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Ancient Greece and Rome are famous with the myths these mighty empires presented to the world. Yeah, these myths still impress us with those heroes and monsters, battles and crusades.
Despite the fact almost each and every myth of an ancient world has been already dispelled, we continue to go back to these stories and retell them from generation to generation.
Our modern world is not an exception! Especially, when we talk about an online “space”. The internet is overfilled with various types of information.
This information has a tendency to be covered with some rumors, which turn into myths as result. And, moreover, the more important the information is, the more myths it has.
The same fate appears to have happened with SEO.
Yes, search engine optimization has been increasing in popularity for a long period of time. That’s why this vitally important concept of marketing has been overgrown with rumors…rumors that have transformed into myths over time.
In this article, I’m going to present to you and dispel 12 of the most well-known SEO myths of today.
SIDENOTE: those who miss cool SEO tips, you should check out this noob friendly guide.
1. Have You Already Attended the SEO Funeral?
The very first myth opens our list and I am sure you are not surprised with this. Firstly, if you are reading this post, thus SEO means a lot for you.
Yeah, I won’t deny that dozens of forums, communities, and websites contain facts, which force marketers to believe – SEO is dead.
Nevertheless, as like those Ancient Greece myths, SEO ones might be completely dispelled due to the following reasons:
- When people stop using search engines, SEO will lose its significance (I am sure even after an Apocalypse we will try to ask something from Google)
- When it comes to earning traffic, proper SEO is your first aid.
- If there are any organic results, the search engine can cast blame outwardly when something breaks.
- Any search engine likes to give users a “free reign” to mark their content up so the search engines could extract and displace larger chunks of the value chain.
- If users realize they were looking at nothing but ads on a search engine, they would do their queries somewhere else.
I believe these arguments have proven to you that SEO is not dead! It is alive and kicking:)
2. SEO Myths: it’s All About Using the Right Keywords
Do you remember the days when we “hunted” keyword density and we thought it was a right kind of SEO strategy?
I am sure you do. Almost every content creator tried to adjust articles to particular keywords that might boost their website’s traffic. Likely, those times have passed and now it is preferable to focus on the content itself.
Google pays attention to the relevancy of the content you create but not to keywords you target.
Thus, there is no more need to write headlines with specific keywords in them! You would be better off concentrating on the content.
3. Social Media Means Nothing in Terms of SEO
It goes without saying that your social media activity has nothing in common with SEO. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that SEO can’t influence your online presence.
You should understand – using social media accounts helps search engines discover and index the content you promote.
Plus, don’t forget about link building that is practicable via social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ etc.
Every time when someone tweets or shares your own content, you get more traffic to your website.
I won’t over-emphasize the statement that social media is a huge part of your SEO strategy, but I definitely won’t deny that it means nothing at all.
No! If you get traffic with the help of social media, thus your general SEO way might be much easier than before.
4. Focus on Quality Content and Forget About SEO
Nobody will controvert the statement “content is king” because it is really so. Furthermore, high-quality content is held in high esteem by search engines.
Unfortunately, I must convince you that if your content (which is as cool as hell) is not promoted, you won’t get any value from it simply because it won’t bring you any traffic at all.
As you may have already guessed, SEO helps you optimize your content so that it will be liked by search engines.
You can be sure that, thanks to SEO, your work will be discovered by a wide audience range and you’ll get traffic to your website.
Even the best content in the world won’t be praised without good optimization.
5. What? Link Building is Also Dead?
You may wonder why link building is supposed to be dead if it plays a crucial part in increasing a site’s presence and earning traffic.
You should never forget that despite all the mess that link building strategies created, links remain an important ranking factor.
I won’t deny that link building is a time-consuming process (perhaps due to this reason, link building strategies are losing their importance position).
But yet, creating high-quality content, promoting it and writing guest posts – are the ways that were popular in 2016.
Actually, link building means:
- Relationships (pitching dozens of blogs with your guest posts helps you build new business relationships with some influences, creating your authority)
- Visibility (be visible not just to search engine spiders but to people as well)
Obviously, link building is not dead; it still works and brings value for those who do it right and never forget to check backlinks in return:)
6. Forget About Mobile Optimization
I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard this myth! Our modern society can’t imagine a life without mobile devices.
All business people use their smartphones to navigate through websites and that’s why search engines measure your site’s mobile-friendliness as one of their ranking factors.
What does mobile optimization mean?
It means you should adjust your website to a user’s experience. In other words, take care of website pages’ design, page speed, screen size and the number of clicks, etc.
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t ignore mobile optimization:
- Over half of web traffic is mobile
- Mobile users buy more
- Google favors mobile responsiveness
- Social media referrals are on mobile
- Great mobile sites differentiate your brand
- Mobile advertising is still underutilized
Well, I believe you will do mobile optimization of your website after reading the facts above.
7. It is Enough to Optimize Your Site Once
What do you think, does any building need to be repaired after a few decades of operation? I bet you will say “YES”. The same happens with website optimization.
Since your website ranking positions may decrease, doing regular optimization is vitally important for your web resource due to:
- Outdated content
- Your competitors may move ahead of you
- Search engine algorithms constantly evolve
- Link degradation
Of course, if you represent a small business, it might not be as necessary as it seems to optimize your website constantly . It is enough to monitor the SEO metrics of your website in a slighter form.
However, if you want to see your website on the first position in Google and crush your competitors – it is impossible without deep SEO work.
8. #1 on SERPs is Your Main Purpose
It goes without saying, if you are on the first page according to the SERPs, it will lead to you getting more traffic to your website.
Nevertheless, if you discover the real sources of where the major part of your website traffic comes from, you will find out that only 20-30% of traffic comes from the top of Google’s search results.
The remaining 70% of traffic comes from your optimized content that is shared throughout social media.
So, it would be fair to sum up with the following small conclusion – yes, trying to reach the first position on the SERP is your prerogative. But don’t forget the other ways of getting traffic as well.
9. Don’t Waste Your Time on Image Optimization
I must admit that content with no images is boring and not interesting. Who likes reading raw articles that are not mixed with pictures? No one!
As you know, search engines can’t see images but you can make them “visible” by adding a proper description to them.
Moreover, taking into consideration the fact that unique images have more of a chance to be noticed by search engines, you should optimize them using descriptive titles and captions (keywords can bring some value as well).
Here are a few reasons why it is important to do so:
- 90% of websites are graphics dependent. Consequently, there are lots of images
- Image optimization can reduce your total page-load time by up to 80%
Thus, image optimization is a real thing you should never avoid.
10. More Pages – Better Ranking
Do you remember the good old statement “quality over quantity”? It seems this rule works for lots of cases. SEO is also not an exception!
Unfortunately, additional pages won’t be crawled by search engines because not every page gets indexed.
You can create more pages if they bring some value to your resource. However, practice shows – a vast number of pages won’t increase your website’s visibility. Thus, there is no sense in adding new pages.
11. SEO VS Google
A very controversial myth! Yes, we can presume that Google tries to “shut off the air supply” to SEO and SEO tries to fight this battle. We can even find some pieces of evidence that Google hates SEO…but it is not true.
Did you know that Google once stated the following words: “Potentially improve your site and save time”?
If you didn’t know about this Google statement, you would conclude that Google suggests website owners optimize their resources for better ranking on search engines.
In other words, SEO is not Google’s enemy. However, the thing Google really hates is Black Hat SEO. Yes, this kind of website optimization is the thing Google penalizes.
I don’t want to confirm that Google loves SEO but I wouldn’t say there is a strong confrontation between the two.
12. SEO Brings No Value – it Simply Doesn’t Work for My Website
Well, if SEO doesn’t work for you, there must be some clear reasons why this happens. If you go back to myth #11, you will see – even Google suggests using SEO. And it is not for nothing.
Perhaps, you don’t have much knowledge about SEO yet or you did something wrong?
I must stress – SEO is a long process that might take months before you get any results. Please, be patient and hire an SEO specialist who will be able to take care of your website’s optimization.
Furthermore, if all your previous efforts to do SEO were in vain, you should do this step-by-step process again.
SEO is a kind of chain reaction. Once you start doing some of the SEO elements correctly, the others will be successfully achieved as well.
Taking all aforesaid into consideration, myths are just reflections of misconceptions and the mistakes people tend to make. All twelve of these SEO myths have now been dispelled. I hope they will no longer confuse you.
Nevertheless, as more marketers apply SEO techniques, more new questions and misunderstandings will be created. This endless circle will never end (only if the world wide web disappears).
If you have some other SEO myths to add, please feel free to leave your comments:)
Sergey Aliokhin is an Outreach manager at Ahrefs. He spends most of the time discovering and learning SEO and Internet Marketing tendencies. His primary goal is to study and practice new aspects of an outreach strategy.
In his spare time, he likes to spend his time with family, visit specialized sports clubs and study martial arts. If he has nothing to do at all, he prefers reading books on science-fiction and playing the bass guitar.