The SEO community is no stranger to myth spreading. So in an attempt to end a few of the larger prevailing myths I will talk briefly about some myths that I run into often.
1. Google Understands “Quality”: Google does not understand quality. It simply makes assumptions about the quality of a content based on natural language processing, page segmentation, user behavior, inbound links, machine learning, etc. These assumptions can be wrong, but Google’s guesses regarding quality are usually pretty accurate all things considered.
2. When A Page Drops In Rankings, Google Is Penalizing It: When a page or domain loses substantial rankings or organic traffic there are typically two possible reasons: an algorithmic change has occurred or a manual penalty has been applied.
3. There Is A Secret Formula That Helps Pages Rank: Often times I will hear clients ask what the correct keyword density is. Or whats the optimal outbound/inbound link ratio. Unfortunately, there is no formula that works for all web sites. This makes a firm understanding of SEO fundamentals extremely important.
4. Links Are The Most Important Ranking Factor: Links are still very important to ranking web pages. However, their importance is wavering with social media paving the way for new ranking metrics.
5. The Algorithm Is Static: Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. We see regular updates that Google announces on their blog. But small changes are also taking place on a regular basis. If this wasn’t enough there is also increasing evidence that suggest that the algorithms are applied differently for different scenarios.