Considering the amount of information about SEO online, it can be difficult to determine what is genuinely helpful from the myths or just plain wrong information out there. The fact is there are a lot of SEO myths floating around the web that many people accept as truth. Separating myth from fact can be a daunting task, but this list should straighten things out for you.
Myth #1: SEO is No Longer Effective
Whenever Google changes its algorithm, the “SEO is dead” claims pop up, but it’s just not true. The fact is, many webmasters use SEO to successfully promote their websites and improve their page search result ranking. Yes, SEO rules change every now and then, but that’s the reason why it’s become an integral part of any ranking strategy, as it is adaptable. No, SEO isn’t dead, it just changes.
Myth #2: SEO is Black Hat
This myth arises from the fact that some websites resort to keyword spamming to try and gain a ranking advantage. While it’s true that some do that, it’s not right to classify SEO as black hat or the work of spammers. The truth is the majority of SEO strategies are legitimate.
Contrary to what some believe, SEO isn’t about stuffing your website with keywords, as it also incorporates writing quality content, social media integration, having quality links and so on. These are legitimate techniques that webmasters use to promote their website and increase page rank legally.
Myth #3: SEO is Easy
Understanding the basics of SEO is easy yes, but not everyone can do it properly. What this means is you don’t assign your company’s SEO requirements to just anyone in your IT department. If you want results, you should hire the services of an experienced professional who knows what SEO is about.
The best SEO practices require time to master, so you should only assign this task to someone or a company that knows how it works. Designating SEO to someone who doesn’t know how it operates can be disastrous.
Myth #4: Buying Social Signals and Links are Better than SEO
You’ve probably seen several websites selling Facebook likes, Twitter followers and thousands of backlinks for just a few bucks. While they seem cheap and easier to work with compared to SEO, the benefit, if any, is short lived.
When you first use these tools your site will probably get a quick ranking boost, but Google can tell if a website is using these methods to increase ranking, and your site will either be devalued or penalized. In short, the money you spent on these packages will cost you more in the long run as you’ll need to start from scratch again.
Myth #5: The More Links, the Higher the Website Ranking
This is another widely held myth which is simply isn’t true. It is much better to have a few quality links than stuff your website with lots of useless or dead links. The rule with backlinks is the higher the quality the better. Remember that literally hundreds of algorithms are used to determine a website’s ranking, so link volume doesn’t play a significant role.
Myth #6: Quality Content Guarantees High Ranking
No doubt about it, quality content is essential if you want your pages to rank. Google has also made it clear that it values websites with high quality content, but that’s not a guarantee that you’ll attain a high rank. Good content is important, but so is the quality of backlinks that are used on your site. In other words, it’s all about having all the right tactics in place.
Myth #7: Google is Singling Out My Website
If you spend enough time at SEO forums you’re bound to come across many users claiming that Google singled out their website and penalized them. The truth is, Google rarely issues manual penalties to websites unless the SEO violation is extremely blatant. Well if that’s the case, you’re probably wondering why several websites have seen diminished search returns even though the number of manual penalties is low?
The answer is Google has devalued the strategies that these sites use to gain ranks. For instance, blog networks that use black hat backlink methods saw their search ranking plummet, not because they were penalized but because their backlinks were devalued. This resulted in low SEO equity and rankings fall.
Myth #8: PageRank is the Most Important Metric
No it isn’t. PageRank is very important, but it is just one of the hundreds of metrics that Google uses to determine a page’s ranking.
Myth #9: Google Analytics is a Spy Tool
No, Google Analytics is not a spying tool. It’s true that Google doesn’t say what factors determine ranking algorithm (which is as it should be). However, Google Analytics is not a spying tool, so you can rest easy.