If you want to succeed at SEO, you need to put a lot of effort into it. Unfortunately, SEO isn’t something easy and intuitive. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what strategy you should choose because there are too many options available. Besides, some tactics that work perfectly for some businesses will not necessarily bring the same results when used by others. This is the main reason why there are many SEO myths that confuse beginners.
SEO is so popular for a good reason. It really helps companies make their brands more attractive and increase revenue. According to statistics, search results bring 9% more conversions than the traffic you get from social media. However, if you want to get these conversions, you should choose an effective strategy. SEO evolves at a rapid pace. As search engines get updated and marketers come up with new methods, the amount of misinformation, deceptions, and myths also grows.
It’s important to understand that SEO is not magic so there’s no secret tactic that would bring a website that you’ve just created to the top of the search results. Moreover, even the most effective tactics may become obsolete with time because no one knows how search algorithms will change. Unfortunately, many marketers get frustrated after they don’t get the desired results quickly. Therefore, we decided to help you avoid some common misconceptions that could lead you in the wrong direction. Common SEO Myths
1) SEO is a sort of magic
The digital marketing area has a relatively low entry bar. There are no universal certification systems, and Google keeps its algorithms in secret so it’s hard to test someone’s knowledge and to set standards for SEO practices. When businesses hire SEO providers, it’s all about trust. Perhaps, that’s the reason why many people think that SEO is a sort of magic: if experts do bad work, you won’t know what went wrong.
The truth is that SEO has certain rules, and real experts have some information about Google algorithms that help them optimise content. They know what approaches will help make content meet the algorithms’ preferences, as well as approaches that may fool these algorithms. Although there are no official sources of reliable information, SEO experts learn from their previous experience and stay up-to-date about every change, tailoring their strategies to the new requirements.
2) Keyword targeting is no longer relevant
Many years ago, Google Hummingbird introduced countless challenges for marketers because it was not a regular update but a completely new search algorithm. Hummingbird was expected to impact as many as 90% of searches, and many experts said that keyword targeting was no longer relevant. Since then, the notion that keyword optimisation is irrelevant has become eleven more common. However, given that keywords still appear in search results, it’s easy to see that they are not going anywhere.
The truth is that you need to use keywords in your optimisation strategy because Google likes high-quality content, and good content has a clear keyword structure. Hummingbird has made keyword optimisation easier because now marketers don’t need to worry about maintaining a certain keyword ratio. Instead, you need to focus on your target audience’s search intent and include keywords that will actually help them find useful information. You should know the reasons why people search for a certain keyword and create content that will help users find what they’re looking for.
3) Content is all you need
Another common Google myth is that you should only care about content. Content is indeed crucial for your SEO success. However, even if you have brilliant content, it won’t help you without good design, links, and usability. You need to pay your attention to both content and links because they won’t work without each other.
Google claims that long-tail queries rank without links, which is true. However, the reason is that these queries are too specific and therefore have low competition. If you try to rank for some common queries with high competition, you won’t be able to achieve any decent results without using the right links.
4) Google will quickly index your fresh content
SEO experts always put a lot of effort into helping Google crawl and index their content easily. Search engines like fresh content, and every time you add new content to your website, you may expect it to be indexed quickly. Even though it may happen naturally, the truth is that you need to help Google find and crawl your fresh content.
Therefore, we recommend that you always make sure to generate XML sitemaps and send them to search engines. This way, Google will crawl and index your content as soon as possible, while also taking into account your link profile. You can also help your content get indexed faster if you share links to it on your social media accounts.
5) Links in comments will lead to penalties
There is a myth that having links on forums and in the comment sections can damage your search results and lead to penalties. We recommend that you don’t confuse blogs and forums that have directories. Directories look more suspicious because they don’t serve as a discussion panel. Generally speaking, links in comments and forums used to be considered low-quality because there was a lot of spam. Forums have been used by marketers for too long and the results were rather bad.
Fortunately, traditional forums are no longer as popular as they used to be, and the reputation of links in comments recovers. Another reason why links in comments are no longer a bad thing is that people love user-generated content. People spend about 30% of their time online engaging with user-generated content. Therefore, comments on such sources as Quora, Reddit, Tumblr, etc., have SEO value and you should use them to your advantage. As long as you follow Google’s guidelines, community engagement can serve as a natural source of traffic.
6) Buying ads will improve your organic rankings
Organic rankings and paid rankings are two different things, and they are not connected to each other in any way. Your position in the search results is based on the index database, while the success of your PPC links depends on your overall investment and bid. Nevertheless, paid ads can help you strengthen your brand and test different approaches.
For instance, ads enable you to analyse click-through rates and determine keywords that you should target organically. However, if you’re looking for better organic rankings, you should make sure to SEO-optimise your content, making it relevant and engaging. You can also optimise your content for Active Search Results to make sure that Google and other search engines will consider your page alive and active.
SEO optimisation is an area that constantly evolves so there’s no surprise that there are many SEO myths. It’s difficult to evaluate the SEO effect of your actions precisely before implementing some methods in practice. As a result, many marketers don’t know what approaches they should choose. We hope that our list of common SEO misconceptions will help you focus your SEO efforts on the right things and set the right direction for your content campaign.
Frank Hamilton has been working as an editor at review service Online Writers Rating and an author at Best Writers Online. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.