Some of the things you’ve heard about how to optimise for Google may not be true. Here are 6 of the most common misconceptions.
The age of my website matters
If your website was made in the 90s and it’s still around today then that’s great and it’s possible that it’s successful because it has built up a lot of links from elsewhere in that time which really helps.
However, if you have a new website which is only 2 years old then that’s fine because if you’ve created a lot of great content and lots of people have been linking to you, then Google will prefer your newer website.
This is because it seems more useful than a 90s website which has just as many people linking to it. Google thinks your newer site must be great and just what people are looking for if you have managed all of that in a short space of time.
Google considers whether I’m using other Google services or not
No this isn’t true. It would be a tremendously complicated algorithm to determine whether you are using other services, how you’re using them and whether you should be penalised accordingly.
Plus a lot of Google employees would leave if they found out that customer privacy laws were being broken by Google snooping on what was being said in Gmail etc.
Sharing/+1/Liking of my pages matters
Not really, otherwise a lot of people will be purchasing Shares and Likes etc from shady sources using fake profiles.
However, if it results in more links to those pages from other websites and people are staying longer on your website, then yes it cares about that, but not the number of people who have shared it etc.
Bounce rate and time on site make a difference
Bounce Rate is when someone visits your site and then leaves. Time on site is as it suggests: the length of time that someone is on your website whether they’re consuming information or not.
These days, websites are fast and people can find information quickly. So they may find a link to a page on your site such as a blog post and they get the information they need and close the browser. That’s fine.
What’s not OK, is Pogo-Sticking. This is when someone visits your page for a few seconds and then hits the Back button to look at a different website because they didn’t get the information they needed.
Using modern code behind the scenes to create your website
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using Node, React, HTML, CSS, PHP or Python. You can create the website with whichever coding languages you like.
What does matter, is that it loads quickly. Most of this can be fixed by compressing your images using something like tinypng.com to reduce the file size.
This will allow people to download the page faster, especially on their mobile, and Google is a fan of this.
Shared hosting and dedicated servers
It doesn’t matter whether you’re paying a hosting company peanuts or having to re-mortgage your house.
As long as they are reliable so that you have a good ‘up-time’ – meaning the website is always available to see online – and it loads reasonably fast (particularly on a phone), then you’ll be fine.
Have any of these put your mind at rest? Do you have a question about SEO? Leave a comment below.