There are still so many myths floating around the SEO world today… so I thought I would write up my own list of the top 10 myths I’m still hearing about in 2019.
It’s good to educate yourself on what false information is being passed around in your industry. Especially when it comes to SEO.
I’ve even fallen victim to some of these myths in my lifetime! Hopefully I can help you avoid making the same mistakes I, and many other SEOs have made.
Guest Blogging is Doomed!
Many people like to think that guest blogging is the way of the dead. This couldn’t be further from the truth…
Google wants to get rid of buying guest posting links altogether. Matt Cutts said all the way back in 2014 that guest blogging was done because of this reason. But that’s the thing… you have to be doing guest blogging as a way to farm links to get in any trouble, and let’s face it – that really isn’t the point of guest posting anyways.
Google has also started to really crack down on backlinking schemes created by low-quality blogs that use guest posting like tactics to spread their links around. Private Blog Networks (or PBNs) are used for this purpose. These blogs have no real value to the searcher, so Google definitely wants them gone.
So what does this mean for you and your guest blogging dreams? It means that you should be thinking about the user first & foremost. Your articles should be high-quality and helpful. Don’t guest post just for the links, and make sure your post actually serves a purpose.
And stay away from PBNs!
Dwell Time Is Related To RankBrain
Lots of SEOs think that Dwell Time is directly related to RankBrain.
But what is it?
Dwell time is how long a user stays on a web page before returning to the search results. And it has 0 effect on RankBrain.
RankBrain is a machine learning program, and its only a part of Google to help gauge what a user’s intent is when they search for a brand new query that’s never been seen before.
Dwell time might be a minuscule factor in deciding if the search result fits the query, but there is no evidence that states it is directly related to RankBrain in anyway.
Paid Search Helps Organic Rankings
It’s one of the oldest myths in the book, and I still have clients bringing this up to me in 2019.
Paid search has absolutely zero effect on your organic rankings. It gives your brand more recognition online, and can help with your credibility/reputation. But it won’t help you get the number 1 spot.
Google is very transparent with the way they want their search engine to work without being very transparent at all. The only sort of paid placements on their search results pages should be Google ads.
So if their organic rankings were based off of their advertisements… well it just wouldn’t work, and Google’s trustworthiness and users would drop dramatically.
Paid search has different ways of indirectly helping your organic rankings. Like utilizing high CTR ad copy in your meta title and description is a very common tactic for attracting more visitors.
Thankfully, this is something we don’t have to worry about in 2019. Or else everyone would become pay-per-click experts all of a sudden.
My Website Doesn’t Need To Be Secure
For some reason, people in 2019 seem to think that their website can get away with not having an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate.
Your website should be encrypted to help both you and your users protect valuable information about yourselves. A website that doesn’t have the proper security measures installed is typically ranked lower than safer sites.
In fact, over 70% of Google Chrome users navigate through HTTPS-Enabled websites. With HTTPS becoming the norm, it’s important that your website meets the security standards of today if you want that #1 ranking.
Duplicate Content Will Get Me Penalized
Fun fact: there is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty.
Google uses a duplicate content filter to select one source to rank from a pairing of websites with the exact same content.
This is why different blogs and news sites are able to share articles from similar sites to one another.
If you want to show content from another site on your own – just make sure to do these things before you take someone else’s work.
- Ask them for permission – make sure to always ask the author/site’s owner for permission to use their work
- Always credit back to the author and source website – it’s very important to link back to the original source article and give credit back to the author
My Website Doesn’t Need To Be Fast
I’ve worked with several clients that have had dreadfully slow servers taking care of their websites. We will educate them on the disadvantages of being on a slow server, and immediately switch them to our own server if they wish.
Once we successfully switch them over… they see an almost instant increase in rankings.
Google has stated that page speed is just a tie-breaker… but I would disagree with this. Their is just too much evidence backing this up at this point.
Do not cheap out on your website’s speed. You will be much better off trying to make sure your site loads as fast as possible. You wouldn’t stay on a website that took 20+ seconds to load, would you?
SEO It Once & Done!
Another common misconception about SEO is that you only need to do the initial setup process and everything is done.
Becoming #1 does not happen overnight. Proper SEO requires months of work monitoring and experimenting with different ideas and keywords. You need to be constantly improving and advancing as time goes on.
If you hire a professional for a one-time campaign – you are at risk of loading your site with outdated content, and bad/old links.
You will also leave yourself open for penalization’s by Google algorithm updates. On-top of that, your competition will also have a field day with you as they gobble up your rankings one at a time (if you have any at all).
So if you are going to invest in an SEO campaign – make sure it’s the correct way. Going for the long-term is always the best route.
Social Signals Are A Ranking Factor
The idea that social signals are a ranking factor is one of the most controversial ideas floating around right now.
Alas, social rankings are NOT used in Google’s ranking algorithm.
If social rankings had that much power, they could be potentially exploited by spammers.
This doesn’t stop them from influencing rankings, however. When a website sees a large amount of tweets, shares and engagement around a social media post it is almost guaranteed a #1 spot. This may sound confusing but it’s explained quite well in this study done by Branded3.
So don’t let this stop you from trying to go viral for rankings. Strong social media engagement may not be directly correlated with rankings, but their influence cannot be denied.
These are some of the most common myths I come across when I talk to clients and other SEO wizards.
Unfortunately, because of how many changes are done to search engines every year, and the vast amount of misconceptions made by the SEO community… we will always have a nice steady stream of SEO myths to combat.
That’s why it’s very important to make sure the info you are getting is correct and factual. The SEO world is filled with false facts, and information that can be harmful to your site.
As an SEO, it is my job to make sure my client receives nothing but the facts. Maintaining your due diligence and keeping yourself educated on the many nuances of this industry is key to success. Stay sharp out there!