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Technical SEO | Website Architecture | What’s not important & what’s not

Why read this page? It helps stop SEO consultants boring people to death with jargon and nonsense.
Who is this for? Any marketing person who is confused with what is important and what is not in SEO.

SEO and Digital Marketing is full of hot airSEO and Digital Marketing is full of hot air

Who to believe, who knows anything?

Many clients have moved from one SEO company to another. Some businesses give up and move into the world of Facebook Ads or increase their spend on Google Ads.

We have researched all of the below concepts and theories and can speak from over 13 years experience as a company.

Here’s the ultimate list updated Nov 2021. 

What matters

1. Social Media channels and activity improve rankings

There is some truth in this. As a trust factor Google expects to see links to social media websites. Most businesses have these channels. Google indexes 2.7bn pages of Twitter for example.

Google is aware that legitimate businesses may use some of all popular social channels, and that businesses that steal your credit card number probably do not have active channels. However what difference does it make.

We have tested all three scenarios using nine websites all looking to rank for the same keyword.

  • 3 websites with links to Facebook etc but no activity
  • 3 websites with no social media presence
  • 3 websites with links and activity

The result was that the reciprocal links to social media channels improve a websites Google ranking, however, repeated posts on any channel did not make much of a difference. Conclusion, your site needs the links to FB et al but not the regular posting.

What is not quite true

1. Google only ranks Fresh Content.

This is partly true. Google has admitted and it is our experience that brand new content, defined as content that Google has not seen before gets an artificial boost in the page’s score. This means it will rank much higher than normal. This artificial lift lasts approximately 3 weeks and then is removed.

This is why new sites rank so well in the first three weeks and then disappear.

2. Duplicate content

If you have duplicate content your website will be penalised by Google is a common belief we hear from clients. It is not true. Very short thin content will not gain any SEO traction and spun content of content that is made up (what Google refers to as Gobbledygook) can get your site dropped out of the index.

Duplicate content is not penalised. We can prove this by taking a copy of any website and then submitting it to Google. The content will rank, be it under the original duplicated content.

3. PageRank Is Obsolete

Pagerank is the most famous part of Google’s algorithm and was shown in a browser toolbar as a score between 0-10. It was the fascination of every SEOer. (More here.) It became such as fascination that people would basically buy backlinks to improve their website’s PageRank. Google removed it as it had become a gimmick, it took away from the seriousness of their algorithm. So it was removed.

However, the algorithm just went underground and is still a part of Google’s ranking mechanism of ranking sites by the number of other site’s linking to them. The name may have changed and the importance of backlinks may have been downgraded, but it is still extremely CRITICAL.

4. Nofollow Links Are Fruitless Links

If this was true then all backlinks from Wikipedia would not have any impact, really Google is going to discount all of Wikis 90 million pages? We have tested adding links to Wiki and seeing if there is an upturn in a page’s ranking. Each time the page moves up more than 8 places. However, for lesser smaller sites Google may ignore these links.

What is true

  1. PPC Has No SEO Benefits
  2. The More Backlinks The Better

Page Updated: May 13, 2022

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