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What’s Important And What’s Not (2024 SEO Update)

Digital Marketers are often bad actors who will waste your time. Online, there are all types of Google myths, personal rationales, and just plain wrong information.

We have over 17 years of experience testing and researching optimisation and algorithmic theories and myths, and we have figured out what we can prove works.

Many UK companies 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 concepts and theories and can speak from over 17 years of experience.

Google only ranks fresh content – fact or myth?

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 three weeks and then is removed.

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

Duplicate content – does it matter?

If you have duplicate content, your website will be penalised by Google, 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 from 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 under the original duplicated content.

Page Rank – is it 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 everyone trying to play Google. (More here.) It became so fascinating that people would 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 sites linking to them.

Although the name may have changed, and the importance of backlinks may have been downgraded, they are still extremely critical.

No follow, no point? Nofollow Links Are Fruitless Links

If this were true, then all backlinks from Wikipedia would have no impact; really, is Google going to discount all of Wiki’s 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.

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 4.7bn pages of Twitter, for example.

Google knows that legitimate businesses may use some of the most popular social channels and that companies 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 website’s Google ranking. However, repeated posts on any channel did not make much difference.

In conclusion, your site needs links to FB et al. but not regular postings.

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