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A former Google employee spoke about common SEO myths

Western edition of Search Engine Land published an article by Kaspar Szymanski (former employee of Google, now a SEO expert), in which he exposes common myths about search engine optimization.

The list of myths collected by Szymanski looks like this:

SEO is a game on equal terms.

Theoretically, it is: all sites have the same chance to get a place in the output by queries. In fact, however, the competition here cannot be equal: as in any other area, all offers are different. In SEO, different sites give different signals to search engines, and therefore ranked differently. Moreover, according to Szymanski, Google does give young sites a “honeymoon”: a short period of time during which the site takes very high positions, without having the appropriate SEO signals. If the webmasters of the site during this time to improve the site, there is a great chance to achieve further success in the competitive demands of its subjects. Providing such “benefits” from Google – this is no longer a game on equal terms.

SEO – a one-time investment.

Investment in SEO, like any other, over time stops to give effect, if not support them. Practices are getting outdated, so SEO must be constant, especially in profitable niches. It is necessary to track the emergence of new factors and improve the site.

SEO is a backlink.

Links are important because without them, most search engines can not find and scan new content. For Google, backlinks are also a ranking factor, but contrary to popular belief, they can also harm the position of the site. In particular, we are talking about Google’s algorithm “Penguin”, which tracks sites associated with low-quality sites. Backlinks should be deserved and quality, and for those sites that violated these rules, there is a tool Disavow.

SEO are user signals.

User signals are an important factor in ranking, the entire Google business model is based on user loyalty. However, Google does not share the data it uses, even with proven resources such as the Google Search Console. The only confirmed indicators of user behavior on the site are GSC and CTR. But this is a small part of the overall SEO picture, and a much more important role is played by a unique selling proposition.

Google hates my site.

Personal dislike of Google is a frequent but irrational reason for the low ranking of the site. And this position is easily refuted by a SEO audit, which will identify technical, content and other problems. Even manual actions can be canceled after a request for review.

Advertising in Google Ads affects the ranking.

Organic search is completely independent of context advertising. Regardless of the Ads advertising campaign budget, it will not be a ranking factor.

Keywords are the key to success.

In the past, search engines used to track the density of keywords on a page to check its relevance to the query. Now keywords have no such value in terms of SEO, including those used in URLs.

SEO is “freshness”.

Google likes “fresh” content only when novelty is important for the user. For news sites, for example, “freshness” of content is a competitive advantage in ranking. This change in publication date will not convince Google that it is new content.

Social signals are a ranking factor.

Comments, likes, shawls, reposting, links from social networks do not affect the ranking of the site in search engine output. Google does not take these factors into account because the data is fragmented and unreliable. However, social media work is an integral part of brand promotion, which affects factors important for SEO: brand recognition and CTR. Google does not recognize this, but it does prefer popular sites.

SEO is magic.

Because of the complexity of search engine optimization, sometimes it seems that SEO is an art and science that is difficult to explain and understand. Yes, SEO uses huge amounts of data, but even they can be broken down into small and manageable blocks of information and key performance indicators.

Expert Comment:

“Very strong statements that mean nothing without confirmation. In general, such insides should be treated with skepticism, because for some reason it is their former employee”.