Whether you are new to the concept of search engine optimization for website or experienced in this field, you would have definitely come across a lot of myths and misconceptions about SEO.
Amazingly, even in 2015, we hear bits of information that are completely misplaced, no longer relevant, or are simply erroneous. Myths can quickly become pervasive, and believing in them blindly can do severe damage to your online business or website.
In this post, we will try to debunk some of the myths floating around on the internet. Let us review ten of the most common myths.
1) SEO is Cheap –
When you hire professionals to do search engine optimization for website, you are not hiring someone just to make a few changes in the titles tags, tweet a bit, and throw up a few links. A few years back, you would have certainly got away with such kind of strategy. However, presently, it has become the shortest road leading to tears and sadness, and a drained bank account.
Can you buy good services cheaply? Certainly not!
In this ever-changing online marketing industry, the experts will have to keep themselves updated on the changes made in the SEO tools, and the search engine algorithms, on a day-to-day basis. It will help them in figuring out the next big thing that they will need to do in order to improve the website visibility of their clients. So, the practitioners will have to be constantly reading, asking, testing, and working.
This clearly indicates that, you are not just hiring a service, but a whole knowledge base. There is nobody, who can do such a mammoth task at a cheap rate. However, it could still be affordable, because the returns are great. Therefore, search engine optimization for website is a must for all businesses, and you should consider it as a marketing investment.
2) Just Build the Site and You will get the Traffic
If you are planning to launch a new website or if you already have one that has only content without any link plan, then you will need to stop immediately, and take a step back.
Links are very important for a site. Links help people find your website. Only then will they be able to like your site, and care about it. However, there is a myth that each and every back-link is useful, and will deliver traffic to the website.
This is not true. Link building requires proper acquisition of good quality links, which is important for drawing in high volumes of traffic, and to give a strong position to your site.
Isn’t content the king? Don’t be under the impression that by just building the site and having great content will generate traffic. You will be disappointed and you will soon run out of funds unless you have deep coffers.
However, this does not mean content marketing is waste of time. By no means, you should stop generating good content. As a rule, proper quality link building is essential, and it costs money.
3) Swap Links to as many websites as possible
This is perhaps the most frustrating and persistent myths about website SEO optimization. You might have been bombarded with mails from webmasters according to which, ‘it is extremely important to exchange links to increase your Google page rank’.
Also, you might also be asked to form a three-way reciprocal link partnership with some marketers. However, this is one of the most outrageous myths, as reciprocal links are rather worthless today.
One-way or the in-bound links from quality websites are more helpful, especially when we look at it from the perspective of search engine relevancy. If you seek reciprocal links, then make sure that the websites provide complementary or related content to yours. There is no point in offering the visitors of your site, to a site that is totally unrelated to your own website.
4) Buying an Existing Domain is Vital to be Successful
Soon after Google started ‘sandboxing’ the new sites, this myth was created. The phenomenon was referred to as the aging impediment. Webmasters were stunned, when their pages were not listed on Google results for any keywords, for months together. When they learnt about Google’s sandbox effect, a few webmasters concluded that sandbox effect could be avoided altogether, if you purchase an existing domain.
According to another rumour, when you purchase a domain that has been ranked highly on Google, the traffic as well as page rank will automatically get transferred to new websites that are built on this existing domain. However, neither of the assumptions is true. Retrospection and studies have revealed that the concept of sandbox does not exist.
It is merely that the search engines have become meticulous about deciding, which sites are to be included in the main index, against those to be listed in the supplemental index. The older and better-linked websites have better possibility than the new ones, the ones without the link reputation.
5) Any Traffic is Great Traffic
There are companies, which try to generate traffic through points system and voting. Here, you will earn points whenever you visit sites. However, this concept is built on fake link popularity and false traffic, which is against the guidelines set by Google. Also, this is open manipulation, and hence operates on flawed logic. The concept will not work, as it attracts only the aggressive and unethical clickers.
The entire episode will turn into a war between just two or three dishonest webmasters. They believe that search engine optimization for website traffic at any cost, is the way to run the online business. However, unqualified traffic, which will not convert to sign-ups or sales, is a waste of hosting resources, and valuable bandwidth.
Visitors, who disappear from the website in a few seconds, will ruin the site metrics. This gives a message to Google that your website is not worthwhile to visit. Traffic from reliable repeat visitors and from qualified leads is what you need to look for.
6) Stuff Keywords in Your Site as much as Possible
A persistent myth revolves around keyword density. The search engines use the relevancy of keywords for ranking calculations. Time and again, this has been disproved. However, many website SEO optimization companies even today believe that keyword density is a vital metric.
Search engines will actively match the content on your site with that of the search queries. However, stuffing similar keywords on your site code through invisible and visible text does not make your site pertinent for search queries containing those keywords. This way, you are likely to earn penalty on the ranking of your site. Instead, use the keywords intelligently, keeping the reader usability in mind.
7) You have to submit your website to at least 1000 directories and search engines
You might have received mails from companies claiming to submit your site to various search engines. The companies register your site using computer programs. However, it does not achieve any results and will in fact affect the ranking of your site, as the search engine might reject the listings as spam.
Moreover, submitting your website to 1000 search engines is not required, as most of the traffic to your site comes from only a handful of them. According to the latest figures, five top search engines – Ask, AOL, MSN/Live Search, Yahoo and Google, dominate almost 95% of the share in search market. If your website is found on these search engines, you can be assured that you have covered the key bases.
8) You must Optimize META Tags
Earlier, not many knew how to optimize search results. Even with small changes to the site, you could easily outrank your competitors. The title tag optimization could position your site in the Top 5 spot in the SERPS. A top spot was guaranteed by just including META Keywords tags and META Description. However, now it is a different story. The search engines today do not support META Keywords Tag.
If you want the site to rank on top for search queries, then you cannot achieve this just by providing META tags and optimized title for the search engines. You need to reduce code bloat, optimize the web pages, and provide a coherent navigation structure, update the site on a regular basis, have sticky content, have link popularity, and ensure that your website code validates.
9) If your website is not found on Google, you are Doomed
There is an array of techniques to market your site online. However, there is no need to be discouraged, if you don’t get good results on Google. Plenty of sites receive referrals from MSN and Yahoo alone. There are e-commerce sites, which thrive through social media buzz and word of mouth. This proves that the sites do not need Google or for that matter, any of the four major search engines in order to survive.
It is not wise to rely on a solo source to get traffic. Add good content and update your website regularly. Submit the sitemaps and seek good quality back links. If these things are in place, traffic will automatically increase to your site.
10) SEO is Dead
Organic search is even today the best way to drive traffic to your site, as revealed by a study held recently. So, SEO is still alive. In fact, search engine optimization for website traffic will never die.
If you listen to someone’s advice about not to bother with SEO, then you are bound to lose a considerable portion of your site’s traffic and visibility. Even today, it is significant, as it was few years ago.
Before you think about how to optimize search results, it is important to know that today you can reach millions by just focusing on your website visibility. Earlier, if you owned a brick and mortar store, you had to pay for newspaper, billboards, radio ads, and yellow pages. This way, you could reach thousands of people in the city.
What do you think?, these are my observation. Comment your point of view and I will keep on updating this post.