5 Common SEO Myths to Never Follow

Best practices for SEO are constantly changing.

Strategies that were once effective could now get your site penalised or even removed completely from your site. This has naturally led many “experts” in the industry to proclaim that the days of using certain tactics are long gone. With all the changes that Google implements each year it can be especially difficult to separate fact from myth.

Not being able to distinguish what works and what doesn’t could mean losing out on missed opportunities. But the more you understand, the more of an advantage your business has in the search results.

Here we look at some of the most common SEO myths that you should never follow.

1. Link Building No Longer Works

Simply not true.

The days of building links as quickly as possible with exact match anchor text are over. But links continue to be a major ranking factor in terms of search engine rankings. What led many to believe that link building in general was over stems from a post that Matt Cutts wrote in regards to guest blogging:

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

These comments were geared more towards spammy networks whose sole purpose is to link out to other sites. Cutts later clarified his position and said that guest blogging is a great practice if done through authoritative sites.

Link building still works. But you need to focus your efforts on building links from relevant sources.

2. Social Signals Affect Rankings

Yes and no.

If you have a post that goes viral online and it attract hundreds of likes and tweets, you would think that it should rank higher in the search results. But Google has been rather explicit that social signals are not part of the ranking algorithm.

Does this mean you should ignore social media?

No.

Social media is beneficial for the following reasons:

Traffic: Building an active following on Facebook and Twitter increases brand awareness which helps to drive more traffic to your landing pages.

Links: If someone find your content on social media and likes it, they can share it with their own followers or link to that page on their blog.

Social media may not increase search engine rankings but it should still be a part of your marketing.

3. SEO Can Be Automated

Another myth that can be potentially dangerous for your business.

There are no shortages of SEO tools and software available to track and manage your campaigns. There are even tools that can build hundreds of links to your pages in a short span of time. But these tools alone will not get your pages to rank. Worse is the fact that your site could even be penalised especially if they rely on questionable tactics.

Automated SEO certain sounds appealing.

Hit a few buttons and let the tool do the rest for you.

But this is unfortunately not how SEO works. SEO is the combination of creating optimised content and building quality links among other things, all of which cannot be done using automated tools. So don’t be tempted if someone proclaims that tools alone are the key to top rankings.

4. AdWords Increases Organic Rankings

AdWords is Google’s advertising platform that lets business owners create ads to display in the search results for certain keywords. One common myth is that advertising on AdWords also improves rankings in the search results. But there is absolutely no relationship between the two. If this were the case anyone would be able to buy their way to the top of the search results.

Data from Search Engine Journal concludes that traffic from AdWords and organic listings are completely separate from each other. Even if a site ranks high in ad positions it doesn’t mean that it will rank higher in the organic results.

5. SEO Doesn’t Work

There are still many that proclaim that SEO no longer works.

But this is absolutely not true.

Google continues to drive a majority of online search. Simply having a site is not enough to rank as your pages need to be properly optimised to show up for certain keywords. Your pages also need links from relevant sources to increase their visibility in the search results. Both of which require the implementation of a strategic SEO plan.

Do a search for your target keywords. Every site that you see ranking on the first page has likely had SEO work done on their pages. If your business is ignoring SEO then you are losing a major competitive advantage online.