Stop Believing These 5 SEO Myths
Because Google doesn’t reveal the details of its algorithm, the SEO process can often seem mysterious. As a result, SEO myths naturally circulate.
These SEO myths not only discourage site owners from investing in SEO, they can lead them to pursue strategies that end up hurting their rankings rather than helping.
Some of these myths are more damaging than others, but here are 5 that you should stop believing so you can start seeing more SEO success.
1. SEO Is Slow
SEO can be slow, but it doesn’t have to be. If you only define SEO success as ranking for the most competitive keywords in your industry, then yes, it will take time.
But, if you want to start driving traffic to your website immediately, a highly-targeted SEO strategy can help you earn clicks within a few short weeks.
To reap the benefits of SEO faster, do the following:
- Find long-tail keyword targets. These terms may have lower search volume, but they still have strong search intent and are often easier to rank for.
- Choose Low Competition Keywords. Choose targets with a Keyword Difficulty score that is less than or equal to your Domain Authority Score.
- Pursue White-Hat Link Building. Backlinks are Google’s #1 ranking factor. Earning off-site links can help you rank in higher positions.
2. Content is Less Important than Authority
Site authority has always been a key part of Google’s ranking algorithm, but search is becoming more democratic. As Google’s technology has advanced, content quality signals now play a larger part in ranking.
Not only can Google tell whether your content is relevant to specific keywords, it measures whether it’s higher quality than your competitors. Google looks for:
- Originality: Google likes content with original research, insights, and analysis.
- Topical Depth: Content that provides an in-depth examination of the subject.
- Expert Authorship: Content that shows industry expertise through authorship and links.
3. Google Ads Campaigns Help Rankings
PPC can help you audit the traffic quality and conversion potential of keywords, but giving money to Google is not going to increase your chances of ranking on page 1.
CPCs on Google Ads are getting more expensive, which is why SEO is more important than ever. You can use Google Ads to jumpstart traffic to your website and see which keywords are more profitable for your business, but PPC does not correlate with SEO success.
4. PageRank is Dead
Although site owners can no longer see PageRank in their toolbar, Google still uses link equity as a measurement of authority.
Using PageRank to your advantage is a key part of successful SEO. Remember, every link from a page sends along PageRank, so the internal linking structure of your website is very important.
- Focus on your Home Page. The majority of your site’s link equity will be concentrated there. Use it to your advantage.
- Leverage your Navigation Menu. You can send PageRank to other key pages on your site via links in the nav bar.
- Don’t Send PageRank to pages that are unlikely to rank or convert. Confirmation pages, thank you pages, or out-of-stock items do not need to rank in Google. Don’t waste your precious PageRank on them!
5. SEO is Always Changing
This myth often pushes people away from investing in SEO. Yes, Google improves upon its technology and updates its algorithm, but all under the guidance of a single North Star: Quality.
Over the past two decades, the core competencies of SEO have remained the same. Ranking factors can all be boiled down to four core areas:
- Content: Everything that is on the web page (e.g. text, images, HTML tags, etc.)
- Authority: Backlinks, social signals, press mentions, direct/branded traffic etc.
- Page Experience: The performance of your webpages, including mobile usability, Core Web Vitals, and page load times
- Industry/Keyword Specific: Industries like healthcare, credit lending, and local business have specific ranking factors that should shape their SEO approach
If you prioritize improving your quality signals for all of these core competencies, you can see SEO success for the long-term, even as algorithms evolve.
About the Author:
Manick Bhan is the founder and CTO of LinkGraph – an award-winning mission-driven SEO and digital marketing agency – and the creator of the SearchAtlas Software Suite. As a growth hacker, data scientist, and skilled programmer, SEO is Bhan’s greatest passion and his life’s work.
With 10+ years of experience in Search Engine Optimization from the in-house and agency side, Bhan has taught both startups and Fortune 500 companies how to scale their brands with a data-driven SEO strategy that can break into any market with ease and outrank even the biggest of competitors.