates with blog readers.
4) Your website will get penalized for duplicate content
No doubt that using duplicate content may hinder your organic performance, it certainly won’t result in a penalty from Google, despite what you may have been told. This was confirmed back in the year 2013 by Google’s head of search spam team, Matt Cutts, who announced that it’s nothing to stress about unless you have too many spammy duplicate contents which further points to orphan pages.
A much more likely outcome of having identical content on your website is cannibalizing pages, which could result in high ranking fluctuations, or a page not ranking due to being deemed low quality.
If you’re facing a duplicate content issue, feel free to get in touch and speak to an expert!
5) Nofollow links have no value
Any digital marketer worth that they know the lesser known fact that no follow links are an essential component of any SEO campaign. Whilst they do not pass the page authority from one website to another, there are huge benefits to acquiring no follow links including;
- Having a healthy link profile: Whether you are building or earning links, you need to have a healthy mixture of both do follow and no follow inbound links in order to avoid possible penalties from Google. If your link profile looks unnatural to an SEO, it is also going to appear unnatural to Google which could land you in trouble.
- Referrals: Many major publications only use no-follow links, however, these links are still likely to pass a huge value to your website/blog through internal referrals. As if a recursion of referral traffic isn’t enough, by being featured on well-regarded websites you are further growing your brand image among site visitors.
- Linkbait: You can use no-follow links as bait to attract do follow links to your site, which will definitely pass through all-important link juices. This is a completely natural way to acquire links!
6) Running a PPC campaign will improve your organic results
It’s surprising how many times this has been discussed, despite nobody that is a reputable source implying that it’s true.
Following an AdWords for paid rankings and organic methods to rank for free are entirely separate entities that don’t interfere into each other’s performance, and for most industries, we would recommend running an SEO and PPC campaign alongside one another for the best results.
So, if you were thinking of spending thousands on AdWords in an attempt to increase your organic rankings, please hold on and instead speak to some expert about the benefits of both mediums!
7) Your website platform makes a difference to your organic performance
As a digital marketing agency, we have experience with a range of Content Management Systems (CMS), the most popular being WordPress, Joomla, and Magento. A common SEO myth is that you need to have a website built on a certain platform to ensure that you can perform well in the search engines, however, this is just another myth.
Providing that you have access to the code and a skilled web developer, you can ensure that your website is built for maximum organic performance and outreach. Our only advice would be to choose your developer wisely and avoid using preformatted website builders such as Wix and Divi, as these will almost certainly hold back your SEO efforts regardless of the budget because you don’t know what coding and schemas are used at the backend which may hinder your site performance at times.
8) You need X% keyword density to rank for a particular search term
This myth is a blast from the past, but fortunately, the times of aiming for 3-5% keyword density are long gone!
As Google’s algorithms have developed over times and become more refined, they’re able to better understand natural language, patterns of user searches and deliver a better experience for the user. This has ultimately resulted in the death of keyword stuffing and if you or your SEO agency are still discussing this concept, it’s definitely time for a rethink!
Instead of aiming for a particular keyword density, you should instead be creating content that is relevant, high value and uses semantic keyword targeting like using long tail and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords.
Wrapping things up…
These are just a selection of SEO myths that we’ve been questioned about recently, however, there are hundreds more we could’ve touched on. There are plenty of pitfalls and traps to a successful SEO strategy and implementation.
If you want to discuss any information you’ve received, feel free to get in touch with our SEO team, join us for a coffee or have a chat with me.