SEO is essential for those who want to improve their site's ranking in Google. Although the precise working of the search engine algorithm is a secret, some techniques or tricks are often leaked that help those who are dedicated to SEO. However, not everything you hear is always true. In this article, we will confirm or disprove 13 SEO techniques.
How does Google ranking work?
Before we begin, it is necessary to briefly clarify the following: the main objective of search engines is to provide users with the best possible search results.
This is because providing a good search experience is in the interest of the search engines themselves, who would lose users if they did not provide (the best) results relevant to their search queries.
For this reason, the search engine algorithm is constantly evolving, and alongside what is true being shared on the Google Search Center , there are often false myths about SEO that need to be dispelled.
1. The more times the keywords are used, the higher the ranking
While a few years ago it was enough to endlessly repeat a keyword to position yourself in the top positions, today this technique, called keyword stuffing , no longer works and even has negative consequences.
In fact, Google crawlers consider content of this type to be of low quality, as it causes a poor search experience for the user. The number one rule for content creators on the web is to actually write for users, not search engines .
2. Loading speed is a ranking factor
Yes, already in July 2018 Google stated that the loading speed of a page has become a ranking factor, not only from desktop but also (and especially) from mobile.
"Users want to be able to find the answers to their questions as quickly as possible , and several studies show that page speed is a very important aspect for people. Although speed has been used in ranking for a long time, this indicator refers to primarily to desktop searches. Today we're announcing that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches. "
If your pages load too slowly, users are more likely to leave your site and this translates into a lower conversion rate.
3. Using the same keywords on different pages is not a problem
Repeated use of the same keyword on multiple pages leads to what 's called keyword cannibalization , which is detrimental to rankings.
This is because if multiple pages include the same keyword, they will compete with each other and the search engine will have trouble deciding which page best answers the user's query. Consequently, the position in the SERPs of various pages will be "swapped" continuously: one day a user will see one, the next another, etc.
💡 If your keywords repeat themselves and you can't do without them, try using different variations via long-tail keywords (discussed in point 10).
4. Updated content ranks better
Let's briefly return to the point already mentioned, which is the purpose of Google: to ensure the best possible search results for its users, the search engine will prefer to show new or updated results, because they offer the most value.
With few exceptions (for example, pages dedicated to the definition of a term that can remain more static), you can improve the ranking of your pages if their content is updated regularly.
Always remember that SEO is a process that requires continuity and perseverance to show positive results.
5. Meta keywords are ranking factors
No, meta keywords (a type of meta tag that appears in the HTML code of a page and is used to describe the topic to search engines) are no longer taken into account by search engines.
Again, this is one of those SEO myths that used to be true, but has now become irrelevant to ranking due to overuse.
6. Reviews improve SEO
Yes, it is not a myth, the words found in the comments that your customers leave benefit SEO, as well as providing the social proof that online shoppers are looking for.
Like all types of user-generated content, reviews are considered by Google as fresh and up-to-date content, which, as we saw in point 4, helps your pages rank better.
7. The quantity of links is more important than the quality
Although having many inbound links sends a positive signal to search engines, the saying "quality is better than quantity" applies here.
Too many links from low-quality pages can have the opposite effect of lowering your page's ranking, as well as damaging your online reputation.
Similarly, the outgoing links must also be of quality. Focus on what is really useful for your visitors and avoid linking to pages of irrelevant or unreliable sites, which can take your visitors away from your site unnecessarily.
💡 Don't know how to determine if a site is of quality? You can check your domain authority with the ahrefs website "authority" checker. The score ranges from 1 to 100, and the higher a website is, the safer it will be to link to it.
8. Off-Page SEO cannot be controlled
Unlike on-page optimization, off-page SEO is less easy to control, but not impossible. In fact, since they are signals that come from outside, you do not have much influence on them, but you can influence them and thus improve the relevance and reliability of your site.
🚀 Discover now four SEO Off-Page optimization strategies .
9. Crawl budget cannot be increased
The crawl budget , that is, the time that Google spends on your pages, can be increased by following a few steps. In addition, the time interval between scans can also be reduced. In this way, you increase the possibility that your pages appear in the first positions of the search results.
10. Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for
Long -tail keywords have less search volume than short keywords (up to two words), but are often easier to rank for.
This is because there is less competition. Consequently, the search volume will be lower, but the probability of appearing among the first results of Google will be higher.
💡 Long-tail keywords account for 70% of web searches, so not taking advantage of them would be a waste of traffic and potential customers.
11. Social Media Improves Ranking
Fake. But there is a "but"
Social networks help increase the visibility of a brand, but not directly. Although the interactions of your publication do not have an impact on the ranking of your site, social networks are, in fact, an excellent channel to increase the base of followers and increase the awareness of your brand.
Therefore, a post that is clicked, commented on, or shared does not improve your ranking, rather it increases the reach of the post and helps you gain credibility, trust, and traffic to your online store.
12. Duplicate content does not penalize you
It is only partially true.
John Muller (Google Webmaster Trends Analyst) says:
"With this type of duplicate content, it's not so much that you associate a negative score, it's more that if you find the exact same information on multiple web pages and a If the user is specifically looking for that information, then we will try to find the page that best matches.
So if the same content is present on several pages, we will not show them all. We will try to choose one and show it. Therefore, it is not a negative signal In many cases it is normal that there is a certain amount of duplicate content on some pages."
However, even though Google's algorithm doesn't penalize duplicate content, it doesn't benefit you either. Therefore, it is convenient to avoid or limit this type of content by enriching and/or personalizing the texts with unique content.
For more information: 6:37-9:25
13. To get a good ranking you have to pay
To be indexed and crawled by Google, you do not have to pay, nor to appear in the first search results. Commit to producing quality content and your efforts will pay off.
It is best to avoid any improper or prohibited techniques of what is called Black Hat SEO (such as buying backlinks) in an attempt to improve your site's ranking because, most of the time, it only has the opposite effect.
There is no specific formula that will always help improve the positioning of your site in search engines. SEO takes time and perseverance, researching the right keywords, analyzing the competition, and following the rules. When in doubt, always remember that your texts should be optimized for users, not for search engines.
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