When it comes to the topic of search engine optimization (SEO), myths and strange advice are not far away. Since the Google algorithm is not and never will be 100 percent known, SEO experts and marketing professionals quickly come to different conclusions and advice. Some SEO myths persist. In the following I will show you which myths prevent your success in online marketing.
What really ensures top rankings on Google, Bing and other search engines? You often read about simple tips on the Internet that promise you success with a few simple measures. Many of these tips and strategies still worked a few years ago, but due to the change of the Google algorithm and the increasingly complex SEO, they no longer apply.
Unfortunately, many of these advices remain as SEO myths. Especially newcomers in marketing still believe that these tips are valid and that with a few small tricks the perfect website can be created. With the most important of these SEO myths I would like to clear up in the following.
You're aiming to optimize your website for a specific keyword. In fact, density was an essential factor in the early days of SEO, before keyword stuffing came along. That's why today people like to talk about an ideal keyword density of 1.0 to 3.0 percent. However, this must unfortunately be considered a myth.
Although it is not irrelevant to use keywords in the text - attention should be paid to the readability and quality of the content first. Content should be written for readers first, then individual terms should be renamed or semantic terms - relevant to the keyword should be used.
Long-tail keywords are longer phrases and terms that you can optimize your website for. Many newcomers to SEO think only of short terms and neglect the long-tail area. Which user already enters these long search phrases?
Das Gegenteil ist der Fall. The opposite is the case. Google has long since switched to a semantic search and can deliver excellent search results for questions asked, for example. For this reason alone, it is worth paying attention to long-tail optimization and occupying niches in which no competitor can yet be found.
When you open a web page, some text is immediately visible. Other texts are hidden and must first be unfolded by the user. Unfortunately, the myth persists that these folded contents are not evaluated for the SEO optimization of the website.
You can see for yourself how wrong this idea is by how you use the Internet. Many websites are mobile optimized and set to display some content immediately or hide it first, depending on the size of the display. This was confirmed by John Müller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google in a Webmaster Hangout on 31.03.2020:
No. Specifically when it comes to content on mobile pages, we do take into account anything that’s in the HTML. So, if there’s something there that might be visible to users at some point, we will include that in the indexing, so that’s completely normal.John Müller - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9GN4VX6xww&t=2197s
In the early days of search engine optimization, it was simple: you put strong texts with keywords on the web and the Google algorithm used them to rank your website. Good texts with added value are still important in 2022, but only one piece of the big SEO pie.
Professional images and other media elements, source references to other websites and social media, fast loading time and a clean source code and design are just as important to run a strong SEO content. A big focus is on usability - if your users feel comfortable on your site, search engines do too.
A sitemap is a file that summarizes your site structure. This file is detected by Google crawler and other search engines and helps them to build a clear structure of your website.
Such a sitemap is indeed useful to integrate new websites faster into the search index and to show that you care about a clean website structure. However, such a sitemap says nothing about the quality and added value of the individual subpages, which is why it is of secondary relevance for SEO. It serves more or less like a table of contents of your site, so you can see which pages are indexed and which are not. However, if the content is bad, a clean directory won't do you any good.
If you provide several websites with the same texts, this can have a negative impact on SEO. Also, the human viewer will see that you did not put much effort into the composition of your website.
However, you should only fear a radical punishment up to a complete penalty by Google in the most severe cases. Especially for product detail pages of e-commerce websites Google often turns a blind eye - who writes unique descriptions of technical features for his 300 products? In most cases, the manufacturer's specifications are reused, and according to Google, that's fine. If there is a lot of duplicate content on your website, your organic ranking can still be affected.
Search engine optimization is complex. Over the course of weeks and months, the number of all page owners who optimize their page for the same keyword changes. Google and other search engines also adjust their algorithm over time and set new priorities.
This can mean that a top 1 website slips over time. Or, conversely, that a previously poorly listed website suddenly appears in first place. Therefore, never fall for promises from agencies and SEO partners that guarantee you first place.
As SEO becomes more complex and no one can promise you first place, you may be reluctant to work with a professional agency. Instead, you try to achieve success yourself with SEO tools. Unfortunately, many site owners get the impression that these tools are of little help.
The opposite is true: for conversions and higher traffic, you can definitely push your website with the right keywords and a smart SEO strategy. However, it always requires someone who can operate the tools professionally and knows how to interpret certain results of these applications. Although you should not rely too much on the key figures of the tools, they do serve as an aid and facilitate the work.
Of course, links are an important part of search engine optimization. If you follow the principle of "the more, the better", you will quickly be disappointed. Link building is also a sign of quality and added value - and Google does not see real added value in the abundance of links.
This SEO myth is unfortunately still present in 2022. Therefore, rather opt for a wise selection of link partners that fit the theme of your website and offer the user a real added value. This is especially true for links set on other websites.
Avoid pitfalls and mistakes on your web pages. Here is a summary of the most important advice:
A final piece of advice that laymen and professionals can implement in the field of search engine optimization: Always try to inspire your users! If you put great content with added value on the web, new users will automatically come and your expert status will increase. This is perhaps the most natural form of search engine optimization that you can implement without fear of any myths.
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