|There are thousands of little tweaks you can make with your website in order to better optimize it for search engines and for readers. People are coming up with new and exciting tactics every single day, not to even mention that search engines are constantly changing and are forcing the wheel to be modified if not outright reinvented every other year. But some of these tactics you will try will not work. They might not harm your site, but they also won’t improve your search rankings.
The nonworking SEO tactics are now known as myths. And just like a good myth—think Bigfoot, Loch Ness, little green men—some people just cannot help but believe in these tactics. They try and try to implement the steps, but nothing seems to happen.
Don’t waste your time on myths. Here are seven of the top SEO fairy tales out there.
7 Common SEO Myths
1: Imitation is a Working Formula
Pulling a few working tactics from a successful website and modelling yours after it is okay. But outright copying the formula will transform your site into a clone. What does the second-born child get that the first one doesn’t? You’ll never be ahead of big brother, so be your own site.
2: SEO Gurus have the Inside Track
If these so-called SEO experts had the goods, they’d be too busy counting their money to perform SEO on dozens of different websites in an attempt to get you to buy their product. The truth is that they’re in business to make you believe that there’s something you’re missing. You’ll end up never moving up the ladder if you focus on advice from the proverbial know-it-all.
3: Meta Tags are Important
Although meta keywords stop being used by Google years ago, some still insist that they help a site increase in the rankings. But the odds of Google utilizing meta tags are slim, unless you have no other tags. It’s just a pointless practice.
4: More Links are better
Visiting a top-ranked site, you’re not likely to see pages inundated with links. This should be your first clue. The second clue is the eye test. Would you even like to read a site covered up in blue underlines? You won’t need to link that much. It’s quality over quantity.
5: PageRank and Google Rank are the same
Google’s ranking algorithm is vastly different than the PageRank feature. Focusing too much on increasing the PageRank would be akin to upgrading your car’s transmission to make it go faster. Why wouldn’t you focus on the actual engine?
6: #1 is the Goal
You would think so, but it’s actually not. Why? It’s because everyone sees different results when they search. You would think that would be obvious, but it isn’t. People pick out an entire market based on their niche and then strive to be the top-ranked site for a hugely popular keyword. This leaves you running on a treadmill. Aim for the market within the market within the market.
7: XML Sitemaps Boost Rankings
No, actually they don’t. An XML sitemap might help you catalogue more pages with Google or to ditch duplicates, but you’ll have to go with another type of sitemap if you actually want your rank to increase as a result.
There are worse things you could do to try to improve your ranking, but just remember to avoid these nonworking methods. You’ll only waste your time and possibly damage your brand. There are simply better ways to proceed.