Debunked: 8 SEO Myths

Written by: Jason Bayless | April 13, 2016

Myths are great as long as we’re talking about Hercules and the Loch Ness Monster, but when it comes to SEO, reality is a better bet. There are eight monster myths out there about how SEO practices work, and those myths need to be vanquished. Consider this blog post the magic sword that’s going to do just that.

Myth #1: You Have to be Number One

Holding the number one spot on a Google search page might give you more visibility, but visibility doesn’t necessarily translate into increased revenue.

If you’re a pet store company with a high ranking for the keyword “pet store”, a lot of people might see your link, but they’ll also see other pet stores from all over the web.

However, if you run your business out of Des Moines and focus on a long-tailed keyword, such as “pet stores in Des Moines” you’re cutting out the competition and focusing on potential customers. When it comes to optimization, you want more than just to be seen; you want to target clients who will actually visit your site because they need your services.

Myth #2: Social Media and SEO Don’t Mix

Google claims they don’t use Facebook likes or Twitter retweets to determine search rankings, but social media can still affect your ranking. Each time a person shares your web page, your content becomes available to new people and your site traffic increases. Let’s say that for every 100 people who see your content on a social media site, one or two of them are web content creators who decide to mention your brand on their website. That means your brand name could potentially find its way out of social media and on to sites that could help your SEO campaign.

MYTH #3 Keyword Stuffing Works

You have everything to lose and nothing to gain by keyword stuffing. It lowers the quality of your content and turns people off. Furthermore, if Google catches you doing it, they could penalize you.

MYTH #4 You Only Need to Do SEO Once

SEO is like a vegetable garden; you have to plant seeds every year in order to have food year-round.

As time passes, you’ll create new content and remove content that’s outdated. You’ll also have to adapt to evolving search algorithms and increasing competition. All of this means that your SEO practices will be an ongoing commitment.

MYTH #5 SEO is the Same as “Spam”

People do abuse SEO practices, but there are SEO tactics that have been deemed acceptable by Google Webmaster Guidelines. If you use SEO the proper way, you’ll have a high-quality site full of content that is actually useful to people.

MYTH #6 You Need Lots of Inbound Links, No Matter What

Having inbound links will help your site’s ranking, provided those links are of decent quality.

If you link to websites owned by governments, universities or a reputable news source, like The Wall Street Journal, you’re on the right track. However, if you overload your site with links to spammy content or engage in any of the practices listed here, Google will penalize you.

MYTH #7 You Have to Let Google Know Your Site Exists

It’s a waste of time to submit your website to Google for indexing Google’s search bot minions are all over the Internet, scooping up information and indexing everything they come across. They’re going to index your site anyways, so focus on other things.

MYTH #8 SEO is Kaput

SEO is only dead if you define “SEO” as the art of getting search engines to give you a higher ranking than you deserve. There are safeguards, some of which have already been listed above, that have been put in place to prevent that from happening.

However, if you want to create a website with high-quality content that actually deserves a high ranking, then SEO is alive, well and kicking. As search engine technology evolves over time, so will effective SEO practices. Keep your finger on the pulse of the times and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly; the results will speak for themselves.