It’s a new year and the wheels of SEO have started churning.
SEO has upped its game yet again, simply with the knowledge that the Google algorithm decided to get smarter.
Now, it may seem as though Google and SEO have the upper hand in the game but you can get ahead too.
Start by getting rid of the myths you associate with SEO.
Here are the myths to be left behind in 2019:
1. Interlinking on your Own Page is Bad
This is absolutely not true. A visitor will stay on your website much longer due to the interlinked pages. They’ll be able to read various other posts you may have uploaded, related to the same topic.
Technically, with interlinks, you’re creating clusters of different topics, which helps in promoting the position of your page on the search engine.
2. It’s okay to have a Slow Loading Site
If you want to be ranked on the first page on Google then under no circumstances are you allowed to have a slow loading site.
The bounce back (leaving a page without viewing it) rates increase for a site that takes forever to open. The visitor will give your site 3 seconds to load before leaving. It is such a shame for something like this to happen when high-speed web hosting has become so economical.
3. Meta Tags aren’t Important
Meta tags are the little descriptions under your website link on the Google search results page. In relation to the Google algorithm, meta tags aren’t important. But if you want people to want to visit your website, you’re going to have to write a very attractive meta tag.
There are 3 components to the meta tags i.e. The Title Tag, Meta Description and Meta Keywords/Phrases. Meta tags are the source by which your content marketing benefits the ranks on search engines.
4. Hummingbird reduced the importance of Keywords
Just because Google decided to launch a new algorithm, i.e. the Hummingbird, doesn’t mean keywords lost their importance. In fact, the new update has made researching and targeting the keywords easier than ever. Keywords are essential to let the algorithm know the details about a website or a blog.
5. The More the Merrier
While the phrase, ‘the more the merrier’ may be true in a general sense, it couldn’t be more wrong in the online world. When it comes down to writing content for your website, it is crucial that you stay away from the urge of stuffing it with keywords in places that don’t make sense. Shorter sentences with a clear cut idea of what you’re trying to say, will bring in a lot of organic traffic to your website and let the visitor explore it farther.
Also, since Google doesn’t index every page on your website, it’s pretty useless to keep adding similar data and making it heavier.
6. Don’t make Links to the outside world
Sharing links to pages on other websites doesn’t necessarily have to mean higher bounce rates for you. Although that doesn’t mean that your visitors won’t leave. As contradictory as they may sound it makes complete sense. Here’s why. If your content is attractive, intriguing and bold, then your readers will return, asking for more, even if they leave to review other links.
Adding links to relevant content on branded websites will indirectly boost your search engine rank. Make sure the links you add has quality content, otherwise it may affect how the visitors start viewing your website.
7. It is the end of Guest Blogging
Guest posts, very simply put, are a great way of increasing traffic on your website. It might not make a lot of sense now but posting blogs with great content on trusted websites will attract visitors to your site.
Also, if you’re worried that Google might think you’re trying to manipulate their search results, here’s something you should know. Hummingbird doesn’t know how to differentiate between a guest post and the on-site post i.e. post by the author unless the post specifically says something like ‘this is a guest post’ or ‘added by guest’.
So go ahead and get guest blogging.
8. No need to get Social
It would be a shame for you to sit there and doubt the power of social media in 2019. Links shared on major social media platforms will influence your ranking on the search engine.
Rather than solely depending on visitors searching for keywords, have a well-known social network share your content. It will skyrocket your ratings on Google. Do not forget to keep updating excellent content on your site as well.
9. The Domain doesn’t need Keywords.
Let’s face it, adding a keyword or two in your domain isn’t the best technique to increase your rankings, but it’s not the worst either.
Registering your domain with a word that would work with everything that your website stands for is undeniably a smart move.
10. Commenting on Blogs is useless.
Rumors have a tendency of spiraling out of control and that is exactly what happened with the strategy of commenting on blogs. Backlinks can be generated via commenting on blog posts creating business opportunities.
Posting valid and relevant comments on your blog will attract participation from visitors with a different point of view or those that agree with your post.
11. SEO, only once.
Although there are SEO experts who can help you with doing the job well, it may be costly to actually hire one.
So help yourselves and don’t give up on the trying to figure out the best way to get SEO. It might take some time and effort, but the end result is worth it.
Since SEO is the main way of getting more traffic on your site, it will need to be updated on a regular basis. Continual maintenance and improvement in the SEO strategies will ensure that your website isn’t degraded father down into the endless void that the internet is.
12. Ranks, that’s all
Many might believe that SEO is just about getting ranks on search engines. But, ranks are only a small part of the SEO. Type of content, its quality, relevance to on-going trends, language used, etc. are a few other aspects related to SEO.
Since the main aim of SEO is to give the user personalized and accurate results, these are the basic mediums that will lead to better SEO.
13. No Sitemap, no Ranking
Clearly, something was lost in translation. Well, not literally. But something did go wrong because a lot of people started associating XML site map with boosting ranks of your site. The XML site map will help you in creating a crawlable site.
The other thing that a site map will do for you is to provide Google with the structure of your site, helping it to spider your large website easily and fast.
14. Image Optimization isn’t important
Did you know HTML provides this attribute called an ‘alt tag’? Well, it does and you should use it to optimize your images since the Google algorithm can’t yet identify images like us.
By adding alt tags on your images you make it easy for the algorithm to register and identify the image. Use alt tags that are closely related to your website, what you do or where you’re from.
15. Secured websites aren’t real
You might have noticed notifications saying that a particular website was unsafe and you decided to leave the page. Well, that is what most people do which increases the bounce rate of your page. And you obviously don’t want that.
Having a secured website means that it has been encrypted with the Secure Sockets Layer(SSL). If you look at the address bar you’ll see that the URL of a secured site starts with https:// which is preferred by chrome as it restrains anyone from obstructing your data.
16. #1 rank or SEO has failed
While it understandable that being on the first page of a search engine is the goal, it’s not really necessary. Just being on the first page, in the top ten, can boost traffic on your site.
Give it a second, think about it. When you’re looking for something you don’t just open the first link and be done. You’re going to be scrolling through the page, checking a couple of different sites and then start collecting your data.
So, if your SEO techniques can get you on the first page, your website is doing great.
17. Google rules Rule!
Okay, rules are important. But following them by word might not be the best approach when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Making sure that you work within the guidelines provided by Google, you reduce the risk of receiving a penalty.
That being said, Google advises against backlinks. Considering using backlinks is a major way to rank your website, you’re going to have to start playing in the grey area.
18. Stay, Don’t stay, it’s okay
Words like ‘on-page time’ and ‘bounce rate’ should matter to you. The amount of time a visitor spends on your website is the on-page time while the bounce rate means the number of visitors that leave your site within 20 seconds.
Google keeps an account of both of these along with how relevant the information provided on your site is according to the keyword searched. It then decides on your site ranking.
19. Google doesn’t need my Help
As smart as Google may be it won’t be able to find your blog immediately or by itself. Put some sort of effort into it. Like maybe using the XML sitemap generator plugin. It will send the newly generated sitemap after your most recent post to major search engines helping Google index your posts.
With this, you’ll want to keep your social media updates since it will help with the index part of Google’s job.
20. No need for Keyword Research
Imagine this: you’ve written an impressive blog that you’re really pleased with only to realize that the keyword you used isn’t very popular. Avoid this disaster by allotting time to research the keywords that the users might use to find relevant information.
Google can update as much as it wants, though it will never eliminate the need for keywords. With all your other SEO techniques in place, a properly researched keyword will boost your ratings.
21. Paid Search triumphs Organic Search
Organic rankings and paid rankings run on parallel lanes. The index database decides your organic rank while the paid rank will be determined by your total investment and bid. Paid ads will give you benefits like targeting more keywords and reinforce the identity of your brand.
Truth be told, paid search will not increase your ranking but will sure help in increasing the conversion rate of your website.
22. Every Algorithm Update is important
Yes, it would be beneficial to stay updated about the changes made in the algorithms but it’s not necessary to update your site according to those changes immediately.
When you do find a major change, wait. Understand them and see if they will affect your site in any way and then run around making modifications in your techniques. It would be a waste of time and energy to make adjustments that won’t do anything for you.
23. The death of SEO
Remember how they say ‘change is the only constant’?
That’s what is happening with SEO. It is always changing and updating itself, otherwise, it would become obsolete. And since SEO keeps updating the techniques used to get ahead will also need to be updated.
Listen, don’t worry, chances of SEO being dead any time soon are close to zero. So decide to keep evolving with SEO.
As long as SEO techniques keep updating, these myths will keep manifesting themselves into problems that will make your life difficult. Why not try keeping them at bay by not indulging into rumors and preferably taking the time to understand how SEO will work in your favor.
In the end, understand that SEO is a long and tedious process but by leaving the above-mentioned SEO myths behind in 2019 you can help your page gain the organic traffic it deserves.