Having spent over a decade in the SEO space, we’ve seen a lot of changes as Google continues to innovate and make its algorithm more user friendly. Ultimately that’s the goal of SEO, to improve your website in the eyes of Google so it shows up higher in the search results. However, after so many years of adaptations to the algorithm and optimizing the SEO process, there’s several myths that have cropped up and won’t go away. So today we’re going to debunk some of the greatest SEO myths out there that won’t go away.
Check out our top 10 SEO myths below.
1. Google only ranks new content
The first two myths we want to focus on center on content. You’ve heard the phrase Content is King. And that is still true. But, you need to do it well, and consistently. Creating new content with high intent keywords definitely matters. However, you also need to focus on the other content already on your site. This includes the home and sub pages to make sure you have relevant wording and important keywords. But it also involves your images to make sure you have the right meta and title tags to help Google understand all that’s on the page. And then there’s the new content created regularly in the form of blogs.
And while you need to keep posting new content, Google also takes into account all the old content as well. In fact, it takes all the content on your website into account as it measures the relevancy and trust of your website.
Perhaps you have an old piece of content that still gets traffic, but is outdated. It’s now time to update that content with new and relevant information. Maybe you have several pieces that talk about similar topics. Then you can combine them into one large post and redirect the others to point to your cornerstone post. Essentially, you just need to make sure all content on your site is relevant and up to date in order to help build the overall authority of the website.
2. You Only Need Good Content to be SEO successful
There are so many factors that go into an SEO campaign. Good content is an important factor. But it is by no means the only factor. The importance of good content with relevant keywords cannot be understated. You absolutely need to include this into a good SEO campaign. But just focusing on good content will only work to a certain extent.
You must also focus on things like building a strong backlink portfolio, improving your website and its code, building up your business profiles and improving your overall online presence. Of course there’s more to go into it. But keep in mind that there’s other factors even though a “content is king” mindset still rules much of the online marketing world.
3. SEO is a one and done thing
Every website can benefit from SEO. However it takes a lot of time and work to get it ranking. And while the work done to improve your website can raise your ranking, it won’t stay that way forever unless you continue to work on optimizing it. We’ve found that SEO can typically take 6 months or longer to get one keyword ranking on the first page of Google. Other keywords follow called Halo keywords. However, once you stop with an SEO campaign, in another six months, your site drops off the face of the proverbial map. 99% of searchers never go to the second page of a Google Search Result. So if you’re not there, you’re not getting found. Optimization work must always be done and continued in order to continue to build the momentum for your website.
4. All backlinks are created equal
Before we get into the how of backlinks, we first need to understand the why of it. Links helps users navigate between pages on the internet. And backlinks create trust for your website. Essentially, it tells Google that it can trust your website because other websites do. Links equal a digital vote of confidence.
So while we need to build these links, you need to do it in the right way. Like your money, it’s often the most valuable to you in a diversified portfolio. There’s 5 different types of link diversification: Link Location, Link Type, Link Quality, Content Type, and Link Scheduling. Essentially it matters WHERE you place links to your website, WHAT kinds of websites you post on, and WHEN you post your links. Google won’t like if you post dozens of links all over the place in random spots all at once. You need to make sure they’re relevant to your industry, that you post guest articles, or contribute on other websites with other websites with high authority, and at different times. Learn here about how to build up your link portfolio.
5. SEO is expensive
SEO does not need to be expensive to be successful. At Boostability, we’ve made it our bread and butter to service small businesses at basically every price level. In fact, that’s how Boostability got its start. In 2009, no one services anyone except enterprise SEO. Boostability came along to prove that you didn’t need to pay obscene amounts of money in order to get found online. And it’s true.
The needs of every single SEO customer is different. Some businesses need to be found locally and to build up local authority. That price is different from someone trying to get their e-commerce website to rank nationally. There’s goals, location, current website, and dozens of other factors that must be taken into account.
If you can only afford $100/month for SEO, then there’s work that can still be done. If you have $1000/month, then we take a different approach. But either way, no matter the budget, SEO can work to improve your website.
6. SEO is only for big companies
Small businesses have twice the pressure, they compete on a local level and with big box stores and online options all wanting to sell to the same demographic. That’s why it’s so important to stand out. And even more reason why SEO is important for all businesses, not just the big guys. SEO can help the small business stand out in a time when everyone just seems to go to Amazon for what they need. It helps build credibility and branding for those who have needs right now. It helps the service companies and local businesses connect with their communities. And with companies like Boostability that help small businesses, and only small businesses, it’s affordable and available to anyone, no matter the budget.
7. Other website factors don’t matter
The tasks that go into an SEO campaign work to build up the relevance and trust of a website. Relevance tasks happen on the website. Trust tasks happen outside the website. And onsite optimizations are far more than improved content and keywords. In the eyes of Google, there’s several factors that go into making sure an actual website is optimized beyond just the keywords.
So Google knows what to crawl and how it fits into the grand scheme of things, your website absolutely needs a sitemap. No one but the Google bots may look at it, but it’s a very important piece to the puzzle. You need to make sure your website loads quickly with good Pagespeed. That’s the speed at which individual pages on your website loads. All the pages on your website will have different Pagepeed due to factors like images, video, or plugins. Making sure you have good Pagespeed matters. You also need to make sure your website is mobile friendly and shows up well for mobile only users. More than 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices right now. And Google docks websites that don’t have mobile friendly capabilities. Accessibility also matters in 2020 and more into the years to come as your website needs to be accessible by those from all walks of life.
8. Social signals improve SEO
There’s a lot of debate out there in the SEO world about how social media fits into the big picture. And to be honest, social media doesn’t directly affect SEO and helps to improve your website. However, it doesn’t hurt either. Social media gives your business and brand exposure. And while ;posting a link to your website or blog on a social platform doesn’t earn you a backlink, it encourages others to read and share it as well, which can help. Building your social media presence also helps to increase your brand exposure, which also helps improve your SEO. So while social media doesn’t directly fit into improving your rankings, make sure it’s part of your digital marketing campaign.
9. You need to submit your site to Google
Having a website means that it’s eligible for a crawl from Google. However, you don’t need to submit your site, despite the outreach from many outlets that want you to pay for something you can get for free. However, you can submit individual pages if you have created new content or updated old yet popular content. To submit a page or your website, you just need to go to Google’s Search Console help tools that will help to index your site.
10. SEO is Dead
Google is smart enough to know the second a domain gets registered. It constantly crawls the internet for the most relevant websites out there to deliver results for every query. Every little while there’s a headline saying “SEO is Dead” and that the tasks out there no longer matter. Things like content is dead, links are dead, crop up too. But that’s not the case. Those kinds of headlines are mostly just clickbait. But they keep cropping up. Tried and true SEO methods will not die. Boostability, like other SEO companies, uses millions of bits of data to help us understand the algorithm and make informed decisions for our SEO customers. But things like good content and strong backlinks will never die when helping to improve a website.
These are just some of the myths that continue to live on in the SEO realm. Of course there’s more, but these are some that we hear the most often. Check out our blog regularly for the most up to date information on the Google algorithm news and how to best optimize your website. And if you need help, make sure to contact us!