We find we spend a lot of time debunking outdated misconceptions about SEO techniques. Things move on: the team behind the pre-eminent search engine Google is constantly making improvements to the complex algorithms that run its product meaning anyone who is serious about SEO also has to change with the times.
Here are five outdated ideas about SEO:
A website’s ranking is proportional to the number of links it has.
This is one of most commonly held misconceptions people still hold. Yes, it is true that a link from your webpage to a credible and relevant source will boost its ranking but the same cannot be said for a link to any old location. Only good quality links work when thinking of a Google ranking, so the best approach is to have a few good quality links rather than too many substandard ones.
High-volume and low-quality content is the way to achieve good SEO
Back in the day when Google’s search algorithm was relatively unsophisticated, and would reward websites that used lots of keywords, the above approach may have worked – but not today.
Google’s algorithms are looking for a few relevant terms but they can also decipher better well-written, meaningful content. How long users stay on a page or a website is also taken into consideration –an element that is bound to suffer if you go down the low-quality content route
Keyword stuffing can push you up the rankings
Modern search engines, such as Google, work on the law of diminishing returns. The first couple of times a keyword appears on a website it will help to substantially boost your rankings. Include it a few more times and there might be a further improvement but it won’t be as substantial. Continue to repeat a word and your ranking will plateau and eventually decline. Cramming content and online articles with keywords is a practice known as keyword stuffing and is not the way to get noticed on Google or to endear yourself to your online audience.
What works one year in SEO will work the next
Over the years, Google has released a stream of fresh updates and new search algorithms that put steadily greater emphasis on quality of content. The Hummingbird update in 2013 was the last major update to the overall infrastructure, while the latest mobile friendly update has also caused quite a stir.
SEO moves on and is an increasingly important part of a company’s marketing arsenal as more and more businesses moves online. It is therefore in the interests of every business to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the sector.
I’m guaranteed more success with pay-per-click
Yes, a ‘pay per click’ marketing approach (otherwise known as PPC) will generate traffic and maybe lead to conversions on your website, but it cannot be the only means of targeting your online audience. In the long-run PPC is a far less cost-effective and sustainable approach than SEO or natural search. After all over 85% of people claim to completely ignore PPC adverts.
For advice on more modern SEO techniques take a look at the SEO category on our blog.