A lot of us follow Matt Cutt’s blog. Matt Cutt, a software engineer with Google, shares some interesting insights about how Google ranks websites in his blog and YouTube channel. And since that’s all there to it, with the Search Giant protecting its search algorithm all the time, many of us follow Cutt’s blog to read what’s new in the SEO world.
While Cutt does offer interesting information, SEO myths continue to persist. And it’s not just Cutt’s posts we are talking about. Google four years back, is a lot different than Google today. What might have worked for you before, isn’t going to work for you now. Here’s a look at 10 Google myths today that doesn’t really help.
Yes, guest posting has been abused badly. That’s what Cutt had talked about in his post The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO, back in January this year. But it doesn’t mean that Google’s going to push you down the ranking levels if you engage in guest posting to increase links. Guest posts aren’t something that you should be looking at for increasing links. However, they are a great way to interact with newer audiences and that’s something that even Google understand. You may not derive a lot of SEO juice from it but Google’s not going to penalize you. If anything, Guest Posting in the right sites is the right approach, unless of course you are solely concerned with the SEO juice you get in return.
The truth is, social media signals play an equal role as just about any other SEO strategy. In other words, you don’t derive a special benefit by using Social Media solely as powering up your SEO campaigns. Google sees your social media results in the same way that it sees other web results. That’s what Matt Cutt tells us in the video Are pages from social media sites ranked differently?. It’s important to note that a good social media strategy for SEO can always help. You can always build upon your social media audience to generate more Google results and develop presences.
The fact is, backlinks were and are important even today and helps Google rank websites. Google has changed its algorithm down the years, including the weightage it gives to different types of links. However, to put it down to backlinks becoming redundant in the coming future – that’s not really a possibility. More so because Matt Cutt himself admitted that Google had once tried to use a search ranking algorithm that did not use links as a ranking factor, and that was a project that doesn’t exist anymore.
It’s true that Google loves authority. It was back in 2011 that Google first announce the Authorship Markup feature. The process seems simple – you could tie up the content you published to your Google + page and this would help Google to track what you publish online. In turn, it would help Google to rank search results in a better way and highlight authors who have great content.
Eric Schmidt once quoted this in context to how Google ranks webpages:
Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.
However, evidence suggests that you don’t rank high up on Google Search Results at one go. You need to build up your brand image and authority to really make a mark and be included in in-depth article results.
Sometime back, Google used to display the Google + author profiles along with the search engine results, but the practice has since been discontinued. When publishing online under your own name, forget about short-term gains; and focus on the long term.
The new Panda update has made this myth more popular. You create good content and everything will follow, they say. While it’s a good idea to have good content that is a necessity, good content alone cannot help you rank high. True, the importance of keywords has become lesser with Google’s semantic searches now, but then Google needs to index your site properly. Keyword research plays an important role even today, though somewhat lesser than before.
There are two types of theories that does the rounds. One, that if you pay for Google Adwords, you will end up with higher organic rankings. Two that you will do better in organic results if you do not use Google Adwords. Truth is, Google doesn’t demarcate between those using Google Adwords and those not using it. Google Adwords is a great way to pay and promote your site to a targeted audience and that’s all there to it.
Let’s take up another of Matt Cutt’s quotes here. “Never be afraid to think for yourself,” he once said with respect to webmasters using Black Hat tricks to rank higher. There’s not magical formula to ranking high in Google search results and make more money. If there was, the person selling it to you would have been using it himself than letting you know about it.
Did you hear the rumor that there’s no place for press releases after the Panda 4.0 update? PR sites are reported to have lost out as much as 60-85% on Google rankings after the Panda update, reports Search Land. The update caused most PR sites to update fresh guidelines on the type of content they will accept.
Posting press releases just for deriving SEO juice might be over, but there’s plenty to gain by posting your services in press release sites.
Four years ago, we would have told you a definite yes to this. Today, it’s just a myth like any of the above. You cannot expect to get high SEO juice by just having your anchor texts have your keywords. Instead, you would be better off using call to action words in your anchor text (think, ‘Click Here’).
Google can penalize you as well for over optimizing your anchor texts; keep it natural, as they say. Try using different keywords if you really want to try them out in your anchor texts.
If you are a freelance writer who has been writing online about SEO, you would know this well. How often have your clients told you that they need ‘do-follow’ links and that there’s no use for no-follow links? Think Hubpages or think any other content authority site and you will see that they rarely ‘award’ people with do-follow links.
No-follow links don’t contribute to the PageRank. So, why do you need them? For one, only no-follow links makes Google think that you are only trying to build active links instead of naturally concentrating on link building. Two, no-follow links does not mean that you won’t be getting traffic.
The SEO World is dynamic – what’s true today may not be tomorrow. Before really understanding what works for your site and what not, try experimenting or just hire the experts who are up-to-date all the time.