11 SEO Myths Debunked That You Should Stop Believing
Here are 11 SEO myths you should never believe:
1. XML sitemap can boost search rankings
While Google XML sitemap isn’t important to your rankings, an XML sitemap helps make the site crawlable. However, an XML sitemap will not provide you with a boost in rankings.
Each time you create a new post, your sitemap gets updated with your new pages and submitted to Google and other search engines.
Trevor Foucher of the webmaster tools team clearly answers one of his questions on sitemaps “sitemaps don’t affect the actual rankings of your web pages”.
Sitemaps work as a bonus for easy crawling. It organizes all the pages to guide crawlers on what your site is about. Other than making indexing and crawling fresh content faster, the purpose of sitemaps is not really extensive.
2. SEO Is A One-Time Thing
Considering SEO, a one-time thing has been a huge mistake among businesses. It’s not about you did it once and you’re done, SEO is an ongoing process that needs to be managed consistently. Algorithm is changing, and competition is increasing. Thus, SEO has to be constant.
The root of this myth grows when some marketers saw positive results after applying a few strategies. Until they start to see major drops either in the ranking or traffic, they are almost convinced they don’t need to worry about SEO anymore.
The fact is, you need to keep up with the latest trends, and updates and re-evaluate your strategy accordingly. So, it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t by tracking your SEO performance over time.
3. PPC Ads Can Help You Rank Higher
Google confirmed about PPC ads can help you rank higher is a myth, that it’s not true. But that doesn’t mean a PPC campaign can’t help you grow traffic. The results from the PPC ads campaign are clear, it helps show up high on Google and get backlinks. The more referring domains link back to your website, the higher the chances of ranking.
But, PPC campaigns have to be well strategic and planned to work. So, the bottom line is, that PPC ads won’t directly help you rank higher in the organic search results. If done right, it can help you achieve more backlinks which translates into an improvement in rankings.
4. Buying Backlinks Will Work
Authority is one of the most important Google ranking factors. Backlinks are the key to building domain authority and get traffic from different sources. Unfortunately, many marketers think buying backlinks would work for them but it’s a myth.
At the start, it’s tough to get backlinks. That’s why many businesses are selling many backlinks for a responsible price.
It seems pretty straightforward that you’ll buy thousands of backlinks and will generate a first-page Google ranking. However, it can go totally opposite for you. Buying backlinks can hurt your rankings.
Make sure to focus on quality instead of quantity. Get links from relevant websites to achieve the quality of backlinks since relevancy is a key factor in ranking. So, instead of paying for backlinks, keep it organic.
5. Speed Doesn’t Affect SEO
Taking page speed trivial is another SEO myth considered by marketers. No visitor likes to wait for a page to load and prefers going back to the search. It is a fast-paced era and if your site takes too long to load, the chances are, you’ll likely lose customers.
A one-second delay can cost you a lot of money and lose customers. Since the usage of smartphones is increasing, you need to make sure your website speed is optimized both for mobile and desktop.
A site loading increase from 1s to 10s can result in a 123% higher chance of bounce rate. There is a range of optimization methods you can implement to help you reduce high loading time. CSS/JS minification, image optimization, and CDN integration are some of the best ways to speed up your website.
6. Social Media Signals Help You Rank
Social media helps you rank in the search is an SEO myth. Based on this myth, the more shares you get on social media, the higher you’ll rank. The truth is, Google confirmed that social signals don’t affect search rankings, at least not directly.
The reason why the social signal isn’t a ranking factor could be because it can be easily manipulated like buying backlinks.
Even though it isn’t a ranking factor, it can still help you build backlinks and get more traffic & more exposure, leading to higher rankings.
7. Keyword Stuffing Increase Ranking
Keywords in the content are crucial for ranking and help search engines understand what the page is about. However, keyword stuffing is a completely wrong practice. Keyword stuffing is fine is an SEO myth.
A natural way of writing an article allows adding keywords more naturally instead of loading. The ideal keyword density is 1-2 % which means 1-2 keywords per 100 words of content. Crawlers are getting smarter to understand the context of an article. So, if use keyword stuffing for a ranking purpose, you’ll get penalized.
8. Don’t Target Low-Traffic Keywords
It’s a myth that only targeting high-traffic keywords will get millions of searches per month while leaving low-traffic keywords. Instead, you should target low competitive i.e., low traffic keywords that are relevant to your business.
In other words, choose long tail keywords. Having a low volume of long-tail keywords makes them highly converting and more intent-focused.
Focusing only on high-traffic keywords is one of the common SEO mistakes. So, it’s better to choose low traffic keywords because of their lower competition.
9. Duplicate Content Gets Penalized
Duplicate content is undoubtedly bad from an SEO standpoint. But does it really get penalized by Google? No, it’s a myth.
Duplicate content comes when the same content appears on multiple URLs but it cannot lead to penalization.
Instead, duplicate content can face a drop in traffic as suggested by the data, but not because of Google’s penalty.
The same content makes it difficult for Google to set ranking. The good news is, it can easily be fixed. Identify what content is duplicate and what is original and make changes accordingly.
10. Meta tags don’t matter
Meta tags are HTML tags that appear in between the opening and closing <head> tags. The meta tags appear in the snippets for a specific webpage in the search results. It’s totally a myth if you think meta tags don’t matter from the ranking point of view.
There are three main elements of meta tags including the title tag, the meta description, and meta keywords.
While the Meta title is a necessary element of the page, the meta description is optional. However, without a meta description, Google will pull random text from the page to appear as a preview snippet.
Moreover, eye-catching meta tags can attract new visitors to your website, gaining more clicks on a webpage. It will improve your content marketing efforts.
11. Keyword-rich anchor text is no longer helpful
After the Google Penguin update, most sites with overoptimized anchor text got penalized. However, keyword-rich anchor text helps boost search ranking if used naturally.
But, to say that keyword-rich anchor text will no longer be relevant for search engine ranking is a myth.
An anchor text takes users from one page to another with the help of a link. Of course, contextual links are 5-6 times more likely to rank than the usual author profile link.
Keep in mind that excessive use of keyword-rich anchor text will negatively affect your site rankings.
Search is constantly evolving, you need to stay mindful of the strategies that work and keep yourself miles away from the SEO myths. Don’t fall into any kind of trap which doesn’t allow your business growth while catering to the needs of your target audience using Search engine optimizations.
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