Just take a look at how Google’s Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon algorithm updates shook the world of SEO practitioners — marketers and SEO agencies worldwide halted their link building and keyword-obsessed ways and swapped them for a long overdue focus on quality content.
But do these SEO changes mean a marketer’s job is just to pump out high-quality, keyword-optimized content? No!
In fact, SEO has changed so much in the past several years that many marketers aren’t sure what’s outdated, what’s important, what will actually move the needle, and what is simply wasted effort.
22 of the Most Common SEO Myths and Assumptions
This blog series will point out 22 of the most common myths and assumptions about how SEO works, and debunk them for you, so you’re not wasting a single moment on things that simply don’t matter for SEO in 2015.
We realize you’re a busy person, and 22 myths are a lot to cover! So, we’ll discuss 7 myths over 3 blog posts.
Let’s begin with the first 7 of the 22 Myths to Ditch!
Myth #1 More Traffic Means More Revenue
SEO seems promising. Maybe even, too good to be true.
Traditional SEO helps generate visits. At first, it is easy to believe this:
Visits = Revenue
But in fact, visits mean nothing unless the visits are qualified prospects that ultimately purchase something from you.
So, the real formula is this:
Visits x Conversions = Revenue
SEO spammers may promise more visits.
But, are you sure you want what you are asking for? W
ould you rather have 1,000 “leads” that generate 2 sales, or 10 leads that generate 5 sales?
The quality of the traffic and your conversion rates are more important.
Myth #2 SEO is Set and Forget
SEO is your business in the hyper-competitive marketplace of ideas facilitated by the Internet.
SEO is fundamentally a science. Applying the Scientific method moves your strategy forward.
● Formulate a hypothesis
● run an experiment
● measure the results
Right now, your competition is working hard to bury your links.
Updates are necessary.
Your best content must continue to work so you stay afloat.
Find your best content, then tune and supplement to move ahead.
Myth #3 SEO Results are Immediate
Your site may be “crawled” daily, weekly, or monthly. Google’s indexes may not update for a day or two after being crawled. You have some control over frequency, but primarily, Google measures how frequently you update your content and adjust crawl times appropriately.
If you update frequently, expect Google to stop by more often.
If not, don’t expect the same courtesy from them.
Maintain a frequent update cycle to keep Google returning more often.
Myth #4 Search Engines Don’t Care about Accuracy
Google cares a lot about accuracy. Google only wants accurate, authoritative results for its search results.
If Google invites a visitor to your site, Google wants that visitor to get exactly what they asked for. If your site has changed and the index is out of date, that user may not continue to trust Google. They would likely lose a regular user.
Also, Google’s “Bounce Rate” metric is highly weighed when determining the quality of your website. A high bounce rate indicates a low quality site which “bounced” the visitor back to Google for another search.
By simply comparing your site’s bounce rate to the clicks you get for specific keywords, Google can tell how authoritative your site is to a particular audience.
Using Webmaster Tools, ask Google to re-crawl your site when it has been updated,
disavow links from bad neighborhoods,
monitor site messages and search queries, and target pages.
Google wants the visitor to get exactly what they asked for.
Myth #5 Seat of the Pants is Good Enough
Too many companies perform SEO updates only part time, or report only once a week. That may have worked in the past, but no longer.
Remember, it’s scientific?
To have any meaning, SEO efforts and results must be logged, and results measured.
Keep a date stamped log of changes made.
Ensure some kind of analytics is installed and monitored. Without analytics and metrics, it’s impossible to tie activity to results, good or bad.
Myth #6 Google Authorship Will Increase Search Visibility and Clickthrough Rates
In past years we’ve advised the adding of Google Authorship to your blog. But for 2015 — and the foreseeable future — you can forget about Authorship altogether: It no longer exists.
In June of 2014, Google removed Google Authorship photos from search engine results pages. While your name and byline would still appear, your beautiful headshot would not.
Then, in August of 2014, Google struck the final blow to Authorship and completely dismantled the program. All byline info disappeared from Google’s search results.
You can forget about Authorship altogether.
Actually, Google+ posts from your connections now look like Authorship
— so this change might be an aggressive ploy to get more people on Google+ ….
This does not spell the end of SEO.
It simply means that you must tweak your marketing activities.
Myth #7 The Site Must be “Officially” Submitted to Google
Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) fostered by SEO spammers usually starts with a simple question, “Have you submitted your site to Google”?
The idea that you must submit your website to Google in order to appear in search results (or rank) is nonsense.
While a spanking new site can submit its URL to Google directly, and you can ask Webmaster Tools to re-index, a smart search engine like Google will still find your site without you submitting it.
And remember, a submission does not guarantee anything. Crawlers will find your site and index it in due time, so don’t worry about this idea of needing to inform Google about your site.
Instead, pay more attention to what you want to block from Google’s crawlers via your robots.txt file.
Certain directories and pages, such as internal search results,
are typically kept out of Google’s search index so that your real content takes the lead.
Onward to 7 More Myths to Ditch! [/col]