When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation and Google there is simply so much misinformation and myths out there it becomes incredibly difficult to understand what it true and what isn’t. Believing in the wrong thing in SEO can actually have fairly negative impact and it could stop you from seeing the results you want.
Google itself understands that there is a lot of confusion these days around SEO and they are taking steps to being more transparent and help webmasters and online digital marketing agencies understand what they are looking for when ranking websites etc.
When looking for information about Google it is best to go straight to the source. And good news for you, Google is sharing so much more now than ever before!
So lets take a look below at some of the biggest myths surrounding the world of SEO and Google:
1. Page Speed is a Major Google Ranking Factor
Yes, page speed is a ranking factor, but it isn’t a major one. There are a number of different ranking factors that you should be keeping as a higher priority. What Google does use the speed for is to differentiate the slow loading pages from the normal loading pages. Even if your page is slow to load, the Googlebot will still crawl and index it.
Where most people seem to get caught up is the fact that speed has an indirect influence on rankings. This influence comes when a site is slow to load which causes users to bounce off the website straight away (therefore increasing the bounce rate) as well as impacting engagement levels on the page
These metrics act as a signal to Google that users aren’t liking your website that much and therefore would push your site down in the rankings, favouring sites that users have high levels of engagement with. There are talks however, that later this year a speed update will take place. So be sure to keep an eye on this in the months to come.
2. Penalty From Google For Duplicate Content
Google doesn’t generally penalise websites for duplicate content; that is unless a website is aiming to manipulate the rankings and the site is completely comprised of duplicate content. Google is becoming more understanding and they know they small levels of duplicate content are okay.
Therefore Google works to index the page with the highest quality and most relevance to a user’s search term. What Google doesn’t want in their search engine results page are listings that all have the same content because this wouldn’t provide users with the best experience. Users trust Google to sort it out and give them the exact results they are looking for.
Duplicate content is still an issue on your own website though so you still have to be careful that different pages on your site has different content. For example if two of your pages have too similar content then the Googlebot will place them together when indexing and a different version of the webpage could be shown up instead.
3. Using Disavow File To Maintain Positive Backlink Profile
Using Google’s Disavow Tool has long been on an SEO professionals list when ensuring only the highest quality links survive on your profile. However, these days this tool isn’t necessarily as useful as it once was. This is because Google is getting much smarter and better at picking up on the poor quality backlinks and essentially ignoring them for you.
If anyone has previously taken the time to put together a disavow list and upload to the Google tool you know just how long it can take. So hearing that you no longer have to do this regularly should be music to your ears! The only time you should put together a disavow file is if you have received a manual action.
4. Google Likes Backlinks From Every High Authority Domain
Backlinking is essentially the backbone of off page SEO and it is so critical that you get it right. While getting a backlink from a high authority domain is great, it because more and more worthless the less relevancy it has towards your own website.
When looking to beef up your backlink profile, you should be looking at sites that are actually relevant to your site. For example if you own a sporting goods website getting a link from a local sports team website would be the way to go and a link from a cupcake business probably wouldn’t work at all!
SEO and Google are always changing which makes it difficult to keep up and understand what information is correct and what is simply false. Remember, that on the Internet people can claim to be anything they want. So stick to highly respected and well known sources to find out new information about what is true and what is not.