There are a lot of articles, websites, tools and self- proclaimed experts on the web offering up advice on how to optimise your website for the best possible search engine performance. Unfortunately, this also means that a few persistent myths have arisen over time. Some of these were once based in fact, but as engine algorithms have changed, they’ve grown outdated. Check out a few of the major misconceptions below, and steer clear of any website or ‘expert’ who leads with these.
Paying For Adverts On Search Engines Helps Your Organic Listing Results
This is by far and away the most common myth, and the idea perpetuates despite no evidence to support it. Spending money on Google AdWords, or similar search engine advertising schemes, in no way affects or improves your organic search engine listings. All the major search engines have distinct divisions between their search and paid-search departments to avoid any such crossover, so don’t throw away your money on adverts simply because you think it will help your regular search listings – because it won’t.
Keyword stuffing and density are the key to success. The idea behind this approach to SEO is that by achieving a mathematical density of your keywords proportional to your content, you’ll improve your ranking and relevancy scores. While it’s true to say that using appropriate keywords in a natural way, at multiple hierarchical levels within your page content, will help your SEO, it’s not the case that achieving a four per cent density, six per cent density or two per cent density will improve your results. In fact, if you ‘over-stuff’ your keywords into your content, you’re more at risk of being reported for spam than anything else.
You Must Submit A Site To The Search Engines Before You’ll Be Indexed
Again, this myth is based on an outdated approach to SEO. In the distant past, search engines all had submission forms through which a webmaster could inform the engine of their site’s existence. Not long after the website was submitted, a search engine spider would come along and index it. These days, however, there are just too many websites being generated on a daily basis for this approach to hold value. Instead, spiders discover websites via links from other sites they already know about. It is true to say that there’s value in using tools such as Google’s XML sitemap submission, as this allows you to place emphasis on particular areas of your site, but you won’t speed up the indexing of your website by submitting it via a form to the search engines. This is a favourite promise of less scrupulous ‘SEO experts’; they’ll offer to submit your site to thousands of search engines. Avoid falling for the lie!
The More Links You Have Makes For A Better Ranking
This particular myth is especially dangerous because an element of it is based in fact. It’s true to say that where you have high-quality inbound links coming from respected sources related to your own content specialism, these will significantly boost your search engine optimisation efforts. What’s not true at all, however, is the idea that the more links you get, the better your ranking will become. Links that have no relation to your content whatsoever offer no benefit at all, and as a result any service that promises to generate hundreds or thousands of links to your site automatically is a waste of time and money. It’s far better to focus on getting a few good-quality links over time than many low-quality ones in a hurry.