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3 myths about search engine optimization

Backlinks are definitely the most important factor in calculating the basic reputation of the website. But with time, Google is becoming better at understanding the natural language of the search queries by people and is certainly focusing on understanding the content of websites in a better.

Over the years, Google has updated the Search Ranking Algorithm to provide more relevant results to users.
Over the years, Google has updated the Search Ranking Algorithm to provide more relevant results to users.

Most of the times, we are confused on issues related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We find so many misleading information related to SEO on different forums and websites. The basic aim of optimizing the SEO for your website is to get better search results related to the search phrases or keywords that the users search for. Appearing on Search Engine Result Page is not the only aim, the real aim is to drive traffic and engagements.

There are a lot of myths related to the influence of social media, Adwords, and Backlinks on the SEO of your website. I love doing SEO and trying out different things for improving the SEO of our company’s website – Collobe which is a Data Analytics Company for Employee Productivity.

Here are the three things I found as the biggest myths in SEO:

1. Social Media followers and engagement leads to better Search Results

Social Media presence is playing a vital role in driving traffic to the website. Businesses should not miss out on engaging with their potential customers on Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter. One of the most popular advice SEO professionals give is that the Social media presence and engagements matter a lot in SEO and leads to better results on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). However, the fact of the matter is that Facebook and Twitter are treated in the same way like any other web page and if Google is able to crawl the activities on these sites, they return it as a result in the Search Result.

Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google clarified in a video that Google web search ranking algorithm does not take into account the number of likes or followers on social media. This does not mean you should stop using Facebook or Twitter. If any piece of content on social media has many likes or a profile has many followers is getting onto the results page, it’s not because of the engagement on that post or profile but its because the content would have really been relevant that caused engagement on social media too. He referred it as correlation and not causation of better search results.

Also, if you are buying followers on social media, then you may need to change your social media strategy because most of them are fake which is just increasing the number of followers but not your actual audience. Facebook reported between 67.65 million and 137.76 million accounts as rather fake or duplicate. Real followers help to increase your reach by engaging with your activities on social media whereas fake followers only increase the follower count.

2. Adwords impacts organic search results

Google Analytics is the best tool to analyze user engagement. The user data can be tracked and analyzed by using Google Analytics. I’ve read many blog posts based upon the myth that Google Adwords in any way impacts the Search Results. There are basically two different opinions in this regard. The first group of people believe that the Adwords positively impacts the organic search results and improves it. However the second think the inverse of this, who say that campaigning on Adwords has a negative effect on the SEO.

Although there is no substantial proof that these SEO experts have for their side of the argument on the impact of Adwords on organic ranking. The truth is that AdWords does not impact organic results as it neither hurts nor helps organic ranking. It is just an advertising tool by Google that works on the Pay Per Click (PPC) model. So there is no direct influence of doing or not doing campaigns on AdWords. Google does not make an algorithmic change just to sell ads to earn more.

While it’s stupid listening to SEO professionals who claim that their organic traffic increased after they campaigned on Adwords which in reality may have been a coincidence due to the optimized content or other metrics. The best way to learn is to avoid following them and try to figure out what works for you and what not because what worked for them will not necessarily work for you. Matt Cutts said that Google tries to give it’s users a happy experience and leave it on the user if they click on the ad along the way.

3. Backlinking is dead

Google punishes websites who create backlinks from spammy sites. Backlinking is still the most important factor to calculate the basic reputation. Backlinking which is one of the oldest SEO ranking metric by Google is now considered dead by many SEO professionals. Initially, Google started measuring the reputation of a website based on how many websites link to the URL which is considered as a vote of confidence that the content is relevant. Many argue that backlinking is no more relevant and has no significant impact on the ranking now.

As of now, Backlinks are definitely the most important factor in calculating the basic reputation of the website. But with time, Google is becoming better at understanding the natural language of the search queries by people and is certainly focusing on understanding the content of websites in a better. By knowing what the users are actually searching and what the website’s content actually mean, Google will be able to deliver much better and relevant results.

A video shared by Google Websmasters says that the gravity around backlinking will shift to content to give users results which is more specific to what they search. Although, backlinking as a metric is not gonna be dead in the next few years and will continue to have significant importance in the ranking process. Although creating fake backlinks from spammy sites will only create more trouble as Google analyzes the website from where the backlink is coming from.

Conclusion

Although Google analyzes over 200 ranking factors for ranking any website on the Search Engine Result Page, they don’t completely disclose the weightage of each. Over the years, Google has updated their search ranking algorithm many times to provide more relevant results to the users. Google has although been posting videos contradicting these myths on their YouTube channel – Google Webmasters which is a great help to SEO professionals.

You should stop running after consultancy firms and freelancers who claim guaranteed success in organic and paid searches. As I’ve mentioned this earlier, what may have worked for them may not work for you. Before hiring anyone for SEO, try to learn basics of it by yourself so that you at least are familiar with the basic terms and have an idea of things which may not work for your business type. If you make your strategies based on how search engines interpret and not focusing on content optimization for the human audience then Google can punish you badly. Avoid these aggressive techniques and rather apply techniques to optimize the content for the audience. This will be good for the ranking purpose and help you excel in SEO.

This Blog article was originally published on False Opinions

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Founder and COO at Collobe | Finalist at The Vault Show aired on ET NOW & TIMES NOW | Part of Nasscom 10k program

Stories by Shashwat Gautam