11 Common SEO Myths You Need to Know

There is a common misconception that SEO is something of a dark art, along with mind-reading and divining next week’s winning lottery numbers. Lots of armchair experts claim to have inside knowledge about what works – and what doesn’t – and if you spend an afternoon perusing one of the many online forums devoted to SEO, you will soon discover that there is a lot of confusion surrounding SEO. So what are the biggest myths out there?

1. Using Spammy SEO is Still an Effective Practice

Using a range of black hat spam techniques might improve your rankings in the short term, but it won't take long for Google to catch up to you. In the past Google has even penalised big shot companies for bad SEO practice. If you are using black hat or unethical SEO techniques it won't be long before your website is blacklisted and this could even mean that your website is removed from Google completely. If you are unsure check this out.

2. Keyword Stuffing is the Way Forward

It’s good to stuff a turkey at Christmas, but if you want to rank well on Google, it is not advised to stuff your website full of keywords. Keywords are important, but they need to appear naturally in the content. Google has recently stated unnatural examples of keyword stuffing here.

Head of Google's Webspam team, Matt Cutts, has said that "It doesn't really help you to keep repeating that keyword over and over and over again. And at some point we might view that as keyword stuffing and then the page would actually do less well, not as well as just a moderate number of mentions of a particular piece of text."

3. The More Links, the Better

Backlinks are good, but too many links of poor quality will damage your website. One high quality link to an authoritative website is worth umpteen paid or low quality links to blog networks maintained by the same owner. The Penguin update was designed to overcome link spam and has penalised many website which have carried out spammy link building.

4. Budget Content is Good Value

Once upon a time, you could spend peanuts on web content and enjoy great results in the search engine results. As long as your content contained the right keywords, it didn’t matter if the writer couldn’t string two sentences together. The not-so-cuddly Google Panda update eventually tore up the rule book and bad content was penalised. How can you avoid Panda Armageddon? Simple - write good quality content that people actually want to read and make sure it's original content which is not taken from other websites.

5. Meta Tags Can Influence Website Rankings

Meta tags were once an important SEO strategy, but spammers put paid to that one. Today, Google and all the other big search engines no longer use meta tags (also known as keyword tags) as a ranking signal.

There are other tags, including the title tag and meta description tag, and although they don’t help ranking, don’t ignore them because they will influence a user's decision of whether or not they visit your website from the search results. For more information on this check out our earlier blog post covering the importance of good meta titles and descriptions.

 6. Exact Match Domains are Gold

Exact match domains used to be SEO gold, but spammers cottoned on to the fact an exact match domain was the perfect place to stick their dubious sales ads for pharmaceutical products. In 2012, Google released an algorithm update that directly targeted exact match domains. So don’t rely on an exact match domain – let your website content do the talking instead.

7. Google Adwords = SEO Success

Just because you might be paying Google thousands of pounds per month for Paid advertising doesn't mean your website will rank any higher in organic search. Google AdWords can help promote your website and help achieve a primary paid advertisement position, however, this will not boost your organic search engine ranking positions - although it can be used to help indicate which keywords are the most profitable.

8. SEO is a One Stop Shop

Many people believe that SEO is a one time job. Once your website ranks highly for your desired search phrases then it's time to stop all SEO works. Unfortunately with the sheer volume of websites competing for a prime online position, if you don't maintain and uphold a regular SEO strategy, it's likely that your website will be left behind.

9. Targeting One Top Keyword Is Enough

Ranking #1 for a top keyword phrase might seem like the best strategy and whilst it might send you a decent amount of traffic, it might not be the best keyword which will translate into sales or enquiries.

Extensive keyword research is important in understanding all of the keyword phrases which are relevant to your business. Once you've established this it's then essential to develop and implement a strategy to help improve your rankings. As always there will need to be some testing involved with this process to identify the keyword phrases which are most profitable to your business.

10. SEO is All Smoke and Mirrors

This misconception is utterly false. Good SEO makes the internet a better place because it helps deliver relevant content to the right audience.

11. It’s Too Late!

It is never too late to start working on your website's Search Engine Optimisation. For information about your website's current performance or if you have a question about SEO speak to a member of our team today.

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