There is considerable ‘fake news’ associated with search engine optimization (SEO). These thoughts and ideas get thrown around online for a little while until, eventually, they end up seemingly developing credibility of their own and embedding themselves forever in the SEO storybook of myths and legends.
At a time when SEO is arguably more important than ever before in attracting new business online, there couldn’t be a better time to engage with a trusted SEO company that won’t spout BS about what SEO can do in a matter of weeks. Because, whilst it can be powerful, SEO isn’t a golden bullet that will make your business successful overnight. It takes time and ultimately it takes investment to see a return.
In this vein then, we thought we’d debunk eight prominent SEO myths to ensure you’re equipped with the most up-to-date information you need to develop a strategy that can deliver results.
1. SEO is Over Forever
Ah yes, the old “SEO is so over” myth. This one ebbs and flows but the latest development that has prompted these proclamations is that declining click-through rates (CTRs) from search engine results pages (SERPs) are a serious cause for concern. The reality is that a decline in CTRs can be attributed to myriad factors, including rich snippets that provide answers to users’ questions directly in the SERP. And that’s before we even cover the fact that because more than three billion searches happen every single day on Google, SEO isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Boosts Rankings
The idea that Google actively favors websites that run PPC advertising campaigns is a myth that has been surprisingly pervasive, despite being extremely easy to debunk. Remember, the algorithm Google uses to organize PPC ad placement is completely different from the one that is used to determine organic search results. Yes, running a PPC campaign in conjunction with a robust SEO strategy can deliver myriad benefits, but it isn’t something that will directly result in improved rankings.
3. You Need Longer Content
You have almost certainly heard from someone that longer content ranks better, but there isn’t really any evidence to substantiate these claims. Sure, there have been a variety of studies conducted over the years that present findings like: ‘URLs in the top 10 positions in SERPS contain more than 1,500 words.’ But this doesn’t mean that increasing the length of your on-page content will automatically boost your rankings. Rather, top-ranking content occupies those positions because they contain informative, well-optimized content that satisfies user intent.
4. The Google Sandbox
Some optimization professionals believe that Google actively suppresses new sites in SERPs for a certain period of time. A quick search will pull up plenty of anecdotal ‘evidence’ that both supports and challenges this idea but, Google’s official position is that it’s a myth. Google does, however, appear to take some time to understand the content and context of new web pages before it ranks them accordingly which, arguably, does somewhat mimic the sandbox.
5. Long-Tail Keywords are Always Easier to Rank For
Although long-tail keywords have low monthly search volumes, this doesn’t mean that they are easier to rank for. If you want to ensure you’re appropriately prioritizing your keyword efforts, you’re going to need to pay attention to the Keyword Difficulty score.
6. It’s Really All About Building Backlinks
Although there was once a time when building links in volume would translate into increased ranking positions, this is no longer the case, and clearly, be considered as a SEO myths. Now, a link-building strategy should be used in conjunction with a robust content strategy because they are two of the most important ranking factors. While it may be possible for certain pieces of content to rank well without a complementary link-building strategy, if you’re targeting more competitive keywords you will need to utilize strategic link building as well.
7. SEO is a One and Done Thing
As the Google search algorithm is constantly being refined, SEO should be viewed as an adaptive process that will allow you to make consistent changes in order to maximize your SERP visibility. You can’t simply optimize on-page copy once and view it as complete forever because, over time, the ways in which searchers look for content are likely to change. This is precisely why you need to remain adaptive to the changing needs of your ideal audience and devise an appropriate optimization strategy in response to those requirements.
8. There’s Only One Right Way to Do SEO
The fact is, there’s a lot of gatekeeping surrounding the concept of SEO, particularly on social media. But as we know that SEO is nuanced, there cannot possibly be one single way to approach every element to drive the best results. Yes, SEO processes are important and can help optimization experts to make the right decisions. Ultimately, however, the ways in which recommended practices and tactics can be implied are numerous. So, before diving in headfirst to implement what is being presented to you as the one and only way to drive results from your optimization strategy, pause to analyze whether it’s an approach that is right for your website.