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How to SEOin2019
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Popular SEO myths you should avoid

There is so much misinformation on the web about SEO that before we start talking about how to do it I had better erase some of the things people think will give them higher rankings in the search results.

  • You can rank #1 in the search results - not true, all the major search engines use personalized search so you can never be #1 for everyone with the exception of brand names.
  • You need links to rank - not true, and I demonstrated it. See the SEO example page for details.
  • If you get lots of links you will rank higher - not true, a handful of high quality links will have a far greater effect than thousands of low quality links.
  • You need to do SEO to rank - not true, many pages rank and their owners have never lifted a SEO finger. Much depends on your competition and your natural ability to write in a way search engines understand and others love to read and share.
  • Building microsites will help you rank - not true, you are better off spending time on your main site creating great content that users will want to link to than trying to create a dozen other sites and build their authority.
  • Getting links from sites with a high Google PageRank will help you rank - not true, it is just as important for the links to come from pages with a similar theme to yours and be located in the content of those pages. Google no longer publishes PageRank anyway.
  • Getting links from sites with a high Domain or Page Authority will help you rank - not true, these measures were created by MOZ and are not used by Google or any other major search engines.
  • You need fresh content to rank - not true, many sites which haven't been updated in years rank top. It's the quality of the content, not its date that matters.
  • If you do blog/forum commenting will help your rankings - not directly true. If you place interesting comments they will attract people to visit your site and if your site is awesome they will share/create links to it but the link in the comment itself will count for nothing in a search engine's eyes.
  • If you get links with your keyword in it that it will help - not anymore. Search engines can figure out if your link is relevant based on the surrounding text and its context. Lots of links with your keyword in it are more likely to get you penalized than ranked these days.
  • Submitting your website to 400 search engines will bring more traffic - not true, how many people do you know who use anything other than Google, Yahoo and Bing?
  • If your domain name is your keyword you will rank - not anymore. Google did away with Exact Match Domains in 2012.
  • If I use my keyword alot on the page it will help - not anymore. Search engines now use Latent Semantic Analysis to understand which keywords a page should rank for. You should include your keyword in specific places but over doing it will make your content difficult to read which in turn could have a negative impact on your rankings.
  • You need to create an XML sitemap - not true, you are actually far better off creating a website that is highly crawlable for search engine bots. XML sitemaps are a poor substitute.
  • You don't need a meta description - search engines still use these, they just ignore the content as a ranking factor. Google Lighthouse (an auditing tool provided by Google) will flag up missing meta descriptions as an issue.
  • Getting links from directories will get you a Google penalty - it depends on the directory. Getting links from directories which are well moderated and that real people use won't get you penalized.
  • Guest blogging will get you a Google penalty - it depends on how you do it. Write legitimate guest posts for respectable websites that people actually visit and you'll be fine. Dump poor quality articles on sites full of nonsense articles that no one ever reads and you could be in trouble.
  • X% of links to your site should be 'no follow' - there's nothing to back this up but people often say things like "Look that website ranks highly and 20% of the links to it are marked 'no follow' so therefore ....". This is about as true as concluding that stalks bring babies.
  • If you use Google Ads you will rank higher on Google - there's no connection between the two but websites that already rank highly in organic search do see an improvement in their Click Through Rate when they use paid advertising as well.
  • SEO is easy - sometimes it is. It all depends on your competition.

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

Find me on Facebook or get in touch if you need help.

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