Despite being highly relevant and necessary in today’s competitive business world, SEO and online marketing are still somewhat shrouded in mystery. Many business owners still do not know what online marketing or search engine optimization is and why they need it to make their company a success. There are, in fact, a number of myths about SEO that make beginners even more confused.
Since SEO and online marketing are fast evolving domains, it is crucial to be updated with the latest trends and strategies. However, for a beginner, it is critical to differentiate between the fact and the myth. Here are a few top myths that you should know about before venturing into online marketing.
- Meta tag descriptions play crucial in ranking
It is not true anymore. In fact, the major search engines such as Google and Bing no longer index these. However, you cannot just disregard meta tags as part of online marketing. When your website is displayed in the search results, it is the meta description that viewers will first see without even clicking on the link. So, a compelling and right-to-the-point description will inevitably compel users to visit your site for more information.
- Higher numbers of inbound links mean better SEO value
It is a trick that used to work possibly about a decade ago. However, the Google algorithm updates have rendered it invalid. Search engines now prioritize quality over quantity. Gone are those days when you could have low quality and irrelevant backlinks and still drive in top rankings. Now, having low-profile links are considered to be spammy and you may be penalized for it.
Online marketers now need to focus more on obtaining backlinks from only those sites which are well reputed and relevant to their niche. These links should also bear relevant content related to your products or services. For example, a blog post about your latest product release is highly valuable. Only a qualified SEO Agency can do the appropriate research and achieve this goal for you.
- Search engines prefer keyword-rich domains
As we have seen over the last several years, Google puts varying degrees of emphasis on including keywords in the domain name (URL). For example, the common notion is that a domain name as ‘woodenblinds.com’ will rank better against the typical search for wooden blinds.
However, that is not the case. Even though woodenblinds.com is seemingly the most relevant and perfectly matching to the key phrase, it will not rank high just for the domain name. There are about 200 ranking factors which will determine where the site should be positioned in the SERPs.
- Page rank is crucial
The PageRank technology of Google, which was a ranking meter from 1 to 10, determined the overall authority of a website, and it was a primary ranking factor. Sites with the highest number would stand the best chances of ranking on top. For many years, PageRank dominated the attention of expert SEO professionals.
However, as Google released the various algorithm updates, it became apparent that merely a high PR will not help a website succeed. Even though PageRank is still an internal ranking factor, sites need to focus on the other parameters such as content quality, relevant backlink building and such.
- Websites should be submitted to search engines
It was the case back in 2005, and a number of professional service providers had emerged to perform search engine submission for their clients. However, the scenario is entirely different now. The search engine crawlers are smart enough to access your website and identify the connection from site to site to discover what your site and business is all about. Being indexed is a far cry from achieving high rankings, but you can still take this initial step to make things easier.
- Smart SEO is all about trickery to get Google to rank a website high
It could not be farther from the truth! Even though black hat practices used to bring good results in the past, they are no longer effective. Despite this being a well-known fact, many SEO professionals fool their clients into believing otherwise. In SEO and online marketing, there is no shortcut to success, and getting desired results without hard work is almost impossible. Moreover, if you try the black hat methods in a bid to gain high ranking overnight, Google may spot your efforts and penalize your site for good!
Ideal SEO is all about creating a relevant website with unique, informative content and good user experience. Search engine optimization is a well planned, structured, and appropriately executed strategy, and not a gimmick.
Author bio: Catherine Burke is a well-known digital marketing consultant who runs her own SEO Agency too. She used to write blog articles about the latest developments in SEO.