How is your SEO strategy? Kinda sort of? You may have 17 SEO myths hurting your results! Find out here what they are!
SEO is a theme surrounded by various theories and practices about ranking factors , penalties, and algorithm updates. It’s so much information that sometimes it’s hard to filter out what’s right or wrong.
And to make it a little more complicated, this is a very dynamic subject.
For example, a technique that worked well a few years ago may have no effect today.
Just as there are practices that many took for granted but still carry significant weight in search results.
This confusion characterizes SEO myths well. They are the biggest villains of marketers struggling hard to put their website or blog on the front page of Google.
For this reason, let’s point out and tear down the 17 largest SEO myths that are disrupting your digital marketing strategies. Keep up!
1. Top search results are quick to reach
The first myth to be eliminated is that SEO can produce short term results. Like content marketing , search engine optimization strategies need more time to deliver noticeable return.
This will largely depend on competition for the keywords chosen . For example, if you are going to start SEO work on the term ” digital marketing “, know that you have to sweat a lot of shirt to get a spot on the front page.
After all, this is a word with huge competition, where marketing agencies, universities, and specialized blogs will vie for the same space.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to bet on long tail keywords , such as “ digital marketing course ” or “ digital marketing for beginners ” .
In addition to being more specific and segmented, competition is lower. Therefore, the top can be reached with less difficulty.
2. The top is guaranteed after conquest
If after a lot of work, you’ve earned the Google or Bing Top-3 ranking for one of your keywords, congratulations! Is that a sign that the post can now be left there that will not lose the throne? In no way!
What guarantees do you have that another competitor will not improve a post or page that has previously lost its place in the ranking?
It can also happen that the approach you took in one year lagged in another. It’s like writing about SEO, as new techniques and theories are approached over time.
So keep an eye on the ranking of your pages, and if necessary update them with new information and data .
3. Keywords became irrelevant
Many people believed that after the launch of Google Hummingbird (new version of Google’s algorithm implemented in 2013), keywords would lose all their strength as a search factor.
The fact is that keywords are very important , as it’s still the easiest way for Google to match a site to a search in its search field.
The difference is that the algorithm has become smarter. He knows he can send “Indoor Football” results to people searching for “Futsal” as well as showing “notebooks” to those looking for “laptops,” for example.
Finally, Google made the relationship between sites, search results and users more natural and less tied to exact matches. But the keywords are still very important in this filter.
4. Guest Blogging Gives No More Results
In 2014 and 2015, several posts about the death of guest blogging popped up on websites and blogs that talked about SEO.
The truth is that the practice of guest writing on other pages has never been condemned by Google, especially since it is difficult for the algorithm to identify a guest post.
The sites being penalized were sites that sent links to other pages in an exaggerated manner , without having a context or logical link between the contents.
Google perceived this as a malicious practice and punished rogue websites with ranking losses or even the removal of their indexing.
Well-done guest blogging, with quality content on relevant pages, related to your blog and directing contextual links, is still working very well.
5. All incoming external links are welcome
This is an argument we began to demystify in the previous topic. Number of links received from other sites is not the same as quality .
For example, if you have a blog that talks about soccer, getting too many links from fashion, mobile or computer sites can be bad.
After all, since Google sees no correlation between these themes, and probably between the contents as well, it is only natural that it understands as an attempt to mislead the algorithm.
Google has always considered link building as one of the top ways to grow in the ranking, as long as these directions are meaningful and relevant.
6. Every external link sent is bad for the site
If it’s so good for your site to get relevant links from other pages, why can’t you do the same?
Yeah, there are a lot of people who believe that sending links to other sites will drive their visitors away.
The point here is not to lose traffic, but rather to cherish a good public learning experience .
For example, if you bring data from a search made by another site, redirect to that page. Other information from this survey may be of interest to your audience.
In addition to helping your readers, you can earn a few mentions of these sites, especially if you warn them that they are being linked.
Finally, it is that old phrase: “kindness begets kindness.”
7. Meta Descriptions Are Not Important
Anyone who has been using SEO as content for some time must have read that the meta descriptions (those below the page title in search results) do not have a direct influence on ranking.
Really, they are not a ranking factor. However, we must not forget that they talk directly to the public. These are spaces of up to 160 characters that can and should be used to convince users to click on titles.
So if it can influence people’s decision, why wouldn’t it be relevant to search results?
8. Google will find your new content quickly
Another myth that runs through SEO lessons and practices is that just posting a new post to your blog will Google index it promptly.
Sorry to tell you that Google doesn’t do this kind of magic . Someone or something needs to warn their algorithms that a new page has been posted. Without an indication, this process may take a few days to happen.
On the other hand, you can make search engine life easier by using a plugin that automatically generates and updates your site’s sitemap (such as Google XML Sitemaps for WordPress) or if you share the post on some social network.
9. Long content is no guarantee of first place in results
Many believe that the more words a post has, the better ranked it will be. Once again we fall into the myth of quantity more than quality.
There is no guarantee that a text longer than 2,000 words will be better positioned than one of 800 words for the same keyword or subject.
In general, they may even perform better because they are more detailed and provide more information, but this is not usually the case.
A text of 800 words, being concise, objective and well explanatory on a particular subject, can appeal much more to users and, consequently, to Google.
10. The higher the number of pages, the better the site will be ranked
Another serious mistake in this relationship between quantity and quality has to do with the number of pages on your site.
Wanting search engines to index more pages on a keyword will not rank your domain – unless those pages you create have a high degree of relevance and quality.
But in general, it is more advantageous to make a single post fuller on a subject rather than split it into several pages.
After all, it’s better to have a great page on top results than several medians at the end of the first, second or third page of Google.
11. Sponsored link campaigns help with organic results
Ads on Google Adwords may even make your site appear at the top of search results, but not organic ones. One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
Both media use very different criteria. The main difference is in one of the Adwords ranking methods, which is the amount paid for a particular keyword in the auction.
Still, it is recommended to work with both strategies at the same time, as they complement each other rather than compete with each other.
12. Social networks do not affect search engine rankings at all
This can be considered a controversy in the SEO universe, as there is nothing that proves that, for example, a shared post on social networks guarantees better ranking.
However, the human factor must be considered more than the Google algorithm . After all, if a post is being shared and accessed by a lot of people, this will be a sign that the page is relevant.
13. Optimizing images is silly
Forgetting this may not be too much of a ball or even unfamiliar with practices such as inserting an alt text tag, filling in the description, or adjusting the file name of the image.
These are three simple actions that make Google and other search engines read the images you post on the site.
This will positively impact both textual searches and Google Images searches.
14. Keyword searches are unnecessary
This myth can be broken down with two arguments. The first is that, as keywords follow as one of the top page qualification criteria, search is still needed to find the best terms for each page.
The second is that your insight or intuition does not always have the best keyword suggestions. Working with data that highlights the relevance and popularity of terms is much safer, isn’t it?
So keep doing keyword research and don’t give up tools that can help with this, such as the Keyword Planner and SEMrush .
15. Domain keywords yield better ranking
A few years ago, having the primary keyword in the domain no longer means much to search results.
In the past, if a car repair shop named its site “www.mecanicadecarrosimportados.com.br”, it was more likely to appear in the first search results for “imported car mechanics”.
Currently, page content and usability are more relevant factors as it makes more difference to the public than the domain of the site.
16. Header tags directly influence the classification of results
This is a myth that is still widespread over the Internet. Right off the bat, we don’t want to downplay the famous H1, H2, H3, etc. tags, which serve to rank and organize the content of a page hierarchically.
They even help us split text into blocks and make it easier for us to understand content. For search engines, tags also perform this function of ranking content.
However, they are not considered ranking factors. Still, it’s important to use them, because tags, by contributing to the public browsing experience , indirectly influence page rankings.
17. If the content is excellent, it will be enough to rank well
Useful, valuable, and memorable content for the public can bring countless benefits to a page, but it won’t do all the ranking work alone .
After all, if other sites are writing content as good as ours for the same keywords, what is differentiating them in rank?
It is at these times that other factors weigh in the balance, such as:
- quantity and quality of external links received;
- post sharing on social networks;
- optimized images;
- good usability;
- responsive design ;
- loading speed, etc.
The problem with these SEO myths is that many of them have become the usual thoughts and practices of many marketers. That’s why it’s not so simple to be wide open that they can be the cause of a possible lack of traffic, engagement or conversions on your site.
But if you look closely, you’ll notice that they were demystified because they no longer made sense when it came to delivering a good user experience and relevance to search engines.
Anyway, put them into practice and make sure your results won’t improve.
If you have come this far and uncovered the 17 biggest SEO myths, know that the subject has not yet been exhausted. To further master the topic, check out our post SEO Glossary: 82 Terms You Need to Know!
It’s going to be a fast game and you’ll get out of the next text eliminating your top SEO questions.