20 SEO Myths or Misconceptions You Must Abandon in 2015
In the last few years, Google’s Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird algorithm updates have badly shaken up the world of SEO. SEO professionals and online marketers all over the world put an end to the old techniques of keyword stuffing and link building and started focusing more on creating quality content that is useful for visitors on the web.
Then, does that imply that an SEO expert’s job is only to churn out high quality and keyword optimized content? Far from it! In fact, search engine optimization has changed so drastically, it’s difficult to assess what would click, what won’t and what’s simply your wasted effort.
In this guide, we will walk you through 20 SEO myths and misconceptions that you must dump in 2015.
Myth 1: Submitting Your Site to Google is a Must
The notion that you must submit your website to Google for getting visibility or rank in the SERPs doesn’t hold water. When an all-new site submits its URL straightaway, Google would still find your website without you submitting it. Remember that the mere submission of your site will not guarantee visibility or ranking.
Myth 2: Google Authorship Improves Visibility and CTRs
The search engine giant has done away with Google Authorship photos from the SERPs back in June, 2014. Again in August 2014, a major blow came from Google when it dismantled its Authorship program entirely. So, forget about your byline appearing in 2015 because it simply ceases to exist.
Myth 3: Safe HTTPs Encrypted Website Doesn’t Matter in SEO
In the month of August of 2014, the search engine company proclaimed that it has begun using HTTPS as an indication in ranking algorithms. This implies that if you are still relying on HTTP, your website’s ranking may be adversely affected. Though it’s a lightweight indication as of now but Google may focus more on it in the days to come.
Myth 4: Multiple Links Would Score Better than More Content
A website owner if asked where to invest, in link building or in creating quality content? Of course, hiring an experienced content professional would be a more prudent decision.
Though link building done in the right way does matter, but unique content created for your website, lead generation offers, blogs and guest posts will attract more quality and relevant links with them over time.
Myth 5: SEO is Primarily about Getting Ranks
Studies of user behavior and CTRs have proved that internet users or visitors prefer the top 3-4 listings. Studies have also shown that the results listed towards the top on the subsequent pages reveal identical click behavior.
Of late, search results are being appended with rich snippets/text; results that show below the first three results are attracting considerably higher CTRs. So, rankings do not assure you success and SEO is not solely about ranks. Even if you get rank, lots of traffic but unable to make a farthing; would you still think only about ranking?
Myth 6: SEO Can Be Managed by Your IT Team
Since SEO requires some amount of technical knowledge, there is an erroneous belief that it can be managed by your IT team. It’s true that IT guys have technical expertise but it’s impractical to expect from them the SEO best practices that you would want to implement for your online business.
Creating quality content, optimizing keywords for your content or the skills pertaining to social media interaction do not come within the purview of IT.
Myth 7: Meta Descriptions Impact Rankings Greatly
Way back in the year 2009, Google declared that Meta descriptions have not much impact on rankings. This does not imply that they are not important at all because a proper description would make a searcher click on your page URL. Only that it wouldn’t impact your rankings.
Myth 8: Keyword Optimization is the Key to the Success of SEO
After the Hummingbird algorithm update by Google, the search giant is no longer going to reward websites that are trying to match the exact keywords to those of a web page. Now, the focus is more on understanding the user intent behind what he or she types so that it goes with useful, relevant and high quality content.
Myth 9: H1 is Still the Most Significant On-page Component
H1 is solely used for styling purposes and is part of custom style sheet, i.e. CSS that a web designer combines to reference what font size and styling would be applied to a specific content. Now, it’s really inconsequential what header tag you are using provided you present the most significant ideas directly and nearer to the top section of the page.
Visitors should know what your web page is about through a lucid headline, and that’s why you are optimizing the page for.
Myth 10: Keywords Should Match Perfectly
Repeated verbatim will not work anymore when you are placing keywords in a headline or in a piece of content. Keywords should be used in the content to make sense to your visitors or targeted audience. Your objective is to inform your readers not the search engines.
Myth 11: More Pages Means Better Website Performance
If you think that more the number of pages in your website, better the performance in terms of ranking, then you are wrong!
- Everything that you publish will not get indexed and even if indexed, will not stay in the index.
- Just because your pages are getting crawled doesn’t imply that your site will attract tons of traffic or leads.
- Having lots of irrelevant pages implies content quality compromise
So, publish only what is relevant to your products or services and ensure that content is best.
Myth 12: Local SEO Is Not Significant
Local SEO is significant because you would be found by customers who are located near your business and those who are more prone to buy from you. This is the reason Google released its Pigeon update in July 2014 to regard local search rankings just as conventional rankings. The update takes many ranking signals into consideration and the update improved the way the search giant assesses distance when deciding search rankings.
Myth 13: Home Page Should Have Loads of Content!
Your home page saturated with content or too little of it will not help you in your SEO efforts in 2015. To create your brand’s value, your home page content should be lengthy enough to explain:
- What your business is about
- What products/services you offer
- How your products/services help in simplifying your customers’ needs (in brief)
- Where your business is located
- What visitors are supposed to do after reading on your home page content
Myth 14: Google Will Not Know if Poor Quality Sites Link to Your Website
Google will know. After the Penguin, Panda and hummingbird, you cannot fool Google. Else, your website would be severely penalized.
Myth 15: Microsites that Redirect to Your Website Will Boost Your SEO
Forget about improving your SEO with this strategy because Google is smart enough to detect who is the registrant for a domain and whether it’s the same individual as in a primary domain. You might be thinking that altering the registration info would help. No, do not think in those lines as you would become a spammer in the eyes of Google.
Myth 16: SEO & Inbound Marketing Are Not Linked
On the contrary, they are interlinked. Inbound marketing is an approach that focuses on converting visitors into people who would like to enter into a business relationship with you. This includes an array of techniques like content writing, leveraging the power of social media, conversion optimization etc.
SEO is a precise marketing technique that concentrates on the enhancement of your website’s visibility in the SERPs. In simple words, SEO helps in your inbound marketing efforts.
Myth 17: SEO is not a Matter of Usability
Over the years, SEO has developed from just getting your site found to enhance how your visitors engage with your site’s content. It’s more than just optimizing your site for Google but makes your web pages user-friendly so that visitors click on your website, land on your home page and associated pages and stay there.
Usability features include quality content, ease of navigation, and clear CTAs to transform visitors into leads and finally customers.
Myth 18: Responsive Web Design is not SEO Friendly
On the contrary, Google loves responsive websites. After the rolling out of the hummingbird update, Google has designed an all-new mobile ranking method preferring mobile-friendly sites.
Google favors responsive web design for the following reasons:
- Ability to use one URL for a site. This makes it simpler to link and share content with other websites.
- A single URL also helps in terms of a website’s speed as no website redirection is necessary.
- Easy for the search engines to crawl and index responsive sites as compared to crawling mobile optimized sites that use individual URLs for PCs, smartphones and tablet versions.
Myth 19: Social Signals Affect Rankings
When you are posting something on Facebook or Google+, your website will be indexed quickly but rankings will not be affected no matter how many people likes your Facebook page, how many users there in your G+ circles or how many retweets your content.
Myth 20: Using SEO Tools Alone Will Give You Rank
You will find a number of SEO tools and applications to track, monitor, manage, and do research for your online campaigns. However, using these tools alone will not give your website better ranking. These tools are meant to guide you to embrace SEO best practices.
Now, you are aware of the common SEO myths to avoid in 2015, what initiatives are you taking to make your website pop? Share your views with our SEO and digital marketing team.