There is a lot of confusion out there about SEO.  Partially because things can change faster than a bottom of the ninth rally with 2 outs and up to bat is the team’s best hitter.

Avoid these 11 common SEO Myths

1. SEO is a one time thing

Sadly this in definitely untrue.  Search Engine rankings are not permanent. Your optimization needs to be ongoing.  You don’t have to look at it monthly, but refreshing and reviewing your optimization annual is a good idea.  Things change – like the phrases people are searching for and the work your competitors might be doing on the same topics.

A refresh can help you avoid being left behind.

2. Meta Descriptions don’t matter

Google does not use the html description as a ranking factor, however, it does do two things.  The first is tell the search engines what your content is about and the second is to make your customers search experience attractive and straightforward.

Think of this description as a mini ad for your business.  You have limited space so make it count and test the search results to see where you land.

3. Title Tags affect Organic Rankings.

While title tags don’t contribute to your page authority or ranking, they do help clarify what your page is about along with your meta description.  This makes it easier for your searcher to identify.

4. Target keyword in anchor text no longer matters in SEO

Using your keyword or phrase in your anchor text helps your visitor understand what the link is for and increases their user experience.  Google definitely puts a lot of weight on a positive user experience. It also helps the search engines tie you links with the search intent of their customers. 

5. Links don’t matter.

Google has told us many times over the years that page rank, which is about quality links and link building, is a major factor in where your page lands in the ranking.  And you need to pay attention to both strong healthy links, internal links, and if you have bad links on your site which will affect your organic rankings. 

Bad links can drag your position down in the search rankings.  Gary Illyes has stated: “if you spend some time removing bad links, providing you got them all, you should be ranking improvements.”

Source: Gary Illyes

As your content ages, make sure to check for broken links and update as needed.

6. Duplicate Content Penalty

Duplicate content on your website in and of itself will not cause a penalty, but it can and often does water down the potential ranking results.  Not just for the content on the page but for the links that are on the page itself.  The pages that will get shown are ones that have other valuable content on the site. 

If your site has nothing but duplicate content, it will not be able to compete and beat websites that have robust unique and relevant content.

7. Google will only index fresh content

Google and the other search engines will index the content they find, whether is it new or old.  But finding the content is the key.  If you send signals to Google that the content is there through links and social signals, it will find it faster.  There are many tools out there like RankMath that will show you if your content has been crawled and indexed.  If not it can help you submit your content so Google knows to index it.  How fast it is indexed is up to Google.

8. Creating microsites will help my primary page’s SEO

A microsite network to boost your primary website’s SEO is also known as Private Blog Networks or PBNs.  Google looks at these as a deliberate attempt to manipulate your PageRank and is against their terms of service. 

So while you may or may not receive a temporary boost from using this tactic, it will very likely backfire and can result in a penalty that can be very difficult to overcome. 

If you want to use this strategy, you would need to invest a lot of resources into building out the microsites. However, if you’re going to do that, wouldn’t it be better spent creating new blog posts and writing articles instead of trying to create a bunch of different sites? Yes, it would!

9. Google opposes exact match domain names

Having exact match domain names is not a problem.  Using your domain name as another place for keyword stuffing is where there is an issue.  We have clients that have brand matched domains that are also their main keyword and they do great.  However if you use a domain like ‘home-for-sale-Miami-florida-condos-real-estate.com, you are going to run into trouble.  This is one place that some reasonableness should prevail.

10. Having More Pages Boost SEO

A lot of pages with little to no content will hurt not help your search engine optimization.  I’ve seen this many times when we do site audits both on web main pages and blog posts.  A website will have 20 plus pages with 50 to 100 words on them: Nothing of real value to a visitor.  Certainly, nothing that could tempt them to come back for a second visit.

11. Focus on quality content and topics, not keywords

Amazing content definite is a must, but keywords and phrases still matter.  You don’t want to stuff keywords where they clearly don’t belong and you need to monitor the keyword density of the page.  The keywords should be natural in your preferably high-quality content.  Enough so they tell the search engines and the searcher what the page is about and that it has information for them,  but not so much that they come across as spammy and ruin your visitors experience on your website.

Build Strong SEO

Don’t let these SEO myths stop you from digging into your website and getting your SEO house in order.

If you ignore the SEO myths and use solid SEO industry techniques to create high-value content for long-tailed keywords will help you appear in high-ranking organic results and get the organic traffic you need.

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