The world of SEO is a complex place and the amount of information out there can be very overwhelming – especially when you have to try and decipher the facts from the fiction. Incorrect advice can come around due to many reasons: it may just be outdated advice; handed-down wisdom that has no backed up evidence, or simply just smaller facts that have been blown out of proportion.
To help save you some time, we have put together a list of the top 4 biggest SEO myths to hopefully help you along the way.
High keyword density will improve page ranking
This is also known as ‘keyword stuffing’. It may be tempting to pack your content full of your desired keywords to try and rank higher on Google however, this can actually have the opposite of the desired effect. Google is more likely to lower your SERP ranking if it feels like you have used keyword stuffing in your content, this is because it deems this content as unreadable and less user friendly. This myth stems from back in the day when adding keywords to your page was how you let the search engine know what your content was about however, nowadays (after multiple algorithm updates) this is no longer the case.
In regards to content and keywords, the best SEO approach is to create useful, informative content which uses the keywords appropriately where they make sense and reads easily. The key thing to remember is that your content needs to be written for people and not for bots.
Quantity of links is more important than quality
I’m sure by now you know the importance of backlinks, but how important actually are they? The quantity of backlinks is definitely a ranking factor however, more important than this is the quality of the backlink.
Previously, the quality of links was a sure fire way to rank higher on Google however, this lead to websites acquiring many spammy links in aid of getting a high number of links very quickly. Nowadays, Google has become a lot more efficient at recognising ‘unnatural’ links and is now able to determine the relevance of a link to the website. As well as this, naturally websites tend to get links in slow drips and so if a website randomly acquires a very large quantity of links in a short amount of time then search engines will become suspicious of this.
Following on from this, the backlinks also gain more of an impact if they come from high quality websites i.e. websites of high trust, as opposed to low quality, untrusted websites. So this means that one backlink from a high trusted website is much more valuable than hundreds of links from zero trust websites.
SEO is a one-time thing
SEO is not a one-time event, it’s a constant process due to the ever changing market and competition – not to mention the search engines constantly updating their algorithms! Words that may have not even been around yesterday may be competitive keywords tomorrow and companies who you may have never heard of may be overtaking you for the top spot before you even know it.
As well as this, a lot of SEO involves constantly monitoring rankings and reviewing analytics to make changes to websites depending upon how they’re performing. It has been noted that the better ranking websites are also constantly changing their content, keeping it fresh and updated; this means that piece of content you wrote years ago may not be strong enough to keep your top spot ranking and could do with a bit of a face-lift from time to time.
On top of all of this is also the very important ‘link building’ where the best methods of this are performed gradually and over time and cannot just be a one time thing. A healthy looking backlink profile is one of the biggest ranking factors out there and so this should never be overlooked.
Meta descriptions don’t matter as they’re not a ranking factor
Even though Google has confirmed that meta descriptions are not a ranking factor, this doesn’t mean that they’re not still important. A well written and enticing meta description can actually increase the chance of people clicking on the link to your website and therefore, improving the click through rate. This can actually then have a knock on effect as an increased click through rate over time can increase your overall ranking on the SERP.
The same argument also works for the opposite effect. A well written meta description which describes exactly what the page is about will attract an audience more likely looking for your page, this will in turn keep them on your site instead of then clicking off your page straight away creating a high bounce rate.
Obviously, there are many other myths other than the four mentioned above, but these are some of the most commonly heard and big ones to look out for.