SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process that is applied to make websites visible in Search Engines through organic search results as well as helps in ranking of websites in search engines. It is an ever evolving process, which has changed quite a lot in fast few years. With every new update of Google’s algorithm that is rolled out almost every year, affects SEO to a great extent. However, some core ethics still remains unchanged. The change has affected the results that were achieved by using black-hat SEO and several sites were penalized. Activities like keywords stuffing, link scheme, etc. have been affected and with the frequent updates, it becomes difficult to say which practice will sustain and which will not but, one thing is for sure that Content will always remain the King. However, there are several myths associated with search engine optimization, popularly known as SEO, causing a lot of perplexity among entrepreneurs, webmasters, programmers, designers and also digital marketers. Here are some of the myths about SEO, which holds back from the success that is awaiting you.
- Exact match domains rank higher: There was a time when search engines gave importance to websites that has exact match domains (EMD) but today, these sites don’t last for long in the list of top ranking websites. EMD are those domains that match perfectly with the targeted query of a search engine in order to rank high on SERPs. This was extensively used in SEO to rank websites high on the major SEs but now, with the new algorithm updates by Google, now-a-days doesn’t give importance to such domains and are usually penalized by spam link building.
- Domain Age is important: There are many new websites that outranked old websites. Domain age is a myth that many SEOs still doesn’t know. For a site to rank higher, the quality of content and links matter. If the content in the website is unique and of good quality, nothing can stop it from ranking high on search engine be it new or old.
- Keyword Meta tags is given weightage by Search Engines: Earlier, SEOs used to add Meta tags to the pages with the belief that it provided an opportunity to attract visitors. It was thought that Meta descriptions send out a compelling message, which will improve click through rate. However, Google had announced in 2009 that Meta descriptions will not be given any weightage on deciding Search Rankings. Moreover, Bing, one of the foremost search engines considers it as a spam signal and the sites don’t rank.
- H1 tags are a crucial element for SEO: H1 tags have long been a major and influential factor, which sends out a significant signal to the SEs regarding the content that contains in the page. However, in recent times, it has been witnessed that there is a modest relation between rankings and H1; however, good H1 headings are still important in terms of usability and accessibility but not for SEO.
- Google Penalizes for Invalid HTML: It is myth that Google penalizes for invalid HTML but yes, it doesn’t use authenticated HTML code as a ranking factor. As most websites don’t have proper HTML code and people think that Google penalizes websites that have invalid or broken HTML. However, the fact is not so.
- XML Sitemap Boosts Website Rankings: Another myth that rules the SEO world is that an XML sitemap helps in boosting website ranking in the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. However, the fact is that it only helps SEs to understand the content in the site in a better way. Google has time and again made it clear that it doesn’t facilitate improved rankings.
- Keyword-rich domain names boost rankings in search engines: Many small or big business that is trying to create their online presence often think that Keyword-rich domain names will give a boost to their website’s ranking in the major search engines. However, the fact is that keyword in domain name is not important. Sites that don’t have keywords in their domain names do rank high on Search Engines. Instead of concentrating on specific keywords for a domain names, it is better to spend some time making the site best. Moreover, dot com (.com) TLD is as well no longer important for ranking high on the SERPs.
- Google penalties don’t transfer with 301 redirects: After Google rolled out the various updates on its algorithms, many websites were penalized as they did not meet the requirements. Many SEOs came to a conclusion that moving the old website to a new domain might not pass along the penalty. However, the fact is that Google may pass along the penalty even if the old one is redirected to a new URL with 301. It did work for sometime but now, it doesn’t help much and can as well affect the rankings of your site.
- Links are the most important thing: Link building was a major SEO practice until sometime but with the Penguin update rolled out by Google, practices like link exchange, link scheme, etc. doesn’t work. Relevant and natural links are given importance rather than irrelevant and unnatural links. Rather, content is given more importance, on the basis of which a website ranks high on Search Engines.
- Good Content always ranks high: It is true that good quality and unique content makes it easier for a website to rank high on Search Engines. Along with good content, relevant backlinks and good readership is equally important. Moreover, promotion is also important, which will make your website reach out to the target audiences. This will help in enhancing the visibility of websites and without promotion, even high-quality content might not be known.
- Infographics are no longer important: A myth that many SEOs still believes and follows is that Infographics are no longer important as link power from infographics directories is decreasing. However, there is a new way to use these effectively for link building, known as Guestographics. Millions of blog posts are published every day and it is essential to stand out from the rest. With Infographics, you can definitely provide better value for the visitors.
- Blog isn’t important: Most companies think that blogs are irrelevant for them. But, the fact is that every business, irrespective of their size should have a blog because relevant backlinks and content are essential for ranking. Blog plays a major role in long-term ranking on Google, especially on organic SERPs. In addition, blog helps in establishing a mark on the niche industry as an expert.
The list of myths is quite long; however, these are some of the common myths that most SEOs, digital marketers, developers and entrepreneurs have. Now, let go off the myths and accept the fact that lies behind successful SEO.