Top 14 SEO Myths...Busted!


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Pandas, Penguins and Hummingbirds…oh my! Staying current with all the changes Google makes to its search algorithm is enough to make even the most experienced SEOs want to scream. On top of that, speculation runs rampant on what exactly different updates mean and how they’ll affect your organic search traffic.

How do you know what’s truth and what’s fiction? During this webinar, Search Mojo’s Janet Driscoll Miller and Tad Miller will review 14 of the biggest myths in SEO and debunk them, one by one, so you can focus on the SEO tactics that really matter.

What You’ll Learn:
• Are the rumors about the death of SEO really true, or greatly exaggerated?
• How do social signals really factor into search rankings?
• Are press releases and guest posts still OK, or too risky?

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  • Top 14 SEO Myths...Busted!

    1. 1. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | TOP 14 SEO MYTHS…BUSTED! Janet Driscoll Miller Tad Miller
    2. 2. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | TODAY’S PRESENTERS Janet Driscoll Miller President and CEO, Marketing Mojo Follow on Twitter: @janetdmiller Tad Miller, Vice President of Accounts, Marketing Mojo Follow on Twitter: @jstatad
    3. 3. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | ABOUT MARKETING MOJO • Search engine marketing firm founded in 2005 › Search engine optimization (SEO) › Pay-per-click advertising management (PPC) › Social media advertising › Online reputation management • Headquartered in Charlottesville, VA › Office in Charleston, SC • Featured in the Washington Post, B2B Magazine, MarketingSherpa, Visibility Magazine and many blogs • Speakers at SMX Advanced, MarketingProfs, PubCon and more
    4. 4. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | OUR CLIENTS
    5. 5. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 1. META TAGS KEYWORDS HELP IMPROVE RANKINGS.
    6. 6. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEO IS EASY… “Just put all the keywords you want to rank for in the Meta Tag Keywords…”
    7. 7. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | WHAT ARE META TAG KEYWORDS? • The <meta> tag provides metadata about the HTML document. • Example: › <meta name="keywords" content="b2b lead generation services, search engine marketing agency, search engine optimization agency">
    8. 8. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | DOES GOOGLE CARE? NOPE !
    9. 9. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 2. SEARCH ENGINES DON’T FOLLOW “NOFOLLOW” LINKS.
    10. 10. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 2. SEARCH ENGINES DON’T FOLLOW “NOFOLLOW” LINKS. Passing PageRank Spiders Following a Link Treats the link like a vote of popularity on a subject (subject may partially be defined by anchor text) Spiders/search bots use links like a highway to find new content and index it
    11. 11. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 2. SEARCH ENGINES DON’T FOLLOW “NOFOLLOW” LINKS. • Google › In general, we don't follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. • Bing › nofollow-tag-172157
    12. 12. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 3. BEING A GOOGLE ADWORDS ADVERTISER HELPS YOUR ORGANIC RANKINGS.
    13. 13. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | CONSPIRACY THEORY ALERT “You want to be #1 on Google? All you have to do is spend a lot of money advertising on Google…”
    14. 14. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | MATH PROBLEMS DON’T DO FAVORS • Natural search results are derived from an Algorithmic math formula factoring in at least 200 different factors about websites…none of which includes advertising spend
    16. 16. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 4. QUANTITY OVER QUALITY
    17. 17. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 4. QUANTITY OVER QUALITY • Penguin focused on linkspam • “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site.”
    18. 18. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 4. QUANTITY OVER QUALITY
    19. 19. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 5. EXACT MATCH DOMAINS RANK HIGHER.
    20. 20. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | THE EXACT MATCH DOMAIN THING “SEO is easy. If you want to rank #1 for “Crossover Vehicles”, just buy the domain: and Voila!
    21. 21. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | THIS ACTUALLY KIND OF WORKED FOR A WHILE… • Then Google rolled out the Exact Match Domain Update • You no longer can get strong rankings solely based on your domain name. You have to fulfill the other ranking requirements too.
    22. 22. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 6. ANCHOR TEXT IS DEAD.
    23. 23. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 8. ANCHOR TEXT IS DEAD. • Maybe not dead, just not as important as before. • Google’s guidelines re: link schemes › “Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.” • Google: If you are publishing a press release or an article on your site and distribute it through a wire or through an article site, you must make sure to nofollow the links if those links are “optimized anchor text.” • Pubcon 2013, Matt Cutts: › Press releases are considered “paid links” › Google just doesn’t count them › Press release anchor-text linking isn’t necessarily helping you today
    24. 24. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 8. ANCHOR TEXT IS DEAD. • Messages from Google are cryptic. Make press release links “nofollow” and avoid anchor text optimization. We don’t follow those links anyways because they are paid links.
    25. 25. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 8. ANCHOR TEXT IS DEAD.
    26. 26. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 7. LINKS IN PRESS RELEASES ARE BAD.
    27. 27. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM THEY ARE BAD! NO THEY’RE NOT! I’M CONFUSED. PubCon – Oct 2013 - During Q&A, Cutts discussed links from press release sites. He said Google identified the sites that were press release syndication sites and simply discounted them. He does stress that press release links weren’t penalized, because press release sites do have value for press and marketing reasons, but those links won’t pass PageRank. “Google has identified “a lot” of the top Press Release sites and ignores the links but doesn’t penalize those who are using them.” Late July 2013
    28. 28. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM THE REALITY CHECK • There are MILLIONS of press releases with links in them that have existed for years on MILLIONS of different sites • They aren’t going to require anyone to find every instance of these and find the locations of every reprint so that you can request the nofollow attribute on the link • Most press release distributors don’t even have an option to make links nofollow • The real burden is on the PR distribution service to make links nofollow on a going forward basis
    29. 29. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM DON’T EXPECT PUNISHMENT, BUT DON’T EXPECT TO BENEFIT MUCH LONGER • Expect a Google Power Play vs. Press Release Distributors. › Likely use of “User Generated Spam Penalties” that remove offending pages from the Google Index › Google will force nofollow on the Press Release distributors › Real benefit is in the distribution, not on the distributor site • Again, these are most likely going forward changes. Not retro-active punishments “Google has identified “a lot” of the top Press Release sites and ignores the links but doesn’t penalize those who are using them.” Mostly
    30. 30. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 8. GUEST BLOGGING IS BAD.
    31. 31. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 8. GUEST BLOGGING IS BAD. “A true guest blogger is usually someone who is an expert on the subject matter and doesn’t drop a heavy amount of keywords in their anchor text.” “Guest blogging seems like it’s the fad of the month,” said Cutts, but he says it is best done in moderation. “It shouldn’t be your full-time job.”
    32. 32. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 9. SOCIAL SIGNALS ARE KEY TO SEO
    33. 33. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | THE SOCIAL SIGNAL IS THE KEY TO SEO • Facebook Shares are the biggest ranking factor… • Facebook Likes are a ranking factor • Social media follower counts can get you to the top • Google +1’s are ranking factor
    34. 34. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | YOU CAN BUY YOUR WAY TO THE TOP…
    35. 35. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | CORRELATION STUDIES SAY SO
    36. 36. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | CORRELATION ≠ CAUSATION
    37. 37. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SORRY TO BE A DOWNER, BUT… • Google does not use Facebook share data – in fact Facebook blocks access to that data • Google does not use Google +1 votes as a ranking factor: › “(I’m) Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings.” Matt Says…
    38. 38. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | BUT HOLD ON. LINKS ARE THE REAL SOCIAL SIGNAL • Links on Facebook Fan or Company pages still count a little › Also open Personal Facebook pages with no privacy settings • Links on Social Channels without the nofollow attribute count › Sometimes third-party aggregator sites strip off the nofollow • Don’t expect a lot from these kind of links. They don’t scale into much.
    39. 39. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | GOOGLE PERSONALIZATION AND GOOGLE+ • The default setting for Google signed-in users is “Search Plus Your World” • These results are heavily personalized on search history, location and the connections and content associated in Google Plus with +1 votes and G+ shares
    40. 40. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | PERSONALIZED VS. NON- PERSONALIZED
    41. 41. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 10. AUTHORRANK IS HERE TODAY.
    42. 42. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 10. AUTHORRANK IS HERE TODAY. • AuthorRank vs. Authority › Authority = measure of importance on a subject › AuthorRank = type of algorithm adjustment Current: PageRank PR 8 PR 3 PR 6 Coming: PageRank + AuthorRank + PR 8 AR 10 PR 3 PR 6
    43. 43. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 10. AUTHORRANK IS HERE TODAY. • Only 3.5% of Fortune 100 have adopted authorship • “Google is unable to use Authorship as a ranking signal if important authors aren’t participating.” – AJ Kohn
    44. 44. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 11. XML SITEMAPS HELP YOUR RANKINGS.
    45. 45. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM DON’T MAKE THEM WAIT
    46. 46. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM GREASE THE CHUTE • Site maps are more about giving search engines an efficient, clutter free path to look at your web pages • Benefits: › Deeper Indexing › More Frequent Indexing • Don’t assume your site is easy to crawl • Site Maps are not likely to improve rankings unless they allow a page to be found that search engines haven’t seen before
    47. 47. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 12. SCHEMA IS A RANKING FACTOR.
    48. 48. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 12. SCHEMA IS A RANKING FACTOR. • What is schema (aka structured markup)? › Added information in your HTML › Helps search engines understand the type of content (think context) • “Marking up your data for rich snippets won't affect your page's ranking in search results, and Google doesn’t guarantee to use your markup.”
    49. 49. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 13. THE HUMMINGBIRD ALGORITHM UPDATE IS A GAME-CHANGER.
    50. 50. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM GOOGLE’S NEW ALGORITHM IS CALLED HUMMINGBIRD • “…new engine built on both existing and new parts, organized in a way to especially serve the search demands of today” • Affects 90% of all searches • The search demands of today are mobile style conversational searches › “What is the best place to eat hamburgers in Charlottesville” › “When does Big Head Todd and the Monsters play Charlottesville”
    51. 51. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM IT’S SUCH A BIG DEAL…BUT NO ONE NOTICED • Google Announced the Algorithm update on September 26, but it was actually rolled out on August 20 • We can’t tell that a single ranking from our clients was impacted at all • So much press, so much discussion, so much supposition…
    52. 52. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | SEARCHMOJO.COM@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM HUMMINGBIRD IS MORE ABOUT THE QUERY THAN THE RESULT • Google needed a better way to understand the conversational queries • “Siri-like” voice queries that are longer • Better understanding of natural language & synonyms • Improved Query Processing • It doesn’t really change what you should do
    53. 53. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 14. SEO IS DEAD.
    54. 54. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | 14. SEO IS DEAD. • Inbound links – Press releases – Spammy sites • Greater emphasis on content – Authorship • Greater emphasis on social – Google+ • SEO has become more holistic
    55. 55. @marketingmojo | #mojowebinar | CONTACT Janet Driscoll Miller Twitter: @janetdmiller Google+: +Janet Driscoll Miller Tad Miller Twitter: @jstatad Google+: +Tad Miller