7 Common SEO Myths You Should Stop Worrying About
There are literally hundreds of blogs covering the topic of SEO, many of which specify what NOT to do. These are quite helpful, since no one wants to be penalized by Google and rank lower because of a simple SEO mistake.
There are a few topics that seem to come up again and again as steps to avoid when planning your SEO strategy. While many of them are true, there are a few that stick out as only partially true or flatly false.
Here is our Top 7 List of SEO Myths:
1. You Can’t Be Ranked Until You Submit Your Site to Google
The google bots index sites automatically, regardless of whether or not you submit your URL.
What you can do to help boost your site is report any changes to your sitemap to Google. Also, if you have made any updates or edited content, you can ask Google to recrawl your site. This will make the content easier to find and reflect changes sooner.
2. You Need Domain Authority to Rank Higher
Domain Authority is a score assigned to web pages based on their relevance to a specific topic. The score predicts the likelihood of a website showing up in search engine results related to that topic.
What most people do not know is that Google does not use domain authority in its algorithm. It has absolutely no bearing on ranking. That being said, a domain authority score can be useful as a sort of guideline for developing better and more relevant content. If your score is going up, you’re on the right track.
Domain authority should be thought of as a by-product of good SEO, not the cause of it. You will rank higher because of the unique, useful content you produce, not because of your domain authority.
3. Longer Content is Better for SEO
You may have come across various recommended word lengths for blogs and web pages. The truth is that there is no standard for how many words are best to increase rankings.
The important thing to remember is to keep your content relevant, helpful, and high quality. If you tick all those boxes in less than 300 words, so be it. You are more likely to drive traffic with shorter, quality content than a novel that offers nothing new or packs in a bunch of key words.
4. Google Penalizes Duplicate Content
Like domain authority, duplicate content actually has no effect on your site’s ranking. You will not necessarily drive more or new traffic with double posts, but you will certainly not be penalized.
That being said, it is easy enough to avoid duplicate content without spending a lot of effort on an entirely new post:
- Freshen up posts that are doing well with additional content, like video or infographics.
- Translate successful blogs into other mediums, like a Youtube video or a Pinterest board.
- Optimize other blogs that aren’t doing as well: make sure a post doesn’t take too long to load, you have alt-attributes on photos, and you’ve included your target phrase in the URL. And always make sure it is mobile-friendly.
5. There Is An Ideal Number of Title Tag Characters
The number of letters and numbers in your title is merely a suggestion by Google for optimal display. If you go over or under the recommended character length, you will not be penalized.
6. Keywords are Important for Ranking
This one may come as a shock. Until very recently, the use of meta keywords within a text could significantly impact a site’s SEO. However, the abuse of this strategy by writers jamming in as many key words and phrases as possible has led both Google and Bing to amend this part of the algorithm. Currently, neither search engine relies on meta keywords at all to rank pages.
7. The More Links, the Better
Again, this is not necessarily true. Three quality, relevant backlinks are far better for ranking than 100 spammy ones. In fact, poor quality links (toxic backlinks) can have a negative impact on your ranking and decrease perceived authority in your niche.
It is worth noting that, while domain authority does not affect your rankings, perceived authority can. This is a way in which people are drawn to your site organically based on the impression that you have the best information on a topic.
SEO Trends for 2021
As the above myths portray, search engines are progressing more toward a “quality not quantity” approach to the algorithm. Google has always prized content that is, above all else, useful. Focus on better links, not more of them. Make your text readable and relevant, not packed with key words.
SEO strategies are always changing, but one thing remains the same: content is king. If you focus on making the highest quality, most relevant, and most useful content, you can’t go wrong.