Common SEO Myths and Misconceptions
Getting your website on to the first page of search results in the major engines is not easy, and the fact that there is so much bad information to be found online isn’t making it any easier. The following is a list of some of the most common myths surrounding the world of SEO. Some of these myths were actually true at one point, but as search engines get smarter these old methods stop working and now can even get you penalised.
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Too Much On-Page Focus
The “on-page” part of SEO refers to the elements of your website such as text, images, meta tags, etc. At one point, this was the most important part of optimising your website for search engines. If you had good text that focused on your desired keywords, and your meta tags were set up properly, you were good to go. This is no longer the case. You could have the most well-optimised website around, but without the proper focus on off-page SEO elements, you will struggle to get anywhere in the rankings.
Keyword Density is the Most Important Part
Again, focusing on keyword density used to work well, but it is another old method that just doesn’t work as much now. As search engines continue to get smarter with every update to their algorithms, it is becoming more important to have your website appear as natural as possible in the “eyes” of the robots that scan your pages. This means that you should avoid creating spammy text that is loaded with keywords in unnatural ways, because there is a good chance that they will realise what you’re doing and could penalise you for it.
Just Get More Links
One of the most common methods for improving off-page SEO used to be as simple as getting more links pointing toward your website, with no regard to where the links came from. This is no longer a viable method, and also now has the potential to get you penalised. It’s called low quality link building, because not all links are considered equal. For example, a link in a comment on a blog that nobody reads is not worth the same as a naturally occurring link on a popular website. This also means that you can’t simply “trade links” with other website owners in an attempt to boost your rankings.
Copying What Others Are Doing
You may think that it would be as simple as copying, or just taking inspiration from, what other successful websites are doing in order to improve your own rankings. This is generally not a good idea. If you are hoping to do a copy and paste job of someone else’s work you will be penalised. If you just try to take inspiration from what they are doing you may be wasting your time. This is because you have no idea what they are doing behind the scenes, including their off-page efforts, so you can’t expect the same results as they are getting.
There are many more myths and lists of outdated information that will get you nowhere with search engines, but these are some of the major ones to avoid. As a general rule you should try to be as ethical as possible with your SEO methods, and try to keep your website looking as natural as possible so that real visitors aren’t turned off and also so that robots don’t pick up on any deceptive practices.