By Justin Wilson, Published October 25, 2014
One of the reasons why I love digital is because the landscape changes so quickly – there are always new tools, new techniques and new best practices emerging which you can use on your digital proposition. Keeping up to date with all of these changes is not easy, but offer new opportunities on almost a daily basis.
If you fail to keep up to date with the latest trends, then there is a chance that your understanding of a subject area will become out of date – and never has this been more applicable than to Search Engine Optimisation. It is a fast-moving area which is driven by virtually constant changes from (on the whole) one organisation who has a secret formula which you are trying to crack! This means that there are a lot of SEO myths which need to be addressed.
Let the de-bunking begin:
SEO Keyword Stuffing: In the old days of SEO, there were a lot of people who thought that the more mentions of a particular keyword on a page, the higher this is likely to rank against a search query. This doesn’t work now! If you check out a page which is written in this style, it is terrible to read and that’s the problem. Search engines want to refer pages which are relevant to the search that you make – not to a page which is artificially stuffed with keywords. Search engines are getting smarter, your content needs to do the same.
Just Focus on Google: Google is not the only website that you need to worry about. Other search engines are available, like Bing, but check your country’s search engine shares – for the UK, Google represents 89% of search engine use, but in China it is just 3%. And you should not just focus on search engines. Social networks are important to SEO and it’s easy to understand why – if people like a company or post on social media, then this is an endorsement of the company which search engines can include. Indeed, Bing has started trialling the number of Twitter followers for companies which appear in its search results.
Links = Rankings: If your strategy for link-building is centred on the quantity of links, you are about to get bad news! There are still a lot of companies which offer to sell links, but signing up for this means that your site is going to get links pointing at it from all sorts of websites, the vast majority of which are not relevant for your site. Such links are simple for search engines to spot, and if they think you are trying to game their algorithm, they may well drop you from their results. Instead, focus on quality of your links, not quantity.
It’s All About Content: Writing good quality content is really important to every website – if you can entertain, inform or help out your visitors, then it is likely that they will be engaged when on your site, so Google will like this, right? Yes, but only if it can see the content! There are a number of steps which you can take to make your website visible and accessible for search engines, so take these steps as well as creating great content.
SEO is King: SEO is important, but it should not operate in isolation. It should be part of a wider Search Engine Marketing strategy which will include social media and paid advertising. SEO is a useful tool and should be used in conjunction with other marketing tools to drive good quality traffic.
Has this list included your favourite SEO myth?
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