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5 SEO Signals That Don't Matter Anymore

SEO signals, or metrics, are a way of quantifying a website's usefulness in a variety of areas. The (late) Google PageRank  is a common ...

Top 5 SEO Signals to ignore

SEO signals, or metrics, are a way of quantifying a website's usefulness in a variety of areas. The (late) Google PageRank is a common example. Others include Moz Domain and Page Authority. These are the most common ones, and there are hundreds of others as well that allow us to quickly analyze patterns and trends. Not very signal is useful however, and some have been phased out with changes in SEO over the years. Surprisingly, people still use some of them. Here are the top 5 SEO pointers you need to stop looking at!

SEO is not evergreen. What was a widely popular practice yesterday is today's malpractice and tomorrow's crime. Some SEO signals were widely used before, but are not as useful today. Here are give such signals that are very common.

Social media following

Does having a large social media presence help? Of course, but not with website ranking. The number of followers does not have any direct affect on rankings.

However, social media can help indirectly. The more you engage with your social followers, the more traffic you get and the more the likelihood of getting links, which in turn help somewhat with SEO. So it isn't about how many social followers you have, it is about how many are you able to engage!

Keyword Density

Keyword density is simply the percentage of times a given keyword appears in text on a page. This metric was talked about a lot a few years back in context of helping websites rank. But today, it has more of a counter-productive effect. Now it is only used in a high level comparative sense when trying to identify content that might have manipulative patterns, i.e. spamming to get a search bot's attention.

Keyword density

Competitors Backlinks

There are tonnes of SEO tools out there that let you do competitive analysis to see how well you're doing against your competitors. A common metric used in this context is the number of backlinks your competitors have.

It is important to note that this number does not reflect on a coherent understanding of a site's performance. A larger number than yours doesn't mean your competitor will always rank better than you, because the quality of backlinks has a greater weightage. And not to mention that the more backlinks you have, the higher your risk of having a negative backlink profile.

Rank for specific keywords

Focus on a specific keywordMany site owners tend to focus only on one or two keywords. As a result they miss the bigger picture and fail to see trends that they should be paying attention to. While it is true that you should target a specific niche, you shouldn't restrict yourself to a particular keyword.

Such site owners look at how well their website is performing for those specific keywords, and consider it to be a success. What they don't realize is, you need horizontal coverage to withstand search engine updates and penalties in the future. Google and other search engines roll out updates frequently, and these updates target search queries.

AdWords Spending

A popular SEO myth has it that Google favors your site if you spend money on AdWords. Some 'consultants' will tell you that the more you spend, the better your standing and the more organic traffic you receive.

That is of course not true. Check out the following post where I have discussed the matter in greater detail.

What about you? Do you put any stock into these SEO signals?



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Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups: 5 SEO Signals That Don't Matter Anymore
5 SEO Signals That Don't Matter Anymore
Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups
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