Between the growth of e commerce and algorithm updates, there have been many conversations involving the state of SEO. Some say the practice is over, other argue that SEO is still required if you want your online business to get noticed and grow. Regardless of which side of the debate you believe, SEO remains a hot topic in the digital world. And with so much talking, how can you separate the truth from fiction?
Here are 5 common misconceptions about SEO and the truth behind each.
1. Keywords and Links Are The Only Things That Matter
Make no mistake about, keywords and links are both important for SEO. But they’re far from the only things that matter. The algorithms for search engines have become increasingly complex, which means that everything from social vitality of content to mobile optimization also influence rankings. With the release of Hummingbird, Google is now getting better at understanding the full context of queries (location, time of day, past behavior, etc.) on top of single keywords.
As for links, Google’s Matt Cutts stated in a video last year that SEO’s are spending far too much time on link building and being concerned with search engines. The reason why links aren’t as important is that users are discovering content on social media platforms, which is why it’s important to create content that will be shared in order to bring awareness to your website.
2. Only Google Rankings Matter
Google is most definitely a major factor in SEO. After all, Google is the most dominant search engine with over 67% of the market. But, Google isn’t the only search engine.
While Bing and Yahoo! may not have the appeal that Google does, that shouldn’t mean that they should be neglected. In fact, Bing should be considered by SEO’s. For example, since 2012 Bing has powered Yahoo! Search. And, Bing has been powering the search functionality on Facebook since 2010. Finally consider that more people are beginning to use Bing and its algorithm isn’t as complex as Google’s.
Bing most likely replace Google as the top search, but it shouldn’t be completely ignored. There’s definitely some possibilities with Bing.
3. The More Links To My Website The Better
As I mentioned earlier, links are important. But, there are number of myths surrounding just how important backlinks are.
For example, it’s long been believed that the amount of backlinks helps influence your ranking or popularity. They don’t. In fact, having a ton of backlinks from but a limited amount of referring domains (the sites where the backlinks come from). Think of it this way, referring domains are a phone number while backlinks would be the number of times you’ve received a call from that number. If this is the case, Google may consider it spam.
Also keep in mind that if backlinks from a less reputable site aren’t as valuable as a link from a respected site. That’s why dropping a link in the comment section of forum all the time is pretty much pointless. Every now and then is fine, but it won’t boost your ranking.
4. Guest Blogging Is Bad
There were a lot of people were lost their minds when Matt Cutts declared that guest blogging was dead. Why? Because guest blogging was a great to introduce yourself to a different community and build relationships – you write guest post and then get link for your work. Unfortunately, it became a shady practice – as Cutts states people began “paying for PageRank” or inserting spammy links on your blog.
Here’s the thing. It’s not really dead. What Cutts was saying that the days of free reign guest blogging are over. If you write a guest blog on trustworthy sites, don’t overdo it on the keywords, vet guest bloggers and use guest blogging as a way to create content than just links than you’ll be fine. In fact, guest blogging is still a great way to establish your authority, drive traffic to your site and give a little boost to your ranking.
5. SEO Is Dead
No. SEO is not dead. Some, however, would argue the term is dead, but the idea lives on. What’s different today is that SEO is part of a content marketing campaign. As you probably have guessed by now, SEO just doesn’t focus on optimizing the results on search engines. Because getting traffic from social media networks or other blogs is just as important as those from Google SEO could be considered OC/DC: optimizing content for discovery and conversion.