SEO still remains one of the hottest debates in the digital marketing space. Largely this arises from individuals drafting theories (SEO myths) off their trial and error marketing bids without considering the technicalities of the search engine algorithm. The following SEO myths are amongst the most harmful.
1. Hummingbird eliminated the importance of keyword
Hummingbird was an entire algorithm update for google search engine which bases results on;
- History, etc.
Prior to this, majority if not all sites used keyword optimization to gain higher ranking. While this update affected 90% of searches, for the most part, its business as usual. Here’s why, “crawler bots” on search engines use keywords to understand the context of a query in order to deliver meaningful results. However, it’s important to avoid overusing keywords in your bid for better optimization. In fact this negatively affects your website through over-optimization penalties.
2. Google answers killed SEO
In the last few years, google displays aggregated answers in bold on top of the search page in response to specific queries without any immediate attribution of the source. This makes a lot of entrepreneurs skeptical about their SEO strategy in the first place. The feature doesn’t harm SEO because the majority of searchers still go ahead and click on the cited sites.
3. You need an SEO agent to get higher rankings
While the entirety of this myth statement cannot be busted, it’s rather important to understand that the google algorithm is factual and only seeks to deliver the most relevant content to its user’s queries every time. An SEO agent will definitely go a long way in assisting you with how you package your content in order to improve your ‘discoverability by search bots but that has nothing to do with how you rank. In contrary, creating useful content addressed to the right audience will get you better rankings.
4. Specific TLDs (Top-Level Domains) raise your site ranking
A good 98% of most websites indexed on google use a .com domain name. That’s why the majority of results bear the TLD. Using more specific TLDs like .email or .biz have no effect with how you rank. It still boils down to the quality and relevance of content which is starting to become a cliché at this point.
5. An XML sitemap will improve your ranking
XML maps help search bots discover and index new content you have posted in your site, whether fresh or as updates. This is primarily meant to making crawling around your site easier. Once you are indexed, it again narrows down to the value and delivery style of your content. However, without an XML, it can take up to two days for new content to be indexed.
6. Google affiliated SEO agents
Hardwork, consistency and diligence is the best way to make friends with search engines as they all have one common goal of delivering answers in line searchers intentions. However, technical tools( such as XML site maps) and experienced human input(SEO agents) will go a long way in helping you structure and position your content for better visibility and ranking.