Additionally, due to the technicality and intricacies associated with this profession, it’s often the case that nobody really knows what the truth is. This has facilitated the spread of misinformation. And, in turn, it has made it difficult for one to establish facts successfully in the industry.
Trusting that a myth is accurate is a huge mistake in every line of work, and SEO is no different. In order to have a high SEO ranking, one requires a good sense of awareness alongside a knack for problem-solving. It’s somewhat of an equation. The components are the methods with which you use to achieve results, and the product is your desired outcome and revenue.
So, considering how easy it is to be led astray by the myths that float around in the world of SEO, we’ve decided to tackle them head-on. If you really want to take your business to the next level, improve your ranking and refine the methods used, then you need to recognise and reject these myths.
Below are a few that you should take note of.
- Keyword targeting stopped being important after Hummingbird update
As it usually is with every significant algorithm update, this particular one shook the SEO world and changed the nature of searching forever. With the emphasis shifted away from the production of unique website content, people began to believe that keywords were no longer vital.
But this could not have been further from the truth. In fact, keyword targeting remained just as important, with only one crucial change – there was lesser significance placed on keyword rationing.
Another factor that became more essential to consider was searcher intent. What the Hummingbird update really did was to make digital marketers pay more attention to the target audience’s objectives rather than focus on how likely a keyword is able to make it to the first page. Getting to know your audience inside out became the key to success for SEO.
- An XML sitemap will immediately make your ratings skyrocket
There was a time when everyone had the Google XML sitemaps generator on their WordPress website because people believed that XML sitemaps helped one to manage their website ranking efficiently. But unfortunately, this belief is not accurate. You can’t expect to succeed in the world of SEO by just putting all your faith in a single parameter.
Nevertheless, XML sitemaps are still necessary for the grand scheme of things and are mandatory if you want to build a crawlable site. By editing existing posts and creating new ones, the XML generator registers this change in information and sends an updated sitemap to Google. However, while this does ensure that your sitemap is accurate, there’s no proof of any direct effect it has on your website’s ranking.
- Meta tags are irrelevant
Let’s begin by explaining what meta tags are. Meta tags are HTML tags that are found in between the opening and closing head tags, and what they do is to help provide snippets in the sea of search results. In the post-Hummingbird world, there has been much debate about the significance of this feature.
In order to have a successfully constructed meta tag, you need three elements – a title tag, the meta description, and meta keywords or phrases. Meta tags not only improve your SEO ranking, they generate more organic clicks as well. They do this by increasing your website’s appeal to potential readers as meta tags indicate the presence of high-quality content.
Also, as you continue sending more information to Google and making your sitemap clearer, the positive effects of meta tags are increased. Features like meta descriptions are incredibly immersive. With just a small amount of text, you have a chance to attract a large group of potential readers.
You might also want to take note that front-load keywords should be placed at the beginning of your description, alongside questions and numbers. These things spark curiosity among visitors and in turn, help you to garner more conversions.
- Top-level domains impact your ratings
What would we define as a top-level domain? It’s a page that can be found at the highest possible hierarchical position in the system of domain names. Many of us are used to .com but seem to be overwhelmed with confusion when we run into .biz or .guru. This is likely because 98% of all search results are based on .com.
However, after extensive research and debate, it’s apparent now that there is no difference between employing .biz or .com as your site extension. The only exception made by Google is country-tagged sites. For instance, if you have a website with a .ca extension, Google will favour showing your site to the local audiences indicated by that extension. On the other hand, with .com, the chances of your page popping up in search results internationally will be higher.
To make the most of these extensions, you should decide whether you would like to operate locally or globally. If you’re running a car parts store, it’s probably for the best that you focus on the local markets.
- Target keywords in anchor text don’t matter anymore
Anchor text is the name for the textual information that makes up the body of a hyperlink. Before Google’s Penguin update, people believed that spamming your anchor text with target keywords would help your SEO ranking to skyrocket. But whilst doing so might’ve given your ranking a slight boost, the effects were never drastic. To make matters worse, the Penguin update started to penalise sites for “over-optimisation”.
Saying that target keywords are an essential component of anchor text would be a gross misstatement. Saying that they shouldn’t be used at all, however, would be inaccurate as well.