Getting to the bottom of widely held myths within the SEO world is an on-going task that the team at Dental Design pursue on a daily basis. We want truths. Not myths. However, part of SEO knowledge is based on anecdotal evidence of peers and like any community it’s reasonable for wires to get crossed and assumptions to be made on the smallest piece of hearsay. Whilst appreciating where these myths originate from, they are by no means helpful and I thought some clarity on the Top 5 SEO myths would be a useful.
In the light of search engine algorithmic changes which are rewarding great content, it’s easy to see how this has spread.
The jist of the myth is that you ‘just’ build an amazing website with even more amazing content and watch the traffic roll on in.
Really? Well, no.
If it were that easy, all SEO professionals would be writers or out of work. Unfortunately, while great writing and great content is a large part of SEO and something your site definitely needs, it also needs links, a strong technical base, fast page downloads, and the list goes on and on.
Create content, with other SEO tactics are needed unless you want to be sitting all alone in a big field.
This one can be slightly excused, not least for the mixed messages coming from Matt Cutts, Google Head of Spam who gives clarity to what is a bad link, but leaves it blurry with regards to what is deemed a ‘good link.
However, he has never said they are ‘dead’. If anything, the opposite is true.
Links aren’t dead. You need links. What do you do?
You don’t want to go to a link farm and buy links and get your site potentially penalised because that method is dead.
However, you can hire someone with experience in helping businesses acquire links in a natural way. For dental practices this is by talking to any business – dental or local – that you have a real-world connection with and contacting them for a link. This is the only method of link building that Google is supporting, as long as it is all above board, no money is changing hands etc. Getting inventive here helps and a pro-active approach to this link campaign will see results.
Links are alive. Just some of the methods of attaining them have died.
Analytics is a must-have. Yet often people don’t put Google Analytics on their site because they think Google spies on them, so they fly blind.
Is this true? Does Google use Google Analytics to spy in you? Well, yes and no.
For instance, if you’re creating multiple domains that are being used for nefarious things (in Google’s eyes) and these sites all share the same Google Analytics code then yes, Google now knows you have these same domains (i.e., you have linked them together and told Google you own them).
If this is your link network, well you have now outed yourself. Have a penalty? Decided to just start a new site, not fix the old one? Did you use the same Google Analytics code? Well, same thing.
However, is Google using Google Analytics as part of site positioning? No.
These are separate arms of the same company and they simply don’t interact at that level. Also, many sites don’t use Google Analytics, so if Google used Analytics to determine the results, it would probably be worse than excluding links as a ranking factor. It doesn’t make practical sense.
You’ve probably heard this before: “We don’t care about ranking. Traffic is what we measure.” While there is truth in this, it’s also a bit deceptive.
Sure, there is no true top 10 anymore. With geolocation, personalisation, and other factors, you can no longer pull up a definite top 10 and know you are seeing what anyone else is seeing.
That being said, and as much as relevant, converting traffic is the most important metric when measuring the ROI of you investment dollars, the difference between 1st and 5th and 5th and 10th greatly affects the flow and amount of that traffic, so even if we can’t be sure how everyone is seeing the site in the SERPs, we can have a good idea of the opportunities for traffic increases and where drops and where these are happening if we follow the keyword positions.
Position does matter. Rankings maybe not. Above-the-fold is the ideal.
No. Can you get links from social, yes, once they leave the walled garden, but not from sharing itself (Google+ excluded here).
The reason is simple. There is a negative history with Facebook and Google and Google and Twitter. Neither company is willing to give Google consistent access to their fire hose, so Google simply can’t factor them into the algorithm.
A while back when Google did factor Twitter into the algorithm and had access to the fire hose, you ranked well for Twitter, but that changed when Twitter pulled that access from Google. You can learn more about that here.
Social is not the new link building; link building is the new link building,