When it comes to SEO, there are about a million beginner guides to getting started. They feature things like, basic differences between on-page and off-page SEO, what Hummingbird was, and the importance of “original content.”
Blah, blah, blah.
I wanted to know MORE!
Luckily, we’ve got a stellar SEO wizard in-house at Kapost. His name is Chris Boulas. Chris has been instrumental in web analytics for startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.
Recently, Chris provided an in-house “Kapost SEO Workshop” to dive deeper than “keywords” and “link building.” I left his presentation better informed, mind blown, and way more knowledgeable about the SEO landscape at large.
Here are some of the key SEO myths Chris busted:
Organic, quality links that point to your site are an essential component of any successful SEO strategy. But did you know that the hyperlinks you receive do better if they are not exact words matches? This makes sense when you consider what Hummingbird is trying to do: get the sense of semantics around words and concepts and erase spammy keyword stuffing.
A more powerful link is one that is semantically complete. That means, link key phrases or sentences that encompass your keywords to give Google a greater understanding of context. Here’s an example:
- WORSE: Kapost is a SaaS company that provides marketers with a platform for content marketing.
- BETTER: Kapost is a SaaS company that provides marketers with a platform for content marketing.
Think that Google ratings are set in stone? That the first place position will never be ousted? Think again.
TIDBIT: There were only 9,700 daily Google searches in 1998. Now there are 5.9 billion.
Over three-quarters of all Google answers (78%) change position DAILY. This is a results of massive shifts in the way that Google’s algorithm interprets information. Especially as companies increase the volume of content they produce, and consumers are more connected than ever making more than 5.9 billion search queries per day.
Yes, users are contributing 5.9 billion search queries per day, but the rate of content creation is actually outpacing the rate of search queries.
The fact is, we all only have 8,765 hours in one year. Whether we are gaming, reading blogs posts, or sharing social statuses, our time is inherently limited. Fishkin says, “every new activity cannibalizes another.”
That means, every piece of content produced or social share we produce reaches a smaller audience as more people join networks and spend time producing content online.
This has a big impact on content marketers. It means that as content generation goes up, the likelihood of anyone seeing a piece of created content gets proportionately lower.
Nope. Google actually updates their algorithm 500-600 times per year.
SEO strategists and digital marketers often lose their shit when Google announces big updates like Panda or Hummingbird occur. Nervous shockwaves pulse the digital marketing community as brands bite their nails in worry that they’ll lose their coveted #1 spot.
It seems a bit of an overreaction when you know the truth: Google is updating their algorithm ALL THE TIME, up to 1.64 times daily, in fact. The number of changes shouldn’t be too big of a surprise, as being the best search engine is their primary business. Software engineers know product updates are frequent and required. At Kapost we release roughly 300 new product versions per year, a rate of .82 per day.
Monitoring keyword position is a barometer for organic viability and relative “correctness” for search terms, but tracking every combination or permutation of your product won’t deliver measurable results. The better keyword strategy is to start with a manageable number of keyword domains, Chris recommends 30.
As your ranking and stronghold improves on those 30, slowly add more keywords into your tracking software (we recommend Moz). As you grow, think of 150 as a good longterm target.
Not even close. As it turns out, there is an 80% difference in click through rates between Google’s 1st and 10th result on page one of results. In fact, the 10th Google answer gets only 8.3% CTR, and the chance they move to the second page of Google answers is almost zero.
More specifically here’s the breakdown of click through rates on Google’s first page of results:
- POSITION 1 – 43.2%
- POSITION 2 – 30.7%
- POSITION 3 – 23.3%
- POSITION 4 – 19.7%
- POSITION 5 – 15.1%
- POSITION 6 – 14.3%
- POSITION 7 – 11.4 %
- POSITION 8 – 10.1%
- POSITION 9 – 8.9%
- POSITION 10 – 8.3%
Sorry, folks. This isn’t true either.
Google is highly sensitive to spammy “black-hat” SEO building tactics, and jamming keywords into things like alt tags and meta-descriptions can actually be detrimental to your SEO efforts. It could raise a red-flag that your company is doing contemptible tactics, and you definitely don’t want to be on Google’s bad list. A better practice is to keep your meta-descriptions short and sweet, about as long as a twitter post (140 characters). The description should have unique language, original copy, and provide authentic context to the page it’s describing.