Debunking Common SEO Myths – Part Two
Separating SEO Fact from Fiction
If you haven't read the Part One you can read it here.
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn't rocket science. As long as your site provides a great user experience and you have editorial links linking back to it, you'll be fine. However, there are some people who view certain harmless issues and actions as SEO death traps. Instead of wasting your time worrying about the modern equivalent of old wives' tales for SEO, you should instead educate yourself about the truth.
For example, certain webmasters believe that people who are scraping your blog or site by republishing your RSS feed or content is a bad thing because such an act will naturally force search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo to drop the originator of the content out of its search engine results page (SERP) rankings. This couldn't be further from the truth, though.
Other Sites Are Posting Your RSS from Your Site or Blog
Your RSS feed enables others to not only get updated in regards to the content you post on a regular basis. It also allows them to scrape your site or blog. However, people republishing your RSS feed or web content is quite all right SEO-wise because it means that the Internet has discovered your site and you're producing worthwhile content that's of interest to many users at large.
Having your blog picked up and scraped is perfectly normal. Google isn't going to hold it against you whenever people repost your RSS feed to other sites. As long as these links don't appear like spam or junk and are not published in a manipulative manner, you have nothing to fear. Aggregators that republish content shouldn't be dreaded at all.
Engagement Rates from Google Analytics are Low
Do people get punished or penalized for having low engagement or a high bounce rate? Google is one of those search engines people believe would punish sites for low engagement, which can easily be seen and gauged via Google Analytics. Nevertheless, Google's Search Quality Team and Webspam Team have both promised that they don't get their info and data directly from Google Analytics.
Moreover, there are times when bounce rate is high and engagement is low because webmasters are answering user queries satisfactorily or because they're delivering a good user experience. The fact of the matter is that high bounce rate and low engagement rate aren't necessarily bad things, and Google won't punish you for having such stats on your Google Analytics page.
Punishment for Reciprocal Links
Reciprocal linking involves linking to one site and having them link back to you or vice-versa. In the days of Web 1.0, this wasn't an unusual practice. In order to propagate links and gain Internet visibility at the time, you can go ahead and negotiate with other sites such that they'll link back to you as long as you link back to them. Years ago, people used to make pages and pages of links to people who link back to them.
Reciprocal links then gained a bad reputation in the world of SEO because there were individuals who abused this trend, thus associating the practice with spamming. Nowadays, there are people who are wary about linking back to websites that link to theirs for fear that they'll both be punished for it. Nevertheless, if you're merely sharing stuff that's been shared to you, there's no need to fret or panic. As long as you're linking to relevant content, the link back won't count as a strike against you.
This blog post has been inspired by SEOMOZ Whiteboard Friday Video.
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