Common misconceptions of SEO reports and wrong selling

Why a technical SEO report is misleading

Many SEO companies are offering an SEO audit as the way to increase a company's organic search ranking. An SEO report might cover the following:

  1. Duplicate / long meta data
  2. Error codes and redirects or Meta description length mapped to URL
  3. Title Tag length mapped to URL or Missing meta data mapped to URL
  4. 404 Error Response or 5xx Server Errors
  5. Home Page Canonicalization or PageSpeed Insights

If you corrected all of the above, it would not make any real difference in the site’s traffic
WHY?

The suggested improvements are only an interpretation of what an “expert” website would do from a technical aspect. But Google has moved away from simply technical SEO, with exact match anchor text etc. and has looked into words / language and how that use is interpreted into code. Not simply the code itself.

So it follows that part of optimising the words and language could include interlinking and site architecture, but not necessarily long or short meta data or correct W3C validated code.

Example: Meta data too long or missing?

As meta data is easy to manipulate then it has a low SEO score within Google’s algorithm.

These have been chosen as they cannot easily be manufactured; ie if you do not know very much about your product it will be highlighted in both your content and code; how your pages link to each other and how the site is structured.

If you are experts on your products and have chosen a ‘longer’ meta title as the product is complicated and not simply a ‘washing machine’ then the meta data is correct.

If Google had such stringent criteria for websites then hardly any sites would be in their index

If Google had such stringent criteria for websites then hardly any sites would be in their indexAn example would be https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London. This website does not follow any of these rules, yet still commands a high Google position, just search for "London" and you will see the site ranked #2.

Wikipedia also fails the following tests.

SEO Friendly URL Test: FAIL
Image Alt Test: FAIL
Inline CSS Test: FAIL
Google Analytics Test: FAIL
Social Media Check: FAIL

We know that the SEO industry would be better served by not trying to create a set of out of date rules and then selling these to their clients. What clients need is correct advice and help with their SEO not a single set of rules created by coders that may or may not have any positive effect on their SEO.

Perhaps it is time to speak to an expert?

Click here to contact Vanilla Circus and we will show you exactly how we audit and site and how we create a long lasting SEO strategy that pays dividends or call 020 8405 6418. We are always here and make it a USP that we are always available to speak to any client.

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