Most Common Misconceptions, Myths & Misinformation About SEO

That’s right – there’s a lot of overall wrong information about SEO out there. If you’re someone simply trying to learn about the basics or advanced SEO best practices, it can be challenging to know which facts are worth ignoring.

Well, we have some pretty great news. In this article, we’ll dispel a number of the most common SEO myths and debatable information that’s out there.

Most common misconceptions about SEO

1.) SEO Is A One-Time-Thing

Unfortunately, it isn’t.

The websites with the highest keyword rankings are constantly acquiring new backlinks and creating more content for their website. Whether they’re adding more products to their e-commerce website or consistently publishing new blog posts, a website needs to be treated as a living breathing thing.

If the frequency and recency of your backlink building or content creating is lacking, contact us so we can help!

2.) You can’t rank without backlinks

Believe it or not, you actually can rank for keywords without backlinks – especially if you have a killer content strategy. Conducting keyword research and gathering the right keywords to target in your content can be extremely powerful for keyword ranking.

3.) More keywords mean better positions

Don’t get us wrong – more is more. But simply ranking for a lot of different keywords does not necessarily translate to increased website traffic.

Instead of taking a pure shotgun approach to keyword targeting, try to hone-in on low-competition keywords with moderate monthly search queries associated with them.

4.) Encrypted keywords Kill SEO

Searchenginewatch.com has a really great blog post on this subject, and we highly recommend giving it a look for more information on this since it’s a little in the weeds and difficult to explain succinctly. Essentially, there is SEO value in encrypted content. The end.

5.) Guest blogging does not work

In the world of SEO, there is no bad press (especially if you get a solid backlink from the article!). This type of approach to off-page SEO can be a core component of your public relations strategy.

We love guest blogging because it does and is proven to work. Not only can a proper guest blogging cadence gain you valuable backlinks, these efforts can also provide your website with referral traffic.

6.) Content Marketing Replaces SEO

Content marketing is a core component of SEO, but SEO is not just content marketing. Though we do tout “content is king,” it isn’t the only thing

Consider the following SEO variables that impact keyword rankings:

  • Technical SEO
  • Schema Mark-up
  • Website Speed Performance
  • Online Reputation
  • EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
  • NAP (Company Name, Address, Phone Number) Consistency
  • Backlinks
  • Internal Linking Structure

Biggest myths about SEO

1.) Voice Search is the Future of SEO

We have heard about voice search SEO being a huge component since 2017, and honestly, it’s really not as big of a deal as you think. From what we’ve researched, a lot of voice search queries are question and educational rather than transactional.

Moreover, so long as you have some FAQ content throughout the content of your website, you qualify for voice search answers (assuming you have a high domain authority).

When google adds voice search to analytics tools, along with the volume of voice searches, we’ll be far more interested. Until then, voice search SEO should be a very low priority with any SEO strategy.

2.) Buying links is bad and you will be slapped with a manual penalty

This simply is not true, and we dare anyone to say otherwise. In this case, the more important thing to worry about with backlinks is the quality of them. If someone is offering you 5,000 backlinks for $5 on Fiverr, chances are you are going to end up with spammy backlinks.

There are many ways of obtaining backlinks for free that require varying amounts of effort, but as long as back links are a big deal to Google, you can beat people will sell and purchase backlinks from around the world.

3.) You will be penalized for duplicative content

After years of practicing SEO, there has yet to be any evidence supporting the claim that having the same content on your website on multiple landing pages will get you penalized by Google.

However, stealing content from another website is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and could bring some heavy legal issues along with that stolen content. Our advice? Don’t steal content that isn’t yours.

4.) Social signals have no SEO value

It is a fact that social media pages get indexed, so this means social media content is able to appear in Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to get reviews from your customers on social media! Managing your online reputation and company reviews are very important to Google. It never hurts to hear you’re doing a good job either!

5.) Long-form content = higher rankings

No, just no. While we are big proponents of long-form content, long-form content itself does not necessarily equate to increased rankings.

Instead, consider focusing on the user’s intent by asking yourself these questions:

  • Why are they searching for your services?
  • What problem are they trying to solve?
  • How can you help them?
  • How much does your service cost?

For example, if someone is looking to buy a light bulb online, they’ll probably search “buy light bulbs online,” which clearly indicates the user is looking to purchase a light bulb online. In contrast, if the user simply wants to learn more about light bulbs, they may instead enter, “why are the different types of light bulbs?”

The former example expresses an urgent intent to buy. The latter is simply curious to learn more or is in the research/early phase of their buying cycle.

should be the priority and that is simply the way. In reality, most long articles aren’t so valuable for the user).


Digital marketing expert specializing in SEO, MarTech and Website Design services in the Baltimore, MD market.

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