There are many SEO myths and misconceptions that most of us take at face value. After all, SEO is such a complex subject that sometimes it gets difficult to know what is true or not. Concepts like E-E-A-T, the skyscraper technique, entity SEO and other complex tactics confound professionals, to the point that you don’t know which techniques you should use or who to believe.
Truth is, even some of the top SEO experts are not sure of everything. Google has kept many algorithm updates under wraps, misleading SEOs and making one unsure of what to do to rank.
In this article, you will learn about some of the top SEO myths and misconceptions that even seasoned professionals might get wrong.
Top 7 SEO Myths And Misconceptions
1. Keyword Research Is Easy
When working with SEO, keyword research might seem easy. You just look up your business and find similar keywords, right? Wrong.
When researching for the keywords you should rank for, you need to make sure that your keywords match your product, have a high search volume, and low competition.
You might have an idea of which keywords your customers use to find your product, but you need to source actual data to find the best keywords for your business.
If you use SERPed, you can leverage keyword research easily by using Ultimate Research and Keyword Analyzer. With Ultimate Research, you can get more keyword ideas that are relevant for your business. Keyword Analyzer will give you details about each keyword, including competition level, websites that rank for that keyword, and more.
2. Use As Many Keywords As Possible
When optimizing, it’s commonly expected that the more keywords you use, and the more often, the greater are your chances of ranking. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Google can tell when content is over optimized. Also, if you repeat your keywords too many times – in what is called keyword stuffing – you’ll end up missing the spot and ranking even lower.
We recommend targeting a maximum of 3 keywords per page, and using them sparingly.
3. Duplicate Content Leads To Penalizations
It is commonly believed that Google penalizes duplicate content. However, it’s not as simple as it looks.
Duplicate content happens on many occasions without being necessarily intentional. When that is the case, Google finds the page with the highest quality content and is the most relevant for that specific search. The goal is to show users what they are looking for.
If a website is full of duplicate content, however, that might be an issue for the webmaster. Not like losing all ranks, though.
Unlike what you may have heard, duplicate content does not incur penalties. Penalties in SEO are reserved for much worse activities. That is, unless the website is trying to manipulate rankings by duplicating content.
It might seem difficult to tell which one it is in each case: accidental duplication, or manipulation of results. However, Google has become quite accurate at detecting intentional content duplication, so, no need to worry.
4. Content Is Not Important – Keywords Are
This is not as common now as it was around 8 years ago, but it should be mentioned. No matter how well you do your keyword research, the best way to rank is through high-quality, relevant and strong content.
Working hard on your website content – including blog posts – is of the utmost importance to rank high.
As we usually say, what is good for humans is good for machines. Google’s algorithm recognizes quality and relevance with decent accuracy, and it is improving with every update.
You might have heard about E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. These are the main factors that help Google measure content quality. So, it will prioritize content that offers a great user experience, published by someone who is knowledgeable, an authority in the niche, and a reliable source.
5. Set & Forget
Unlike some clients would like to believe, SEO is not a set and forget technique. If you want consistent results, you need to update your content often, check for errors, and optimize frequently.
This is a common source of frustration for both clients and in-house teams. Why won’t all these SEO tactics work?
With SEO, you need to be persistent. A basic SEO audit is great to begin with, but over time you need to go over more details and create a strong content strategy to improve your ranking on SERPs.
It’s all about the constant improvement, as SEO (i.e. Google) is constantly changing.
6. Domain Age Improves Ranking
The SEO myth that domain age affects ranking is an old one, and many SEO experts still swear by it. However, John Mu himself (from Google) has debunked this theory on Twitter in 2019:
What does help when having an old domain is having more content that might’ve been linked to, increasing authority through activities that every webmaster can do. It’s just easier to reach your goals after you’ve been putting in the work for years rather than months.
7. Domain Authority Helps
For a while, Google used PageRank to help them evaluate the authority of each website in a specific niche. PageRank went from 0 to 10 and was updated until 2013. In 2016, Google announced that PageRank would no longer be used to calculate rankings.
However, SEOs were convinced that another metric replaced it – Domain Authority, from Moz.
When evaluating a website, many professionals still use Domain Authority to understand how “important” or “relevant” that domain is.
But does that matter for SEO? Not surprisingly, it doesn’t. Google has mentioned already that it does not use any of those metrics in order to rank a website.
Now, there are many other SEO myths that we couldn’t mention here for the sake of brevity.
It is however very important to be aware of misconceptions when doing SEO work.
SEO, as a subject, includes many perceived rules that turn out not to be as important as we thought. At the same time, there are things we sometimes miss that can make or break your SEO strategy.
Would you like to see a Part II? If you would, let us know in the comment box, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.