SEO Myths to Know in 2019 to Improve Your Search Page Rankings

Claire Beutel, Senior SEO Strategist

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, plays a critical role in the organic success of a website. Since SEO changes daily, and search engines like Google are constantly updating their ranking algorithms, it can truly be a full-time job trying to stay up-to-date with all the changes. 

For example, what worked in 2014 won’t work in 2019. And due to the frequent SEO changes and updates, there are a handful of myths and misconceptions floating around. In this post, we discuss some of the top SEO myths in 2019. 

1. SEO Myth: Mobile and Website Speed Aren’t Important
This SEO myth couldn’t be farther from the truth. Mobile and website speed are incredibly important to search engines like Google. In fact, page speed is one of the many elements Google checks for in its algorithms to determine organic page rank. 

Not only is page speed important to search engines, it can also have a tremendous impact on user experience. If a user visits a website, and it takes more than a few seconds to fully load, there’s a good chance the user will bounce from the website to view other results in the search engine results page. It has also been shown that longer load times can have a negative impact on website conversions. 

2. SEO Myth: You Don’t Need Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the snippets of content that can be found under a website’s title tag in the search engine results page. They are basically a short summary of the web page that gives users an idea of what they are potentially clicking into. 

While meta descriptions are not crawled by Google for keywords, they do play an important role in user experience and organic conversions. If a user doesn’t find what they’re looking for in the meta description, there’s a good chance they’ll click on a different website in the search engine results page. 

3. SEO Myth: Google Will Penalize a Website for Duplicate Content
Many people believe that duplicate content will make or break a website. While this can influence what Google decides to show in the organic search results, posting duplicate content on a website will not penalize your site. 

Instead, Google will just ignore the duplicate content altogether. Keep in mind: if you have instances of duplicate content on your website, those pages may be ignored by search engines, which won’t help your organic rankings. Luckily, there are some tools out there that can help identify duplicate content on a website, such as Copyscape. 

4. SEO Myth: There’s No Need to Optimize Images on a Website
Pictures are worth a thousand words. Adding high-quality images to a website can do wonders for design and user experience, but there is a common misconception that there’s no need to optimize images for SEO. While this may have been the case 15 years ago, Google and other search engines now crawl images to determine the type of content on a page. 

Adding alt text to an image is one way to optimize images for greater search engine visibility. Since search engines can’t read images themselves, adding alt text is like providing search bots with a description of the image. Alt image text is also convenient for visually-impaired users since screen readers will read the description of the image to them. 

Beware New SEO Myths in 2020
Just as SEO will continue to change constantly, so too will the myths. The dynamic nature of SEO makes it imperative for marketing teams to monitor for changes to the ranking algorithms used by Google and other search engines. 

SEO strategies that work well today may not work so well next year. And new myths about SEO will likely emerge in 2020. But by regularly reviewing the strategies you apply to your website, and by staying informed about new SEO developments, you can continue to position your company to rank high within the search engine results pages.

This blog is part of an on-going series on Search Engine Optimization. Visit the start of the series here. In our next blog, we examine black hat SEO strategies that business should no longer use. In the meantime, if you need assistance in evaluating your SEO strategy or in developing a new strategy to drive more prospects to your website, contact R2integrated at www.r2integrated.com/contact.

About the author: Claire Beutel

Claire Beutel offers over 10 years of experience in developing innovative SEO and marketing strategies across retail and e-commerce websites of all sizes. She has worked with a plethora of industries and business models, from the Denver Broncos to Aramark, implementing technical SEO recommendations and creating quality content that drives organic traffic and conversions. With a strong passion for increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic, Claire utilizes data-driven analysis to determine the best holistic strategy for businesses to achieve organic success.

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