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Advice to Ignore about Search Engine Optimization

Good Idea Bad Idea

Search engine optimization is a tricky thing to tackle. You might find some college courses centered around it, I don’t know. I can pretty much guarantee that no college will grant a degree in it, which means that no “scholarly” work has been done in it.

Therefore, you’ll find plenty of sources that offer SEO advice, much of which will contradict other sources.You might even find some books on the topic. The problem is finding a book that’s up-to-date with the latest web trends, technology, search engine characteristics, etc.

Even right now, I am writing advice on SEO. Specifically, I’m offering some advice on SEO advice.

So, can you trust it?

That’s up to you, to some extent. Whatever you decide, I advise you to avoid these types of advice about SEO:


Don’t Get in on New Trends

People assume that because a certain site layout or web trend doesn’t fit in to current SEO methodology, that this will always be the case. Typically, this sort of advice will accompany further, unwarranted words of warning about the trend (it isn’t user-friendly, it requires more time/money). But, these sorts of unsubstantiated claims don’t really help, considering that they are unsubstantiated.

The truth: search engines, especially Google, have historically given favor to new trends in order to bump up the user-experience for their search results. So, avoiding new trends will not necessarily hurt your search rankings. However, if you have designers who think inventively and can fit your site into a trending format that will make it better for the user – do it!


However, if the trend looks like this, you can avoid it with confidence


Do These Things Instead of Content Marketing

This one doesn’t make sense to me. Content marketing not only helps search rankings, but it gives your users something to engage with, share and generally enjoy.

Therefore, don’t replace content marketing with other SEO tactics. Rather, try other SEO tactics in addition to content marketing.


This or That Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Links don’t matter. On page SEO doesn’t matter. Title and description tags don’t matter. The list goes on.

The truth: unless Google says that something doesn’t matter, it still matters. It might matter less than it did before, but it still matters.

Furthermore, some stuff matters as much or more than it did before, but in a different way. Links matter at least as much, except that now the quality determines your ranking, as opposed to quantity. Meta tags matter as much, they just require a different standard of writing (less keyword stuffing and more helpful language for search engine users).


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