B igg es t My t hs
i n SE O
The SEO world changes almost daily. New algorithms, guidelines,
and tools are introduced so quickly, it’s enough to give even the
most experienced of SEOs whiplash. This constantly evolving
search landscape is rife with rumors and myths – and here are 14
of the biggest culprits that are infesting SEO today.
Meta tag keywords
Meta tag keywords help provide data to search engines about a
webpage, and back in the day, were actually used by some search
engines as ranking factors. But are they still used today? No. In fact,
Google’s Matt Cutts has made it publicly known that “Google does not
use the keywords meta tag in web ranking.”
Search engines don’t
however, some links will pass PageRank and anchor text (if they
Search engine spiders use links to “crawl” the web for indexing;
have the “dofollow” attribute) while others will not (if they have the
“nofollow” attribute). However, “nofollow” links are still followed by
search engine spiders for indexing purposes.
in reality Google’s ranking algorithm is nothing more than a math
helps your organic
problem. A highly complex one, but a math problem nonetheless
that does not factor in your advertising spend.
When it comes to your search rankings, links are like votes of
links is more
popularity in the high school of SEO. However, some class clowns have
tried to game the system by building a large quantity of links. Google,
quality of inbound
Some SEO conspiracy theorists like to believe this myth; however,
Quantity of inbound
Being a Google
however, views this as “link spam” and its Penguin algorithm update
combats this. In addition, not all links are created equal – some pass
more PageRank than others. Therefore, it’s better to have a handful of
quality inbound links than a large quantity of not-so-cool links.
Exact match domains
Buying exact match domains for your top keyword (i.e.
“crossovervehicles.com”) actually used to work for a little while – until
spammers started buying them up for the sole purpose of serving
ads. Now, you can no longer get strong rankings solely based on your
domain name – you have to fulfill other ranking requirements, too
(200+ of them!).
Anchor text is dead.
While anchor text may not be as important as it was in the past due
to link spam, it’s certainly not dead and is still an important factor for
Links in press releases
In July 2013, it was announced by Google that links in press releases
were considered “paid” links and therefore, part of a “link scheme.” This
sent waves of panic through the industry, as many thought they would
now be penalized by Google for putting links in their press releases.
However, this proved to be not true: while Google says that links in
press releases should be “nofollow,” they have also gone on record
saying they have “identified ‘a lot’ of the top Press Release sites and
ignores the links but doesn’t penalize those who are using them.”
Guest blogging is bad.
Writers and marketers guest blog for a multitude of reasons – not
just to build links. And Google realizes this, so they aren’t going to
penalize your website because you contribute a guest post to a few
blogs periodically. However, like many things, it should be done in
moderation and in a non-spammy way (like not using overly-optimized
anchor text links or keyword-stuffing your posts).
Social signals are the
Studies have indeed shown that there is high correlation between
key to SEO.
social activity (like Facebook Likes and shares, and Google +1s) and
high search rankings. But correlation does not equal causation, nor
does Google actually use data from Facebook or Google+ to determine
AuthorRank is here
AuthorRank is a way that Google will rank authored content by an
author in search results based on their authority on a particular topic.
However, the Authorship rich snippet does not currently have a very
wide adoption (only 3.5% of Fortune 100 companies have adopted it) –
which is required before AuthorRank can even be rolled out.
XML sitemaps help
XML sitemaps help search engines to find and index your content
quicker and more efficiently. But, while they are a best practice, they
won’t help you get higher rankings.
Schema is a ranking
Schema markup helps search engines to better understand your
content, such as whether it’s a video, or a recipe, or other type of
content. However, according to Google, it will not improve your
Hummingbird is a
Hummingbird is Google’s new search engine algorithm that is based
on semantic searches – for instance, mobile searches that ask
questions (“Where is the best place to get pizza?”). When it was rolled
out, the SEO community waited with bated breath for the expected
impact on search results – but that impact never happened. In fact,
the change was hardly noticeable.
SEO is dead.
Every time a major shift to the SEO landscape happens, someone
proclaims “SEO is dead!” from the mountaintops. The truth is, SEO is
just a constantly changing tactic and industry. In fact, the only constant
– in life and SEO – is change. So SEO is not dead, it’s just evolved to be a
part of everything we do as marketers.
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