Seek and you shall find, right? This is definitely the case with SEO and their myths.
There are many myths and advice going around about SEO that are simply not true. And don’t go get your pitchforks and torches yet, because it’s not really because people are trying to mislead you. It’s because Google changes the rules… constantly.
So, how do you tell an SEO myth from a fact? How do you know if Google changed its mind like a fickle mistress yesterday about something you did today? Will this ever end?
As with many myths passed down through our lives, SEO has its fair share… and they are likely here to stay.
So, we can take it on the chin or do our bit to look to debunk a few along the way.
Take a deep breath.
Some myths sound reasonable, and some don’t. Ever heard of rubbing bacon on your warts? So are the days of our lives.
Myth 1: RIP SEO
People have been starting and ending conversations around SEO being dead for years now, and there’s no doubt it will continue.
One of the main reasons the topic comes around so often is that the attention paid to a business’ SEO changes. It needs attention and is not a “once it’s done, forget it” kind of mindset. Not only is this inconvenient, but hard for most business owners to understand and keep up with.
Strategies around SEO go through much change, but it is certainly not dead.
Hey, no one said it was gonna be easy!
Maybe to those who don’t pay it enough attention, SEO may seem like something for the “too hard” basket so they resurrect the dead or dying myth to make themselves feel better.
Don’t be one of them. While SEO is a long-term strategy (we’re talking years, not weeks), it’s not useless. It’s just not a strategy that provides us with the instant gratification we’re used to. If you don’t mind spending thousands per month for many months for something that will blossom, SEO can work for you.
Myth 2: Keywords Are Everything
Keywords are very important, yes. They let the user’s query and the search engine find each other and live happily ever after… hopefully with your website.
Too many keywords, however, can kill the vibe.
The belief that keyword saturation in your content will rank you higher lies towards the top of the myth list simply because it is, in reality, counter intuitive.
This practice can lead to “keyword stuffing”, which will put you in a Black Hat category in terms of ranking decorum. (Plus, users generally hate having to slog through heavy text content.)
Keywords need to be placed naturally and intuitively. Never force them in for the sake of it, and try to stay around the 3 per cent range in any piece of content. (Bet you can’t tell what keywords we target in this post, can you?)
Myth 3: Duplicate Content Will Kill Your Ranking
Duplicate Content? Blasphemy! Duplicate your content, and you will be struck down by the Google Gods.
It is not recommended that anyone anger any type of God, or human or animal for that matter, but this myth rears its holy head a lot.
The main foundation of this one is that if you have content that is duplicated in other areas on the internet, then your Google rankings will suffer a cruel blow.
This is a mixed bag. Because yes, you will not get favorable results from duplicate content, but you won’t suffer as much as it seems. As it turns out, it’s likely that the algorithm is simply doing its job to give credit where credit is due.
Be aware that the search engines may deem the original owner of the copy should rank first, which is fair enough, and as such, you may never rank higher than that site due to its original content. Fair is fair, right?
While it is best to take care to review your content to make it fresh and evergreen, some duplication may not be the path to endless punishment it is deemed to be. However, it is also good to be original and creative.
Myth4: Google Only Ranks Older Domains
Google itself has deflated this balloon of confusion.
The foundation of this myth is the assumption that if a tried-and-true website that has been around for years, it is solely its age that is the factor in its continued and successful ranking.
Let’s look at this with some logic.
What comes with experience? You understand things better. Know that when hard work is applied, it can reap great rewards. Also, when you’ve been around for a while, you get better at everything because you have had that time and experience and have learned from mistakes.
A domain’s seniority certainly helps with trust and authenticity (both very important and worthy of working on), and all newcomers will be competing with that, but it would seem a bit of a cop-out should it be the primary reason people are miffed at the top rankers.
Purchasing an old domain and then adding new content is not going to work. Google looks at the content primarily over the domain name or the domain age. If you change the content on an old domain, it will re-index the site just the same, leaving you to be re-evaluated.
As a wise teacher once mused, it’s not a good idea to put new wine in old bottles. That creates a mess!
What Do We Do
Let’s talk about myths. Not the creature-type based on scary old tales and folklore, but the other kind. Those widely held but false beliefs we are fed as business owners. Where does it all come from?
Regurgitation of already incorrect articles or a simple misunderstanding of what Google “experts’’ say causes a lot of myths and false information to abound, especially when the truth seems to be changing all the time at Google’s whim.
The irony about SEO myths is they are propagated by those trying to rank higher with their SEO by sharing them. Sometimes the best antidote to doubt is to test the assumption yourself.
What Can We Do to Avoid the Noise
Some might say that’s easy. If it smells like poop, looks like poop and feels like poop when you step in it, chances are it’s okay; you get it.
One way to decipher any possible tall tale is to ask yourself how that piece of advice would be recognized in real life. How would that be policed? Is that just an out-of-date concern?
We’ve come a long way in the SEO world. It may become just an old stinker you can eliminate from the long list of concerns. But for now, it’s still a major concern for business owners, small and large.
Speak to us when you are unsure of your next move. Let us show you the best SEO-friendly hosting practices and have your website ranking higher than ever before.