Just like a zombie rising from the dead, there are search engine optimization myths that should have died a long time ago. SEO professionals do their best to slay these myths but somehow they keep coming back. If you get told that some of these myths are true by a search engine optimization “expert”, treat them like a zombie. Run away. Fast.
SEO Myths in 2019
There is a “Magic” Keyword Density
Google made a major algorithm update in 2013 called Hummingbird that essentially wiped out any importance that keyword density might have had. Hummingbird’s algorithm represented Google’s shift towards using semantic search. Results are now analyzed on whether they match a user’s intent. Google wants to deliver results relevant to the searcher’s inquiry. The Hummingbird algorithm looks at the whole page to determine the context of the page. Focusing soley on keyword density is useless and any SEO expert telling you otherwise should be ignored.
You Need META Keywords to Rank Well
In the early days, we used to use meta tags to specify the keywords under which we hoped our site and pages would be found. As you might guess, there was a ton of abuse of this system with plenty of keyword stuffing going on. Google has unequivocally stated that meta keywords are not considered at all in their search algorithm. If someone’s selling you SEO services that include META keyword tags, kill the deal. Immediately. Anyone telling you keyword tags are important knows nothing about the current state of SEO.
H1 Headers Must Be Perfectly Optimized
Yes, it is good to have keywords in your H1 tags, but that’s primarily for user experience. The value of keywords in the H1 tag alone is questionable. Studies done on the topic show a small correlation between H1 header keyword optimization and rankings. If you’re going to optimize your headers, do it for the people visiting your site to give them a better user experience.
You Only Need to Focus On Your Site for SEO
The key word (not keyword) here is ONLY. Yes, you need to do your best to optimize your on-page SEO, write quality content etc., but that’s just a start. There are plenty of off-site signals Google uses to determine how relevant your site is. Backlinks and social signals are important factors in your rankings. If you’re only focused on your site you’re missing out on the most important SEO factors.
More Pages Equals Better Rankings
Google results are akin to restaurant reviews. Restaurants serving good food get better reviews (rankings). If you have a dump truck full of McDonald’s Happy Meals or a delectable four-course meal being served on fine china with silverware and linen napkins, which of the two meal options are going to get better reviews? Just because you have quantity doesn’t mean you have quality. Creating quality work that is relevant to your users’ needs will always trump dozens or thousands of pages of thin content.
You Only Need to Do SEO Once
Technology evolves. Search engines change algorithms regularly. That means search engine optimization is never finished. Think of all of the sites that were hit with lower rankings after Google’s Hummingbird update in 2013. Do you think they just took the hit and didn’t do anything to improve their rankings. Bollocks. They changed how they did things to get their rankings back. You need to be proactive to keep your website up to date with the latest SEO information.
SEO is Inexpensive
When choosing between quality, speed, and cost, cheap stuff isn’t going to be fast or good. Fast stuff isn’t going to be cheap or good. Good SEO is not cheap or fast. Don’t fall for “SEO for $99” types of deals because they are too good to be true.
SEO is Dead
More B.S. If there were no search engines with organic results then this statement would be true. Until the day all search results are provided by paid advertising, there will be a need for SEO.
There are plenty of honest, hard-working SEO professionals who have what it takes to get you top rankings. There are also plenty of unscrupulous organizations looking to make a fast buck. You have the power at your fingertips to research any organization and find out whether they’re the real deal. I hope sharing these SEO myths will help you make the best choice for your search engine optimization needs.
Please leave us your thoughts below, and stay tuned for tomorrow’s SEO tip!