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Busting the top 15 SEO myths of 2014

James A. Martin | July 17, 2014
It's tough to tell what's real and what's myth today when it comes to SEO best practices. So we asked the SEO community to bring us up to date on the current state of link building, content marketing, social media and more.

"[W]hen it comes to internal links, less is more," according to Dina Akhmetzhanova, search and social media manager, Diligent Commerce Ltd. "Think of the user experience when linking your pages on your site. Would they benefit from five different links on your home page linking to exactly the same page? Also, diverse anchor text for the internal links is quite important. So the key is to keep the number of internal links per page to the minimum as defined by user needs, and use different anchor text every time you add a link."

Myth 12: Google Can't Read JavaScript or Ajax 

It's a common misconception that Google can't read JavaScript or Ajax. The truth is, Google can read JavaScript and is getting better at crawling Ajax content.

"Historically, Ajax applications have been difficult for search engines to process because content is produced dynamically by the browser and not visible to crawlers," says Barracuda Digital's Tuite. "However, despite the efforts Google made to be better at interpreting JavaScript and Ajax specifically, there are several techniques we can use to help Google crawl and index information loaded dynamically. Reading about the pushState method or having a look at the Google Webmaster help section is a good way to start." 

Myth 13: You Need to Rank Nationally in Search to Succeed 

"We have found that almost all worthwhile search is local, especially with Google pushing Google+ and Google-Map results in searches now," says Andrew Anderson, an online marketing consultant. "The reality is that local search beats out national search results in almost every niche. This is because Google+ and Google Maps show up first as more and more people are using their mobile devices for searches, especially when they're looking to purchase."

Anderson suggests updating your Google+ pages weekly.

Myth 14: Quantity of Indexed Pages Helps You Rank Higher 

In the past, it was a commonly held belief that a higher number of total indexed pages helped rank a site higher in search.

"This was partially true earlier this year, but now Google is all about quality and relevancy over quantity of pages," says Hirst. "The last Panda update made sure of this. Sites that might only have 40 indexed pages are now showing up above sites that may have 4,000 indexed pages."

Myth 15: SEO Alone Drives Business

"This is one of the most dangerous myths still existing on the Internet, because tens of thousands of businesses optimizing their websites for SEO are investing for returns that will be near impossible to receive," according to Josh Meah, co-founder and COO of JackMyRep.com.

"The truth is that most purchasers of SEO services have the correct expectation that SEO can help drive business, but the wrong knowledge as to how SEO actually helps," Meah says. "SEO is a driver of web traffic, not a driver of business. It's the difference between marketing and sales. Your website or supporting sales staff still needs to close the deal through an effective on-page experience, and you need a strong online reputation in general to avoid losing business.

 

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