The Biggest SEO Myths in the Last Few Years
Businesses worldwide rely on SEO to boost the search ranking of their websites. During the beginning of the last decade, the web was full of spam that cluttered search results. In the last few years, Google has radically changed its search algorithm to filter out web spam, and hence today’s search results are highly relevant and useful. There have always been myths in the world of search engine optimization. Many people in the past believed that high search ranking requires high keyword density. Many webmasters believed that any link is a good link. Several of such myths were dispelled or modified over time. In this article, you will find a few of the top myths that exist in the world of SEO.
1. Top-ranking companies do everything right
While doing your competition research, you may come across a number of sites at the top for keywords you are targeting. This gives an impression that the high-ranking sites do everything right, from content marketing and inbound links to keyword density and on-site optimization. It need not be true always. As per Google’s webmaster guidelines, the one most important thing to take care of for better ranking is to create a website that is useful to the visitors.
If a website, which hasn’t done anything to improve its SEO, provides unique and highly useful content to its visitors, then the chances are that the people visiting that website will like and share it on social media. People finding the content useful may link to it without being requested. These effects ultimately can boost the ranking of that website. Company sites can rank well due to their popular products that people like and purchase. In essence, there is no guarantee that a top ranking website does everything right in terms of SEO. Of course, the reverse is also true: even if a site has all the keywords, meta tags, links, and content right, it may not rank at the top of search results.
2. Number of links is more important
Many webmasters try to get as many links as possible to their websites. One thing that motivates them to get more links is finding out that their competition has more links. In the past few years, Google and other search engines have reiterated the point that the relevance and value of links are more important than the number of links. Hence, having a thousand links from irrelevant, low-quality sites will not help you as much as fifty relevant, high-PR links.
3. Frequent updating is key to high ranking
Many bloggers in the last decade used to think that content has to be published on a daily basis in order to rank better on Google. Their argument was that publishing content on a daily basis increases the crawling rate of Google bot and thereby increases the ranking of their sites. This is not true. The real key is in publishing relevant and useful content whenever appropriate rather than publishing an article just for the sake of it.
4. Study Google guidelines, or you will be banned from search
Not following everything written in Google’s webmaster guidelines will not get your site banned. In essence, Google’s webmaster guidelines are for avoiding the things that can get you banned. For instance, the guidelines state clearly that you should not stuff keywords in your content or put up doorway pages. Normal people who have no idea of SEO do not stuff keywords, pay for links, or put up doorway pages. So, the takeaway here is to be a normal webmaster and do nothing to manipulate search engines.
5. Articles should be 250 words or above in length
These days, many webmasters are into coming up with articles that are nearly 1000 words in length. The content that some websites publish is only for the sake of SEO, and it may not have anything valuable in it. Articles inflated with power words without providing real value will not rank high. In fact, if an article is valuable enough, it will rank in Google even if it has only a hundred words.
6. It’s impossible to rank higher than big names
High ranking is all about relevance. For instance, a search query such as “iPhone” will give you Apple’s website on the top of search results. On the other hand, a query such as “iPhone store in Omaha” is less targeted, and it is possible for a small website to rank on the top for it. On occasion, a small, more recent website that provides more value for a particular search query than a bigger, established website may rank at the top of search results for that query.
7. Any backlink is worth it
A few years back, a few services existed that would let you create a number of backlinks to your site at no cost. This involved getting links from spam forums, link farms, content farms, etc. People used to take advantage of this. The tactic proved to be of no use for SEO. A link is valuable only if it is from a relevant web page on a good domain. Links from spam sites may actually get you into trouble.
8. High PageRank means high ranking
You probably know about Google’s PageRank system, which is used to rate the authority of a website. A website with high PageRank is considered valuable with unique, rich content. Also, the open web treats that website as an authority by giving links to it. This is the reason why several top blogs and newspaper sites have high PageRank values of the order of 7 – 9. However, high PageRank value in no way translates to high search rankings for a particular search query. For instance, on Google results, there can be a PR5 page appearing below a PR1 page for a specific search query. Only relevance and usefulness of the content can mean high ranking.