SEO optimization has been in existence for as long as the search engines. Over the years, effective strategies aimed at maximizing organic traffic to websites have been developed and phased out as new algorithms are developed to improve search results. The outcome of these changes is myths that try to explain why SEO strategies and techniques that worked in the past are no longer working.
Over the years, these myths have gone mainstream and have become long-held beliefs in the SEO industry. Not only are they perpetuated by newbies, but also industry professionals who have been using these myths to entrap web developers.
Here are some of the most common SEO myths that you need to know.
SEO strategies are dead/ no longer works
This is one of the most common myths that almost everyone researching SEO has come across. The myth is based on the idea that, regardless of how much effort you put to optimize your site to be compliant with search engine algorithms, you won’t be able to change or increase organic traffic to your site.
This myth assumes that all SEO optimization efforts are the same, and hence will produce equal results. Purveyors of these myths are mostly frustrated that their efforts to rank higher on search engines failed and hence assumes everybody’s efforts did not work also.
This, however, is far from the truth and the reason most people failed is that they were using either outdated SEO techniques or were flagged for using techniques that appeared to be aimed at manipulating algorithms to give them an edge in search results.
To counter this claim, multiple authentic testimonials offer breakdowns on how they could get their site ranked higher and improve their search results. Online resources can also be a good start to learning how to implement an SEO strategy.
Keyword targeting is no longer relevant
In 2013, Google rolled a new algorithm called hummingbird that changed how search engine queries results and what is displayed. To everyone’s dismay, the algorithm ended up changing how over 90 percent of the websites at the time were queried, ranked and how results were displayed to the final users.
The result of this was a panicked SEO profession which, with a blink of an eye, had seen their strategies such as building content behind a keyword destroyed. Google was now focusing on a new thing, quality content.
Sites that used to get quality content were now nowhere to be seen in the Google rankings, and the only logical explanation for the drop in organic traffic was that Google was no longer interested in keywords. However, that could not be further from the truth because Google hummingbird’s algorithm also used keywords to rank these pages.
What is true is that it eliminated bad practices that emphasized creating content for algorithms rather than for their users. However, techniques such as keyword stuffing and keyword manipulating targeting were being targeted because they did not emphasize quality content.
To date, search engines and social media algorithms continue to depend on keywords, and SEO experts who say otherwise are just being untruthful about the truth.
You must submit your site to search engines to get ranked
Years ago, websites needed to submit their URLs to search engines to ensure that they were ranked. Strategies were built behind URLs’ submission to search engines and SEO experts made careers based on this strategy.
However, things have changed, and search engines such as Google and Bing can now track newly deployed websites, crawl them, and rank their pages.
To date, there are still many people who swear by the fact that if a site owner does not submit their website to Google, their sites will never be ranked. They site their evidence to slow growth in organic traffic of sites that do not submit their URLs to Google. However, this is disingenuous of them to use because the rate of growth is the same regardless of whether a site is submitted to search engines or not.
Top-level domain improve rankings
A top-level domain is an extension that occupies the highest position in the hierarchical domain system. Good examples of these top-level domains are .com, .biz, .net and .guru.
If you have ever used search engines, the chances are that you have noticed that most results that are returned have a top level domain of .com. You would be mistaken, however, to believe that the reason .com websites make up a huge chunk of your search results is because search engines favor them.
This is not the case, and according to Google, they have no preference over any specific TLD and strive to give their users quality content without consideration for the TLD. The only time TLD is considered is when TLD are geographical such as .co.uk means that UK audiences will see the content of the websites more regularly than say .com domain in the same country. However, domains such as .com, .net, .guru have a global outlook and hence will continue being displayed globally without any favorability from search engines.
Guest blogging does not work
Guest blogging controversy started with one of Google’s senior SEO experts’ assertions in 2014, indicating those content developers who depended on guest blogging needed to stop. That statement sent the SEO profession into a frenzy, as that was a common SEO strategy back then.
However, what many failed to understand is that he did not say that it was ineffective, he only cautioned those who were using it to manipulate search engines.
Guest blogging, not only is it is able to offer backlinks to your site but it can also new visitors to your site and spread knowledge about your blog. It is important to note that Google does not flag guest blog posts, therefore, it still remains an effective method of improving your SEO.
Buying backlinks is effective
This is one of the most destructive myths in the SEO field, where some SEO experts still believe that paying so that your site can be backlinked is an effective way of improving your site. This cannot be further from the truth. The moment a client pays for their site to be backlinked, especially from link farms, the websites are flagged and Google starts the process of de-ranking your site.
Therefore, website owners should stay away from buying backlinks as much as possible. In case they notice their site is being linked to less authentic sites, they can visit Google Webmaster and de-link their sites from such sites to ensure they are not affected by Google algorithms.
- SEO is a set and forget strategy
One of the longest-held misconceptions is that SEO is a one-time thing, and once you optimize it, you will enjoy unlimited traffic for the rest of the website’s lifecycle. This could not be further from the truth.
SEO experts understand that their strategy should be consistent and with long-term goals. SEO experts are also patient about the fruition of their strategy and anyone promising instant results is either being untruthful or does not understand SEO optimization.