We in the SEO industry are wearily familiar with SEO folklore. That is, much of what is ‘common knowledge’ about SEO is not really true, or at least, half true. Today we’d like to knock out two SEO myths that you might take as fact:
#1 Links Are the Most Important Google Rank Factor
This is repeated so much that everything is sure it is true. Links are important, and good ones are hard to get, so people are fooled into thinking it is the key to SEO, which is constantly in a battle with PPC for web sale supremacy.
In reality, the relevance of your page to the search query is most important. Some people may look at ranking factors and get the idea that backlinks are more critical than having the keyword in your title. If you look at the data in that last link, backlinks had a correlation of 35%, and having the right keyword in the title had a correlation of 0%. So, they must be worthless, correct?
Actually no. The correlation showed as zero because with many thousands of searches, the top 30 all had keywords in their titles. There was not a correlation because it is mandatory to rank in the top thirty.
It is very simple – to get people to your site, Google has to grab your page as an appropriate match to the query before you show up. Having the appropriate keyword in the content – ideally in your title – is the top ranking factor.
#2 Bounce Rate Is an Important Factor
It isn’t. Matt Cutts from Google itself has stated publicly that Google never uses bounce rate for its rankings, and they also do not use analytics data.
This might surprise, because it is simple for Google to see if someone clicks back from the result and how long you were on the site. So, do they use the time on the site before leaving as a ranking factor? We do not think so. Cutts has said that bounce rate does not measure the quick answers that users get. You get the answer you want and you leave, so this is not a good metric for Google.
Some think that Google, which is moving into the smart phone market, utilizes ‘pogosticking’ to measure the satisfaction of users. If the users clicks to your page and leaves but then goes to a different page and stays for much longer, the user probably didn’t like what was on your page.
We hope that you will do your best to ignore the SEO myths above!