Search engine optimization is not an exact science. Search algorithms change frequently, and with them ranking performance. But since search engine companies are not providing inside glimpses to how their algorithms rank sites, the vacuum is filled with best guesses, anecdotal information and, unfortunately, just plain misinformation.
Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation about SEO persists, leading companies to make bad decisions about their websites and internet marketing strategies. To boost your SEO success, these are some of the most pernicious myths you need to steer clear of:
Myth #1: Loading Speed Doesn’t Matter
Honestly, we’re not sure who would make up such a boldfaced lie. Page loading speed most certainly does matter especially in a mobile-first environment. If you can believe it, mobile users are even less patient than desktop users when it comes to page loading. That is why Google has been public about its preference for AMP (accelerated mobile pages). Whatever you can do to speed up page loading, do it!
Myth #2: Links Don’t Matter
Happily, the black hat SEO technique of link buying has significantly declined, but not because links are not important. Inbound links are still a ranking factor…and that makes sense because 1) inbound links facilitate indexing of your site as it points search engine bots to your content from a number of sources and 2) access to your content from multiple sources is a popularity signal. However, to positively impact your ranking, links need to be from quality relevant sources. Create sharable content and be proactive about getting/asking for links from industry influencers.
Myth #3: Content Is ALL that Matters
Content matters. That’s not debatable. However, content is not the only aspect of your website that does matter. Re-read the above sections—page loading speed and links matter, too…as does metadata and data structuring. In other words, your ranking is not solely (not even mostly, in some cases) determined by on-page elements that viewers see or read. You need the off-page technical elements for top ranking potential.
Myth #4: Keyword Density Drives Ranking
Arising from the “content is all that matters” myth is the myth that the number of times you use a keyword phrase (per total words used) directly affects your organic ranking. In the old (like, decades-old) days of search engine ranking, this was true. But algorithms are a lot more sophisticated now. They can “read between the lines,” so to speak, so content can rank for key search terms without actually having an exact keyword match in the content!
We’re not suggesting you abandon keywords. Rather, we’re suggesting that you focus on the usefulness and quality of the content you publish. Keywords and topic relevance will arise naturally (and that’s especially good for voice-activated search performance).
Myth #5: All Content Needs to Be Fresh
Years ago, Google (and other search engines that followed suit) introduced the “Query Deserves Freshness” criterion. This factor rewarded new and/or newly updated content, and that sparked a lot of content revisions as people scrambled to freshen up all of their content everywhere on the web. But that’s not necessary, and in many cases, not SEO-beneficial.
QDF does not and was never intended to be applied to every search. And making nominal changes to key pages on your site is likely not enough to be rewarded for content freshness. Plus, too many changes will just confuse your viewers, spiking your bounce rates, which tanks your ranking potential.
A better approach is to continually add new content to your website through a blog.
Want to make sure you’re doing SEO right? If you’re a SonicSEO.com client, then your work is already done. If you’ve fallen prey to SEO mythology, then call in the experts for help. Contact SonicSEO.com for a free SEO consultation.