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Top Ten SEO Myths

Published: May 2016

It is fair to say that SEO has had a tough time. Forever linked with unscrupulous practices used to game the system and an industry littered with stories of miss-selling and broken promises. Things became so toxic; companies were even re-branding to distance themselves.

SEO though is still very much alive and well. There are many upfront and ongoing practices you can adopt to champion your website in the search engines, no smoke and mirrors, no wizardry, just best practice techniques Google themselves say can benefit your website. Newcastle Marketing Agency Urban River have put together our top ten list of SEO myths to help you make the most of your website.

SEO is tricks

Google publish their own Search Quality Guidelines (PDF) you can read and follow, outlining the things you need to consider to help how your website is viewed in search. At 160 pages it is quite lengthy, but if there were any trickery involved why would Google be so willing to share?

Tricksters also always get caught in the end. If someone guarantees you position one rankings using their specialist tools and insider knowledge beware. Google is constantly changing their algorithm and pro-actively works to sniff out those trying to game the system and believe me they will eventually get caught.

SEO is a one trick pony

“I’ve had SEO done on my website, I’m fine”. That’s great, what did you have done and when? SEO is constantly in flux. What was best practice years ago can easily become spam practice now. One of the biggest positive factors in SEO is new and unique content being added to your website on an ongoing basis. If you’re not doing that, whatever boost you initially received may well be starting to wear off.

Meta Data is enough

So many people believe that unique page titles and meta descriptions are enough. They are a tiny part of the hundreds of ranking factors Google takes into account when deciding where to place you. Any company that calls this an SEO strategy is one to beware of.

Keyword density

Keyword density is an outdated concept. Some agencies will tell you 5% others 2.5%, the fact is Google is far smarter than it used to be. Google will read your copy and if it sounds robotic and spammy, then hey! You’ll no doubt suffer for it. Keywords are good and should be included in your copy, but write for people and not for search engines.

AdWords helps SEO

This is absolutely 100% not true. Google AdWords is Google’s paid advertising platform. These are the listings you see at the top of a Google search and are in no way used as a ranking factor in organic search. As mentioned above, always beware of a company guaranteeing 1st position rankings. They could be trying to sell you AdWords, which is a different product entirely.

Social media doesn’t affect SEO

Now this is at least true in one instance since that how many page likes or followers you have doesn’t affect your rankings one bit. Social media is though an important channel for you to push your content to, to create brand awareness and hopefully gather links.

Submitting your site to Google

Submissions to search engines happen automatically these days. As long as you haven’t blocked your website or contravened Google’s guidelines it will be indexed by the search engines. Some SEO companies still prey on unsuspecting customers and ask for a submission fee. Google do not charge to be included in their results.

Link building is dead

Links are still a huge factor in SEO, but if your SEO company is advising a link building strategy, you need to be asking some key questions. Where will they be building these links? What kind of links will they be? Article marketing, blog comments, directory listings and paid for links are either next to no value or in the extreme noted bad practice and may result in a Google penalty. Link building is now a hard won path of content creation and outreach. If you’re SEO company is guaranteeing a certain number of links a month beware.

PageRank

Toolbar page rank and Google’s actual page rank are two entirely different things. Toolbar page rank hasn’t been updated since 2013, correlates poorly with actual rankings and is used by unscrupulous vendors to sell links and other shady services. If someone offers you links for a site quoting they have a high page rank, politely decline.

SEO is dead

SEO most certainly isn’t dead. Like all forms of marketing it changes and evolves. There will also be tasks to be undertaken to help make your website friendlier to the search engines. That may be increasing its load speed, making keyword friendly structured URLs or added new and unique content to your site. The game has never changed, but the rules have become rightfully tighter and more widely enforced. This should only improve the quality of the search results and not lessen them.

If you would like to talk about how we can help your website perform better, talk to the Urban River team about our SEO Services today on 0191 423 5688 or email us at info@urbanriver.com

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