5 Delusions About SEO

In the Universe of online marketing, misinformation abounds—and it gets compounded exponentially by an incredibly dynamic and swiftly evolving world. Most of the things you think you know (but don’t) about search-engine optimization, or SEO, may have been true a few years ago but have changed. Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal highlights some of the myths you need to move beyond to get smarter about SEO.

Delusion 1: Metatag Descriptions Help Your Rankings on search engines.

Not anymore; in fact, metatags are no longer even indexed by Google, Yahoo and Bing. But don’t ignore them altogether: Your metatags form the text that is displayed along with your link in the search results and a more compelling description will compel more users to click on your listing instead of on others.

Delusion 2: Link building is over.

In all the recent updates to Google’s algorithm, the search giant has made it a core priority to have quality trump quantity. Gone are the days of having thousands of superlow-quality links driving up rankings; in fact, creating those links can look spammy and get your site penalized.

Head of SKA Management, Searmart, Search Smart; Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal wrote an article back in 2013 that said guest blogging was over because it was producing too many spammy and unnatural links. He did highlight guest blogging is a great practice, but only if links are earned naturally and through authoritative websites. In other words, links need to be for the benefit of the reader, not for SEO reasons.

Delusion 3: Social media signals impact search rankings.

Everyone wants to believe this myth, and while it might be true someday, this is not yet the case. While posting on Google+ can help your site get indexed faster, your rankings will not change depending on how many people are in your circles, retweeting your content, becoming a fan of your Facebook, etc. Google has even made an official announcement saying that social signals do not affect your SEO.

However, you should still put a focus on social media for other reasons that could affect your rankings. For example, more people will see your content if you’re sharing it to a relevant social audience, so more people are then likely to link back to it naturally (which will help your SEO). But social signals directly improving your rankings? That just isn’t true.

Delusion 4: Google Prefers Keyword-Rich Domains

In years past, Google seemed to put a disproportionate amount of emphasis on keywords in the domain name (what you may think of as the URL). For example, VIPBroadway.com would almost certainly be ranked first in a search for VIP Broadway Tickets.

Not anymore, says Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal, If vipbroaway.com is in fact the more relevant, authoritative site on the topic, it will probably still rank first, but not because of its domain name alone.

Delusion 5: Websites Must Be ‘Submitted’ to Search Engines
In 2001, yes, this was the case indeed, But in 2012? Not at all. At this point, if there is any connection from any site to yours, your site will be quickly discovered by Google.

Note that being indexed is a far cry from achieving high rankings, but that initial step of submission is no longer needed or helpful.

There are many great SEO tools and software available for tracking, managing, and performing research for your campaigns. However, they alone won’t get you to rank. Most tools and software programs are automated systems designed to provide best practice suggestions. These tools will guide you but they alone won’t get your website to rank.

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