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Senior SEO Manager at UnitedAds | + posts

Felicitas Bürger ist Senior SEO Managerin bei UnitedAds. Sie entwickelt ganzheitliche SEO Strategien für Kunden und betreut diese bei der Optimierung ihrer Websites.

Discover with UnitedAds the art of
search engine optimization (SEO)
that will bring your company to the top of the search results.

With us, you will not only find experts with years of experience, but also innovative strategies that are specifically designed to revolutionize your online presence. We understand that every company is unique – that’s why we provide you with customized SEO solutions that are tailored precisely to your needs.

Our advanced techniques and proven methods are your key to improved website rankings and increased visibility in search engine results. Choose UnitedAds and experience how we redefine quality, innovation and measurable success in the world of search engine optimization.

Rely on our expertise to maximize your digital reach, reach your target group more effectively and ensure sustainable business success.

Why do some SEO myths persist?

First, let’s clarify why some SEO myths still persist after 10 years and the practices are still applied. The problem is, Google is keeping an extremely low profile, unlike other search engines. Especially when it comes to revealing details about ranking factors. So there is a lot of speculation about it, and so unfortunate coincidences often give rise to causalities that in reality are not causalities at all.

Moreover, there are many so-called “SEO gurus” who believe they know exactly what the Google algorithm prefers and what it takes to rank #1. They are often much louder than Google’s documentation and spread their supposed insider knowledge via social media or on your blogs.

In addition, search engine optimization is constantly evolving, just like the Google algorithm. So what worked well 5 years ago can have the opposite effect today. Therefore, you should always check the current consensus on SEO best practices and not blindly trust any tips.

Myth 1: Google is vindictive

SEO myth number 1 refers to the so-called Google Penaltys. These are pronounced by Google for violating the quality guidelines. As a result, your individual pages or the entire website will be removed from the search index.

If you receive a manual penalty from Google, you will see it in the Google Search Console in the Manual Actions report. If you solve the problem and request the retest, the penalty will be removed. After that, your rankings should recover.

This does not mean, however, that your website will directly return to the same position as before the measure. Because rankings change daily and that has nothing to do with Google being vindictive, but rather with the algorithm behind it.

Myth 2: Google sees the website as all other users do

What many and you may not be aware of, the Google crawler does not see your website with the same eyes as a real user. This is because the Google Bot only reads the rendered version of your website. In addition, he does not perform any actions and clicks on buttons, for example. It only follows links that are included in a tag.

This is why it is so important to check that all the important content on your website that should be indexed is also readable in the rendered version. You can take a closer look at the rendered version of a page using the URL checker tool in Google Search Console or in Chrome DevTools under the Elements tab.

Myth 3: Duplicate content is penalized by Google

It is often said that duplicate content is severely penalized by Google. However, this is not correct. For example, if Google detects duplicate content on your website, it will not be indexed at all.

You can also easily track this in Google Search Console. Under the index coverage you can see the reasons why individual landing pages were not indexed. If you have more pages that show up under “Duplicate – not set as canonical by user”, Google has detected duplicate content here.

For some, this may still be a punishment for their hard work, but it doesn’t compare to manual measures.

Myth 4: The age of the domain helps with rankings

Some still believe that the age of a domain has a positive effect on the rankings of a website. Google has repeatedly denied this for several years.

seo mythen domain alter

Where the domain age nevertheless plays a small role are young, new domains. But that’s because new sites often don’t have content, and it takes time to create valuable content that can be indexed.

Myth 5: I have to submit my website to Google

Submitting your website to Google is not a prerequisite for it to be included in the Google index. This is because Google crawlers are constantly looking for new content and will find it even without submitting it.

However, if you change a lot of content on your site, it may help to resubmit your sitemap to Google Search Console or reapply for indexing on individual pages. This can help Google crawl your new content faster than who you wait for the bot to find it.

Myth 6: Google respects the canonical URL for indexing

Most of the time this is true, but not always. For some URLs, Google chooses a different canonical URL than the one that is manually designated. In such cases, you will find the following reason in the index coverage in Google Search Console “Duplicate – Google has designated a different page than the user as the canonical page”.

This means that Google does not consider this page to be an original page, but classifies it as a duplicate. Therefore, Google decides not to index the page. So you should check the contents of these pages again.

Myth 7: Google Ads help with organic rankings

It is often claimed that PPC ads also have an impact on organic rankings. However, this is simply wrong. The algorithm for organic search and the one for displaying ads are different and not related.

Even though the combination of running Google Ads and SEO campaigns can have a positive impact on your website in general, it will not have a direct impact on your rankings.

Myth 8: You only need traffic from Google

Traffic from Google is important, without question. Still, you won’t get enough traffic if you don’t also generate traffic from other external websites. Why? Every page that links to yours is proof that your content is valuable.

This in turn also has a positive effect on the rankings for your website and also leads to more traffic via Google again. That’s why it’s important to have traffic from other websites besides Google Search.

Therefore, you should invest in your content and make sure it is worth linking to. For more content creation tips, check out our related blog post.

Myth 9: Keywords are more important than anything else

Keywords are without question still important for Google to understand what your website is about. Nevertheless, they are nowhere near as important as they used to be. Often you created a separate page for each possible keyword, even though they had the same meaning. Since the algorithm did not yet understand semantic relationships.

Today, however, things are completely different, especially since search queries are becoming more and more conversation-oriented. Google has therefore meanwhile adjusted its algorithm with several updates. Therefore, it is no longer about addressing individual keywords, but rather about addressing topics.

Myth 10: The home page needs a lot of content

Sometimes you stumble across homepages that are bursting with content and seem pretty cluttered. Others barely have any text at all.

But how much text does a good homepage need?

Think of your homepage like the windows of a store. In order for your business to look inviting and for customers to decide whether to consider you, who you are and what you offer should be on the outside.

That is, how much content your home page needs depends on what you offer. The most important aspects to depict on your homepage are who you are, what you do, your value proposition, and what users should do next.

It is important that users are not left with questions after visiting your home page and that you do not confuse them.

Myth 11: The more pages, the better

Many believe that even more pages will always lead to more traffic. But in this case, more is not really always better. It is more important that the existing content is really good and fulfills the search intention.

This is especially important so that the traffic also converts and it doesn’t just stay with one-time visits. So it’s better to produce a little real good content than a lot of bad content.

Myth 12: Images do not need to be optimized

In any case, you should not do without image optimization. When it comes to image optimization, there are a few components that can have a big impact on your website’s rankings. For example, Google is placing more and more importance on websites making their content available quickly.

Page Speed or Core Web Vitals are becoming more and more important and often it is images that slow down the loading of your page. Especially if the images were uploaded in the wrong size, they still have to be compressed by the browser. This is exactly what costs you valuable loading time. Thereby it is easy to compress your own images with free tools without quality loss.

If you want your images to be found via Google Image Search as well, you can also provide an image sitemap. This gives the crawler more information about your images and possibly crawls images that the bot would not have captured before.

Also, markup with semantic HTML helps the Google Bot process your images better, as CSS images cannot be read.

To refresh your knowledge of image optimization at this point. Google only supports images in BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP or SVG format. Also, Google uses image URL and file names to understand the images.

The alt text is used to describe the image to users who cannot see it. But the alt text also helps Google understand what’s on it. Therefore, this should also be optimized only for this.

Myth 13: Videos do not need to be optimized

Far from it, because the largest video platform YouTube is also a search engine. Here, you should definitely not do without optimization either. The main goals of YouTube are, on the one hand, to make suitable content (in this case videos) available to the user according to the search query. Secondly, a long-term commitment of users to the platform.

Also, to optimize your videos for YouTube, just like SEO for the website, there are some best practices. Here are a few elements you should consider when optimizing:

  • Video Title & Description
  • Categories & Tags
  • Video thumbnail
  • SRT file for subtitles

If you want to learn more about the YouTube search engine, you can find more in our YouTube Guide.

Myth 14: Keywords with low search volume are not worthwhile

You should quickly leave this SEO myth behind. Because especially in the keywords with low search volume there is an extremely high potential. Often, these are the keywords that lead to a conversion and attract just the right users to your website.

Even keywords that have no search volume in the well-known analysis tools can bring you extremely high traffic. Because the tools are only one part of the analysis. That is why many SEOs in certain niches already rely on the keywords with small to no search volume.

seo mythos keywords

Myth 15: Long texts rank better

Still many cling to the idea of having to write particularly long texts for Google search. Often maligned as a ranking factor, the number of words in a text is therefore used to evaluate how suitable it is.

At the same time, the number of words for the crawler says nothing about how valuable it is for users. Rather, it is the user’s interaction with the text and their behavior afterwards that tells the story. Because if the user jumps off directly, he has not found the information he was looking for.

Therefore, even a short informative text can be the better version for some search queries than a long text with constant repetitions. Google also repeatedly confirms that the number of words in a text does not matter.

seo mythos lange

Myth 16: Meta descriptions have great influence

The meta description describes the content of a landing page in the search result lists. However, it is not a ranking factor for your site. In addition, the meta description apparently loses more and more importance, at least for Google.

Otherwise, the majority of meta descriptions in the SERPs would hardly be overwritten by Google itself. Nevertheless, you should not disregard the description of your page, because it can have an impact on the click-through rate in the SERPs and is also provided if you share the link of the page on social media.

Myth 17: Page speed is not decisive

Actually, you would think that after the Core Web Vitals were introduced, it was clear that the speed of a website is becoming more and more important. Often these are still completely disregarded, even though they are a confirmed ranking factor.

According to Google, the factor is only decisive when two pages have equal content, but why should you accept to land only on position 2 because of that? After all, a fast and technically optimal website is the basis for further optimization.

Myth 18: More links are better than few quality links

Also still stubbornly holds the SEO myth that many links are good for ranking. It does not matter where these links come from. However, link building according to the motto “a lot helps a lot” is not very sustainable.

It is all the more important to pay attention to where these links come from. Because every backlink is a recommendation for your website and a vote of confidence. However, such a recommendation is only good if it comes from a website that is also trustworthy.

Therefore, few qualitative links are better than many randomly acquired links. So if you ever wonder whether you should rather invest in link building or content creation, always choose content. Because this is the basis for getting good backlinks.

Myth 19: No linking to external websites

Often, many shy away from linking to external websites when creating content. As concerns arise that it will have a negative impact on your own site. However, this is complete nonsense.

On the contrary, you can also add value with links to other pages by passing on more useful information to the user. They also do not have to mark these links in any way, as they are created naturally.

Exceptions are purchased links or links to content generated by users. These must be marked according to Google guidelines.

Myth 20: Good UX is a bonus

Google’s goal is to provide users with the best possible results that they also enjoy interacting with. Consequently, it is also about the user experience or user friendliness.

Therefore, this is also becoming increasingly important for your own website if you want to stay ahead in the rankings. Good UX includes metrics such as loading speed, bounce rate, dwell time, and number of pages viewed.

So as long as you provide easily consumable content that satisfies the user, you will notice it in the search results.

Myth 21: There is only one way to do SEO

Some are convinced that there is only one right way to optimize websites for search. But unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. There are endless ways to optimize a website and not all of them are guaranteed to bring success.

The most important thing in SEO is to create a strategy that fits the overall concept of the company and coincides with its goals. Moreover, it should coincide with what potential users demand.

In addition, you must also always remain flexible. Because what works well for one side may actually lead to worse results for the next. SEO means above all to test and then analyze what really brings success.

And a new myth: Google does not rank AI content

Since the introduction of ChatGPT (and other LMMs), the myth has occasionally emerged that Google does not consider content created by artificial intelligence (AI) in its search results or ranks it lower. However, this assumption is not entirely correct and also deserves a closer look.

Google’s primary goal is to provide users with the most relevant and highest quality content. Whether the content was created by a human or an AI is secondary. What counts is the quality and relevance of the content. If an AI-generated content is informative, well-written and useful for the reader, there is no reason for Google to treat this content differently than human-generated content.

Google’s ranking systems reward original content with high quality, experience, expertise and trustworthiness – E-E-A-T for short (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).

Google

However, AI-generated content can sometimes have shortcomings, such as a lack of depth, context or human insight, which are essential for high-quality content. In such cases, the content could be considered inferior by Google, but this is due to the quality of the content itself, not the fact that it was created by an AI.

It’s important to understand that Google is constantly working to improve its algorithms to deliver the best search results. Therefore, content creators, whether human or AI-based, should focus on providing valuable, accurate and user-friendly content.

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