By January 23, 2013 Read More →

SEO myths: are you hurting your website?

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The world of SEO (search engine optimisation) is an ever-changing field, which despite the moniker, now goes far beyond simply optimising a website to rank well on search engine result pages.

As SEOs strive to appease Google’s enigmatic algorithm, it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments. In this article, we’ll explore some of the biggest myths surrounding SEO practices and help you and your website sidestep any pitfalls.

Keywords are king

Keywords have traditionally held a very high position in the arsenal of SEOs, but Google algorithm updates like Panda and Venice have seen their importance wane. Some out-of-date practices to steer clear of include aiming for a certain density of keywords and plastering content with key phrases.

That’s not to say keywords aren’t still useful, but now the focus is more on their quality and position rather than sheer quantity. It’s a good idea to include a keyword or phrase in the title of a page, to enhance relevancy. Similarly, a variation or keyword in the body of the content can also be of use.

The same rules apply for domain names, which Google was previously quite keen on. However, these days more weight is placed on relevancy, which an optimised domain name is no guarantee of.

The weakest link

Inbound links have been another staple of SEO for many years now, but recent algorithm updates have, again, placed more emphasis on quality over quantity (are you noticing a pattern here?) Forking out cash for thousands of low-quality links is no longer a guaranteed way of boosting your website rankings and can in fact hurt your site.

Instead, you should focus your efforts on accruing diverse links that are relevant to your products or services. When it comes to guest articles, blogs and the like, it might be a good idea to outsource your content to an expert. This can be of particular use if you’ve got the budget, but lack the time or resources to create your own.

Content isn’t everything

Although website content has become an element of vital importance in SEO, it’s not the be-all and end-all of everything. Having high quality content is no guarantee of good placement on search engines and is only one element of a good SEO campaign.

You should be aiming to pair your content with other techniques, such as quality backlinks, rather than trying to compete with engaging content alone.

SEO is not dead

Every time Google unveils an update to its algorithms, industry pundits are keen to sound the death knell for SEO. However, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated and despite undergoing significant changes, SEO is alive and kicking.

Google’s regular updates simply aim to improve user experience and have penalised sites that attempt to con their way into a high ranking. Good SEO is increasingly focused on driving organic publicity to your site via sharing and linking. Similarly, the growing role of social is bound to herald further changes in the field that will be well worth keeping on top of.

SEO is no longer a one-size-fits-all practice where companies can follow a paint-by-numbers approach and guarantee a high placing on results pages. Instead, you should aim to join the businesses and brands from a range of sectors that are now utilising similar tools in highly different ways to great effect.

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3 Comments on "SEO myths: are you hurting your website?"

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  1. Kaitlyn says:

    This is brilliant! I’ve been reading way too many conflicting posts on the subject of SEO. Nice to see a clear, concise post about its ongoing evolution.

    • Judy says:

      Glad it helps, Kaitlyn. I find it very confusing too – if you Google an SEO question, lots of posts from years ago come up and there’s no way of telling if the information is still valid. Well, actually, that goes for last month as well :-/

  2. Tania says:

    Thank you for this very interesting post about SEO strategies. It is clear and very well written!
    Google algorithms aren’t made to kill the SEO strategies but more to fight against spammers and blackhat strategies.
    I have read many of your articles, please continue your good work…
    Best regards,
    Tania M.