Unveiling the Secrets of SEO: A Comprehensive Guide to Boost Your Website’s Visibility

In today’s digital world, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business’s success. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO involves optimising your website’s content and structure to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more organic traffic. While some businesses may opt to hire an SEO expert, others may choose to tackle SEO independently. If you fall into the latter category, this blog is for you.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most common questions about SEO and provide detailed explanations to help you improve your website’s visibility and drive more traffic to your business. So, let’s dive in and unveil the secrets of SEO. New Paragraph

28 Most Common Questions About SEO Answered

1. Do meta keywords matter?

Regarding search engine optimisation (SEO), one of the most debated topics is using meta keywords. Meta keywords are a type of meta tag that used to be included in the header of HTML pages to provide search engines with a list of relevant keywords related to the page’s content. However, over the years, search engines have become more sophisticated and no longer rely on meta keywords to determine the content and relevance of a webpage. In fact, Google explicitly stated that they do not use meta keywords as a ranking factor in their search algorithm. Therefore, while it is still possible to include meta keywords in your web pages, it is unlikely to impact your search engine rankings. Instead, focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant and useful to your audience and incorporates relevant keywords naturally.

2. Why is my brand name not shown as-is?

When it comes to searching for a brand name, it can be frustrating to see it appear with a misspelling or auto-correction. However, this is a common issue many brands face, and it is essential to understand why. Search algorithms are designed to provide users with the most relevant and accurate results possible, which means that misspelled words are often auto corrected to provide the best results. This can be particularly challenging for newer or less well-known brands, as it takes time for the algorithm to learn the correct spelling of the brand name. In the meantime, it can be helpful to focus on building a robust online presence and reputation to increase the visibility and awareness of the brand.

For example, let’s say you own a new clothing brand called “Fashin” and notice that when you search for it online, the results show “Fashion” instead. This is because the algorithm has recognised “Fashion” as a more commonly searched term and has auto-corrected the spelling. To address this, you can focus on building a robust online presence for your brand through social media, content marketing, and other digital marketing strategies. Over time, as your brand becomes more well-known and the algorithm learns the correct spelling, your brand name will appear as-is in search results.

3. Which date should I use as lastmod in sitemaps?

When determining which date to use as lastmod in sitemaps, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on what is important for your website. For example, if you have a news site, using the date of the last article published might be the most relevant. However, if you have an e-commerce site, the date of the last product update might be more significant. Whatever date you choose, it’s important to keep all the dates in the same format to ensure consistency and avoid confusion. Ultimately, the lastmod date in your sitemap should accurately reflect the most recent changes made to your website to ensure that search engines are indexing the most up-to-date information.

4. Can I have both a news and a general sitemap?

The answer is yes if you’re wondering whether you can have a news and a general sitemap both for your website. However, having just one sitemap that includes all your website’s URLs, including news URLs, is recommended. This will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website.

It’s essential to keep your sitemap up to date by removing any URLs older than 30 days. This is because search engines prioritise fresh content, and having outdated URLs on your sitemap could cause indexing problems. By regularly updating your sitemap, you’ll ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website’s content effectively, which can help improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.

5. What can I do about irrelevant search entries?

If you’re frustrated by irrelevant search entries, don’t worry, there’s a simple solution. By submitting feedback to the search engine, you can investigate the issue and improve the search feature for everyone. Providing feedback can help the search engine understand what types of results are irrelevant and adjust the algorithm accordingly. This process can take some time, but improving the overall user experience is worth it. So, the next time you come across irrelevant search entries, take a few minutes to submit feedback and help make the search engine more effective.

6. Why is my site’s description not shown?

If you’re wondering why your site’s description isn’t showing up on Google, the answer is simple: Google may not find your description to be the most accurate representation of your site. Instead, the search engine will generate a more relevant description of your site.

This is why ensuring that your site’s content is optimised with relevant keywords and accurately reflects your business or brand is essential. Additionally, crafting a compelling meta description can help entice users to click on your site in search results. While Google may not always use your description, having a strong and relevant one can still positively impact your SEO efforts. 

7. How can I fix the spam score for a used domain?

If you plan to purchase a used domain, it’s crucial to check its spam score beforehand. A high spam score can affect your website’s search engine ranking and reputation, making it harder for you to attract organic traffic. You can check the spam score using various online tools like Moz, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. If you find that the spam score is high, you have two options: do your due diligence ahead of time or seek help from an SEO expert. Cleaning up the spammy links and content on the domain can be time-consuming and challenging, so it’s often best to get professional help. Once you’ve cleaned up the domain, you can implement SEO strategies to improve its ranking and visibility.

8. Are spammy links from porn sites bad for ranking?

When it comes to SEO, link building is an essential component that can help improve a website’s ranking on search engines. However, not all links are created equal, and spammy links from porn sites can be detrimental to a website’s ranking. Google’s algorithms are designed to recognise spammy links and can penalise a site for having them. If your website has been linked to porn sites or other spammy sources, creating a list of these links is best and using Google’s disavow tool. This tool can help remove the negative impact of spammy links on your website’s ranking, allowing it to continue to rank well on search engines.

9. Does Google use keyword density?

Google does not use keyword density as a direct ranking factor. Keyword density refers to the number of times a specific keyword appears on a webpage in relation to the total number of words. While using relevant keywords in your content is important, stuffing them excessively may harm your website’s ranking instead of improving it. Google’s algorithm focuses on the overall quality and relevance of the content, including the use of related words, synonyms, and context. Therefore, creating high-quality and informative content that provides value to your audience while keeping keyword usage natural and relevant to your topic is advisable. Avoid using tactics such as keyword stuffing, and instead, focus on producing high-quality content that meets the user’s intent.

10. Why is our title mixed up with the meta description?

When you search for something on Google, the title and meta description appear in the search results. Sometimes, the title and meta description may be mixed up, confusing users. This can happen due to errors in the HTML code, which can be easily identified and resolved using inspection tools. It’s essential to ensure that your HTML code is valid and error-free to avoid such issues. If you’re still experiencing problems, posting your query on relevant forums can help you get feedback from experts and find a solution. You can improve your search engine visibility and user experience by keeping your title and meta description in sync. Read How Google generates a webpage title.

11. How can I remove my staging sub-domain?

If you want to remove a staging sub-domain from your website, you can verify it in the search console. This is an essential step because it will allow you to access the domain removal tool, which can help you completely remove the sub-domain from Google’s index.

To verify your sub-domain, you need access to your domain’s DNS settings and create a DNS TXT record containing a unique code provided by Google Search Console or use one of the other verification methods to verify your ownership of the domain. Once the verification process is complete, you can request your sub-domain’s removal through the domain removal tool. Keep in mind that it may take several days for the removal process to take effect, so be patient and monitor the search results to ensure the sub-domain is no longer showing up.

12. Will disavowing links make my site rank better?

Disavowing links can effectively improve your website’s search engine ranking if you have built spammy or low-quality links. This tool allows you to remove these links from your website’s backlink profile, which in turn will improve your website’s credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines. It is important to note that disavowing links should be done cautiously and only after thoroughly reviewing your backlink profile. If done improperly, it can harm your website’s ranking and visibility in search results. Ultimately, the best approach to improving your website’s ranking is to create high-quality content and build high-quality, relevant links.

13. How can I best move my site?

Moving a website can be daunting, but with the right approach, it can be accomplished without losing traffic or search engine rankings. To ensure a successful move, verify your site in Google Search Console. This step will allow you to monitor any potential issues that may arise during the transition. Additionally, consider submitting a site move request through Google Search Console to notify the search engine of your site’s new location. Finally, make sure to set up redirects to redirect traffic from the old site to the new one, ensuring that visitors and search engines can find your content without any issues. 

14. Why doesn’t my site show up on Google?

Having a website is essential for any business or organisation, but it can be frustrating when your site doesn’t appear on Google search results. This issue can be due to several reasons, including technical errors or incorrect website configuration. One useful technique to identify the problem is to test your website using a user agent tool, which simulates the behaviour of search engine crawlers. This can help you determine if your website is visible to search engines and identify any issues that need fixing.

If you’re still having trouble getting your site to appear on Google search results, it’s advisable to seek assistance from your hosting provider or web developer. They can help you troubleshoot any technical problems and ensure your website is correctly configured for search engines. It’s essential to ensure your website is optimised for search engines to increase your online visibility and attract more visitors to your site.

15. How can I get my mobile version into Google?

If you’re looking to get your mobile website version into Google, there are a few things you can do to ensure your content is accessible and visible. First, make sure that the content on both your desktop and mobile versions is the same. This will help Google understand that they both serve the same purpose and allow for better indexing.

Furthermore, ensure that Google can access both versions of your website. You can use tools like the Google Search Console to check for any errors or issues with the mobile version of your site. If you have any additional queries or concerns, please post them in Google’s forums for further assistance. By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of getting your mobile version indexed and appearing in Google search results. 

16. Why does a competitor’s social account with the same name show up?

When multiple social media accounts have the same name, search engines often struggle to identify the most relevant one. This can lead to a competitor’s account appearing in search results instead of your own. To avoid this, using a clear identifier that distinguishes your account from others is crucial. This could be as simple as adding your business location, industry, or a unique tagline to your account name. By doing so, search engines can better match your account to relevant queries and ensure it appears at the top of the search results.

For example, if your business is called “ABC Bakery,” you could add your location to create an identifier like “ABC Bakery NYC” or use a unique tagline like “ABC Bakery – Home of the Famous Cupcake.”

This approach not only helps to differentiate your account from your competitors, but it can also improve your search engine optimisation (SEO) by making it easier for potential customers to find you online. Using a clear and distinct identifier ensures that your social media account is easily identifiable and stands out among competitors, ultimately driving more traffic and engagement to your page.

17. What could be a reason for a URL removal not to work?

URL removal is a quick process that can help remove unwanted or irrelevant web pages from search engine results. However, there may be instances where a URL removal request does not work as expected. One common reason for this could be an incorrect URL submitted for removal. Therefore, verifying the URL before submitting a removal request is essential to ensure that the right page is being targeted for removal.

Additionally, it is essential to note that the removal process may take some time, and the page may continue to appear in search results until it has been completely removed from the search engine’s index. By considering these factors, website owners can effectively manage their online presence and ensure that their content is accurately represented in search results.

18. Which structured data should I use on a service website?

If you run a service-based website, you may be wondering which structured data to use to improve your SEO. One option to consider is product structured data, which can help search engines understand your services and their prices. Another option is local business structured data, which can help your business appear in local search results and provide important information like your address and phone number. By implementing structured data on your service website, you can increase your visibility in search results and make it easier for potential customers to find you online.

For example: If you run a plumbing business, you may want to consider using product structured data to list your services, such as “toilet repair” or “water heater installation,” along with their prices. This can help search engines like Google understand the specifics of your services and make them more visible in search results. Additionally, you could use local business structured data to provide information like your business address, phone number, and hours of operation. This can help you show up in local search results when potential customers are searching for a plumber in their area.

19. Why might my content not be indexed?

If you’ve noticed that your website’s content isn’t showing up in search results, there could be several reasons for this. One possible solution is to turn to search forums for guidance. These forums are often filled with valuable information from other website owners and SEO experts who have encountered similar problems. By asking for advice and troubleshooting tips, you can increase your chances of identifying the issue and taking steps to get your content indexed. It’s important to remember that search engine optimisation is an ongoing process, so it’s essential to stay up to date on best practices and be willing to adapt your strategy as needed.

20. Can I get old, moved URLs ignored by Search?

If you’re wondering if search engines can ignore old and moved URLs, the good news is that it happens automatically over time. While search engine systems know these old URLs, they will eventually stop displaying them in search results. However, this process can take years, so it’s recommended that you redirect your old URLs to new ones to ensure a smoother user experience and prevent potential negative impacts on your website’s search engine rankings. Additionally, regularly auditing and updating your website’s URLs can help keep them organised and prevent the accumulation of unnecessary, outdated URLs.

21. Does Search Console verification affect Search?

Search Console verification has no direct impact on search rankings or visibility. It is merely a way for website owners to gain access to useful data and insights about their website’s performance in search results. Verifying your website in Search Console allows you to see how your pages are being indexed, identify any crawling or indexing issues, and monitor search traffic and user behaviour on your site. While verification does not directly affect your search performance, it is still valuable in optimising your website’s search presence.

22. Why might my translated content not appear in Google?

If you have translated your website into multiple languages but are still struggling to get your content to appear on Google, the issue could be with your URL structure. Google recommends using separate URLs for each language rather than relying on automatic translation tools or cookies to display the correct language to users. This means that each language version of your website should have its own unique URL, such as www.example.com/fr/ for the French version and www.example.com/es/ for the Spanish version. Using separate URLs for each language ensures that Google can crawl and index your content correctly, improving your chances of appearing in search results for each language. 

23. Does the URL depth of an image affect ranking?

In the world of SEO, website owners constantly look for ways to improve their rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). One question that often comes up is whether the URL depth of an image affects its ranking. However, the answer is no. The URL depth of an image, which refers to how many folders deep the image is in the website’s directory structure, has no direct impact on its ranking. While it’s still essential to optimise image file names, alt tags, and captions for SEO purposes, the URL depth itself isn’t a significant factor. Other important factors that impact ranking include the relevance and quality of the image, the context it appears, and the website’s overall user experience.

24. What happens when a part of an Hreflang cluster is bad?

Hreflang tags are an essential aspect of international SEO as they help search engines understand which language and country version of a website should be shown to users in different locations. When multiple website versions exist, they are typically grouped into an Hreflang cluster, with links between the different versions. However, if even one of the links within the cluster is invalid or incorrect, it can cause issues with the cluster. This can result in certain site versions not showing up correctly in search results, which can be problematic for international businesses. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly check and validate all links within an Hreflang cluster to ensure that they function correctly and contribute to a strong overall SEO strategy.

25. Are sitewide footer links bad?

Regarding website footer links, there’s been some debate around whether sitewide footer links are harmful to your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO). While some argue that these links can dilute the value of your internal links and lead to a higher risk of being penalised by search engines, there’s no definitive answer on this topic.

However, the best SEO practice is to avoid using boilerplate text or links whenever possible, as search engines can see this as spammy or manipulative. Instead, it’s essential to ensure that any footer links you include are relevant and valuable to your website visitors and contribute to a positive user experience. Remembering this, you can create a footer that enhances your site’s functionality and improves your overall SEO performance.

26. How can I speed up a site move?

Suppose you plan to move your website to a new domain or hosting provider. In that case, it’s important to ensure a smooth transition to minimise disruption and maintain your website’s search engine rankings. One of the most effective ways to speed up a site move is to set up URL redirects from the old site to the new site. This allows visitors and search engines to find your new site quickly and easily without encountering any broken links or errors. Additionally, submitting a site move request to Google Search Console expedites the process and ensures your new site is crawled and indexed as soon as possible. By taking these steps, you can minimise any negative impact on your website’s traffic and SEO performance during the site move.

27. How do I link desktop and mobile versions for mDot sites?

You may wonder how to link the two versions if you have an mDot website or a separate mobile version of your desktop website. The rule of thumb is that the desktop version is always considered canonical, and the mDot version is treated as an alternate URL. You need to set up rel canonical and rel alternate tags to establish the connection between these versions. For the desktop version, you only need to use rel canonical, while for the mDot version, you need to use both rel canonical and rel alternate tags. By setting up these tags correctly, you can help search engines understand the relationship between your desktop and mobile versions and ensure that your users are directed to the appropriate version based on their device.

28. How important is EXIF data?

EXIF data refers to the metadata stored in an image file that provides details such as the camera settings, date, and capture time. While it can be useful for personal reference or organisational purposes, it is not recommended for SEO optimisation. Instead, IPTC data is preferred for image optimisation as it includes crucial details like the title, description, and keywords. These details can help search engines understand the context and content of the image, improving its visibility and relevance in search results. By prioritising IPTC data over EXIF data, website owners and photographers can improve their chances of discovering and accessing their images by their target audience.


In conclusion, SEO is an ever-evolving practice that requires continuous learning and adaptation to keep up with search engine algorithm updates. By now, you should understand the most common questions about SEO and their answers. Whether you’re a business owner or an SEO professional, you can use this knowledge to optimise your website’s content and structure and rank higher in search engine results pages.

Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy that requires patience and persistence, but increased visibility and traffic rewards are well worth the effort. We hope this comprehensive guide has given you the insights and tools to improve your website’s SEO and grow your business. Good luck!

Content Credit: English Google SEO Office Hours January 2023

About Pulkit Agrawal

Pulkit Agrawal is the founder and managing director of UR Digital. Pulkit has over 15 years experience in SEO for small, medium and some large sites globally. Today he leads the SEO team at UR Digital. He is also an Advisor at Realise Business for Digital Solutions (formerly ASBAS), Top 50 Small Business Leader 2022 and Top 20 Australian Digital Marketers To Work With in 2022. When not helping with SEO, Pulkit can be found playing and building his Monopoly empire.