Facts and Myths of SEO
To say Search Engine Optimisation has “changed a lot” would be the understatement of the decade. And because SEO has changed so much in the past several years, many marketers aren’t sure what’s outdated, what’s important, what will actually move the needle, and what’s simply wasted effort. Over the next few issues of Business Matters we’ll look at the most common myths and assumptions about how SEO works, and debunk them for you.
- I Must Submit my Site to Google!
The idea that you need to submit your website to Google in order to appear
in search results (or rank) is nonsense.
While a brand new site can submit its URL to Google directly, a search engine like Google can still find your site without you submitting it. Matt Cutts of Google explains exactly how this works:
“When you do a Google search, you aren’t actually searching the web. You’re searching Google’s index of the web, or at least as much of it as we can find. We do this with software programs called spiders. Spiders start by fetching a few web pages, then they follow the links on those pages and fetch the pages they point to; and follow all the links on those pages, and fetch the pages they link to, and so on, until we’ve indexed a pretty big chunk of the web; many billions of pages stored on thousands of machines.”
Even if you do submit your site to Google, a submission does not guarantee anything. Crawlers will find your site and index it in due time, so don’t worry about this idea of needing to “tell” Google about your site.
- More Links are Better than More Content
In the past, building as many links as possible without analysing the linking domain was how SEO typically worked. By doing this, your website was sure to rank higher. Building links is still a very important part of ranking factors. It is among the top five most important ranking factors, according to a correlational study on ranking factors. But you must build links in a much different manner than you used to.
When Penguin 2.0 was released in May 2013, all of this changed. Nowadays, it is important to focus on the quality of links you are obtaining, rather than the quantity. Sometimes less can be more if you know how exactly to build links the proper way.
This is something that often comes along with the question, “Which should I invest in, link building or content generation?” Links are an important part of your website’s authority (even with the changing link landscape). However, if you have budget to invest in your website, I would say, “Hire someone to write for you.”
Too often, when businesses hire someone to do link building, they focus on the quantity of links rather than their quality. But linking is not a numbers game anymore. Far from it, actually. You should focus on having relevant and diverse sources that link to relevant pages.
When you invest in content, that content can be used for webpages, blog posts, lead generation offers, and guest posts on other sites – all content types that will bring more links with them over time.