In SEO as in other businesses, there is a great deal of misinformation floating around. Unfortunately, since SEO is primarily about information, bad “facts” can hurt your business by denying you the opportunity to increase your website traffic, conversion rates and ROI.
Here are some SEO myths that may cause you to take the wrong directions with your SEO efforts:
- Hiding text behind an image. The alt text attribute is not there to overstuff. Instead, see this “text behind the image” as an opportunity to give a brief description or URL and keep the longer text for below the fold.
- Copying competitors. If a competitor does something that works, it may be worth copying. However, too many businesses copy keywords or website setups simply because their competitors do it. This is not a valid reason to copy a strategy without researching it first.
- Believing links equal rankings. The number of links does not make your website rise in search engine rankings, but you would never know it to hear some people talk! Even SEO “experts” sell this myth regularly to those who are unaware. The number of links is not nearly as important as the quality of your links and how they relate to the content on your page.
- Believing a loss in traffic equals penalties. Sometimes you lose traffic due to changes in algorithms, changes in something a competing website has done, or both. It could also be because something has changed on your website. Be sure to research the reasons for a loss of traffic before you jump to the conclusion that you have been penalized.
- Duplicate content leads to penalties. Many people do not understand how duplicate content affects a site. Researching and using Webmaster Tools is the best solution rather than simply rewriting all of your site content. In fact, rewriting site content can cause you problems because you may accidentally remove some things that are working well for your website.
When it comes to understanding SEO, simple “pat” answers are usually not correct. It takes more than just listening to rumors or having a general understanding of SEO to succeed at the search engine game. The more you know, the more likely it is that you will be able to handle the changes that will inevitably come to your website as you attempt to win the search engine wars!