Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the keys to effectively promoting your website and building search traffic levels, but the tactics that once worked amazingly well a few years ago don’t always work so well today. In fact, many of those methods are counter-productive today and will destroy your website in Google’s search rankings.
Here are five SEO myths that you must know about in 2013.
MYTH #1: You Need As Many Backlinks As Possible To Rank Well
It’s just staggering how many SEO companies are still spamming the web with meaningless or irrelevant blog and forum comments linking back to their clients’ websites. This outdated practice needs to die – not because it’s annoying, but because it has the opposite of its intended result. If you spam the Internet with worthless backlinks like these, your website is toast.
Quantity is no longer the determining factor in backlinking. You need relevant links from quality websites.
MYTH #2: Your Exact Keyword Must Appear In Your Intro, Body, Conclusion, Title, And Headings
Keyword stuffing is no longer an effective SEO tactic. Google wised up to this long ago, but it is still being practiced – and penalized – by many SEO marketers. Don’t be one of them. Put your main keyword in your title – if it reads in a natural way – and once more somewhere in your article. That’s all you need.
Beyond that you should include variations of your keyword in ways that flow smoothly and sound natural to your readers, but don’t think that keyword density is a valuable, long-term strategy.
MYTH #3: You Should Use Exact Match Keywords For All Your Anchored Text Backlinks
Anchored textual links can still be effective for SEO purposes, but there needs to be a great deal of variation in those links. If you’re using exact match keywords for hundreds or even thousands of anchored backlinks, you’re in trouble. You’ve got to mix things up by including keyword variations, branded links, naked URLs, and generic call to action links such as “click here” or “this article.”
Exact match anchored links on a massive scale simply don’t look natural, and that’s why they’re no longer effective for SEO.
MYTH #4: Social Media Is A Waste Of Time – Just Keep Building Backlinks
Many Internet marketers realized that social traffic doesn’t convert as well as search traffic and wrongly concluded that social media simply wasn’t important. So they focused on backlinking alone, ignored social networking, and eventually lost most of their traffic when the Panda and Penguin updates rolled through town.
Remember, you have to follow SEO practices in ways that appear natural. If you’ve got tons of backlinks on blogs and forums but nothing happening on social media, how natural does that look? If your website content is so awesome that everybody is “organically” linking to it on their blogs, then why isn’t anybody sharing It on social networks? That’s not natural. It’s not organic, and in time Google will recognize it for what it is, and you will be penalized.
Aim for a natural balance between acquiring backlinks on blogs and acquiring links on social media.
MYTH #5: Content Is King
Well, this one has some truth to it, but the fact is that there’s a lot of amazing, well-written content out there on the web that nobody ever sees. It’s just not enough to be a talented, skillful writer and expect that your website will take off on the strength of its content alone.
You need to promote your site. You need to interact with others via blog networks and social media. And above all, you need to practice SEO methods in ways that look natural and organic.
About the author: Nic is the Head SEO at Search Factory, a Brisbane, Australia based search engine optimisation and SEM agency, delivering custom online marketing strategies to their clients. Nic knows there are a lot of SEO myths floating around at the moment that often simply aren’t true.