Separating seo fact from myth is sometimes a challenge for even the most knowledgeable of seo experts. What works for one seo pro may not be as effective for another and all are likely to have their strengths and weaknesses when marketing a client’s website. With that being said we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite seo myths along with our two cents on how true they really are…or aren’t. We can only speak from personal experience only so take a look for yourself and see if you agree…
1. You should not try to aquire backlinks in 2015 but let others link to your website naturally.
This is any easy thing to say in theory but rarely can you achieve a page one ranking without some (or lot) of outside help. Quality backlinks still play a pivotal role in the success of any SEO campaign and most can’t be acquired by simply creating link bait content. Any time you have a chance to acquire links naturally is a bonus so make sure you are posting on social media and anywhere you can get your blog noticed. A quality linking campaign will still be an important part of an successful SEO campaign for the immediate future. Although links comprise only one of several important SEO components anyone who says they are not necessary are being more politically correct than truthful.
2. Keyword Domains are no longer useful For SEO Purposes
Once upon a time in the world of SEO if you bought an exact match keyword domain (or even a partial match domain) a certain amount of ranking success could be expected. Although this still holds more true to other search engines such as Bing, MSN or Yahoo exact match domain names no longer hold much major value from an SEO standpoint. This is not to say an exact match domain will hurt your website either as a website with strong content will still usually rank well regardless of the domain choice. Choosing a domain name with at least part of your intended keywords is never a bad idea but there is no real need to make this a focus unless you get something cheap and available.
3. Citations Have A Bigger Role In SEO performance that Then Links?
It is said that citations will start to have an equal role to backlinks as time goes on if we haven’t reached that point in the SEO world already. Citations are becoming an important part of any SEO strategy along with any positive business reviews your business may have. In terms of local SEO citations are very powerful and will certainly give your website the search engine boost your are looking for. At this point and time saying they have a more important SEO value then links is a stretch and most websites won’t be getting a top spot in Google based on citations alone. Definitely focus your effort on citations but don’t consider them the do all end all of your search engine rankings.
4. Quality Content Has a bigger role then ever before?
Quality content has always been valuable for strong seo results, the better your content is the more likely visitors will want to read it and come back on an ongoing basis. With that being said however strong content was not always rewarded the way it should be in the past with linking schemes and more iffy seo techniques still being rewarded more than they should be. Luckily Google as cleaned up its act with all its updates (and subsequent penalties) including a new update which is designed to weed out poor or small amounts of content. Updating your website with valuable content regularly is a surefire may to to make sure your ranking climbs steadily if you are doing all the other little things right.
5. Social Media Does Not Directly Impact SEO Results
Anyone who still actually believes this is very out of touch with modern SEO and the power social media has. Posting a million times with weak content which is not “share worthy” probably won’t get you too far but posting strong content to a target audience will certainly help your cause. Posting on social media (such as Google+. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn) not only helps with SEO but also helps build brand awareness and more traffic to your website. If you can demonstrate you are knowledgeable in your field and can provide information others will find useful they will likely visit your blog to investigate further.
6. Using Keyword Match Anchor Text Is Bad For SEO
Not using any keyword match anchor text will probably not get you the results you want entirely and it is much better to mix it up as much as possible. Judging by most successful websites today you will likely have more than a few links with exact match keywords or variations of the same keyword phrases. It is not recommended that you stop doing this entirely but use it in moderation in strategic places that make sense. Having a balance of anchor text that is 50%-50% between keyword anchor text and non-keyword anchor text is probably a safe way to go and when in doubt opt for the non-keyword or partial keyword phrase first.
This may be an area where some experts will disagree but thee is honestly nothing wrong with submitting your website to Google or other search engines manually. It is highly recommended you don’t submit your website until it is in finished (or near finished) form but once complete however you get it into search engines does no harm either way. In many cases your website will show up faster in Google with a manual submit unless you are a linking expert that can acquire a lot of high quality links fast. Does it really matter either way? No, so don’t worry about which way your site gets indexed just worry about what you do with your site once it does.
7. Guest Blogging Is Now Bad For SEO
Guest blogging is still alive and well everywhere as the purpose of SEO is not just to acquire links but to also drive quality traffic to your website. If you are looking to post on another website blog just for the purpose of gaining a link there are probably much better ways to spend your time. Ideally you want people to visit or link to your blog first which can be done easier now through social media or other simpler options. Of course the quality of any link is determined by the quality of the with that is high quality and willing to post your article is sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack. If the opportunity presents itself great otherwise your probably better off focusing you SEO efforts elsewhere.
8. Leaving comments for link purposes even on high quality websites or blogs will land you in hot water.
If you look at some of the top PR links on any top ranking website you are bound to find a few (or more than a few) backlinks coming in the form of comments from big name blogs. Although in theory Google did try to crack down on “easy to attain” links naming comments specifically, if they are part of a more rounded SEO profile they are usually fine. Search engines still like links that come from good neighborhoods or places where quality information can be found. As long as your comments actually add something insightful to the conversation leaving a couple here or there in strategic places may be helpful. Don’t overdo it but its not something that should be avoiding at all costs.
9. Free business directories are a poor source of acquiring links and will land you in hot water from an SEO perspective.
This is a tough call as it all depends on the directory, there are certainly some directories out there that can have value for your business but the bad outweigh the good. Any free directory with low acceptance standards will likely not have a lot of useful traffic therefore signing up just for the purpose of gaining a link is probably not a wise idea. Google and other search engines take into account the neighborhood an backlink is coming from and if getting a link is too easy it will often do more harm than good. If you are looking to build your link profile your probably best off avoiding the free ones and coughing up a little extra cash for the more high profile an reputable ones.
At the moment Bing is making a big push increasing it’s share of the SEO market with each passing day. You can expect some moderate success with your website performance even if you rank poorly in Google but have a respectable Bing presence. If you ask this same question in a year or two the verdict might change dramatically but for now if your are looking for strong online results Google is still the place you will have to do it.
11. Buying Old Domains For SEO Purposes Is Still An Effective SEO Strategy?
One common trick for SEO professionals was buying expired domains with lots of link juice then creating a dummy website linking back to their home page. It would not be entirely truthful to say this technique is no longer used but Google now strongly devalues the links coming from any domain with a recent change of ownership. You are better served to create quality content for your own website rather than creating garbage content for dummy websites used only for SEO purposes. If you find a domain that is too good to pass up it still might be worth taking but overall buying high PR domains is a thing of the past. Any high sought after domain will likely cost you hundreds of dollars which could probably be spent better elsewhere with your online marketing budget.
12. Websites that have been around longer will usually rank better than websites that are new?
Crappy websites whether they have been around years or not will not start to surface near the top of search rankings based on their age. Websites that are active and are updated regularly will still take first priority as Google especially is always looking for new or fresh content. An older or more established website will hold a bit of an advantage all things being equal if other SEO techniques aren’t taken into account. A website however with good content, a strong link profile and optimized for web performance will shoot past older sites in a matter of months. There are some that also believe how long you own your domain is a factor in SEO performance but it is minor factor compared to all the other biggees. There is no real age before beauty in this case.
13. It takes six months to get a first page ranking in Google?
Saying it takes six months to get a first page ranking in Google is kinda like saying it will take you 6 months to lose 30lbs. It all entirely depends on the work you put in between and results could be faster or slower accordingly. Up till a couple years ago six months was more of an exaggeration as many websites could see top rankings in half that time if not better. As the Google penalties and updates started to mount however SEO experts are learning more and more there is no easy way to the top. It comes through patience and consistency and very seldom to you see any significant movement within the first couple months. Though there is no way to predict how long it takes to get a first page ranking 6 months is probably now the most accurate estimate. To find out for sure though you’ll have to learn through personal experience.
It’s very important to realize that with SEO there is never one size fits all solution. Your SEO strategy may vary greatly based on the needs of your client and what techniques will be most effective. There will always be evidence to support myths on both sides but the best way to learn is always through practice and experience. Give it a shot and see for yourself!
My Rank SEO Owner