As search engines continue to develop and become more intelligent, it can be hard for SEO professionals to keep track of what beliefs are still valid, and which are common myths in the SEO community. Here are the eight biggest SEO myths that every SEO professional should leave behind in 2020.
There’s no need for speed
Having a fast website is no longer a choice. It is becoming more and more of a requisite from Google and other search engines to have a fast loading website. It became apparent when Google announced that speedier loading websites would receive a bump in their overall rankings. Increasingly, users are also becoming less patient in terms of how long they’re willing to wait for a website to load. The longer it takes for a website to load, the higher the chances of users bouncing back to find an alternative one.
Focusing keyword density is important
While keywords are yet essential, having a specific keyword density is no longer critical. Primarily because Google is becoming better at understanding natural language patterns than it was previously before. Writing content in a natural tonality, and including keywords in naturally is now best practice.
Only ranking in position 1 on Google matters
Sites ranking in position 1 still yield the highest click-through rates compared to other sites ranking on the first page of the search engine results page (SERPs). However, the necessity of ranking in position 1 has slowly declined since the early days of Google. With featured and rich snippets, sites lower down on the SERPs are still able to receive a good amount of impressions and clicks.
Meta descriptions are still a main direct ranking factor
An accurate and concise meta description that encourages click-through rate is excellent for SEO. However, meta descriptions are no longer and haven’t been for a while, a direct ranking factor. It means that SEO professions should focus on writing more engaging meta descriptions, rather than just stuffing keywords in them.
Links no longer matter anymore
Although it appears that the value of links is dropping compared to the value of content, PageRank is still one of the top-ranking factors used. Fundamentally because it is the best indication for Google in understanding how popular a particular website is. Without links, it is tough for Google to understand which sites have authority and which don’t.
Having a secure website is optional
Cyberattacks are on the rise, allowing the perpetrators to access resources between a site and its users. Therefore, having a secure website is no longer a choice, but a matter of necessity to protect websites and the users who access them. Websites equipped with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) helps transfer data safely and securely between two points. There are also significant SEO benefits in upgrading to a secure site as all HTTPS websites now receive a small ranking boost over those using HTTP.
Local SEO doesn’t matter
It could seem at first that local SEO is only for businesses with a physical store, however by setting up a local business on Google (known as Google My Business), it does bring along some benefits. While it’s true that local SEO does not help a site rank for your keywords, it can bring in additional traffic to a site. By local businesses appearing in Google Maps as well as local 3 packs, the website will receive further attention and pull in additional traffic.
Being mobile friendly is unnecessary
Google’s been taking a significant drive towards a mobile-first indexing approach since the last couple of years. Crawling and indexing a site is now based on how it renders on the mobile version and not the desktop version. It is understandable why Google decided to do this as more and more users access websites on the move via their mobile devices. Having a mobile-friendly website is now more important than ever to accommodate the increasing amount of mobile users and also to adhere to Google recommendations.