There is almost too much written about Search Engine Optimization. The problem is much of it can be contradictory. Whom does one believe in the face of conflicting advice?
Google continues to change and improve their algorithm – sometimes it almost feels if it is daily. Googles goal is to deliver the best result for the user’s request.
Each algorithm change, to those outside Google, is more like a big black box with everyone guessing what is inside. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what is inside. True SEO is not about tricks to make your site rank higher. It is about making your site serve customers better and allowing search engines to find and deliver the right content to the right customer needing it. The site architecture, site content, graphics and video should all be developed with serving the end customer in mind.
Does it matter that you rank #1 for a keyword that never results in a sale? You may earn a gold star but you won’t be in business long with a collection of gold stars.
The items below are our collection of top SEO myths for 2017:
Mobile Page Speed is an important Google ranking factor.
John Mueller said in the video that for the moment Google doesn’t use mobile page speed as a ranking factor at all. (3/7/17 46:44)
Just because it is not a ranking factor now does not mean it will not be one in the future. Obviously, since it impacts the user experience and the importance of mobile is only increasing, it could become an important ranking factor at any time.
Since Penguin is now operational in real time, your site does not have to disavow backlinks obtained outside of the Google guidelines.
You should still disavow any unnatural links as a Google recommended practice. (10/4/16 23:20)
You should use Google URL removal tool to remove a page from your site.
The tool will remove all versions of a page (http, https, www and non-www) from being indexed but it is not for site maintenance but more for urgent or legal reasons for the page not to be indexed. Normal removal of a page will automatically disappear over time as Google re-crawls and re-indexes those pages. (12/20/16 17:18)
You should have no more than 10 occurrences of any keyword in your content to avoid being penalized for keyword stuffing.
There is no absolute limit for the number of occurrences, but content should be written naturally and be easy to read. (3/10/17 52:27)
Your site could be hit hard by a duplicate content penalty.
John Mueller exposed this as a myth when he said “We won’t demote a site for having a lot of duplicate content”. So, not true, but only one version of the content should appear in SERP. (10/24/14 6:34)
The URL of an image will not affect its ranking.
Google does look at the URL when ranking images in an effort to understand what the image is about. While object recognition is getting better, you should help yourself by using descriptive file names, descriptive titles and alt tags. Perhaps, we will see in the not so distant future where this is unnecessary. (2/24/17 25:10)
The domain authority for your site does not consider individual pages.
Domain authority does consider individual pages but the impact will depend on the size of the site. One page or a poor link will not affect a large site as much as the same conditions will impact a small site. (3/7/17 47:41)
HTTPs sites are only needed for sites that require encryption for credit cards or other sensitive information.
HTTPs improves the security of the site and makes sure that the information customers see is what the website owner has provided. Free wi-fi access at hotels, airports and public places allow outsiders to add tracking or unsafe content to pages because the owner of the site did not improve the security. (2/24/17 56:30)
Once you “do SEO” your site will continue to perform well.
SEO is a continual effort. You want your website to be understood by search engines and by potential customers, technical SEO efforts makes sure your site continues to perform well. Over time, links may become broken, content needs to be updated and expanded, customer terminology (and technology as in voice searches) may change for how they search for products and services.
You should hire a SEO agency that promises first page Google rankings.
There are many reasons to hire an agency to help optimize your site, improve lead generation and increase traffic. However, any individual or agency that promises 1st page results is a not legitimate or practices black hat techniques that may have long term negative consequences.
Investing in SEO should be looked as a long term investment. Not strictly for search engines but for improving how you serve customers. Google and the algorithms will continue to change but if you continue to focus on serving customers the best way possible, then your site should be rewarded.