SEO is evolving at a rapid pace with the newer advances of technologies. There are many old or bad pieces of advice for SEO which are spread across the internet. Here are some of the SEO Myths which you should avoid.
The key to the higher ranking of your website is how Search Engines like Google or Bing sees and understand your site. That technique to optimize your content for Search engines along with human is known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. And when it comes to SEO, nothing is constant. Everything keeps on changing.
There are tons of things one needs to pay attention to for better SEO results, but the fact is, there is a high chance that the methods which you’re working on might be one of the SEO myths.
SEO Myths Which You Should Avoid
If you believe in any of these myths, you’re not only wasting your time but you could also do some serious damage to your website.
Before debunking some SEO myth in this article, you should know that every day a new SEO myth is born but the old one does not die. Which results in the ever-increasing population of those myths.
It’s not necessary to be aware of all these myths but at least the popular ones before investing your time into various strategies.
SEO Myth 1: Your Bounce Rate Should Be Lower
A bounce rate is simply how many pages a user is browsing on your website before leaving the site. Higher bounce rate means most of the people leaving on the page they land without exploring your site.
One of the long-lasting SEO Myth is you should always put more efforts to lower your bounce rate.
The idea behind this myth was Google uses the bounce rate to determine if the user has found the correct result and likes it. Lower bounce rate tells Google that you have quality content and they will send more users to your pages.
Sounds genuine, right? Then why I am calling it a Myth?
Because now Google understands the intent of the search.
If I am looking to buy something and searching for feedback, do you think I will go and explore the other pages on the site?
Most of the people will not do that. They will check the feedback and if they get what they are looking for, they will go and buy the product. Otherwise, they will go back to Google and look for other pages. In both cases, your Bounce rate is higher.
Google understand that for searches with buy intent, bounce rate will be higher and if people are leaving the site to go and buy the product, it is the desired result. They rank the search results accordingly.
So rather than just putting more efforts on lowering your bounce rate, check the keywords and decide what do you want from that audience. This will help in deciding what bounce rate should be acceptable for your site.
SEO Myth 2: More Backlinks Means Higher Ranking
Personally, I’ve seen many bloggers out there who focuses on creating a higher number of backlinks instead of quality links. They’re clearly not aware of this myth.
Before you guys start jumping on me, wait a second. I didn’t mean that backlinks are not important – they are but only the quality ones.
The era where you can create thousands of link to rank your pages is gone. Now thousands of backlinks from spammy websites, forums etc is going to damage your website rather than improving it.
Google has issued many updates in the past like Penguin or Panda, which has corrected this behavior. They do penalize the sites which participate in those link building activities and lower their ranking.
What to do if you have already build low-quality backlinks to your site?
There are tools like Moz, Ahref which can help you check your sites backlink profile. You should make a regular practice to check your backlink profile.
If there are low low-quality links, you can either request the webmasters to remove those or raise a disavow request to Google. This way your site will not be hurt by those low-quality backlinks.
SEO Myth 3: Nofollow is of no use for SEO
If you’re new to SEO then you might have heard about Dofollow and Nofollow backlinks.
Dofollow link passes the link juice (page authority) which helps in ranking your page. Nofollow does not pass any page authority and is of no use for SEO. This is a Myth.
Nofollow and Dofollow is just a direction to Google Crawl engine, nothing else. They both are important for your SEO, in fact, a Nofollow backlink can actually rank your post on the first page of Google.
I have written a post in last Oct. It’s a quality content with a long-form detailed tutorial for the readers but I didn’t get any time to do promotion for that. It was sitting there without any traffic on the site for many months.
A few weeks back I got a chance to create a backlink from a high authority site (DA 90+) from a very relevant page. I created a contextual nofollow backlink.
Now, its a quality backlink coming from in-content, highly relevant page and high authority domain but the link was nofollow. This should not impact any ranking for that page.
Here is a screenshot of the traffic for that particular post:
As you can see I got around 500 people last month on that page (Site was hit by Yoast Media Bug and ranking were down for most of the posts). This month I have got similar numbers in 15 days. That’s almost 700-800 extra people per month on my site because of that nofollow backlink.
As I mentioned earlier, Quality is more important than Quantity.
Dofollow or Nofollow, make sure the backlinks you are creating for your site is of Quality and relevant to your content.
SEO Myth 4: More content = Better SEO
A long time old SEO belief, Google loves fresh content and you should post daily on your site.
There is no denying that the more content you have the more opportunity you have to rank in Search engines. But that doesn’t mean your content will rank and fetch audience without any content promotion.
The only good thing about more content is – greater opportunity to create internal links.
Internal links play a good hand in SEO ranks. They are completely in your control and can easily let search engines know about important pages on your site.
You’ve heard it before and I’m gonna say it again because it is important. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
If most of your content is low-quality with very thin pages, it might work against your SEO. The Yoast Media Bug, I talked above, was based on low-quality internal pages.
It doesn’t matter if you post one content in a week or a hundred of them. You can still rank higher as long as your content gives valuable piece of information to readers and promoted correctly.
But if you are just posting content on your site and not doing any content promotions, you are losing a good chunk of traffic for your site.
SEO Myth 5: SEO is a One-time Activity
I’ve heard a lot of people saying that their website’s SEO is almost done.
There is no one in the entire planet who can complete your SEO. In short, SEO is ongoing.
Just like you always update your website with new and improved content, SEO also needs to be updated. At least, for all the newer content which you post, needs SEO and content marketing efforts.
Google and other search engines keep updating their algorithms and you need to keep pace with it.
With so many changes in the algorithm, factors which increase your ranking keeps on changing. You need to understand and adjust your SEO efforts according to that.
They do not release many details about their search algorithms other than few updates specific release logs. So you need to check the impact on your site, make an educated guess on how you are impacted and take actions.
And if your guess was wrong – guess again and take action.
So be ready to consistently put efforts towards SEO for your site.
SEO Myth 6: Duplicate Content can get you in Trouble
One of the long-running fear in webmasters is a penalty for duplicate content on the site. If your site has duplicate content Google will identify and penalize your complete site.
In simple words, you’ll not get any penalty if your website or blog has some duplicate content. The only thing which will take a hit is your SEO efforts.
Let me explain that to you:
If there are some pages which are already indexed in Google and you used some of their content then the Google crawler will ignore your page.
All the time which you’ve spent on optimizing your website to see better results turns to nothing. That’s why many SEO professionals audit your content before applying their SEO techniques.
Google understand that sometime you may want to present an article from another site to your readers. They suggest using “rel=canonical” tag for those purposes. You should add a tag and point it to original URL so Google can understand that it’s just a copy and will not do anything for that page.
If you are using Yoast for SEO, you can enter it on the Advanced section in Yoast SEO meta box.
To check whether your content is duplicate or not, you can use websites like Copyscape. Just paste the content and it will let you know if it is already present on the internet.
SEO Myth 7: Quality Content = Higher Ranking in SERP
You’ll see many people claiming that you can rank well in search engines on the basis of good high-quality content alone. So they will suggest to just keep generating quality content and wait for the results to come.
I have always said the quality is more important than quantity.
But anyone who has used search engines knows how much bad quality content is ranking on the first page. So why quality is not a king here?
Quality is still king.
Just that SERP results are based on two things Content and Content Marketing / SEO. The only issue is that the percentage of content marketing / SEO is bigger in this mix. So if you have done quality content marketing / SEO for low-quality content, it will rank.
Similar way, if you do not do any content marketing / SEO for your quality content, it will not rank.
The only exception is low competition keywords which might rank the article but that would have happened because of social media promotions.
If you’re writing good high-quality content and are still not able to drive much traffic to your blog, then you seriously need to check your SEO game.
SEO Myth 8: Social Media Has No Impact on SEO
Many webmasters see Social Media as an additional channel for driving the traffic to their site. But they do not believe that it adds anything to their SEO efforts.
This very statement is one of the hottest topics of debate in the digital marketing community.
If you want to hear my say on this, it doesn’t matter if Google considers social media as a ranking factor or not. Irrespective of the answer, you should still focus on your social media presence.
Social media acts as a distribution channel for promoting your content.
If you have a nice following, you can create a buzz about your website which ultimately leads to more visitors. This can lead to various ranking factors indirectly helping you achieve better results.
Though, nowadays Google started mixing Social signals in their ranking algorithms as they give a nice hint about what content people are engaging with.
SEO Myth 9: Higher Keyword Frequency = Greater SEO
This one is the most popular SEO myth which you are definitely going to come across. You should have your keyword mention on your page multiple times or at least have a specific frequency.
Many bloggers will just stuff keywords in their content to achieve that frequency. They will use content, meta tags, ALT tags on images to stuff their keyword.
Meta keywords and descriptions used to help in website’s ranking but now they don’t. As discussed already, Google keeps on improving their algorithm. The current algorithm includes something which is known as “Keyword Stuffing”. So if they find you are stuffing your keywords out of context, it will be marked negative for that page.
Google has started using semantic keywords and query intent to understand the people’s search query. So many times results are generated dynamically or pages from different variations of keywords. Like, Google understands Top and Best are used mostly interchangeable so they will rank your pages accordingly.
If you are using a long tail keyword, it doesn’t have to be in the same order always. You can write as it fits the sentence and Google can still realize that you are talking about the same keyword.
So if you’re using a lot of meta keywords in your SEO methods, stop doing it. You will end up getting a penalty instead of better results. Rather than stuffing your keywords, start using LSI keywords which makes more sense in today’s SEO.
SEO Myth 10: Guest Blogging Will Bring Penalty
One of the most used techniques for link building is Guest Blogging.
But a new SEO Myth is floating around which says Google deemed it as a black hat technique and penalize the sites which are building links through guest blogging.
It is true if you don’t know how to do the Guest blogging correctly. Many people just go to spammy sites, put some low-quality article to get a link back to their site. This is as good as building low-quality backlinks which will harm the site more rather than improving its ranking.
You need to put a lot of focus on Guest blogging. Your approach to guest blogging should not be for the link but for bringing your ideas to a new audience.
Find similar niche oriented blogs which have a good presence in the market. Use those blogs for a guest post to create a presence for your blog. Bring new audience to your blog and get a nice SEO benefit along with it.
So, here are some of the SEO Myths which you should avoid while working on the optimization for your site.
Are you following any other SEO Myths or need clarity, do let us know in the comments.