5 Myths About SEO You Should Never Follow
You may have heard them before.
SEO is dead.
Links no longer work.
Social media has no impact on search.
The list goes on.
But one thing they all have in common is that they are myths.
The digital landscape is constantly shifting. Any major announcements are typically followed by cries that certain strategies are “dead” or no longer effective. But this mindset is incredibly dangerous for obvious reasons as it often leads to wrong assumptions about SEO.
So how does one separate fact from fiction?
Here we look at five of the most common myths about SEO and why you should never follow them.
1. SEO is Dead
SEO has never been more relevant.
Anyone telling you otherwise is flat out wrong.
It is no secret that Google is constantly updating its ranking algorithm to deliver the best results. Practices such as mass link building or stuffing content with keywords are no longer effective. This has led many to assume that SEO is dead but this is simply not the case.
It only means that SEO is changing and that businesses must adapt accordingly.
Search continues to be one of the top sources of online traffic. It also happens to convert far better than other marketing channels. One report has found that leads generated from search is eight times more likely to convert than outbound leads. The figures clearly demonstrate that SEO is far from dead.
2. Links Don’t Work
Of course they do.
Previously many webmasters would spam their pages with thousands of links and enjoy higher rankings as a result. Google naturally caught on and released the Penguin update to penalise sites engaged in manipulative link building practices.
This led many in the industry to claim that links don’t work and is against the rules but again this is not the case. In reality it only meant that buying links or spamming your pages would result in a ranking penalty.
Links continue to be one of the most important ranking factors. But quality and relevance matter a great deal. A link from a relevant source will carry far more weight than a link from a spammy source.
3. Content is King
Content is important but quality matters more than anything. You cannot simply scrape content from other sources or pay writers from third world countries to write whatever they want. The Panda update proves that stuffing your content with keywords or having pages that provide little value will result in a penalty.
So what does this mean?
Focus on engaging content that actually delivers value.
Do a quick search for any of your target keywords then look through some of the articles that are ranking. These are the pages that Google has deemed most relevant. Aim to write quality content that is even better and your rankings will gradually improve.
4. AdWords Improves Organic Rankings
Google owns the AdWords platform.
So it stands to reason that advertising on AdWords improves rankings right?
Rankings for AdWords and the organic search results are completely separate from each other. Your ad could be ranking for a competitive keyword in AdWords but it won’t necessarily mean your site will rank. And the opposite is also true.
AdWords shouldn’t be overlooked though. While your SEO campaign is underway it can take some to see measurable results. Pay per click advertising can drive highly targeted traffic to your pages but it requires constant investment.
5. Social Media Has No Impact on SEO
This one is a little more difficult to make a definite conclusion.
Google has explicitly stated that Facebook Likes and Tweets are not a ranking signal. So all other factors being equal, a site shouldn’t rank higher than another because it has more shares. Naturally this has led many to assume that social signals have absolutely no effect on SEO.
Despite what Google says on the topic, social activity can still have positive impacts on rankings.
Imagine you share a new post on Facebook and it goes viral. What happens next? More people discover it which then helps to increase brand awareness and bring more traffic to your pages. And if your visitors like what they see they can share your content, resulting in even more links and shares. Both contribute to higher rankings in the search results.
Based on this example you can see how social media is incredibly beneficial in terms of SEO.
SEO is still one of the most effective marketing strategies to drive more traffic to your site and increase revenue. But there are still a number of myths in the industry that continue to be prevalent. Believing in any of these, whether SEO is dead or links are no longer effective, can be rather detrimental for your business. Keep all these in mind as you implement your own campaign.