Whether it is business, entertainment, politics or search engine optimization (SEO), once a myth has been established it hard to get rid off, and new myths emerge all the time. Since December 2013, May 2014 and September 2014 we posted a total of 21 SEO myths. Today we are adding 10 new “SEO myths that won’t go away” all debunked by Googlers Matt Cutts, John Mueller and Gary Illyes.
Myth 1. Responsive sites rank better in the Google organic search results than sites built according to other mobile design approaches Google recommends.
The truth is that Google does NOT give a ranking boost to Responsive sites over sites that deploy Dynamic Serving or Separate URL’s. John Mueller of Google confirms this here at the 5.33 mark on the video time scale.
Myth 2. Social signals do impact rankings in the Google organic search results.
The fact is that Google currently does NOT use social signals to boost rankings in the organic search results. John Mueller of Google confirms it here at the 19:52 mark on the video time scale.
Myth 3. Broken links negatively affect rankings in the Google organic search results.
GoogleBot has the ability to deal with broken links. If it finds broken links it ignores them and they do not impact the rankings of a site negatively. There is no need to fix broken links for the purpose of SEO, says Google’s John Mueller. It is obviously important to fix broken links for the purpose of user experience. More on this subject here.
Myth 4. 404’s lead to penalties.
Google does NOT penalize sites that generate 404’s (page not found). However, Google will eventually deindex pages that generate 404’s.
Myth 5. Penalized sites get crawled less often or slower.
There may be good reasons for GoogleBot to crawl penalized sites less frequently and/or slower. But John Mueller of Google says NO, penalized sites are not treated any different, in answer to a question from Barry Schwartz of Seroundtable.com, starting at the 22:40 mark on the video time scale.
Myth 6. Google uses separate indexes for desktop and mobile pages.
In reality Google maintains an index for desktop pages only and mobile search results are generated from the desktop index. Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed this in a tweet.
Myth 7. User engagement on websites is used as a ranking signal.
Google does NOT track user actions on websites and use those as a ranking factor. John Mueller of Google demystifies this myth at the 38.11 mark on the video time scale.
Myth 8. SSL errors impact HTTPS ranking boost.
Since August of 2014 Google gives a minuscule ranking boost to pages with HTTPS URLs even if the URL is not 100% secure, there are content mismatch errors or a low-bit encryption key. Barry Schwartz of Seroundtable.com asked the question and John Mueller of Google answers here at the 17:47 mark on the video time scale.
Myth 9. Internal links from content pages to product pages in the product catalogs of ecommerce websites is “over-optimization”.
Some people practicing SEO have been advocating that linking from article pages to product pages in the product catalog of an ecommerce website is considered over “optimization” by Google and may lead to a penalty. John Mueller of Google demystifies this myth here at the 17:12 mark on the video time scale.
Myth 10. GoogleBot will only crawl up to 100 links per page.
Google’s Matt Cutts demystifies the myth that GoogleBot will only crawl up to 100 links per page. He explains in a video that the 100 links per page limit is based on an old guideline. Web pages have gotten a lot bigger and 200, 300 and even 400 links are not uncommon. GoogleBot will crawl all those links as long as they are not “spammy”.