Common Google SEO Myths Dispelled

Not everything you read about SEO is gospel truth, far from it. There’s so much information on blogs and forums that clearly isn’t true or is written with an agenda. Below are my SEO Myths based on working on personal and client projects.

1. Rankings Don’t Matter

I’ve seen this quite a lot over the last number of years, it tends to go along the lines of ‘rankings don’t matter, it’s conversions that are all important‘.

Surely higher rankings with a better conversion rate is the target?

It also goes along the lines of ‘it’s long tail keywords that convert’. Well simple facts are that bigger keyword terms drive more traffic, and it’s better to rank for these and capture this traffic and longer tail searches together.

Budgets, resources and competition don’t always support chasing keyword positions.

2. Social Media Matters

Social Media is a big part of Google’s ranking algorithm. If you’re not running a successful Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest campaign then your rankings will tank.

As far as I can see my gut feeling is the impact of social media on rankings is overstated. Why would Google have it’s algorithm rely on competitors such as the above that can turn off Google’s access.

It’s in the interests of PR and advertising companies to push the social media myth and it’s affect on SEO. I’ve had clients come to me, asking has social media replaced SEO. Really?

3. Watch your HTML Markup and avoid tables

If your code doesn’t validate, and you use HTML tables in your code, then your site will under perform.

I’ve never seen this make an impact, provided you use the appropriate markup e.g. header elements for headers, p elements for paragraphs then Google will know what’s what.

4. Spend on Google Adwords and Get a Corresponding Boost

The more you spend on Adwords the higher you’ll rank in Google organics.

Haven’t noticed this at all.

5. Content Management Systems such as WordPress Improve SEO

Using a CMS improves your rankings.

Not sure if this qualifies for a myth, but just because your site isn’t running WordPress with all the latest SEO plugins doesn’t mean it’s not going to rank well. It might be harder to scale and update your static site but WordPress itself isn’t why it will rank well. Good development and site structure were around well before WordPress.

6. SEO Traffic is FREE

I’m not sure how people work this out. It takes time and considerable effort to get good rankings. When you run a business time equals money.

As far as I see it, both SEO & PPC are investments that cost. SEO may be longer lasting, but this has to be weighed up against the intial effort.

7. SEO is One-Off

Once you’ve climbed to the top of the rankings, that’s it! Job done.

This can happen particularly in low to medium competitive markets, but it’s rare and I think increasingly so. There are many reasons why your site just won’t remain at the top without regular work, amongst these are the changing algorithm, Googles increasing reliance on fresh content, competitors renewing their efforts, link rot, markets changing, inbound links falling down the site structure, and so on.

8. SEO is Dead

Yawn, yawn… If anyone truly believes this then they have a very narrow concept of what SEO is. SEO isn’t and never was just about mass spammy link building. It’s increasingly harder and requires a wider skillset, but despite the Pay Per Click onslaught it’s very much alive, particularly with the chronic and escalating costs of PPC.

9. Linkbuilding is Dead

Same as above.

10. Keywords Aren’t Important

Google can understand the theme of a page, just write naturally and Google will understand intent, the semantics of the page and be able to match synonyms and so on.

I still find exact match keyword strings vital, particularly in the right places on a page and it’s structure. I’ve done many a search and Google doesn’t seem to be able to tell the difference between something as simple as plurals and singulars.

On top of these myths check out what SEO mistakes are still being made.

2 Responses to “Common Google SEO Myths Dispelled”

  1. Jordan McClementsNo Gravatar Says:

    My favourite posts (by people who have no experience in the real world) are..
    “PPC should only be used as a last resort”.
    “Conversion rate *must* be above X% or you are doing something seriously wrong”.
    “You don’t need your own website, Facebook is all you need!”

  2. michaelwallNo Gravatar Says:

    Jordan there’s so much nonsense it’s scarey.

    A couple of weeks ago someone asked me if they repeatedly clicked on their organic listing alot of times would it rank at the top (not talking about personlised search). Oh dear…

    There’s an article in there for PPC Myths.

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced SEO based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own SEO Agency.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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