“Keywords aren’t relevant anymore.” “Linking out to another site will hurt my SEO efforts.” Have you been hearing statements like those lately? Yes, SEO is constantly changing and evolving, but that doesn’t mean everything that was true yesterday will be true tomorrow and vice versa.
In this post, I’m going to discuss five common SEO myths my Blue Corona peers and I—and probably you—have heard before.
Statements & Common Questions About SEO Today
The following statements are NOT true:
Keywords aren’t important anymore for SEO.
It would be more accurate to say, “Keyword density isn’t as important, but keywords are still important for providing relevant content.” SEO has shifted from a keyword-density focus to an authority, link-worthy content focus. But keywords are still important—how else will users find your page when they type in a phrase related to your services or products?
The search engines are all about helping the user find the most relevant pages. If you have no keywords on your page (just one keyword in the title tag), it may not be as relevant in Google’s eyes and may not rank as well. Google does look at your actual on-page content, not just the title tag.
Google ignores meta tags, especially now that keywords are dead.
No, this simply isn’t true. I’ll say two things. 1) While Google doesn’t use the keywords meta tag—confirmed by Matt Cutts a few of years ago (see the video below), it doesn’t ignore the meta tags in general. In fact, the meta description tag is important, says Matt. “…oftentimes, if you have a good meta description tag, we will use that information—or part of that information—in our snippet.”
2) Google doesn’t use the keywords meta tag, but this doesn’t mean that other search engines don’t. And after all, Google ain’t the only search engine people use. Don’t completely dismiss the others—after all, optimizing your site for Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engines can be beneficial.
Paid search can help boost your organic rankings.
At Blue Corona, we write for a lot of clients who aren’t using our PPC services—and guess what? Their organic rankings are off the chart! Also, for those who are still skeptical about this and always have been, let me add in a little excerpt from a Moz blog post:
“…the most common SEO conspiracy theory: spending on search engine advertising (PPC) improves your organic SEO rankings. In all the experiences we’ve ever witnessed or heard about, this has never been proven nor has it ever been a probable explanation for effects in the organic results…At Google in particular, advertisers spending tens of millions of dollars each month have noted that even they cannot get special access or consideration from the search quality or web spam teams.”
You don’t need to partake in paid search to bolster your organic rankings—all you need is great, link-worthy content and a website free of black hat SEO tactics!
Linking out to external sites can have a negative effect on my SEO.
If this was the case, a lot of websites would be failing at SEO. Linking out to other sites won’t tank your PageRank and make you seem less like an authority. On the contrary—SEO is about giving the user the best experience and building a community, and outbound linking can help with this.
What it comes down to is the searcher. If helping the user more easily find what they’re looking for means linking out to another site, link out. Here are things that can hurt your SEO efforts—linking out to another relevant site (without asking for a reciprocal link) isn’t included!
Anyone can do SEO.
I kind of resent that statement—I’d like to think my twin sister, who is like me in pretty much every way—doesn’t have the writing and SEO skills I do (there’s at least one difference!). SEO can be learned, don’t get me wrong, but professional companies who have perfected SEO skills and best practices and can give you advice without trying to sell their services are different (read: more effective) than someone attempting it on their own after reading a couple of articles.
About The Author: Alanna is a content marketing specialist with Blue Corona. When she's not doubling and tripling website traffic and leads for remodeling companies, she enjoys reading and working out.
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