Top SEO Myths of 2017
SEO Myths Debunked: As a blogger, a website owner, or a digital marketer you must be well aware of acronym “SEO” which stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. Search engine algorithms have always been a mystery to most people and it’s no secret that search rankings can be obtained in numerous different ways.
To say SEO has “changed a lot” would be the understatement of the decade. We’ll often see multiple updates per year from Google, including the one from last year update in spring, called Mobilegeddon. Not to mention how Google’s Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates totally shook up the world of SEO.
Because of these multiple updates in the past several years, many people aren’t sure what’s outdated, what’s important, and what’s simply wasted of efforts. This post is going to point out some of the most common SEO myths and assumptions about how SEO works and debunk them for you. After reading this post, you will know the things that simply don’t matter for SEO in 2017. Now Let’s get started.
MYTH # 1: I must submit my site to Google.
Reality: The idea that you need to submit your website to Google in order to appear in search results (or rank) doest not make any sense now. Although a brand new site can submit its URL to Google directly but a search engine like Google will still find your site without you submitting it too. Matt Cutts quote explains exactly how this works. Even if you do submit your site to Google, a submission does not guarantee anything. Crawlers will find your site and index it in due time, so don’t worry about this idea of needing to “tell” Google about your site.
If you’d like to hear more from Matt Cutts about “How Google Works”. Check out this video:
MYTH # 2: Keywords need to be an exact match.
Reality: Keywords do not need to be repeated exactly throughout a piece of content. Especially, In a headline, you want to use a keyword (or keywords) in a way that makes the most sense to your audience. The goal should be to write an excellent headline (somewhere between 4-9 words) that clearly explains what a piece of content is about.
This rule applies not only to headlines, but also the content on the page: The goal should be to inform the reader, not to inform the search engines. 🙂
Keyword stuffing is the act of showing as many keywords onto the page as possible. Google’s own, Matt Cutts, warned website owners in 2007 against stuffing your page with keywords to rank higher in the search results.
Some webmasters did not take this seriously until Google came out with new algorithm updates, like Panda and that was meant to target bad content. Keyword stuffing is 100% against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and is a dangerous game. Because of Google’s algorithm getting more advanced each year, you are likely to get your website penalized with such actions.
MYTH # 3: The H1 Heading is the most important on-page element.
Reality: What title tag your headline is wrapped into has little to no influence on your overall SEO. Your H1 heading is important, but it’s not the most important. Just think of your content structure on the web page as an outline. It’s mainly a tiered scheme to presenting your page information to users and search engines. What title tag (like H1, H2 etc) you have your headline wrapped in has little to no influence on your overall SEO whether it’s an H1, H2, H3, etc. is only used for styling and presentation purpose.
I believe, it really doesn’t matter what header you use, as long as you present your most important concepts up front and closer to the top of the page. Do remember, you’re optimizing your page for users first and foremost, which means that you want to tell them ASAP what your page is about through a clear headline. This is the only thing you should think while writing content. SEO will automatically be fine if your page is optimized correctly for the user.
MYTH # 4: I don’t need a mobile optimization strategy.
Reality: In the spring of 2015, Google had an algorithm update called “Mobilegeddon” which expanded Google’s use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. This update rewards mobile-friendly websites and penalizes those that aren’t fully optimized for mobile in mobile search results.
You can test you website mobile friendliness, you can use this link – Mobile-Friendly Test.
MYTH # 5: Meta descriptions have a huge impact on search rankings.
Reality: Meta descriptions are HTML attributes. Basically, it explains the contents of the web pages. You might have seen them before when you do a Google’s search, where they’re commonly used as preview snippets.
So, it’d make sense that Google’s algorithm would take these meta descriptions into account when determining search rankings right?
Well, not so much. Google announced, back in 2009, that meta descriptions (and meta keywords) have no bearing on search rankings. This doesn’t mean that these descriptions aren’t important for SEO. On the other hand, Meta descriptions present a major opportunity to separate yourself from the others and influence searchers that your page is worth navigating.
Findings suggest that Google no longer requires your title tag to include an exact keyword in order to interpret a page’s subject matter. For example, if you type “how to start a website” into Google, only one out of the ten top pages include an exact match keyword in their title tag.
Having a relevant, compelling meta description can be the difference between a searcher who clicks through to your page and one who clicks elsewhere.
What do you think?
Now that you know what the top 5 SEO myths are, what are you going to do with that? Would you make a significant change in your strategies?
I think understanding these SEO myths will make people like you and me both more effective and more efficient with our organic search strategy. One thing which we all know that SEO is an ongoing thing which will never end. So it’s better to avoid the myths while doing the work.
I hope this article will help you in some away. If you think you know any other SEO myths that are not applicable as of 2017 and worth sharing then do add some value in comments below.