5 Google Myths Debunked

5 Google Myths Debunked

Social Media Today, recently published a useful article giving excellent advice to business social media professionals about how to “Google proof” their web sites. Most people have already heard or read about Google’s radical algorithm change last year that dramatically changed millions of websites’ page rankings. While the details of the algorithm are a secret, there are five key myths that can be debunked:

Myth 1: You can outsmart Google.

Naturally, the people at Google are smart. And if you try to outsmart them by hiding text, gaming the system or doing something else unsavory to bump up your page ranking, chances are Google will figure it out and penalize your status. You may even be blacklisted.

Myth 2: The more back links you have, the better.

It used to be that Google gave preferences to web sites that had lots of other sites linking to them. However, social media blogs and other web sites tried to outsmart the system by buying link packages full of thousands, and even millions, of links. Google quickly figured this out and no longer uses this is as a main criterion for page rank. Back links are still important, but quality is more important than quantity.

Myth 3: Copying content and creating multiple sites is a good thing.

Once again, people tried to dominate the first page of Google by creating perfectly optimized content and then copying it across a dozen sites. For example, someone selling Widget A would create a web site that was optimized to be on the first page of Google. After that, they would copy the content and linking of that site 10 times and then essentially have 10 different sites all on the first page selling exactly the same thing. Remember, Google is here to optimize the searchers’ experience. It didn’t take long for the folks at Google to figure this out and put a ban on it.

Myth 4: You don’t need a Google+ account.

Anyone involved in business social media should have an active Google+ account. Here’s why: Google is now promoting the idea of Social SEO. This means that better rankings are given to content that people are interacting with in social media. So, given that Google+ is a Google property, it makes sense that the algorithm will give preference to content generated by a Google+ participant.

Myth 5: Keyword placement is the number 1 priority.

As Google’s algorithm gets more advanced, it’s more able to pick out content that just doesn’t sound natural. If you’re stuffing your content with keywords or using keywords in your social media blog that just don’t make sense in the context of the overall content, Google will penalize your ranking. To ensure that your keywords make sense, read your content aloud. It should sound natural and conversational.