5 Lies that You’ll hear about SEO
SEO is not like a lot of other disciplines. It’s only been around for a little over a decade and, in that time, it has changed dramatically on a regular basis.
Since that’s the case, people in and out of the trade throw around a lot of SEO legends. They start as rumors, turn into bad advice and end up being lies. Some of these, as you will see, even begin as good advice, but morph into extremes, end-all solutions or simply unwarranted rules.
So, here are 5 lies to forget about SEO, along with some good advice to substitute instead…
Lie #1 –Social Media is Everything
Don’t misunderstand – social media matters and is incredibly important (we are, after all, a social media marketing company). But… social media is not all that SEO is about. A solid social media strategy lends itself to SEO more than many outmoded techniques, but without proper meta data, site navigation, etc. social media won’t do too much for your search engine placement.
I’d imagine that this lie grew from misinterpretation. SEO agencies, freelancers, etc. told clients something like “social media is really changing/affecting/helping the world of SEO.” Clients said to friends or partners “social media is SEO’s new primary component.” That turned into, “You only need social media for SEO.”
The truth is, you need social media for a lot of reasons, one of which is to help with SEO. You need, get this, SEO for SEO.
Lie #2 – Good Content is Everything
Similarly to social media, someone once said something like, “Good content is really important for SEO.” Somehow, that turned into, “Good content is the only thing that matters for SEO, period.”
Of course, that’s not true. Without meta tags, linking, proper site layout, etc. your content can go unnoticed by search engines. Does content matter? Yes. Does it matter more than many, if not most other aspects of SEO services? Yes. Is it the only thing that matters? No.
Lie #3 – Links Don’t Matter & They Will Only Serve to Harm Your Site
Someone realized something a few years ago: link farming hurts SEO. So, someone took that to mean that all links are bad and will cause SEO ranking to decline.
This simplistic view is very flawed. Link farming, or the process of gaining thousands of links from poor and/or irrelevant websites slammed many websites in searches when Google rolled out their famous animal updates (specifically Penguin). Although it can’t really be confirmed, evidence suggests that the first Panda update was also the first update to functionally identify linking schemes as a “black hat” tactic.
But, does this make all linking bad? Of course not!
Google updated their policy to avoid granting high rankings for sites that neither earned or deserved their inbound links. Therefore, the update places an emphasis on good links from high-quality sites.
Lie #4 – You Need Everything for Successful SEO
This is a difficult lie to explain, so make sure you read this whole point.
The lie: a site needs updated web design, good content, social media, linking, meta tags and the works in order for even a chance at SEO success.
The truth: many sites who find success in Google lack many of these components due to a few factors, including their domain authority and even luck. However, their longevity could be slim if they continue to avoid a holistic approach to SEO.
In other words, while it is a lie that you must do everything in order to gain success in search engines, it’s still better to do as much as possible.
Lie #5 – PPC is Bad
You might have heard from a search engine optimizer that paid ads, such as PPC campaigns with Google AdWords, negatively affect SEO. Not only is this a lie, but AdWords can help SEO in some cases.
My guess as to this lie’s genesis: those who can’t do paid ad management want to deter clients from PPC in order to get more money for organic search work. I could be wrong, but that seems to make the most sense to me.
The point of this post… don’t believe everything you hear, especially definitive statements with phrases like “all you need is.” There are certain things that you should certainly never do, and other things that you should do as often as possible. It can get confusing sometimes, but that’s why some of us dedicate our entire work weeks (and then some) to practicing, researching and continuing to practice SEO.