Numerous SEO myths have permeated the industry for years. Unfortunately, these myths are now commonly accepted and used as excuses for many websites to have poor rankings. In this article, I hope to debunk some of the more common SEO myths that I encounter regularly.
Common Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Myths
Before jumping in, I want to provide a couple of disclaimers. First, my findings are based on an experienced professional opinion in the Internet and search fields. Use these claims as general guidance, and always check with search engine professionals before making significant changes to your site to improve your placement on search results pages.
Let’s take a look at some common SEO myths in a nutshell (with some added context):
Myth 1: Content Doesn’t Matter in SEO
Content matters. It’s as simple as that. If you’re a content marketer, SEO specialist, or someone who just cares about getting your website to rank higher for relevant search results, this myth may be a thorn in your side.
Content is king. That’s been true for many years, but it comes with a caveat. Content must be relevant to the user. So if you want to create content optimised for search engines, it’s no longer enough to just produce great content in isolation. Instead, you need to look at the bigger picture.
The content on a website is like the blood flowing through the body. When a site has good content, the visitors stay longer, click more, and have a better experience. They also tend to tell their friends about it. Conversely, when a site has terrible content, visitors leave as quickly as possible. This contributes to Google lowering your rankings.
While the actual value of content is undeniable, the fact still remains that they’re not going to rank if you don’t optimise your web pages. Google is a search engine that gives people answers to their questions; if there isn’t a clear answer, or no answer at all, then Google will not include your page in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). This is why content matters.
Myth 2: SEO is a one-time activity
For all of you that may be new to the SEO world or have only recently dipped your toe into the murky waters of SEO, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the “SEO Myth”. The SEO Myth states: Ongoing SEO activity is optional. This couldn’t be further from the truth. SEO is an ongoing commitment — it’s an investment in your business that requires constant nurturing, nurturing that will continually pay dividends in the future.
If your business has a website, you have to ensure that it’s optimised for search. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process of improving your website and tailoring it to the algorithms of major search engines like Google and Bing. Modern search engines use complex algorithms to compile lists of web pages that are most relevant to each particular search query. The best way of optimising your website for search is by understanding these algorithms.
While it is true that an SEO strategy is unlikely to remain the same over time, it is essential to note that it is not an activity that requires to be carried out only once. SEO is a continuous process and should form part of the overall digital strategy that you need to be constantly be invested in to keep your website on top of search engines and perform better. Search engine algorithms change regularly, and even if you have achieved a high Google ranking, it could disappear overnight.
Myth 3: Using Google Ads will increase organic ranking.
The myth that Google Ads will increase your organic ranking has been floating around for a while now. Many people believe it because they want to believe it – it makes sense … if you are paying for something, then the next logical step is to get to the top of the search engine, right? Many SEO Professionals make assumptions about how Google works, but the truth is that we only know as much as Google is willing to let us know. Should we use Google AdWords to increase our organic ranking? The answer is “maybe”.
Search engine optimisation is about optimising your web pages to rank higher in search engines. Google Ads are about paying a fee to Google in exchange for appearing higher in its search results. It’s important to understand that using Google Ads will not increase your organic ranking. This myth comes from the fact that people sometimes see higher search results after clicking on a Google ad because they have previously visited your page, and they are more likely to revisit your page.
Myth 4: Domain Age Is a Ranking Factor
While it is true that Google has been known to use domain age as a ranking factor, it is not one that SEO Professionals should be relying upon. As a matter of fact, the domain age itself is only one part of a much larger puzzle. A domain is considered younger than its competitors when it’s more recent. Common sense would tell you that the age of a domain won’t help your rankings if your competitors are older than you. Older domains have more than likely built up backlinks over the years, which has assisted in the domain authority, and younger websites still need to achieve that.
Domain age is a ranking factor only when there is a trust relationship between the domain and the searcher. For example, if a searcher landed on a page about a particular disease on the Mayo Clinic’s website, she might be more inclined to trust the information on the page.
What does matter is your website history. Google has this great tool to check if your site was penalised or not. It’s called the Search Console, and it’s available for free. You just need to create an account and then add your website’s URL.
When you hear an idea that sounds good, it’s essential to first ask yourself, what its source is. The SEO community was once full of “solutions”, but they were often based on faulty assumptions or insufficient data. There’s very little to go on these days when you’re trying to create a new SEO strategy for your business.
Talk to a professional for advice before making any decision!