Constantly changing but always misunderstood by online marketers, there remain numerous myths about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Many marketers online continue using spammy methods in the hope of artificially upgrading their ratings in search engine results, and while some of these ways might work for a short while, Google is getting more smarter at finding them and penalizing the sites that make use of these tactics.
Below are ten of the SEO ways that you need to leave behind
Link building is more paramount than content
For many years, SEO was about quantity rather than quality, but Google’s consistent stream of algorithm updates made the search engine more sophisticated than it was. Links are a crucial part of your site’s authority, however, investing in content creation is better. Online marketers should aim at having diverse and relevant sources that link to relevant pages. Content can get used for blogs, web pages, guest posts on other websites that will bring more links over time. Quality content attracts links by itself by way of social media sharing.
Meta descriptions have a significant impact on ranking
Meta descriptions still have not lost value. It is because they still exist to offer a brief description of what an individual web page hosts in the search results which assists users to be able to figure out whether or not to click on the link. While a compelling Meta description can make a site increase web traffic, Google has continually announced that they have no bearing on a website’s placement in the search engine results. The same also applies to Meta keywords tag which is used by many without the knowledge that it does not bring in traffic nowadays.
Google authorship will assist to increase visibility
A few years ago, Google Authorship got touted as the next big move in SEO. It looked promising for a short while, but if one did not take advantage of it then, they missed the memo because it does not exist anymore as a tactic. In mid-2014, Google scrapped off Google Authorship photos from their results pages. While a website’s owner’s byline and name would still appear, their beautiful headshot would not. In 2014 August, Google completely removed the program.
Content must be keyword-optimized
There was a time when Search Engine Optimization was all about the strategic placement of selected keywords, but now that no longer exists. Google is rapidly moving away from matching keywords in search queries to those on web pages to display more natural based results. In keeping this policy, over-optimized content gets penalized. Instead, keyword placements should be used in an economical manner if one needs to have them on their web page.
The more content, the better
The myth that more content results to higher visibility in any search engine is another example of quantity-over-quality. While having a consistent publication schedule is crucial for keeping your web visitors around, the amount of content on a site is not a ranking factor. Instead, your content should be relevant to its audience.
Heading tags are paramount for SEO
It was considered to be a crucial ranking factor; heading tags are gradually fading as far as Search Engine Optimisation is concerned. The purpose of a headline is to tell the targeted audience what an individual web page is explaining. The header tag will likely be similar to the page title, and it should not make excessive use of chosen keywords.
Having a secured site is not paramount for SEO
A secured website has the suffix HTTPS instead of HTTP, and in Google Chrome, it is known by a small padlock beside the website’s address. Google announced in 2014 that it was encouraging sites, especially those that publish any sensitive information, to incorporate the use of the Transport Layer Protocol, and if your site only has an HTTP address, its rankings could slightly drop as a result, but this only applied to websites that share sensitive information.
Guest blogging is not good
In the first month of 2014, Google’s head of Webspam Mr. Matt Cutts told online marketers to abstain from using guest blogging for link building as it has become thoroughly abused with copious amounts of spam. However, guest blogging can be beneficial if it is put to use in the right way, and this means writing relevant content and publishing it on quality blogs instead of article directories, content mills, or other sites that tend to specialize in developing massive amounts of poor-quality content.
Paid advertising will assist in web rankings
Some novice online marketers still consider paid advertising as a way to boost search engine rankings which are not the case. You can imagine how this method of classification would be open to abuse with firms which have a high advertising budget would be able to see their way up into the first pages of any search engine results. Online marketers need to differentiate the difference between gaining paid traffic by paid advertising and gaining organic traffic by incorporating Search Engine Optimisation.
Anchor text should be Keyword-Optimized
Google’s algorithm updates have consistently penalized sites that over-optimize their content with the use of certain keywords; a prime example is using anchor text in place of links. Anchor texts are present to be used by human readers without breaking the natural flow of an article. While disguised anchor text can still be useful, excessive use of any phrases or keywords will likely get your site penalized thus lowering your search engine ranking or getting your site banned.