The entire goal of every marketing strategy is to boost traffic on the website. Good strategies help in-depth analysis and solved the problem. The reality is that search traffic converts 9% better than social media traffic. To win this trophy you must have to stop believing in SEO myths.

SEO Myth Cheat SheetThese SEO myths create hurdles for content marketers and bloggers to improve web traffic and ranking in search engine result page.

Some search engine marketers believe to become a Google partner helps in keywords ranking, but let me clear that, Google never disclose anything about their partners. So for next time when any digital marketing agency committed you to have a top ranking in some amount or time, then be aware. No one can take guarantee for top Google search ranking.

SEO Myths

Google always update algorithms to display quality results and clarify that there is no harm for quality work. But still, some Marketers have some SEO myths that you have to ignore. So let’s discuss these myths:

  1. Hummingbird Ruins Keyword Targeting
  2. XML Sitemap for Ranking Boost
  3. Meta Tags are Showpiece
  4. Use Meta Robots to specify Indexable Pages
  5. Better Ranking with Top Level Domains
  6. Use Target Keywords in Anchor Text are Useless
  7. Google will search your Latest Content and Index it
  8. Hire an SEO Agency for top Rankings
  9. RIP Guest Blogging
  10. Keyword Research is not Important
  11. Paid Keywords Improves Ranking
  12. Google Listing will Improve your Search Ranking
  13. Google Loves Authority Platform Blindly
  14. Outbound Links Distract your Visitors
  15. H1 Tags Increase Search Rankings
  16. Social Media is Useless in Ranking Boost

Hummingbird Ruins Keyword Targeting

Hummingbird algorithm changed the future of search. It changed the mindset of content writers that will benefit to users.Keyword strategy never fails. But yes, Hummingbird algorithm stops keyword stuffing. If your keyword is still ranking and maintain its position, it is an indication that your keyword strategy matters.

As per Matt Cutts, Hummingbird is not an update like Panda or Penguin but it is a filter for Google search that displays more accurate and quality results to users.

Hummingbird really helps for a better keyword research and targeting.

Before Hummingbird; the main focus was target keywords only rather than unique website content. It doesn’t mean that targeting relevant keywords in your content is not useful. High-quality website content still has a strong SEO strategy.

For example, if someone searches for “Digital Marketing”, then there can be multiple reasons,

  • Looking for a digital marketing course
  • Searching for digital marketing blogs to fix a problem
  • A person who is newbie to digital marketing, want to know what is it

Hummingbird basically changed the process of targeting keywords. It stressed to SEO experts to find the importance of a keyword and create a content to fulfill its need. It means to choose right keyword for right content.

Keywords are always important because without it; you can not know what user is looking for.

Without keyword research, you can not find what your audience is looking for and how to fulfill their demand.

Keywords are like the guide for your SEO strategy, they give you the right direction of success and strategy.

XML Sitemap for Ranking Boost

The XML sitemap is one of the important factors in on page SEO checklists. You have already installed the XML sitemap for your website. Do you also think that we update XML sitemap to enhance website ranking in search engine result page? No, XML sitemap never helps to rank better in the search engine.

But still XML sitemap is very much necessary to build a crawlable website. I use Yoast sitemap for my website. Whenever you create a new post, it updates the sitemap with your new pages and posts. When a spider crawls the sitemap, new pages and posts automatically crawled. There is no need to update sitemap manually after every page and post.

A sitemap never affects the current ranking of your website pages.

XML sitemap helps spiders to crawl and index new pages and posts but does not help to gain better search engine ranking.

It is a guide to give information to search engine about your pages and make crawling and indexing easy. It just helps for a quick index of web pages. A sitemap can increase the visibility of your website, but not guaranteed.

If you did have a sitemap to your site, then implement it immediately. It would not enhance search engine ranking but helps search engine to discover new pages.

Meta Tags are Showpiece

Meta tags are the HTML tags that appear in between of opening and closing of head tag. Most of the SEO marketers still thinks that meta tags don’t matter. So before clarifying this, let’s know about meta tags.

What are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are the very small content that aware search engine what a web page is about.

Meta tags are the preview of a page in search engine. It gives an idea to a user about the page before clicking it. Some experts think that meta tags are dead after Hummingbird Algorithm. You can find lots of articles in favor and against of meta tags.

Meta tags are made of 3 elements:

  • Title Tag
  • Meta Description
  • Meta Keywords

Title Tag

As name specified, it is the name of the page. It appears on the head of the page. In the source code, it is placed in between opening and closing of the title tag. It is very necessary for each and every page.

<title>This is title tag of a web page.</title>

Title-tag appearance

Meta Description

It summarizes the page content in ~160 characters. Meta description optimization is very important for on-page SEO. It helps the user, what s/he will be found on that page. You can improve CTR.  It also makes your search engine result attractive and informative.

<meta name=”description” content=”Meta Description of a page will be placed here.”/>

Meta Description Tag

Meta Keywords

Matt Cutts has said that Google doesn’t use the keywords meta tag in page rankings. Meta keywords may not help to boost ranking, but tell search engine and user what that page is about.

You can also use Yoast Plugin to add meta tags very effectively.

Meta Tags with Yoast Plugin

How to Create Rich Meta Tags?

  • Make it descriptive and answering by using “What, Why, Who, When, Where, How”
  • Neve put same meta tags for two pages. Make it unique
  • Be limited. Try to put your meta in character limit

Use Meta Robots to specify Indexable Pages

The robots.txt file gives instructions to spider about crawling the website (what to crawl and what to ignore). The source code looks like this

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow” />
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow” />
<meta name=”robots” content=”index, nofollow” />
<meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” />

You can easily set these tags by using Yoast or All in one SEO WordPress plugin.

Meta Robots Tag
Via Yoast Plugin

There is no need to specify meta robots every time. The default status is “index, follow”. A web page would be set private until to instruct it.

You can use a robots.txt file to block web crawlers from your all or selective folder, content or web page.

robots.txt cheat sheet

Better Ranking with Top Level Domains

A TLD identifies a lot about a website such as its motive, the geographical area and more. Most of the time we find out .com as a website extension but some users got confused when they find a domain with other extensions like .biz, .club, .guru etc.

When you search for a query in a search engine; more than 98% results occupies .com extension. Let’s see the example

TLD in search Engine

These extensions are used to tell Google about your target audience. Like If I live in Australia and domain extension is .com, then Google assumes that my audience is worldwide and it will display my pages globally. If I have a domain with extension .au then my web pages will be displayed in Australia primarily.

Google updated his algorithm and  ICANN introduced new generic top-level domain names – for example, .guru, .club, .company and.email. But spam rate is also very high with these top level domains.

Spam Rate with Top Level DomainsNow the question is, will new TLD’s affect ranking in search engine.

Credit: Gravitate Design

As stated above, with new TLD’s can have little bit benefits but not magic. So this is totally an SEO myth to improve ranking with new TLDs. The effect of top level domains on SEO depends on the presence of the keyword in the domain. But we all know that Google hates exact match keyword domain. You can be penalized. During the update, the ranking of exact match domain dropped from 13.5% to 25.9%.

It doesn’t mean that I am saying to buy a new domain. I am just guiding you. Choosing a top level domain is a long term investment.

If you don’t have any domain and going to buy then try to choose [.com or .net]

If you already have a domain then there is no need to redirect it to a new domain. Try to optimize your site as per Google policies like create high-quality content, make connections with social media influencers, optimize on-page and off page SEO and more.

To rank your website better on SERP your must have the quality site with quality work. TLD’s never increase or decrease your search engine ranking.

Use Target Keywords in Anchor Text are Useless

While link building we use keywords in anchor text.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is a clickable text with hyperlinking that leads to a web page; e.g. “Digital Screaming“. When clicked on this anchor text [enclosed in double quotes], the user will go to the blog.

Many industry experts believe that anchor text is always a ranking factor, no matter what are new changes with latest Google update.

The goal of every algorithm update is to filter quality results on SERP in a user-friendly manner. As we know over optimization can penalize a site and it is very harmful to the website.

Before Penguin Update, you used to have keywords rich anchor text for both internal and external linking. But now, policies has changed. If you do something like that Google will punish you.

I am not saying that avoid keywords in anchor text. Try to avoid excessive keyword rich anchor text. It can penalize your website.

Try to include Primary and Secondary keywords, Meta Keywords, Brand Name, URL and Generic Keywords in anchor text.

Google loves natural linking, so try to make natural links. Every website is on Google’s radar. You can not mislead the engineers who are working for Google and making algorithms for smarter results. So create high-quality content and links to avoid penalties.

After penguin update, most of the sites lost their ranking and got penalized. They updated their anchor text to gain their authority again.

There are 7 types of Anchor texts, you should use to avoid penalties

  • Brand name/Brand-keyword hybrid
  • Exact match
  • Partial and broad match
  • Non-descriptive
  • URLs
  • Anchors in foreign languages
  • Empty alt texts in linking images
  • Other (completely different from the targeted keyword)

Average distribution of anchor texts across websites ranking 1 for competitive keywords

As discussed above, you can create different types of links with a wide variety of anchor texts. But every tactic is not useful. You have to create quality links to make your reputation in Google’s eye.

While content marketing and SEO strategy you should focus on 3 types of anchor texts:

  • Natural Anchor Text
  • Brand Name or Brand URL
  • Generic Anchor Text

Types of Anchor Text

Natural Anchor Text

It could be brand, URL or keyword-rich but it is should compliment the content. This type of links definitely impact your ranking and positively.

Backlinks are one of the important factors but effective link building raises your domain and page authority. It is a good sign of trust and popularity.

In each and every discussion Matt Cutts always in favor of natural anchor text links. Because Google’s first priority is to enhance user’s search experience.

Matt Cutts - Natural Linking

Brand URL or Brand Name Anchor Text

If you have more brand name or URL anchor text links then you are going on a right track.

The better is you can go with brand name + Keyword like Digital Screaming’s SEO Love.

You can also use brand name anchor text like Red more about online marketing; visit www.digitalscreaming.com

Generic Anchor Text

You should not overuse this type of anchor text. If you are planning use generic anchor text then use 2-3 phrases in anchor text. For eg. visit the site, learn more, get started today etc.

5% of your anchor text should be generic.

You can use this type of anchor text to link a page with the irrelevant site. Like if I want to make a reference for food site then I use generic anchor text keyword.

See the below example, how I use generic keyword:

Before starting blogging I was very nervous until I met with my old friend. In college days she was a crazy for food. She told me that she write blogs. It was very nice to make a discussion with her about blog writing. I got inspired and book a domain on the same day. Do you wish to visit her blog? Click here.

Tip of the day: Keyword rich anchor text is always important. But it is very necessary to use them wisely.

Google spiders are always hungry to feed new and fresh content. When a new blog goes live, it means that you are ready to feed them. But are you really thinking that they will crawl and index your content without your input?

Yes, you are thinking right. But it may take time, like 2 days, 3 days or more. If your blog is new then it may take more time. So to get rid of this issue you can feed Google crawlers by yourself. I mean you can help spiders to find new content.

Your blog post sitemap helps in this. Just setup the plugin and all set.

Share your new article on social media helps to crawl and index faster. It is very simple. Just share your link on facebook, twitter or any other social media. You can use Jetpack Plugin to share your article. Just setup the plugin and connect your social media accounts. When your publish your new post, your article will automatically be shared your connected accounts.

Another way for faster crawling and indexing is PingoMatic tool. This tool helps your URL for indexing and crawling in a quick way. It is very and your URL will be crawled and indexed within just 6 hours.

PingoMatic

Hire an SEO Agency for top Rankings

This is one of the most common myths between all of us. Is it possible to take a website on top in SERP? How could any SEO agency offer guarantee for this?

I am not saying that SEO agencies are a cheater. But my question is about results. Digital Marketing agencies have experts and they work on various points on your website. Google is regularly updating its algorithms to enhance search user experience.

Before hiring a digital marketing agency to ask yourself “why you are hiring an agency”, just for ranking? No, never ever do this mistake. There can be various reasons to connect with a digital marketing firm keyword analysis, competitive analysis, content marketing, website performance analysis and more. But I am sure that “Quick Ranking” is not one of them.Business GrowthWhen we publish a content, sometimes it attracts more visitors but it is not a sure shot. Google handles 100 billion mobile searches per month and there are lots of digital marketing agencies. But still, no one can predict tomorrow’s keyword trends. It is not possible to gain fast ranking in SERP and maintain it.

If any client comes to us and asked to improve his/her website ranking in SERP, then firstly we’ll analysis the website, after that we will make a strategy. We will work on long tail keywords. We can promise only for better results not for top ranking in SERP.

SEO is not a bullet, just shoot and all set. It is a long term practice. If you are wishing to rank on top positions on SERP overnight or in few months after starting your blog, then you are going to do blunder mistake.

Quality links, good content, aged domains, keyword strategy helps to enhance ranking. But again, it is not guaranteed. There are lots of sites who clears Google’s all quality test, but still, they are struggling hard for better ranking.

If you are ready to invest a good amount then there are some valid reasons to contact an SEO agency. It will help you for competitor analysis, keyword audit, link profile, some weak and good points of your websites.

  • Lack of timing to run a website
  • Better appearance in SERP
  • Keyword research
  • You want to train yourself in SEO

But, it is sure that you should not hire an agency that promises for a quick top ranking. Even if they got success to rank your website at a top position then after an update you will lose more than you gained.

SEO is long term process for those who wish to help users what they are looking for.

RIP Guest Blogging

In 2014, there was an SEO myth that Matt Cutts Said, “If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop” A lots of SEO analyst did not understand what he actually said, and immediately start a campaign against guest blogging.

Do you also think that guest blogging is dead?guest blogging is dead

Let me clear that there is no difference between guest blogging and other content you published.

Guest blogging simply means that a guest writer contributed a post to your blog.

Matt Cutts was talking about poor content only for link building or promotion. If an author owns his own site and publishing low-quality content, Google Panda is already rolled out.

Search spider crawl and index billions of page regularly from different domains, IPs, locations and so on. Every web page has its owner.

Every website gains authority by its quality content, not from author name. Freelancers and outside authors regularly contribute content on these sites.

In guest, blogging problem is not about the guest author or content; the issue is about context (type of article, freshness, anchor text and other links)

Personally, I believe that guest blogging is not dead, and never can be. Because guest posting is all about quality and fresh content and Google loves authority and unique content.

Even Matt Cutts himself later endorsed guest blogging:

Matt Cutts - Guest Blogging

I always recommend guest blogging with some precautions:

  • Avoid spam content
  • Try to use “Contributor Term”, avoid guest blogging
  • Build relationships, not links
  • Use natural links – Brand name & brand URL as anchor text
  • Make links in content, not in author profile. It directly hits Google for spam
  • Write a post for end users, not for spiders. Write content to solve user’s problem

Keyword Research is not Important

This SEO myth is very dangerous. When you are talking about content marketing and blogging then you can not ignore high-quality keyword research for your website.

I don’t understand how an SEO analyst can not concentrate on the keyword search. If we follow Google policies then there is not statement who states about keyword ignorance.

To rank on higher on SERP you must have a term on which you want better ranking with more clicks.

You must avoid over-optimization, exact match domains, overuse of keyword rich anchor text. Focus on good CTR not rankings.

Google keyword planner is most accurate keyword research tool to find new and related keywords for your business.

Apart from Google Keyword Planner, you can use SEMrush to check your competitors targeting keywords.

Keyword research is very important. But it must be done in a right order. Always focus on why the user is searching this keyword. Try to fulfill that demand, it will inspire users to click on your website and you will gain good CTR.

Are you sure Google Ads helps to improve rankings on SERP?

I don’t agree. There is no relation between organic and paid results. Both works on different tracks.

Sponsored Ads

Organic searches come from search engine’s indexed database and Paid Keywords to react on your bid strategy and investments.

According to a report,  Paid ads gain 35% of conversions of its total traffic. It is higher than organic.

With paid ads, you can target more keyword. As we know paid ads appear above the organic results,  it helps to make a strong brand value. Some experts believe that paid ads help you to refine keywords which you want to target organically. This is why because to calculate ROI of paid ads is very easy rather than organic searches keywords.

CTR of paid ads gives you can idea to optimize your organic keywords for high-quality searches.

Now it is clear that paid searches help to improve CTR and conversion rate but not rankings.

Google business offers you to list your business with Google with correct NAP (Name, Address, and Place). It is very important to claim your listing.

Google listing is just a way to introduce your business with Google.

Google Business

List your business in Google places only helps to aware people about your business.

How to Submit a Business on Google

  1. Click on start now
  2. Fill the form
  3. Your business will be submitted for verification
  4. After some days you will get a verification code on your business address via post
  5. Verify your business via that code
  6. Your business will appear in Google business listing

Be sure that Google local listing never helps to boost your ranking. But yes, you can do some things, that will help you to step up your ranking.

  • Constant
  • Connected

Stay Constant

Copyblogger media said that every search engine loves consistency. I mean don’t change your business name on regular basis. Like you submit your business on a Local listing and after few days you replaced it with some another name.

Remember that always introduce your business name with same details everywhere (social media, guest blogging, and all other places)

Stay Connected

Always try to connect with people on your map listing. Ask to your audience connect with it via reviews, and their opinions. Never ever forgot to reply comments.

How to Improve Your Local Search Rankings

Now I am sharing top 5 magic tips to raise your search rankings:

  1. Always submit your business to local listing sites
  2. On social media sites don’t forget to create brand pages
  3. Adding contact information on your website helps to connect with local audience
  4. On-page optimization helps to inform spiders about your pages
  5. Online reviews helps to aware people about your brand authority and quality

How to Improve Your Local Search Rankings

Google Loves Authority Platform Blindly

While working on SEO there are two types of activities:

  • Black Hat SEO
  • White Hat SEO

From day one, I entered in digital marketing field everyone says that Google hates Black Hat SEO activities. So we should do only white hat SEO activities. But are we really doing only white hat activities? The answer is “NO.”

black hat vs white hat seoThinking….

Let me explain.

Before making a decision we must have deep knowledge about black hat and white hat SEO.

Black Hat practices are those that concerned about only search engine spiders.

There is no one who can give you exact guidelines about best SEO practices.

I  bet now you are thinking that you have all the guidelines – do only quality work as per Google policies.

Most of the people think that blog commenting is black hat activity. But I don’t think so. Commenting is a way of providing value. If you are not adding any value then you are doing spam.

What about guest blogging? You will say Google love guest blogging. Yes, I agree. But you have to do in right manner. If you are writing a post for spiders or just for links then Google got angry and you’ll be penalized.

If we talking about social media, Google loves social shares. But if you excessively share your profile or mention people/brands to mislead then it is black hat activity.

Now come to blogging platforms. Let’s have an example of WordPress. WordPress is very popular and loveable platform. But what happen if you do something bad, you will surely penalize.

So the conclusion is, Google does not love or hate any platform. It reacts on the activities you do.

It is very natural when you link a page of another domain with your web page, a user will click them. These links are called outbound links. These links enhance the user experience. It helps a user to gain detailed information about that topic.

When a user goes to another domain, then why we link? Even most of the blog follow this.

I always link out to authority domains and blogs. I always work on to provide the information for what user is looking for.

Outbound Links

In above screenshot, I have linked two outbound links in 2 paragraphs. So is it really mean that my visitors will trigger these links and never return back? No, absolutely not.

If users find my content useful, in-depth and practice, s/he will surely come back even after clicking the other domain link.

We always try hard to get backlinks from high authority sites and TLDs because we know that links from these sites help to boost search rankings.

In the same way, when you link out high-quality content with your relevant content you are writing, then Google crawls your pages and follows the links to trusted sites.

Google never stated that it will improve ranking after a long practice you will see the positive results.

Points to Remember while Linking out to an Authority Site

  • Link out from a super quality content page
  • Never do unnecessary links
  • Use brand name or URL as anchor text
  • Try to notify site owners and bloggers, you may get a natural link
  • Never forget relevancy between link out to and from pages

Before Google Panda update, all activities of on-page-optimization were very important to gain search engine rankings. But now the time has changed.

No doubt, H1 tags are very important, but there is no clear indication that, they helps to improve your search rankings.

Matt Cutts said that use of H1, H2 is not important. To rank higher your page must have high-quality and useful content to enhance user experience.

Rand Fishkin also said that user experience matters more than any H1 or H2 tag.

If users are sticking with your content and feel excited about upcoming, then no one can stop you to rank better in SERP.

Now the question is if the H1 tag is not much important then in the era of online marketing why we all are so possessive about it? Because most of the time we create web pages via online tools that are very sticky to create a simple HTML page.

But if we discuss non-internet marketing industries, most of the people don’t care about style. They prefer to create high-quality content that fulfills user’s requirements. This is the reason, they stand better than other brands in search engine results ranking.

But I’ll recommend using H1 tags, not to boost search engine rankings but they will create a better user experience.

Depending on you platform H tags can be divided into multiple subheads so that user can easily navigate your content.

Social  Media is Useless in Ranking Boost

Social media is a most loving platform in today’s time. But it plays a very important role in internet marketing. Before in my team on of my subordinate asked that is social media affect rankings? If yes, then how social signals are the part of Google ranking factors?

Social media is the best way to connect with maximum people in the minimum amount of time.

Social media and search have very strong bonding. The search engine uses data from social sites to determine how useful your site is. The good thing about social metrics is that they can be tracked and measured with precision.

Social signals don’t pass a direct value to a particular web page, that’s why its effects are not noticeable.

When influencers or authority users shares your content on social media then you can notice a huge amount of traffic.

I always recommend being active on social media. It will really help to increase your web traffic.

Bottom Line

There is no age and time for learning. Everyone is still learning in digital marketing field. Don’t afraid by failure but always inspired yourself to learn and upgrade new skills.

Reading other blogs and attending webinars are the most effective way to gain knowledge.

Before winning SEO you have to understand what is a search engine and how it works.

I am very sure that this article will help you to come out from SEO myths. Now you can grow your website with actual SEO factors.

Do you know any other SEO that can be inclued in this blog?

 
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