From the start of SEO, there have been SEO myths and misnomers about the industry as some unscrupulous companies tried to take shortcuts and manipulate Search Engine rankings. But as consumers become more reliant on searching on the internet for products, SEO continues to play an essential part in the online marketing mix to improve Search Engine visibility and boost revenue. Here are seven of the most common SEO myths that raise their ugly head every few months.
SEO myths #1: Rankings can be guaranteed
Your ranking is determined by over 200 signals in Google’s algorithms, what your competitors are doing and countless other factors. For a new website or web pages, it will usually take months not weeks to start ranking for competitive keywords. Companies who guarantee results may be offering to optimise your site for low competition, long tail keywords that may result in high traffic but a low conversion rate. Google themselves state:
“No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google … Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.”
SEO myths #2: SEO is about manipulating search results
This myth is a hangover from years ago when some shady companies tried to manipulate Search Engine rankings with black hat SEO techniques and gave the whole industry a bad name. Today, SEO is a legitimate online marketing tool used by high-profile companies worldwide. Google has long supported SEO with the Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide and Matt Cutts spoke out last year to say that SEO was not SPAM.
SEO myths #3: A high Google PageRank equals a high ranking
PageRank (PR) is a link analysis algorithm used by Google that specifically measures link analysis. It assigns websites a numerical value based on relevance and reputation. PR is certainly an important signal in Google’s algorithms but it is only one of a couple of hundred factors that determine your website’s ranking on their Search Engine. However, when sourcing backlinks from websites, it is preferable to link from one with a high PR.
SEO myths #4: It’s all about content
Most people have heard of the saying ‘content is king’ and while content is paramount to SEO in optimising landing pages and nudging customers on the path through to conversion, there are other important factors that contribute to improved rankings such as your on-page and off-page optimisation. Good content doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it needs to co-exist with a well optimised website and cleverly thought out off-page strategies.
SEO myths #5: SEO requires no ongoing maintenance
Some businesses believe that they can optimise their site on launch and that Search Engine Optimisation requires no ongoing maintenance. However, as all search professionals know, SEO not a ‘set it and forget it’ marketing tool. Even with limited budget and resources, you can review and/or expand your keyword strategy, work on link building activities and add new landings pages/content to your site.
SEO myths #6: You won’t get caught
There have been recent examples of Google banning websites that have been using techniques outside their specified guidelines. Search Engines won’t send you a nice e-card to say your website has been penalised but you will see a drop in your rankings. Google’s Panda algorithmic update shows it is sending out a clear warning that quality content and relevant link building are critical to SEO and breaches of the guidelines will not be tolerated.
SEO myths #7: SEO is dead
SEO has had more lives than a cat – the myth that SEO is dead and no longer needed is trotted out every few months. SEO is not a static discipline – when Search Engines change their algorithms, strategies need to reflect these changes. SEO has certainly evolved from just focusing on page one rankings to now include integrated online strategies and search placements such as local search, mobile search, video SEO and social media marketing.
These are just some of the common myths and fallacies perpetuated in the online marketing industry by companies who do not use ethical SEO techniques (black hat SEO). SEO Works is a white hat SEO agency with a team of SEO consultants whose role is to debunk SEO myths, set realistic expectations about campaigns and educate and empower their clients about new developments in search – contact an SEO consultant today.