There’s a great deal of advice going around about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Some of it is quite useful; some of it will lead you in the opposite direction to your SEO goals.
“Discerning what works and what doesn’t” is difficult.
It’s hard to know which SEO techniques popular in 2020 actually work and is based on facts, and which ones are ineffective or even dangerous and based on misunderstood Google statements or misquoted articles.
We simply don’t know how various search engines work or how billions of pages on the Internet are ranked for different search queries. A lot of what SEO experts do is based on the outcomes of trial-and-error methods as well as educated guesswork.
Experienced SEO experts can detect false claims or unproven techniques related to SEO more easily but those with limited experience can’t test an out-of-date technique, a claim based on a false assumption, or an SEO strategy that’s too focused on a minor factor.
Here in this post, we will shed light on five SEO myths that you should leave behind in 2020:
SEO Myth #1: High PPC Advertising Budget Guarantees Better Ranking
Many people continue to believe that Google will favor their websites in organic search results if they spend more money on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns.
This is a common SEO myth that continues to lead many digital marketers astray in 2020.
PPC ad placements and search engine giant’s algorithms for ranking web pages for organic search results are completely separate from each other.
If you shell out money for a paid search advertising campaign while carrying out SEO, it won’t affect the ranking website’s ranking.
However, a PPC + SEO combo can help in other ways such as:
- Use PPC campaign data to build a more powerful SEO plan
- Identify long-tail negative keywords that your SEO plan shouldn’t focus on
- Combine SEO and PPC campaigns to encourage return visits to the website
· Establish your brand as an authority in your area of business
SEO Myth #2: Older Domains Rank Better
Digital marketers often look at domains that have existed for over a decade or two and notice that they are ranking well.
They simply assume that domain age must be a major ranking factor.
The reality, however, is that domain age does NOT help with anything as far as SEO is concerned.
It’s just that an old website has just had enough time to do many things right that are important for SEO.
For example, a website that has been up and running since 2010 may have a large number of relevant backlinks from high-authority websites to its main pages. A website that’s just six months old with only a handful of relevant backlinks cannot compete with an old website.
Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller in 2019 confirmed that domain age does not help with anything as far as “200 signals of ranking’ are concerned.
SEO Myth #3: Google Analytics Data is used in Ranking Websites
This myth has been around for many years.
Although it has been debunked before, several business owners continue to hold on to this SEO myth even in 2020.
They just look at their Google Analytics data and worry if Google will consider their website to be of low quality due to factors such as a high bounce rate.
In June 2017, Garry Illyes – a Google official – confirmed that the company does not use anything from Google Analytics data in its algorithm.
Yes, business owners should try to reduce the bounce rate and look for ways to encourage visitors to spend more time on the website. It’s helpful in improving conversion rates.
But those who continue to believe in this myth try to configure their Google Analytics reports in a manner that their websites appear to be doing better than they are. It’s pointless.
SEO Myth #4: Google Takes Domain Authority Very Seriously
There was a time when Google used to give a PageRank score to a page. This number could be up to 10 and it was shown in Google’s PageRank toolbar.
The company stopped updating the PageRank in 2013.
Three years later, in 2016, the company announced that it was not going to use the PageRank toolbar metric anymore.
In the absence of Google’s PageRank, many third-party authority scores have surfaced and become popular amongst digital marketers across the world. The most popular ones include:
- Domain and Page Authority scores by Moz
- Domain and URL ratings by Ahref
- Trust and Citation Flows by Majestic
Often, SEO professionals use these scores or ratings to evaluate the net worth of a domain or web page in terms of SEO.
Yes, these scores can give you an idea.
But, it can never be a true reflection of search engines such as Google value a website or page.
So the belief that Google takes domain authority seriously is actually a myth.
In fact, Garry Illyes in Oct 2016 said on Twitter that Google doesn’t have ‘overall domain authority.’
SEO Myth #5: Backlinks from All High Authority Websites Will Help in SEO
When executing SEO plans, backlinks from high-authority websites are highly sought after.
Often, people take ‘relevance’ for granted when seeking backlinks from high-authority websites.
The reality is that Google takes the context of backlinks into account when ranking a website or page.
Therefore, it’s important that SEO professionals keep the context in mind when acquiring backlinks from high authority websites.
For instance, if your website sells financial products and services but gets a backlink from a high-authority entertainment website, it may be of little help.
SEO Myth #6: CTR Helps in Measuring the Impact of Overall Digital Marketing Efforts
Many marketers think that CTR is useful for measuring business impact and helps in long term long term decision making process. However this is just a myth as CTR is useful in day-to-day SEO/Ad optimization, A/B testing, and determining whether an ad or SEO meta tags are user friendly and engaging.
SEO myths do not just waste valuable time and resources. They can even prove dangerous. Therefore, it’s important to stay clear of misconceptions, misinformation, and misunderstandings. There’s no dearth of articles, video tutorials, courses, etc. on the Internet that claim to provide you with a sure-shot short-cut to success in the world of digital marketing.
Do not rely on untested wisdom. Leave the above-mentioned SEO myths in 2020!
Simon is one of the founders and head of operations at 405 Ads. Simon serves as an online marketing manager to businesses and agencies worldwide. His overall business and marketing experience has helped hundreds of business owners get their presence done right when it comes to today’s online world.