You Need To Know These Myths About SEO
Ariane Alyerunga

Ariane Alyerunga

May 15, 2020

In the desperate dash to attain search engine rankings and exploit new entrants in the industry, unscrupulous individuals have littered the website optimization landscape with misinformation. Irrespective of whether you are contracting an SEO company or starting an independent campaign, there are plenty of common and stubbornly resilient SEO myths you should know.  This article covers the most prevalent examples. After you have read it, you will be more proficient in Search engine optimization, and less likely to be persuaded into taking on risks that could harm your website’s reputation.

 

You must forward your website to a search engine

In the early days, SEO required webmasters to manually submit their websites so that the search engines would know they existed. Search engine bots would then evaluate the websites to determine what rank they should be given. But that was a long time ago. Search engines can find their way now. Also, paying for submission to a search engine is equivalent to extortion, considering that Google closed its public website submission tool in 2018. Invitations for paid submission are usually delivered through spam emails that promise top rankings on Google. You should avoid such offers as they are dishonest.

 

Meta keywords are important

Meta keyword tags (don’t confuse this with other tags like Meta descriptions) were once a fundamental part of the SEO process. It was not uncommon to find extremely ling lists of keywords used as a tactic to improve website ranking. Fixing multiple formats of a specific keyword into webpages was standard procedure. However, due to the amount of abuse it received, Google abandoned the keywords Meta tag as a rank factor.

 

Keyword stuffing

It is a common belief that filling your content with keywords is a good way to get a good ranking. This too is not true anymore. There was a time when search pages could gain rank simply by having a vast variety of keywords in their content, even when the content was illegible and the sites lacked any meaningful information. You could hide the offending words by matching their text colour to the background colour or choose to avoid discretion entirely and paste them on your site. This led to bad user experience since most people wouldn’t like to read an article that says discount iPhone repeated over 200 times. Google and other search engines like Bing have since evolved and now avoid keyword-stuffed pages because they are almost always empty.

So, does keyword stuffing work? The answer varies amongst some individuals. It does have some near-term benefits, but can be devastating in the long term. Google will punish websites that are found using the strategy. Your page could be demoted, or even de-indexed. So it’s a bad idea.

 

Recycled content

Early in the 2000s, copying content was a standard see tactic for some people. The strategy helped them increase the frequency with which keywords appeared on their websites. However, following updates to its rank algorithm, Google rewards unique content more than duplicate content. So unique content is the better way to please Google. Besides ranking on search engines, it conveys your expertise and differentiates you from your competitors.

 

Word count

Word count is another facet of search engine rankings that are poorly understood. Many website administrators and content developers refuse to publish any content unless it carries a specific word count yet it doesn’t matter. For instance, there are several pages on the internet that have limited main content, yet Google values them highly enough to make them featured snippets. In one example, the main content was a little over 60 words, and many people find it hard to write about the topic in a concise way that is less than 350 words. All that’s needed is a concise and accurate answer. To the search engines, doesn’t matter whether that answer is delivered in 60 words or 2000.

 

Long titles

Writing long, keyword-stuffed page titles is a common practice among SEO beginners but it’s wrong. Why? Google often appends titles longer than 55 characters. This would append the message you are trying to convey and potentially distort its meaning.

 

Backlinks

When another website links to your site, it may indicate significance and popularity. Google could increase your rankings based on the quality and quantity of those links. However, the emphasis here is on quality, not quantity. Thousands of links from spam my, low-quality websites will not improve your site’s ranking. It will likely lead to penalties because it is prohibited.

 

Domain authority

Domain authority is a benchmark formulated by Moz.com that evaluates website value. While it is a good metric to follow, many SEO professionals devote too much to getting links from high ranking authorities, even though it doesn’t always work. A link from a high domain authority website may be helpful, it is not the only way. Not every site is going to have authority as high as apples or Google itself. In reality, most sites are average. However, if you own a small website, e-commerce store, or blog, links from other websites within your category will be extremely helpful.

Search engine Optimization can be a frustratingly difficult marketing discipline to understand, let alone implement. It involves several technical concepts that most people find too hard to comprehend. This challenge is further compounded by the fact there is a lot of disinformation on the subject. Some of it, as mentioned at the start of this article, is the result of dishonesty. However, you should note that it is also the result of information that has grown outdated. SEO is a rapidly changing field. What was true two years ago might not be right now. Worried? Don’t be. With patience and perseverance, it is an art that can be mastered. Besides, there are several digital marketing companies in Uganda you may consult for advice on SEO.