Search engine algorithms aren’t always as transparent as business owners and web developers would like. As a result, many people hold beliefs about search engine optimization that are completely wrong. In fact, designing your SEO around these commonly held myths can often cause your site to be penalized.
Here is a look at five of the most common misconceptions about search engine optimization.
1. The Quantity of Inbound Links is More Important than the Quality
There was a time when having your website linked from a massive amount of websites would ensure a high search engine ranking. This time was very long ago. Nowadays, the quality of the sites you’re linked from is of the utmost importance. Having a large amount of inbound links from dubious sites is not helpful at all.
In fact, having your site linked from a high amount of low-quality sites might actually make Google’s algorithm think that your page is spam. For quality inbound links, design a network of sites with good content and create relationships with owners of other high-quality websites.
2. Keywords Must Appear in Abundance and Match Search Terms
Early search engine algorithms required you to design your site around the notion that your content had to contain the exact words that people would put into a search query. Many designers still build websites around this concept.
The fact is that search engines are much smarter now. They understand the meanings behind words and phrases. You do not have to stuff every possible variation of a keyword or phrase into your content in order to be seen. If you create quality content that addresses a topic that people want to read about, they will be able to find it regardless of how you phrase it.
3. Search Engines Don’t Work for Your Market
Search engines have a big impact on almost every market. Many website owners cripple themselves early on by working on the mistaken notion that SEO won’t help them. Be sure to do research on your market by using search engines to find similar content.
If you find that there’s not much out there, don’t take it as a sign that search engines aren’t good for what you’re doing. Take it as an opportunity to dominate a market before others get to it.
4. SEO is About Tricking People
Many people are under the impression that SEO is an unscrupulous bag of tricks that is used to lure unwitting Internet users to your content. Although such trickery could generate traffic a few decades ago, search engines have gotten much better at connecting users with relevant content while penalizing trickery. If it sounds sneaky, assume that it will hurt your search results.
5. SEO is Dead
Most of the more unscrupulous SEO tactics are no longer beneficial. Because of this change, many people believe that SEO no longer serves a purpose. This notion is false. The nature of SEO has simply changed. Good search engine optimization is now about being able to think like a regular person who is searching for information and creating content that properly addresses their needs.
Search engine optimization has changed a lot over the last few years. Most of the myths that are out there exist because at some time, they were facts. If you want your websites to be successful, it is imperative that you remain informed about changes to SEO and search algorithms as they arise.