Myths About Search Engine Optimization

The face of search engine optimization has certainly changed a great deal over the last decade. Google have made many changes to their algorithms, software is advancing rapidly and consumer expectations have never been higher, and where before it was a matter of pumping out large numbers of keyword stuffed articles, it is now about quality, focused content that adds real value. Let’s take a look at some of the modern myths of SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is Not Important Anymore

With all of these changes, many in the world of enterprise and marketing are naturally uncertain of what constitutes a good SEO program these days, whether former methods are still relevant, and whether SEO even matters at all anymore. And here is the first and most important SEO myth to dispel – that SEO is no longer important. It is still important, and will be for as long as we use Google (until the end of the Universe) you just need to know which aspects of SEO no longer work and which aspects are now important.

You Must Rank For The Relevant Short Tail Keywords

The majority of businesses with an online presence aim to rank for short tail keywords that are highly related and non-specific. However the modern, educated consumer is much less likely to search for something like ‘Toys’, and instead search using a much more specific, long tail keyword like ‘Childrens coloring pages’.

The majority of web searches involves long tail keywords, and though there is much higher traffic in the short tail, there is also lots more competition and a smaller conversion rate. Long tail phrases are searched for less often, but there is usually much less competition involved, and higher conversion rates. People who search with long tail phrases are highly targeted consumers who are more likely to take more interest in sites with the relevant long-tail keywords and quality content than someone searching with a short keyword.

It is Best To Have As Many Links as Possible

Marketers often ask themselves whether they should put the most effort into a) content creation or b) link building. Link building is a critical aspect of any SEO strategy because it tells the search engines that you are credible and authoritative, in direct proportion to the credibility and authority of the sites holding links to a relevant part of your domain.

Important yes, but it is not a case of ‘he who has the most links wins’ – it is far more important to focus on diversifying your link base and the quality of both the content created and the sites hosting the content. And funnily enough when you invest time and effort into the content side of things you will naturally open yourself up to new inbound linking opportunities. Don’t let this fool you however; quality content on its own is never enough. You need to understand the important SEO elements of keyword targeting, target audiences, calls to action and so on.

I Can Increase Performance With Inbound Linking From My Own Domains

Nope! This does not work in the slightest because the search engines are not stupid. Search engines know the registrants of all domains which they rank, and they know when two linked domains are owned by the same registrant. In terms of ranking performance, minimum improvements are gained by linking in this way. You can of course try and trick the system, but this is forbidden and if you get caught the consequences are severe.

It is a much, much better option to focus on your primary domain and other SEO tactics instead of wasting time trying to manage loads of domains that in the vast majority of cases won’t make any difference.

Social Media Does Not Influence Traditional SEO

This myth was actually valid in years gone by, but no longer. Over the last years the relationship between search engines and social media sites has begun to mature and formalize, and the social media sites now have a measurable influence on search results (measurable, but not very large). It is now wrong to think that the two are separated, and so you should not see your SEO and social media marketing strategies as distinct.

‘Social search’ is the term now used to describe how search engines factor in social networking. For new search engine applications such as Google Plus Your World and Bing Social Search, sites and content that are connected to you via a social media network will be prioritized, and content shared by prominent social media users can also influence results even if they are not directly connected to you.