SEO Myths You Shouldn’t Believe in 2020
There are many sites that talk about SEO or offer SEO services and sometimes it is hard to determine which ones are legit and which ones are full of nonsense. Some have little expertise but offer a lot of principles and strategies. Some are new in the business and yet promise the moon for your website. Which tips should you believe and which services should you sign up for? Well, knowing which SEO myths you shouldn’t believe helps you avoid unhealthy SEO practices that could harm your business or website. Read on to find out more.
“Affiliation with Google” claims.
When you land on a site that says, “We are affiliated with Google.”, chances are, that’s a myth. Google does not have SEO affiliates or partners. Sure, they have Google Partners program, however that is only for Google Adwords and has nothing to do with SEO. Also stay away from companies that guarantee top Google rankings. No one can provide you with that guarantee.
“Keyword targeting is no longer relevant.”
Since Google Hummingbird came out, the system and methods of keyword searching were rocked. With a new mindset in play, content writers had to change strategies on how to get people to find their content.
Because of Hummingbird, the attention shifted to searcher intent. Searcher intent revolves around the “why”, particularly, why does the person search for a particular keyword or keyword phrase? The overall strategy has now moved to a focus on producing rich content that “keyword searchers” will find helpful. As a necessary response, SEO practices and content production had to prioritize answering that. Content creators now began worrying less about keyword ratios. Websites also eased up on spamming keywords in the body of an article.
And that’s just right. Solid, valuable content is what pages need. However, it’s important to note that keywords remain equally important because, how can a searcher find your content without keywords? Top searches indicate which keywords are popularly used by those looking for information on the Internet and it benefits to know this information so you can better apply keywords with the right ratios to increase exposure for your particular content and to increase your chances of landing on search results.
“Guest blogging is no longer useful.”
Sometime in 2014, Matt Cutts, an American software engineer, and Administrator of the US Digital Service said that those who are using guest blogging as a means to get links should stop doing that. Many SEOs subscribed to Matt’s opinion and started advising against guest blogging. But what a lot of these SEOs didn’t get is that Matt Cutts wasn’t speaking against guest blogging itself, rather, he was speaking against allowing outside authors to place crappy content on a site.
Guest blogging is very much useful today. If you think about it, high authority sites like CNN, eHow, Mashable, and the New York Times all have outside authors (or guest bloggers) regularly contributing content on their sites.
Web owners just need to keep in mind that effective content marketing is dependent on good-quality content and a strong link profile. They should consider the types of articles to allow and screen them for uniqueness. They also need to pay attention to how and what anchor texts are used including the links that point to and from the site.
In addition to unique and good content, there are a number of ways you can make good use of guest posts. Focus on building relationships and not just getting backlinks. Don’t just target getting published on a trusted blog for links. Make and strengthen connections. Also, engage the end-users. Reply to the comments and enlarge your email list. Build your brand by using your brand name or site URL as an anchor text. This is better for natural link building. Also, target contextual links. Keep links within the content itself because putting your link in an author profile doesn’t do much.
“Meta tags are optional.”
Meta tags are HTML codes that you put between the opening and closing “head” tags. They serve as preview snippets for your webpage whenever they appear in the search results. The meta tag includes the content title tag, its meta description, and meta phrases or keywords.
The title tag is a required page element but the description is optional for you to fill in. However, if you think about it, completing your meta tag elements should not be optional for you. They’re actually essential elements for a number of reasons. For one, if you don’t fill in the description, Google might pull some random text from your page as a preview. Searchers may just ignore your site because the random text doesn’t really match what they are specifically searching.
The goal is to provide relevant information that will get searchers to click your particular page so it only makes sense that you spend time on providing correct meta descriptions. Clear meta-data connects you with your target audience and improve the attractiveness of your web page, which will result in more clicks from search engine users.
Consider using meta tags at all times. It’s easy to do anyway. Putting them in is not a complicated task anymore. Tools like WordPress plugins and Blogger templates guide you and provide a space for you to put all the information in.
“Paid search will improve organic rankings.”
AdWords PPC is unlikely able to help you with your organic rankings. PPC sponsored links are based on bid and total budget while organic search results naturally come from the index database. You can use paid search to help improve conversion rates for organic results but not for improving rankings.
While there may be no clear correlation between paid rankings and organic rankings, paid search, of course, has its benefits. Using paid ads strengthens your brand identity when it shows above organic rankings. Paid ads also provide insight on the best keywords you can use to optimize your site for high-quality organic searches. As you pay attention to click-through rates, you get access to relevant information on keyword targeting which you can then use to test out different campaigns.