Common SEO Myths That Hurt Search Engine Results
Many of the common SEO myths have been repeated so often that we take them for granted and believe that they are true.
And some things that were true even a year or 2 ago may not be true today.
While the purpose of SEO is to boost your search engine page rankings, it is very easy for business owners and bloggers in charge of managing a website to get confused by the amount of information on SEO.
Many of the myths surrounding SEO also come about simply because traditionally Google has been rather secretive about how its algorithm functions.
And then just when you think you have their algorithm figured out, they change it.
Some common SEO misconceptions clarified:
Table of Contents
Keyword Research Is Unnecessary
Among the most common myths about SEO is that there is no need to do proper keyword research.
Many a blogger are out there with hundreds of articles on their site about topics they wanted to get off their chest.
Guess what? Nobody cares what I think.
That is unless I have written a thorough, well-written article on a topic that exactly (or closely) matched what they were searching in Google.
That is the essence of good keyword research.
And even then, once you figure out what people are searching for, you then have to gauge the competitiveness of what is currently ranking for that term.
Writing an article on the best TVs? If the top results are from CNET and The Wirecutter, you’ll never reach the coveted #1 spot.
So good SEO tips and strategies have to include both search analysis and competition analysis.
For keywords to be effective, you need to know their search volumes because if the search volume is too low for the keyword you have optimized your content, your webpage will not rank well.
But, of course, on Google knows the true search volume, and even if you knew the volume of that 1 phrase, most articles rank for dozens of related searches.
So don’t get too hung up on tools; none are accurate in guessing search volume.
Use your gut, Google autosuggest, Google Trends, and whether ads show up at the top of the page when you search. These will all help you guess at search volume.
The More Keywords In 1 Article, the Better it Will Rank
This misconception goes back to when stuffing keywords in your content without regards to readability helped a post to rank higher.
However, Google figured out that content managers were doing keyword stuffing to get a better rank and that the quality of the articles was often low.
Google now penalizes posts that have an excessive number of keywords.
It is also far more understanding of the contextual meanings of keywords and can figure out if certain keywords have been deliberately inserted out of context.
So write your articles for the reader and the right keywords will naturally find their way into your article.
Forcing keywords into the content or stuffing them is a surefire way to earn a manual penalty.
Content Does Not Matter – Only the Keywords Do
Many SEOs think that identifying keywords and targeting them are the only things that matter to achieve good search engine rankings, and the quality of content does not matter. Or at least not as much as the keyword research.
In truth, finding the right keywords, assessing the competition before you write, and writing the best and most thorough article on the subject are all equally important.
To rank high in the SERPs, according to Google’s algorithm, your content must be relevant, recent, original, and visually appealing for it to receive a boost in the rankings.
The quality of the content also has to be high enough for it to engage the readers to spend more time on it. If they bounce after 1 minute, you will go down in the rankings.
If users encounter poor quality content or content that is irrelevant or outdated, they will immediately abandon your article and go to the next one down in the list. And guess what? Google sees this and will reward that next article while punishing yours.
According to experts, a high bounce rate is another strong signal for Google to downgrade the ranking. But it also depends on the kind of content you’re creating.
Content that is designed to answer a specific question like “what are the best toasters under $20” is not likely to get a reader to check out a bunch of other unrelated articles on your site.
They searched, found you, checked out your recommendation and then bounced; literally and figuratively.
Content managers need to appreciate that the content they create should be focused on the needs, preferences, and convenience of the user. When you deliver high-quality content, you compel users to remain with you.
To make the page more readable, the writing style should be user-friendly with complex sentences and difficult words avoided. Rather than presenting long blocks of text, the content should be broken up into short paragraphs with distinct subheads that give users a better idea of what the article contains.
If you are too caught up in business operations, you can outsource content creation as well as other SEO responsibilities to a reputed small business SEO services agency.
A Sitemap Improves the Page Ranking
There is no denying the importance of a sitemap on your website.
It not only helps users to find the location of specific contents quickly but also helps Google to discover and index your pages. According to Searchenginejournal.com, site maps facilitate faster indexing by Google. However, the sitemap does not in any way act to give a boot to the search results page ranking.
The utility of sitemaps lies in the fact that they help Google to index your site more effectively, provide information regarding the page update or change, and also help it to discover pages that have been newly added to the site.
However, all of these factors, while helping Google to discover your site’s content, have no impact on the page ranking.
In other words, the greatest content will still find its way to page 1 even without a sitemap. And terrible content that has every Yoast box checked off will still likely never see the light of day.
The Frequency That You Publish Doesn’t Matter
There is a misconception that once you have created content for your website there is no need to keep on creating new content except the occasional blog post to keep all the previously high ranking articles high in the search results.
To leverage your SEO to the maximum, you should keep on adding new content to your website regularly and updating older content.
Not only does this keep users locked into your site but also generates more traffic and leads. According to experts, as many as 60% of businesses add new content every single day!
Search engine optimization is a constantly moving target. And it is hard to achieve good rankings even if you do everything right.
Not only does Google keep on tweaking its algorithm but also your rankings can be affected by what your competitors are doing.
You need to keep on doing SEO and also give enough time for your efforts to bear fruit.