I Love A Good Myth
Whether it’s Greek, Norse, or Egyptian, myths are often used to explain things.
And that concept has extended to the current day.
Living In The Information Age
Has given us access to a wealth of… well, information.
But not all of that information is necessarily accurate. Or correct at all.
Because this is a blog post from a digital marketing agency, it only makes sense for us to look at some myths about SEO, and provide some counter-evidence to debunk them.
SEO Myths (and Facts)
SEO Is Dead.
When it comes to SEO myths, this has to be at the top of the list.
If this were the case then many, many people would be out of work.
SEO is, however, changing.
What Do You Mean It’s Changing?
How Does This Change For Me?
It means that your SEO focus needs to shift from appealing to the Googlebots to appealing more to the people. It’s not a huge shift, but it’s an important one.
To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, “SEO aintent dead.”
SEO Is A Once-Off Affair.
This is one of the bigger myths about SEO.
Search engines, just like other engines, require regular upkeep and maintenance.
As mentioned in the first point, SEO is changing. That means you need to ensure your search engine is optimised to get the best possible results.
But Isn’t That A Lot Of Work?
If you’re not up-to-date with how the algorithm changes, and how search results themselves are changing, then it is a lot of work.
If you’re looking to keep up to date (and see the best results), then it’s a good idea to consider working with SEO specialists.
Like I said, it’s still an engine. If you’d use a mechanic on your car engine, you should use a mechanic on your search engine too.
SEO is constantly evolving. Maintenance and regular upkeep will give you the best results and ensure your engine runs smoothly.
Local SEO Doesn’t Matter
I have no idea where this came from as a myth, but it’s just not true.
While this applies more to physical stores than e-commerce, it’s fair to say that (regardless of where you are) you want people in that area to visit your store (or at least know that you’re near them).
So How Do I Do That?
Well, the best way would be to register through Google My Business.
It’s a good way to get your name out there and give yourself a head start on growing your brand. It’s really good for location-based places like restaurants.
If you dedicate effort to local SEO, you could very quickly go from being found on Google to being found through past customer’s friends, and word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising out there.
You Don’t Need A Social Presence For Good SEO.
While the statement isn’t exactly false, it’s not exactly true either.
It’s true that SEO isn’t directly impacted.
But A Social Presence Helps More Than You Think.
Right now, more than half of the world uses social media.
That’s a lot of people spending hours scrolling. If you can reach out to them on those platforms and connect with them, you’ll see growth. It might not be a direct influence on your SEO, but it’s an influence nonetheless. After all, marketing works best when individual efforts are combined to form something greater.
Social presence isn’t necessarily vital to good SEO.
But it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Google Only Ranks What’s Recent.
This is true for some things. But not all things.
Trends? You betcha.
But things like tying a tie aren’t going to be ranked by what’s freshest.
In a time where things happen near instantly, it’s easy to forget that there are things that don’t really change.
This is only true for select search results. So… Sort of true. But not really.
Links > Content.
There was a time when this was true, but it’s not anymore.
Thanks to the algorithm, Google picked up on the habit that people had of jam-packing links directed to their sites to increase their reach. Also known as backlinking.
Linking doesn’t always do well for you or your site.
If a website that you link to has low Domain Authority, it impacts your site’s ranking pretty heavily.
As I Mentioned Earlier,
Google is focusing more and more on people. If you spend time creating quality content instead of a high quantity of links, you’ll see much more stable growth.
Something that really grinds my gears is the notion of “grow your site quick” schemes. The only way you’ll see success is by choosing quality over quantity.
Images Don’t Need Optimisation.
So, let’s break this down.
I wrote a previous blog post about SEO for beginners. In it, I pointed out our little site-crawler friend, the Googlebot.
Googlebot’s job is to crawl all over your site and figure out how to index it.
And This Includes Images
Things like alt text allow the Googlebot to understand what the image is about, which allows it to index your site better. The less work the Googlebot has to do, the better your ranking will be.
A picture may be worth a thousand words.
But it’s up to you to tell Google what those words are.
Keyword Research Isn’t Important.
My boss would throw office supplies at me if I made a statement like that.
Keywords build the foundation of how people find you.
But My Site Uses Hundreds Of Them, And It Still Ranks Poorly!
That, dear subheading, is because your keywords may not be relevant to… You guessed it: people!
If your keywords aren’t similar to what people would type in when searching, then people won’t find your site. You could have a thousand keywords, but if they don’t resemble what people would type into the search bar, it’s not going to work.
As with point 6, it’s a case of quality over quantity.
Keyword research isn’t just important. It’s the difference between stable growth and stagnation.
Keyword Targeting Is Irrelevant.
This, also, is a statement that would see a stapler flung in my direction.
Research and targeting are a hand-in-hand endeavour with one goal in mind: search intent.
Doesn’t Everybody Intend To Search? That’s Why They Use Google.
In this case, the term doesn’t relate to their intent to search as much as it does the reason why they typed what they did into the search.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
Convenience Is King.
People want convenience. The less they have to do, the better.
If you can predict what people mean when they type something, you’ll pick them up before they search with more depth, possibly finding their answers on another site.
Keyword targeting doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing that it used to, but it’s still just as important as it was when it began.
Meta Tag Keywords Don’t Matter.
I’m really glad that I’m disproving these.
Partly because it’s important to know the truth.
Partly because I don’t feel like dodging pens and pencils. (My boss is a firm believer in SEO)
This is one occasion where I’ll vouch for the importance of making Google happy instead of the user.
What Do You Mean?
I mean that meta tag keywords tell Google what your site’s about. This won’t influence the ranking, but it’ll make your site more appealing, which results in more clicks.
Keywords, in totality, are important. Don’t discredit them.
They form the infrastructure that will determine how you’re found online.
PPC Won’t Help Ranking.
So. This is an interesting one.
The fact is that it won’t directly help you grow.
It’ll attract backlinks.
Those backlinks will increase your ranking because it shows that somebody trusts what you’ve said, which will increase both traffic to your site, as well as how Google ranks you.
Paying for Google ads doesn’t necessarily mean growth. Google isn’t that kind of system. But growing your ranking by making use of other search engine marketing efforts is a great way to grow.
And There You Have It, Folks.
This list is by no means all-encompassing. But hopefully, you now have some more knowledge to help you determine the difference between SEO myths and facts.
As With Any Myth
It’s important to look at the facts that back up what you’re being told, and what’s contrary to that.
It’s easy to get lost in the wave of information around you. But a single link or testimonial does not a fact make.
SEO is a very mysterious thing, so it’s only natural that there’s confusion about whether something is an SEO myth or an SEO fact.
The algorithm is always growing and changing. It shifts from one point to another.
But it’ll never drop things like keywords, social media presence, and optimisation.
Those are the core of what makes finding things (like this blog post) easy to do.