Every business owner wants Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to work for their site. However, the field is constantly changing, and it’s hard to know what advice is still valid.
Every day a new SEO myth is born and unfortunately, not all old SEO myths die off.
To help you avoid some of the more common SEO and marketing pitfalls, here’s my list of the top 6 myths that you can safely steer clear of:
1. Don’t use Google Analytics because Google will spy on you and use the information against you
I think this idea comes from the conspiracy theorists who want you to believe Google is evil. Google has made numerous assurances that they aren’t using your traffic or conversion data. Mr Google himself, Matt Cutts, has gone on record to say his team doesn’t get access to Google Analytics, and the Google Analytics team doesn’t have access to their information. So they don’t use Google Analytics against anyone.
2. Having an XML Sitemap will boost your Google rankings
This is false. SEO expert Stephan Spencer suggests that Google won’t give a URL any more “juice” just because you include it in your sitemaps.xml, even if you assign a high priority level to it. Google will use your sitemaps file for discovery and potentially as a canonicalization hint if you have duplicate content.
3. Submitting your site to search engines increases your ranking
Submitting every page of your website in Google and Bing by using their submission forms will neither help you speed up the indexing nor improve your rankings. The search engines use web crawling technology that continually scans the Internet to find and rank pages.
4. PageRank determines ranking success
This is the most widespread myth in SEO. PageRank is a number which treats links like votes to determine how important a website is. However, it doesn’t have a direct correlation with search results, despite being calculated by several of the same signals.
Having a high PageRank is nice but it doesn’t automatically mean high rankings for everything, and it certainly doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to get tons of traffic and sales.
More important is building a site which meets consumer needs. That means functionality, information, ease-of-use, and relevance.
5. No-follow links are useless
“No-follow” was introduced as a way of linking to something without passing any value onto the site
Although the traditional meaning of no-follow was that the search engine crawlers didn’t actually follow the link (ignore it and move on) that isn’t what actually happens.
The crawlers do follow no-follow links, and crawl the content, but they don’t always pass on value. This means that there is still value in the links, because they can increase crawl rate and indexation.
6. Keep a High Keyword Density
The search engines don’t care how long your pages are, there’s no specific number. The goes for keyword density. There is no magical number of keywords you should have on each page on your website, you have to use your judgment. Your copy should be persuasive, informative and punchy: you’ll only serve to limit your copy’s punch by simply stuffing keywords into the text.
There are plenty more myths that need to be debunked, and I’m sure our team will revisit this topic again in the future.
Which SEO myths are you most sick of? What did I miss in my list? Feel free to share your thoughts below.