Since the earliest days of website search engine optimization (SEO), the focus of marketers and agencies has been on link-building and keyword optimization. However, the landscape of SEO has changed so much in recent years that it is now almost unrecognizable. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning at Google has led to seismic changes in the way they rank pages in their search engine.
Despite the ever-evolving state of SEO, myths still linger about the process. Many are holdovers from the past, while others are simply born out of confusion or even misinformation passed on by scam artists trying to game the system.
What follows are 12 of the most common myths surrounding SEO.
1- SEO is Dead
In any conversation about SEO, this myth will often rear its ugly head. The simple truth is, organic search drives well over 51% of overall traffic to websites worldwide. SEO is far from dead.
2- More Links are Better Than More Content
This was a common methodology in the early days of SEO. Even now, building links are among the most important ranking factors. However, thanks to changes in Google’s algorithm, the focus now is on the quality of the links rather than the quantity.
3- Mobile Versions of Websites are not Necessary
In 2014, mobile internet usage exceeded desktop for the first time in history and shows no sign of slowing down. Google actually penalizes mobile unfriendly sites as a result.
4- Images Don’t Require any Optimization
Search engines are blind to images, so neglecting alt-text tags denies you the opportunity to increase your site’s visibility. Alt-text tags are also used by screen readers and other accessibility devices, increasing your site’s usability.
5- Local SEO doesn’t matter anymore
This is a common myth that prevents much smaller, local businesses from reaching the level of success they deserve. Over 43% of the total number Google search queries are local. These are local customers who are looking for products and services you can offer – if they can find you.
6- The More Pages I have, the Better.
This is another example of the quantity vs. quality issue that crops up around SEO. The simple truth of the matter is, if the quality of the content on your pages is poor, it won’t matter how many pages you’ve created.
7- SEO is Manipulative
SEO is not manipulative. While it has been used in the past to manipulate search rankings, Google has cracked down on this and made it far more difficult. SEO is a tool, and like any tool, it can be abused. Beware the users of the tool, rather than the tool itself.
8- Google doesn’t like SEO.
This is a common misunderstanding. Google actually encourages search engine optimization. However, what it does NOT like are manipulative SEO tactics – those meant to trick search engines into believing false relevancy signals in order to rank content higher.
9- Must Submit Site to Google
This is possibly the oldest myth of all. You no longer need to “tell” Google about your site in order to be ranked. Usually your new website or blog post will be crawled by the search engine within a few hours of it being published.
10- Keyword Optimization is THE key to SEO
Once again, this was true in the past, but no longer. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and machine-learning, Google no longer requires you to insert exact keywords throughout your site. Focus your content creation on the user, rather than on the search engine.
11- Rankings are All that Matter
Rankings are an important element in SEO, but the real measures of success must be conversions and sales. Some keywords convert better than others and bring more revenue.
As with content, the quality of a backlink is weighted far higher than the quantity of them. One backlink from a relevant and authoritative website is stronger than a thousand backlinks from less reputable sites.
SEO can seem like a complex subject to the uninitiated. As a result, myths and misconceptions are almost inevitable. However, a little research and discussion with a reputable expert in the field can go a long way to demystifying the world of SEO.
Contributed By: Roofing Marketing Pros