7 SEO Myths revealed
Ranking in the top of search engines, like Google, is vital when attempting to run and monetize an online business. This is the reason why Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O) has evolved as an art form as well as its own niche; everybody wants to know the “formula” of how to get to the first page and will devote their time and money to do it.
If you do a search for “SEO copywriting tips” you’ll get lots of similar results that provide, more or less, the same guidelines: use meta tags, write attractive headlines, integrate links, avoid using the passive voice, etc.. But some popular beliefs about SEO are simply wrong. Here are a few we’d like to make you aware of:
Keep a High Keyword Density
Most SEO Professionals suggest that having a high keyword density for the main keywords of the page will help the rankings. They consider this an important rule/target and as a result they try to stuff these words into the text. Of course by doing so, they produce really unattractive SEO copies and not only they don’t help their rankings but also they irritate the readers of their websites.
What one should do in order to improve his rankings is to use different combinations of the main keywords in the text. This will increase the odds of ranking for other similar terms or combinations without affecting the quality of the text. Note that this technique will increase the Keyword Density of the important terms in anatural way. Nevertheless its primary target is not to increase the density but to incorporate in the text the most common keyword combinations that users are likely to search. A more accurate metric that helps you determine if a given keyword is optimized is the KeywordRank, which takes into account several different parameters such as the position of the keyword, the usage, the relevancy and more.
Google killed its keyword tool and the latest algorithm tweak called Hummingbird added ability to search using natural language queries. This lead many SEO copywriting blogs to proclaim the “death” of the keyword.
The keyword isn’t dead. As Monty Python might say: it’s just resting. You still need/want to do some keyword research but now the focus is more on LSI, otherwise known as semantic
searching. This involves using more synonyms and related words in your web content than simply one word or phrase repeated again and again.
When people are searching for something, they want as much detail as possible from a reliable source. Studies of Google search results have shown longer articles are better; CopyPress found the average word count of top search results was 2416. It has also been shown that longer copy tends to convert better.
Length doesn’t matter. According to representative John Mueller, Google doesn’t count words on a page to determine ranking; in a comment thread, he cited the fact that Google also searches 140-character Twitter posts.
Sometimes a short article will still generate a lot of shares or comments, which does affect placement. The key is to make sure your SEO copywriting content is unique and compelling, and that’s the long and short of it.
Descriptions and ALT tags for images are important
You may have images on your page or website, and they help with design and engagement. But according to some sources, including descriptive names or ALT tags for your images will also help with your search engine rankings.
Image tags do not greatly affect ranking. It may aid with user accessibility or getting your images to appear in Google image results. But according to the Open Algorithm Project, this oft-cited SEO copywriting tip doesn’t dramatically lead to a better listing of your web page or site.
Authorship is very important
Google made a big to-do of its Authorship program and suggested linking content or articles to a Google+ account would help with page ranking. There were also studies claiming to show that a link on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) that had a Google author photo got more clicks.
Authorship is no longer an important SEO factor. For a variety of reasons known and unknown, Google devalued the Authorship program, removing the author image in SERP listings. Some have speculated that this is due to it competing with advertised content, others felt it probably got abused. Whatever happened, the authorship markup tool has disappeared. Some speculate, authorship will rise again in a different form. Until then, don’t sweat it.
If you have duplicate content, you will be penalized
Many a webmaster have feared a so-called “duplicate content penalty” that can affect rankings. It is thought that if you have more than one page with the same content or many urls pointing to one page you could be de-listed or even blacklisted.
Duplicate content is OK for legitimate websites. According to Google: “Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.” This means if your website is not purposely trying to fool Google or scrape content illegally from other sites, you will not be punished.
This is different from A/B testing, using slightly different wording on multiple web pages, which Google asks you use rel = ”canonical” rather than a noindex meta tag. (For more guidance on multivariate testing, check this article.) Look to add new content of course, but don’t fret too much about the existing dupes.
Google’s search results are rigid, when you make it to the top, your site is fine
Additionally, people often believe there is a “secret” to getting into the top results that some self-proclaimed SEO experts have inside knowledge about.
In actuality, the “engine” of search is constantly evolving – Google changes their algorithm 500-600 times per year. And, as Google spokesman Matt Cutts explains in this colorful video, the results are always in flux.
In addition, current or former Google employees won’t spill their secrets not only because of confidentiality agreements, but also because they don’t believe in the concept of “gaming the system” to rank in results.
This means, aside from Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, which outlines best practices and was last updated in 2010, everything else is largely speculation by outside parties.
What’s the one thing about search engine results and SEO we know will never change? Well-written, original, informative content will always be rewarded and in the long run, perform best.