From the very beginning, the world of SEO has been rife with myths that have somehow managed to pass themselves off as facts and fool a whole generation of webmasters and even SEO practitioners. After proving itself indispensable in increasing traffic and achieving prime rankings in the SERPs, SEO should be free of these myths by now. But several Google algorithm updates have passed, and these myths still stand and continue to mess with the heads of webmasters and SEO practitioners alike.
Let’s take a look at these persistent SEO myths, and see how they stack up against the facts.
Myth: SEO “ninjas” can guarantee SEO success.
Fact: No one, not even the most reputable SEO companies and professionals, can guarantee any rate of SEO success. Ranking and traffic are inherently unstable and difficult to control. So if you suddenly receive an email that makes an unequivocal guarantee that top rankings and increased traffic will be yours in a short while for $599 a month, we can guarantee that you are the target of a scam.
Myth: SEO is all about getting to that #1 spot.
Fact: Every SEO professional worth his salt aims to land any client website at the top of the SERPs, but that is only a part of what real, honest-to-goodness SEO is all about. Boosting traffic, improving engagement, and achieving conversions are the other basic goals of a sound SEO strategy. Getting to #1 is good, but focusing all your energies on that wouldn’t be ideal.
Myth: You can get quick SEO results.
Fact: SEO is an ongoing process, and it’s constantly evolving. We all need time before we can see results. There is no magic pill for SEO.
Myth: Your rankings would be better if your domain is older.
Fact: There is no correlation between older domains and better rankings. In fact, a lot of newer websites with better content and web design have kicked the collective behinds of many older sites as far as rankings and traffic are concerned.
Myth: You can improve your Google rank with a dedicated IP.
Fact: Whether or not you have a dedicated IP has no bearing on your Google rankings. That’s according to Google itself. However, many people still buy into this myth, and articles about its importance continue to proliferate online.
Myth: An SEO company can boost your rank with the help of a Google insider.
Fact: No SEO company has a special relationship with Google or anyone who works there. Even top-ranked sites still need to work hard to maintain their place in the SERPs. Also, manipulating rankings through a Google insider, if it does happen (it doesn’t) is illegal, no matter how you look at it.
Myth: Your SEO work is done once you get to #1.
Fact: Reaching # 1 is one thing. Staying there is an entirely different story. Your competitors will always be nipping at your heels and will try their best to wrest the #1 spot from you. So once you get to the top, you need to continuously build organic traffic, provide valuable content, and perform other SEO-related tasks to remain on top.
Myth: Guest posting is dead.
Fact: It’s very much alive, and continues to be a very effective way of building links, driving traffic to your site, and cultivating relationships with other webmasters/bloggers in your niche.
Myth: Google uses Google Analytics to spy on you.
Fact: Google has given assurances time and again that any of the traffic or conversion data from your analytics won’t be used to profile you as a spammer and penalize you in the process.
Myth: Keyword density monitoring is essential.
Fact: You would be wasting your time if you put a lot of effort on things like calculating for keyword density or monitoring it. The multiple Google updates made sure that keyword stuffing will be a thing of the past.
Myth: Google updates made keyword research unnecessary.
Fact: Google algorithm updates have rendered keyword stuffing, not keywords, pointless. Keywords, after all, still guide searches, and that makes them valuable still.
Myth: The best links are from .edu and .gov sites.
Fact: Good links can come from .edu and .gov sites because of their usual high authority, but you can also get the same from .com sites that have high authority as well.
Myth: More webpages mean better ranking.
Fact: Not every page gets indexed by Google. While you can create as many webpages as you like, do not expect them to better your chances of getting crawled by search engines.
Myth: Linking out helps you rank.
Fact: It’s quality backlinks that help you rank. While linking out can be beneficial, it is the links that are coming in that count towards your rankings.
Myth: Your site doesn’t have to be mobile-responsive to rank.
Fact: Mobile-responsiveness is already a ranking factor as far as Google is concerned. These days, websites that you can easily access and explore on smartphones and tablets usually rank higher in relevant search results than mobile-unfriendly ones.
Myth: Optimization can only begin when the site is finished.
Fact: You can already do SEO on your site the very minute you start building it. And Google will crawl it once it goes live, whether or not it’s finished.
Myth: Quality content is enough to get to the top.
Fact: Not really. Quality content is great, but without keywords that focus the content, links that build influence, and other SEO elements, even exceptionally-written and undeniably relevant content isn’t going anywhere.
Myth: Google doesn’t care about social media.
Fact: Google already considers social activity a factor in determining a page’s ranking. As far as Google is concerned, social activity is a sign of quality, and quality websites deserve higher rank in the SERPs.
Myth: All inbound links are good for SEO.
Fact: Countless websites have been penalized by Google for having backlinks from link farms and other sites of questionable repute. What’s true is that natural, high-quality links from authority sites are good for SEO.
Myth: Constant content updates are needed to rank.
Fact: Some sites post only once a week, but have better rankings and traffic than some sites in the same niche that post three to four articles a day. In a world of constant Google updates, it has been made clear to us that quality will always be preferable to quantity.
Myth: Blogs are unnecessary.
Fact: A blog for your website is a handy tool if you want to be known as an expert in your niche. Blogs are always great outlets for industry news and innovations. They are also useful for getting relevant text content and backlinks, both of which can help you rank on Google organic search results for the long term.
Myth: Internal linking has no effect on SEO.
Fact: Users enjoy exploring sites that have useful internal links. With them, navigating your site would be a tedious process, and users aren’t likely to stay long on your pages. That will impact your rankings.
Myth: SEO is dead
Fact: In all probability, the websites of webmasters who quit optimizing their sites because they bought into this myth are the ones that are dead. Organic search drives more than 51% of the overall traffic to websites the world over, and that is something those websites have definitely missed.