SEO – (Search Engine Optimization) this phrase conjures up so many thoughts in the minds of technical and business folks at any organization that there is more confusion than clarity prevailing out there about this process. The many factors that search engines algorithms incorporate and the mystery that shrouds these algorithms are one reasons and the continuous updates they keep on rolling out at regular intervals to their search ranking factors and algorithms keeps the entire web community confused and so there are more myths prevailing in the business than actual plain truths which help a business thrive.
Adding to confusion are the various product and service providers who claim to have the most authentic information about these ranking factors and hence can magically pull up the rankings of any given website for any keywords in a matter of days or weeks. It is needless to say that any person who believes these words, is sure to get disappointed in the end and might even ruin his online business. In this post I plan to list some common SEO myths that will help any blogger, business or SEO service seeker.
1. Meta keywords still plays a role: This is one of the biggest myths, which many of the optimization software still consider and ask user to stuff in keywords while calculating the keyword density. The keyword density is enhanced to reach the optimal level. Often this is done at the cost of compromising with the natural writing process and readability of the text. The algorithms of search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and they can easily detect a well written article which is for users from one which is simply written to gain rankings in the search results. Google has completely disregarded the meta keyword tags and other search engines are also following this trend. So this essentially means that:
- No keyword stuffed pages.
- Natural and authentic style of writing.
- Using similar phrases related to your main keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords)
2. Lots of pages in a website guarantees rankings: Indeed it is true that search engines like content, but you can’t create a 10,000 page website in a day. Depending on the age of domain, the regularity of posting content to the website and the social interactions happening at the website the search engines can easily determine whether the content has been natural or generated by bots. Writing automated content, off topic content, duplicate content and content without any kind of authenticity will definitely attract penalty from google. A good example of such a lashing was the Panda update which came heavily on content farms and article websites, which shared duplicated content across them. Although this couldn’t be the practice prevalent at some authentic article directory websites but many of them went out of business due to same content being posted by different publishers to get more backlinks. There is no doubt that Google likes big sites but it is definitely clever enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. The learning’s from this myth are:
- Write authentic content with citations and reference to trusted sources.
- Don’t go for automated content and article churners.
- Don’t write thin content.
- Don’t copy content from other sites simply to add more size to your website.
3. Going on a link buying, backlinking spree will increase ranks: If you are not new to SEO and web you might have heard of the severe penalty Google ushered on sites engaged in selling and buying links. This process simply breaks the Google’s ranking algorithm’s PageRank, which heavily relies on backlinks. If you are going for paid links, be ready to bear the brunt. If you are relying to get some backlink juice from such links it is a dicey thing to do on the other hand if you want to get some clicks from a heavy traffic page it is good to buy topic related links from it. The other pitfall is getting a large number of links in a very short time. This will surely ring bells at Google and their manually spam prevention team will surely like to have a look as what have you done to attract this huge number of links in such a short span (which is pretty unnatural for most sites). If you are caught doing practices, which are against Google’s guidelines you know what you are inviting. The natural linking process is slow and steady with diversity in anchor texts because different people will link back to your website using their own terminology, which may or may not be your keywords. This is also a warning to steer clear of plethora of offers spread on the internet with offers like 10$ for 100 links or 1000 directory submissions for 15$ etc. The points this paragraph teaches is:
- Don’t go for paid links just to get backlink benefits.
- Build quality links at a slow and steady pace.
- No massive directory submissions.
- Keep diversity in anchor texts this is true for both outgoing and incoming links.
Though there are many more myths associated with SEO but sticking to the basics, writing for the benefits of your users, blog readers and sticking to Google guidelines will keep your blog or website from attracting any penalty and gain rankings.