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Search Engine Optimization: Myths vs Reality

 

At the beginning of this series, I stated that for some, SEO has caused much confusion and frustration. This confusion and frustration is caused by misinformation by and large. As of writing this article, Google returns over 35,000,000 search engine results for the keyword search, SEO.

With so much written about SEO, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. So, today we’re going to do some SEO myth busting and finally lay to rest some of the most common myths currently circulating.

SEO Can Only Be Done By Technical People

I’m not going to mince words here. SEO has many moving parts and there are quite a few principles and best practices that must be understood.

Anyone can learn SEO. However, it takes time, patience and practice to do it effectively,

As the owner of your website, SEO is something that you can and should take into your own hands. If nothing else, learn basic SEO tasks like creating and editing page titles and heading tags and how to create and submit a sitemap to search engines. These ABC’s of SEO are extremely important to making sure your website can be found online.

Content Management Systems, blogging platforms and have built in sections that allow you to create and edit page titles, headings tags, URLs and sitemaps.

If you’re interested in learning more about Search Engine Optimization a great resource is SEOMoz and their guide “”

You MUST Rank #1

A recent study by Compete.com found that 53 percent of searchers click on the top result on the first page returned by a search engine. The second result sees 15 percent of clicks, the third sees 9 percent, the fourth sees 6 percent, winding all the way down to 4 percent to round out the top 5 results on page one of search results.

From this data, some might conclude that if your website is not the very first listing on page one of search results, that SEO doesn’t work.

Consider this …

Studies have shown that on subsequent pages, being listed toward the top of the page shows similar click behavior to being ranked on page one of results.

Also, many search results include images, local maps, videos, author profiles and rich snippets, with click rates proving to be higher on this these types of results even if they’re not number one.

SEO Is Web Spam

Very simply put, Search Engines are computer programs. Their job is to retrieve data, files or documents from a database or network, esp. the Internet. Computers are not as smart as people, yet. They don’t always understand what people mean when they type in words or phrases into the search box. They don’t understand vocabulary or the nuances of language.

SEO exists to help search engines find information and content that is relevant to your search. Its job is to makes sure that the pages of you website are well represented within search engines.

Part of SEO is making sure that your website pages; are accessible to people and search engines, use the right keywords, utilize good design and loads your website fast.

Like anything else, SEO can be abused by those with bad intentions. Those with less than good motives purposefully hack sites and use unsavory tactics that search engines frown upon to cheat their way to the top of search engine results.

SEO can enormously helpful and can be a valid way to help people to find what they’re looking for via search engines—but, it can also be abused and overdone.

SEO Is Dead

For whatever reason, lately it’s very en vogue to pronounce all kinds of stuff as dying or dead. Be it technology, religion, politics, music, business or even SEO—it’s all dying or dead.

Are people right? Is SEO dying or even worse, dead?

Google alone makes over 350-400 updates to its search engine algorithm, each year. Add to that the updates that Bing, Yahoo and other search engines make to their algorithms and we’re talking about thousands of updates to search engines each year!

As long as Search Engines continue to roll out algorithmic updates in effort to provide better search experiences and combat spam, there will always be a need to stay on top of these updates and make optimizations to your website.

Looking Ahead …
And there you have it, some of the most heinous SEO myths debunked. Keep your eyes peeled for our next post where I provide you with a few quick ‘n dirty optimizations you can make to your website today to help it rank better.

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