SEO is essential for those who want to improve the positioning of their site on Google. While the precise functioning of the search engine algorithm is a secret, there are often some techniques or tricks leaked that help those dealing with SEO. However, not everything you hear is always true. In this article, we are going to confirm or debunk 13 SEO techniques.
How does the ranking on Google work?
Before we begin, we need to briefly clarify the following:
the main purpose of search engines is to provide users with the best possible search results.
This is because offering a good search experience is in the interest of the search engines themselves, which would lose users if they didn’t deliver (the best) results relevant to their search queries.
For this reason, the search engine algorithm is constantly evolving, and, next to what is true that is shared on Google Search Central, false and untrue SEO myths also often spread.
Before you start: discover the guide with our tips to improve your ranking
1. The more keywords you use, the higher your ranking
While a few years ago it was enough to repeat a keyword indefinitely to position itself at the top of the ranking, nowadays this technique, called keyword stuffing, no longer works and even has negative consequences.
In fact, the content of this type is considered of poor quality by Google crawlers because it leads to a bad search experience for the user. The number one rule for those who create content on the web is in fact to write for users, not for search engines.
2. Loading speed is a ranking factor
Yes, since July 2018 Google has stated that the loading speed of a page has become a ranking factor, not only from desktop but also (and above all) from mobile.
“Users want to be able to find answers to their questions as quickly as possible and several studies show that page speed is a very important aspect for people. Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, this indicator was mostly related to desktop searches. Today we announce that starting in July 2018 page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches. “
If your pages load too slowly, the likelihood of users leaving your pages is higher and this translates into a lower conversion rate.
3. Using the same keywords for different pages is not a problem
Repeated use of the same keyword on different pages leads to what is referred to as keyword cannibalization, which is detrimental to rankings.
This is because if multiple pages include the same keyword, they will compete with each other and the search engine will have trouble deciding which page best responds to the query entered by the user. As a result, the position in the SERP of different pages will be “swapped” continuously: one day a user will see one, the next another, and so on.
💡 If your keywords repeat themselves and you can’t do without them, try using different variations via long tail keywords (which we’ll talk about in step 10).
Recommended: How to do keyword research
4. Updated content gets a better ranking
Let’s briefly return to the point already mentioned, namely the purpose of Google: to guarantee the best possible search results to its users, the search engine will prefer to show new or updated results, because these are the ones that offer the greatest value.
With some exceptions (for example pages dedicated to the definition of a term that can remain more static), you can improve the ranking of your pages if their content of them is updated regularly.
Always remember that SEO is a process that requires continuity and consistency to show positive results.
5. Meta keywords are ranking factors
No, meta keywords (a type of meta-tag that appears in the HTML code of a page and serves to describe the subject matter to search engines) are no longer taken into consideration by search engines.
Again, this is one of those SEO myths that were once true but now, with overuse, has become irrelevant to ranking.
6. Reviews improve SEO
Yes, this is not a myth, the words of your customers benefit from SEO, as well as provide the social proof sought by online shoppers.
Like all types of user-generated content, reviews are considered by Google to be fresh and up-to-date new content, which, as we saw in step 4, helps your pages rank better.
Although having many inbound links sends a positive signal to search engines, in this case, the saying “better few but good” applies.
An excessive number of links from low-quality pages could in fact cause the opposite effect that was hoped for and lower the ranking of your pages, as well as damage your online reputation.
Likewise, outbound links should also be of quality. Focus on what can be truly useful for your visitors and avoid linking to pages on irrelevant or untrustworthy sites that could lead your visitors away from your site unnecessarily.
💡 Not sure how to tell if a site is good? You can check its domain authority with ahrefs Website Authority Checker. The score ranges from 1 to 100, and the higher a site is the safer it will be to link to.
8. Off-Page SEO cannot be controlled
Only partially true.
Unlike On-Page Optimization, Off-Page SEO is less easy to control, but not impossible. In fact, since these are signals that come from abroad, you do not have a great influence on them but you can nevertheless influence them thus improving the relevance and reliability of your site.
🚀 Discover Off-Page SEO Optimization Strategies now.
9. The crawl budget cannot be increased
The crawl budget – the amount of time Google spends on your pages – can be increased by following a few tricks, and you can also decrease the amount of time between crawls. This increases the chance that your pages will appear at the top of the search results.
10. Long tail keywords are easier to rank
Only partially true.
Long tail keywords have less search volume than short ones (up to two words) but are usually easier to rank.
This is due to the fact that there is less competition. As a result, the search volume will be lower, but the likelihood of appearing in the top Google results will be higher.
💡 Long tail keywords represent 70% of all searches on the web, so not taking advantage of them would amount to a loss of traffic and potential customers.
11. Social media improves ranking
False. But there is a “but”.
Social media help increase the visibility of a brand, but not directly. Even if the interactions of your post do not have an impact on the ranking of your site, social networks are in fact an excellent channel useful for increasing a follower base and for increasing brand awareness.
So, a post that is clicked, commented on, or shared does not improve your ranking but increases the reach of the post and helps you gain credibility, trust, and traffic to your online store.
12. Duplicate content does not penalize you
Only partially true.
John Muller (Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst) states that:
- “With this type of duplicate content it is not so much that there is a negative score associated with it, it is more than if we find exactly the same information on multiple pages of the web and a user specifically searches for that information, then we will try to find the page. which matches best.
- So, if the same content is present on multiple pages, we won’t show them all. We will try to choose one and show it. This is therefore not a negative sign. In many cases, it is normal for there to be a certain amount of duplicate content on some pages. “
However, while Google’s algorithm doesn’t penalize duplicate content, it doesn’t have any benefit either. It is therefore worth avoiding or limiting this type of content by enriching and/or personalizing the texts with unique and handwritten information.
To learn more: you can watch this video on YouTube at 6: 37-9: 25 minutes
Recommended Article: 15+ Frequently Found SEO Problems and Solutions
13. To get a good ranking you have to pay
To be indexed and crawled by Google you don’t have to pay, nor do you have to do it to appear among the first search results. Make a commitment to produce quality content and your efforts will pay off.
Better to avoid any incorrect or prohibited technique of what is called Black Hat SEO (such as buying backlinks) to try to improve the ranking of your site because, more often than not, you only get the opposite effect.
There is no specific formula that always helps improve your site’s ranking on search engines. SEO takes time and perseverance, researching the right keywords, competing for analysis, and respecting the rules. When in doubt, always remember that your texts must be optimized for users, not for search engines.