Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Myth-Busting SEO Techniques and Theories

By Megan Quinn

There are many different theories and myths about the best ways to create and maintain great search engine optimization results, called SEO. But that’s the problem; there are too many myths. How can we separate fiction from fact and better optimize our respective websites on Google search? Let’s see…by listening to advice from someone who works at Google.

Matt Cutts, Head of Google Search Spam, has seen various SEO techniques, ads and fluff sites used during the nearly 14 years he has spent with the company. He uploaded a video to YouTube in April of last year to call out the biggest SEO myths he had heard of at the time, but most of those myths are still believed to this day.

One of those myths is, “if you buy ads you’ll rank higher on Google.” That would be false, he says. Cutts says there also is an opposing theory that says if you don’t buy ads you will rank higher on Google. This also would be false, according to Cutts. He says that Google wants only to return great search results to the users and it is only about making the users happy. Why is that? So they will keep coming back to Google for answers, of course.

Sorry to disappoint you, Google conspiracy theorists!

Google and other search engines often change the algorithms that control what websites are displayed as the results of a search. Some of those changes are minor and some are major.
According to a recent article on PR Daily, Google’s algorithm tweaks continue to work to filter out the spammy websites that gamed SEO by stuffing keywords and other “black hat” tactics once used to claim the top search results spots.  As a result of those changes in recent years, the content (like press releases based on actual news, for example) with true depth can actually break the surface.

The truth is, one simple theory or approach will not guarantee that certain websites show up at the top of page one of a Google search. Many factors contribute to better search results – as many as 200 – and improving a website’s SEO is a long process.

What does this mean for companies that recognize the importance of good SEO? It means that investing in good writing has never been more important. Creating both textual and visual content that appeals to your target audience, and sharing it through integrated public relations and marketing, will help companies get found on the web – no myths necessary.

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