10 Common SEO Myths That Make Us Cringe [Infographic]

By zhiyuan on June 8, 2015

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If you’ve done any research regarding SEO online, then you’ve probably noticed that in addition to all the tips and tricks everyone claims to know, there are a lot of contradicting statements about the use of SEO as well.

Cringe

This is because there are a lot of SEO myths floating around, myths that you shouldn’t fall for, myths that makes us cringe every time we come across articles like that.

The following are the 10 most common SEO myths that you should be aware of:

1. SEO is Dead! Again!

SEO-is-dead

This cry of anguish echoes across the web every time that Google releases a new algorithm. It happened when Google released, Panda, Penguin, Florida and Hummingbird Mobilegeddon and it will continue to happen.

And guess what? It’s never true. Here’s the thing – SEO is never going to just be rendered obsolete by one of Google’s algorithms. Instead, it will just become more complicated and, at sometimes, more frustrating. For example, in the early stages of SEO, keywords were all that mattered.

As long as you put as many keywords as possible into your content, your page ranking would increase. Obviously, Google didn’t like this as it diminished the quality of their search results pages. So they changed the algorithm. Now Google puts as much emphasis on social activities, high-quality content and content marketing that it does on keywords.

This made sense for Google to do since more and more content is being posted on the Internet every day, which means competition is getting stronger. In fact, it’s because of the competition that SEO will still play a vital part in online marketing and why there continues to be a growing demand for SEO agencies.

When it comes down to the bottom line, SEO isn’t going anywhere because Google needs these signals in order to accurately determine the quality of content.

2. SEO is All Tricks

Sure, there are “tricks” that you can do in order to boost your page ranking, but these tricks are considered black hat tactics that Google not only frowns upon, but penalizes. Real SEO is about improving content organization and the user browsing experience, which includes:

  • Creating helpful and informative content that meets the needs of users.
  • Making content easier to find for both users and search engines.
  • Improving accessibility through the user experience and the website architecture.
  • Optimizing your content for social sharing standards.
  • Improving technical standards in order to assist search engines in categorizing and serving content to the proper audience.
  • Increasing exposure as well as web traffic through links and mentions.

Tricks have nothing to do with real SEO. Real SEO takes effort and requires quality in order to be effective.

SEO Top 40 Jargons:
Explained In Plain English

  • 40 of only the most useful SEO terminologies.
  • Your first guide to the SEO world.
  • Aimed at complete beginners.
  • Compact and super easy to read!

3. SEO is a One-time Effort

One of the biggest misconceptions about SEO is that it’s something you do to your website once and then you’re done. Anyone who thinks this is going to be in for a rude awakening as they watch their page ranking plummet over time. SEO is something that needs to be consistently worked on. The following are a few of the reasons why you need to consistently work on SEO:

  • Link degradation - A good website has links to different websites and vice versa. However, if any pages stop working or a website disappears, your links won’t work anymore. This is called link degradation, or link rot. When visitors click on links, they expect to be taken somewhere and are going to be annoyed if it’s an error page. Google doesn’t look kindly on broken links either. You need to check your links on a regular basis to avoid link degradation.

  • Publishing new content - You are going to lose web traffic as well as interest in your brand if you don’t publish new content on a regular basis. New content will attract more visitors, who will then be able to share that content on social channels, causing a domino effect that could result in more leads. None of this happens if you never publish new content – in fact, your audience will not only forget about you, but your page ranking will begin dropping.

  • Evolving search engine algorithms - You’ve got to keep up with new algorithms as they can change how your website is ranked. For example, Google’s latest algorithm emphasizes the importance of mobile friendliness – which means that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, it could hurt your mobile traffic.

  • Competition - If you don’t keep your content up to date and release new content regularly, your audience will end up finding its way over to competing websites that do keep their website up to date.

  • Outdated content - If you no longer carry a product or offer a service, you need to make sure this is reflected on your website’s content or else you’re going to annoy and confuse potential customers. The same goes for other content across your website, such as your contact information, physical address and more.

4. Meta Tags Don’t Matter

The meta tag includes the title tag, meta description and keywords of a page. Many experts believed meta tags went the way of the dinosaur after the Hummingbird update. Sure, Google doesn’t use them as a factor in its page rankings anymore. However, they are still important as they not only tell search engines what your site is about, they tell users what your site is about.

Without them, users are less likely to click on your link if it shows up in their search results. This means that even if they don’t matter as much as they used to – they still matter and they shouldn’t be ignored.

5. The Length of Content Doesn’t Matter

The length of your content actually does have a big impact on your SEO. If you look at the average length of the content on web pages ranking in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google, you’ll see that it’s at least 2,000 words. In fact, the higher up you look on the search listings page, the more content each web page has. One of the reasons is that longer content is more in-depth than shorter content – and people are much more likely to link to an in-depth piece of content.

Here’s what SerpIQ found in their study:

content-length-matters-to-seo

For example, when emailing a link to someone, how often is it to a piece of content that’s only a few paragraphs long? Usually it’s to a large piece of content.

Length matters, and longer content performs better.

6. Social Activity Doesn’t Matter

Anyone who says that social activity has no bearing on SEO must be living under a rock. Google takes into account the social signals of your content when determining its page ranking. Content that is shared, liked or commented on will be rewarded with higher page rankings. This is because Google takes social activity as a sign of quality.

7. Guest Blogging Doesn’t Work Anymore

There was a big uproar in 2014 when Matt Cutts announced that guest blogging no longer worked. Except that this isn’t what he said. He said that you shouldn’t use guest blogging as a way to get links. What people were misunderstanding was that he was warning against publishing poor content on other blogs as a means of improving your link building campaign. Guest blogging is no different than regular blogging – you’re posting content online.

Matt Cutts Twitter guest posting

Matt Cutts later took back what he said about guest posting and apologized.

As long as you write good content, then guest blogging is perfectly fine and can be very helpful. When you write a strong piece of content for another website, you’ll attract the attention of that website’s readers. If you’re just doing it for the link back to your webpage and the content is poor, you’re not going to be attracting any additional readers – only hurting your own reputation.

8. You’ll Lose Traffic if You Link to Other Websites

Yes, you will be redirecting visitors away from your website if you do this. But it’s only a temporary loss of traffic. By linking to authority websites, you’re showing visitors that you are willing to provide them with high quality content no matter where it’s located. If anything, this builds trust in your visitors. Not to mention that by linking to strong websites you’ll help boost your web ranking, which in turn will help bring in more organic traffic. The following are a few tips you should keep in mind when linking to authority websites:

When you link out, link out from a high-quality page of content.

  • Only link out when it is necessary to do so.
  • Use either the brand name or the URL of the website you are linking to as your anchor text.
  • Make sure the pages you are linking to are relevant to your content.

9. Google Hates SEO

Google doesn’t hate SEO at all – in fact, it depends on it to help better match high quality content to user search intent. What it doesn’t like is websites that attempt to take advantage of SEO in order to artificially boost their page rankings since this hurts the quality of Google’s search results. Embrace SEO as a way to create a high quality website and to improve your reach, not as a way to just get more traffic.

10. Great Content is All You Need

You’ve heard it so many times – “Content Is King.” It’s true to an extent, great content is the foundation of a successful online marketing campaign. However, just because you produce amazing content doesn’t mean that readers will start magically appearing to promote your content and brand for you. SEO is necessary in order to get your content the exposure it needs to have an impact.

These are 10 all-too-common SEO myths that you should make sure you don’t fall for!

SEO Myths

Related Links:

  • How to Quickly Fix These 11 Major Blogging Mistakes Made By Newbies
  • Appeasing The Internet God – Does Google Hate SEO?
  • 6 Valuable Lessons To Avoid Google Penalty
  • 7 Social Media Faux Pas That Can’t Be Forgiven
  • SEO Top 40 Jargons:
    Explained In Plain English

    • 40 of only the most useful SEO terminologies.
    • Your first guide to the SEO world.
    • Aimed at complete beginners.
    • Compact and super easy to read!

    Updated: 29 June 2016

    About Zhi Yuan

    Zhi Yuan is an inbound marketer who has expertise in both SEO and content marketing. He is on a never-ending quest to understand the mysteries of the search engine world, and sometimes, on his way to the ice-cream parlor.

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