SEO can be confusing for newbies, especially when there are myths involved. Unfortunately we don’t exactly know the secrets of Google’s Algorithm, so that’s why sometimes people just make things up. There’s an article by Backlinko that lists 200 factors to determine a page’s rank, but remember it’s just an opinion by Backlinko, since Google keeps their algorithm secret to avoid spammers.
In this article, we will look at some of the top myths that are circulating around the net about SEO.
Myth #1: Social Media is a signal factor
I found this to be the most heated topic since it has a mixed opinion; some say social media is a signal and some say it is not. To determine whether this is true or not we have to look at what the head of Google’s Web spam team, Matt Cutts, says about this.
Here’s what Matt Cutts had to say:
“Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it, then we can return that in our search results. But as far as doing special specific work to sort of say “you have this many followers on Twitter or this many likes on Facebook”, to the best of my knowledge we don’t currently have any signals like that in our web search ranking algorithms.”
Here’s the full video:
Now, let’s say if social media signals were a factor, don’t you think people would take advantage? Of course they will. So according to Matt Cutts, we have to conclude that social media is NOT a signal factor in Google’s algorithm.
But hang on there, social media is an excellent place to build links and get traffic, so just because it doesn’t give your page any signals it doesn’t mean you should stop sharing content on social media.
Myth #2: SEO is dead
To simply answer this myth; no, SEO is not dead. Although Google changes its algorithm, SEO is still the same as it was many years ago. However, if you try to use SEO to manipulate search engines into ranking a website that doesn’t deserve to be ranked in the SERPs, then yes SEO won’t work.
Myth #3: Link Building will die
Internet is based on links, so there would be no internet without links. Link building is one of the essential factors to determine page ranks. A page that has a lot of links tells Google that the information on it is useful, that’s why it ranks it better than a page with no links. For example, if you want to hire between two people, 10 people say person 1 is good, while 1000 say person 2 is good, who would you go for? The person with the 1000 votes. That’s exactly how it is with link building. Links (with dofollow) count as a vote for your website, and the more you have (of course in a legit way) the better.
Myth #4: Buying links to get ranked
You might have seen gigs on Fiverr or websites that try to sell you links to get a higher rank on Google, since Google loves a website with a lot of links. But be warned, it is a very bad idea to buy links and I will explain why. Google prefers natural link building over paid links and Google is smart enough to know when you bought a link.
Most of these paid links come from spammy websites, and too many spammy websites linking to your website tells Google that you are one of them, thus, they penalize you which can last for months or even years. If you don’t want to lose traffic or customers then don’t risk buying links. You can read how not to get penalized by Google.
It’s against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to pay for links to boost your search results on Google. Thus, following those guidelines will prevent you from any future problems and penalization.
Google is constantly updating its algorithm making it smarter and smarter, so to be safe just follow their guideline. Build links naturally and don’t buy any links.
Myth #5: SEO has secrets
Some people assume SEO has some secrets and once you know those secrets you can get ranked high on Google. Unfortunately that’s not true and SEO has no backdoors or secrets. Don’t believe what people tell you or what the so called “SEO experts” try to sell you.
To get ranked well on Google, you simply follow few SEO techniques and do some keyword research. That’s it, there are no SEO secrets.
Myth #6: PageRank is important
PageRank is one of the most argued topic regarding how much it affects the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It is true that PageRank was so important back in the days that it was one of the most important signals that heavily affected the search results. As a result of this, SEO Professionals started building links naturally (or by paying to get links from higher PageRank websites) to increase the PageRank values of their websites/pages. Moreover, many webmasters tried to manipulate the PageRank by either changing their internal link structure or by using PageRank sculpting techniques.
However, Google wasn’t very happy when people tried to mess with their algorithms, so they updated their algorithm and they started focusing on reducing the paid links by introducing the “rel=nofollow attribute” and by banning websites that tried to sell links.
Later on, Google removed the PageRank tab from Google Webmaster Tools console and it made it clear to users that it was out of their signal factors that the webmasters should think of. Additionally, Google stopped updating the PageRank Toolbar, so people had no idea what ranking is their websites.
Therefore, now we know that PageRank is dead and we shouldn’t worry about it too much. You should worry more about providing good quality content.
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