5 SEO Myths
Website owners want their sites to feature at the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs). SEO consists of tools and techniques that help websites accomplish that. While SEO has been around for two decades by now, there still remain some persistent myths about what SEO is about. First of all, SEO is neither dead nor is it dying anytime soon. SEO is not spam and everyone cannot do it. SEO is a job for SEO professionals.
Buying a bunch of links or having a lot of backlinks on the site is not automatically going to take the site higher on the SERP. Similarly, good content by itself is not guaranteed to improve the website’s rank in search results. Nor is it important for your rankings that you update your home page frequently. Remember that Google PageRank is just one of hundreds of factors that determine how a site ranks in Google’s natural search results. Above all, SEO is not a one-time activity. SEO is not a ‘fire and forget’ missile. Just as your website is never finished, nor is SEO.
Let’s take a look at a few more myths and debunk them.
Myth: I need to submit my site to Google
The idea that you need to submit your site to Google for Google to show your site in search results is incorrect. Google will find your site irrespective of whether you submit it or not. Crawlers will find your site and index it in due course; it’s what ‘search engines’ do.
Myth: Links are the most important ranking factor
Nothing can be farther from the truth. Relevance is the most important factor and not ‘links.’ When someone makes a search query, Google fetches results based on relevance such as the presence of the search keywords in the site’s content, preferably in the title. The importance of the ranking factors that Google uses also varies depending on the search query.
Myth: Good content makes SEO irrelevant
The need for good content is often stressed thus creating the perception that good content by itself obliterates the need for any SEO at all. But that is not the case. You need good content, sure, but you also need to write while keeping your target audience in mind. Your content has to target certain keywords to attract your target audience. Your content has to be relevant for your target visitors. Perform some smart traffic analysis and keyword analysis to learn more about the visitors to your site and about your top performing posts.
Myth: Bounce rate is a ranking factor
Google goes for more reliable measures of a user’s behavior than simple bounce rate. Google uses something called ‘pogosticking’ where if a user clicks on a page, leaves quickly and then clicks on a different page and stays there for a long time, then Google infers that the user was probably not satisfied with what he found on the first page he visited. Additionally, Google has access to other user behavior metrics such as Google Toolbar data and click data from Chrome.
Myth: SEO is all about textual content
If you have Googled long enough, you’ll have noticed that for some searches, the top results can be images or YouTube video links, or even maps. This makes sense. Really, it makes sense that when you search for ‘Randy Pausch Last Lecture,’ the top link is the YouTube video of his famous speech. So, in fact Google values content in a variety of forms and not just the written word.
These are a few of the top myths about SEO. There are many more. Some old myths have probably been laid to rest but rest assured that as the landscape of search continues to change, other new myths will surely come up and replace the old myths.
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