For one reason or another, there are various myths and conspiracy theories within SEO that just never seem to die. People seem to believe them and follow them, even though they are blatantly not true.
So what are some SEO myths and conspiracy theories you should be aware of?
1. Google AdWords means you’ll have higher organic rankings
There is the longheld belief that if you pay for Google AdWords, this will cause an increase in your organic rankings.
To bust this myth, you simply have to look at Google’s position on the matter. Google clearly states: “Investment in paid search has no impact on your organic search ranking.” Organic data you receive is based on domains that are linked to your account. Google currently does not have a way to filter organic traffic to a subset of linked domains.
2. You shouldn’t be guest posting
This myth came about because of a blog post by Matt Cutts titled “the decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.” As you can guess from the title, the blog post details how guest posting is dead because it’s gotten too spammy. Matt Cutts recommends people do not accept guest posts unless they can vouch for the writer personally.
However, there is still evidence that there are many benefits to guest posting. You get more exposure for your name and brands name. It can increase traffic flow to your website. Getting an article published on an influential website can increase your website’s authority. You just have to make sure that your content is of high quality to ensure people want it to be published in the first place. Aim to have guest posts on authoritative websites, rather than low-quality, spammy websites in order to avoid damaging your reputation.
3. Content is king
Content is king…or is it? Content should be a huge part of your SEO strategy. However, it’s not the be all and end all. You need to undertake keyword research to ensure your content will rank. You also need to ensure you correctly optimise your content, as this can also affect your SEO efforts.
You then need to make sure you are spending enough time on promotion of your content. After all, if no one knows your content is there, they aren’t going to read it, and you’re wasting your time producing it. Make sure you’re sharing on your social media networks, and make it easy for others to do so by including social media buttons in your blog posts. It’s also worthwhile undertaking outreach to promote your blog and see if you can publish guest posts to increase your authority.
4. Updates increase revenue
Another consistent myth is that Google introduces algorithm updates such as Panda and Penguin to increase revenue, rather than reducing spammy practices. When an algorithm update is introduced, websites often experience a drop in traffic. This then causes websites to spend more money on advertising, such as through AdWords. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that these updates are purely for revenue raising purposes.
However, Google’s Matt Cutts offered some clarity on the situation. He stated that Google’s algorithm updates are not designed for the purposes of making money, but rather for the good of the internet community. He went further to claim Google even lost revenue because of Panda.
5. Social media affects ranking
This one can be confusing, as Google has previously stated that social media DOES have an affect on search engine rankings. However, Google has since reiterated on numerous occasions that they do not, in fact, incorporate social signals as a ranking factor.
Facebook and Twitter posts are treated like every other web page in regards to searches, but not for a ranking factor. This means Google doesn’t even attempt to index most social media posts. While Google can access every tweet published, it does not index them. In fact, a 2015 study found Google only indexed less than 4 per cent of all tweets.
It’s also important to consider how often information changes on social media pages. Google only periodically indexes websites. To ensure they had the most accurate information, they would have to be indexing far more frequently than they currently are. This is another reason why Google doesn’t crawl social media networks, and why they are not influential on search rankings.
Instead of worrying about how social media affects your search rankings, it’s best to use social media to build up your brand and increase traffic flow.
Knowing these myths means you can spend less time focusing on trying to achieve them, and more time on SEO aspects that will positively impact your search engine ranking.
Got a myth that needs busting? Let us know in the comments.