Search Engine Optimization has evolved over the past decade — more than any other marketing medium. Searches for SEO tactics that are outdated (or simply not best practices) still sit in the Search Engines indexes. Add to the mix, Google’s recent algorithm updates Penguin 3.0, Panda and Hummingbird. These factors combined have had an impact on widely practiced SEO beliefs and tactics.
SEO tactics and common beliefs that are dead.
Here are seven of them…
1. Meta Keywords Matter
This is the oldest myth on our list (blogged about it back in 2008). Meta keywords do not improve rankings. Google actually has ignored these keyword tags for several years now. And…don’t take my word for it. Here is Matt Cutts from Google confirming the fact that this meta tag is not used in web ranking. What is true is that your competitors can easily access the keywords that you want to target (simply by looking at your source code).
2. PPC Impacts SEO
This is another myth that just never dies. It is still believed that a Pay-Per-Click advertising campaign, such as Google AdWords, helps your ranking in organic search results. This is simply not true. Never has been. What is true is that web conversions are higher when you appear in both organic & paid search results for the same search term.
3. Link Building is Dead
No it has just simply changed. Link schemes are dead (or dying out) due to Google’s Penguin 3.0 update (we think this is a good thing). Links are still SEO fuel. This tactic however is more about Link Acquisition or Link Earning. It’s hard to rank on content alone.
4. Bigger Sites Rank Higher
Yes content is king. Always has been – always will be. However having more web pages and blog posts in the Search Engine index alone does not help you rank higher than your competitors. Google’s last Panda update addressed sites with poor quality content. In other words, quality (relevant content) outranks quantity. It is also not true that bigger sites get preferential treatment when is comes to reconsideration requests to Google (just so you know).
5. Use the .COM
It depends. If you are targeting a specific country – use the country code domain extension. These top level domains tell Search Engines which country you are targeting. After all you want to be displayed in the right search engine index – correct? Use the .COM only if you are targeting the USA, North America or worldwide.
6. Social Media Signals Impact Search Rankings
Everyone wants to believe this myth. But it’s simply not true (not yet anyways). Google has even made an official announcement saying that social signals do not affect your SEO. Your rankings will not change depending on how many people are in your circles, retweeting your content, becoming a fan of your Facebook page, etc. What is true is that your Social Media profiles (most of them anyways) can be crawled, indexed and displayed in the SERPs. You can also get organic web traffic from Social sources.
7. It’s All About Rankings
Rankings do matter. However ranking, even ranking high, does not necessarily mean an increase in web traffic. You need to get the click. Without the click from the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) no traffic will be directed to your website. Period. And… it’s likely goes without saying – but unqualified clicks (and web traffic) do not convert. Website conversions are ultimately what matters.
These seven SEO myths just don’t work in 2014. Implementing outdated SEO tactics is simply a waste of time. Even worse, using SEO strategies that are considered spam by the Search Engines can hurt your search results – and in some cases even result in penalties. Resolving these search issues not only requires expertise (can get expensive). It can also take a very long time. Play by the rules!
Got SEO questions? Just ask!