We can all agree that good SEO can make all the difference in increasing online rankings and brand recognition. But there’s not the same consensus when it comes to exactly what constitutes good SEO. That truth is obscured by a barrage of myths. To help you sort fact from fiction, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in. Here are the SEO myths they want you to avoid.

Gintaras Steponkus

Gintaras Steponkus

Gintaras Steponkus, SEO Expert & Senior Marketing Manager at Solidguides.

Social media doesn’t impact SEO

Many people will say that likes on your social media pages don’t impact your ranking on Google. However, Google treats Facebook and Twitter as other search engine pages. So activities on your Facebook and Twitter accounts do add value to your search engine ranking. Social sites do help in brand building and also direct traffic to your website, influencing your ranking on Google.

Keyword stuffing helps the page to rank higher

As the Google algorithm has changed widely, so have its rules for SEO. It was a trend in years [past] that content with maximum keywords would raise your ranking on search engines. Now, this is considered a false activity, and Google focuses more on content quality than content quantity. To rank high, websites need to be user-friendly and easy to navigate, and they must have quality content that people love to read.

Link Building is Dead

Every year you see people writing about how link building is dead and no longer effective for rankings for SEO. This could not be farther from the truth.

There are many reasons why you should be actively building links to your website. Benefits from continuous link building include increased referral traffic to your website, increased domain authority, increased search rankings and building your digital brand online.

According to a recent survey by Moz, link building is still considered to be the #1 search ranking factor for Google. The more backlinks you have pointing to your website from relevant and reliable sources, the more Google trusts your website and adjusts its rankings to move your website higher. Think of a link as a vote of confidence. Sites with more backlinks from relevant sources tend to have higher search engine rankings in both Google and other popular search engines.

Links are also a great way to send traffic to your website from other popular online traffic sources. If your site is featured and linked to an industry [hub,] you are going to have more people find your website beyond your built-in audience. You want more people to come to your website, and relevant links on high authority sites are a great way to push traffic to your website.

Matt Zajechowski

Matt Zajechowski

Matt Zajechowski is the Outreach Team Lead at Digital Third Coast.
Wes Marsh

Wes Marsh

Wes Marsh is the Director of Marketing at BCA Technologies, creator of eRep CPQ, a Configure Price Quote software solution for manufacturers and their reps. Wes has worked in digital agencies, manufacturing, software, and advertising for over 15 years.

Page Scores Being all That Matter

While there are a number of great SEO tools out there such as Yoast, SEMRush, Ahrefs, SEO PowerSuite, Moz and others, the myth that having a tool that gives a page or post a good score will lead to immediate first-page rankings is just crazy. That’s not to say those tools are ineffective, or that people should dismiss those on-page signals; however, the reality is that there are many other factors such as your inbound, outbound, and internal link profiles, dwell time and bounce rates, social signals, location (for local search), site speed and security that will have a greater impact on your overall rankings.

In order to succeed in SEO, you must have a holistic view of how search engines view your site rather than a laser focus on a single page score.

PPC helps with SEO

Some SEOs still insist that there is a link between Google Ads/Adwords and organic SEO. It’s been well established for years that they are completely independent of one another, but we still hear conspiracy theories and anecdotes about rankings plummeting when an Adwords account has reduced its spending. Adwords activity doesn’t have any bearing on your organic rankings, so don’t think you need to invest in PPC to make a successful SEO campaign.

Sam Orchard

Sam Orchard

Sam Orchard began his career as a Developer, always staying at the forefront of the latest trends and technologies. Over the past 10 years, he’s taken a lead role in all Creative Strategies, from initial project conception, through design, development and on to marketing management. Web: edgeoftheweb.co.uk

Mason Culligan

Mason Culligan

Mason Culligan is the founder of Mattress Battle, a multimedia company he created two years ago, which provides guides and evidence-based sleep information.

Using Only Google

The SEO myth that I wish would die is you only need to focus your SEO optimization for Google.

Google is the most used search engine, but by solely focusing on Google, you’re not maximizing your online presence.

Bing generates approximately six billion monthly searches. It may not be a lot compared to Google’s monthly searches, but you are still missing out on six billion unique searches by not optimizing your site for Bing.

Bing is gradually improving in terms of global search shares. In 2019, their global search shares increased to 36% from 2015’s 31%. In February 2020, Bing reported 849 million total visits.

By not including Bing on your SEO plans, you are missing out on a large amount of traffic that could otherwise be sent to your website. Therefore, optimizing your SEO for Bing traffic is a good idea for getting another source of traffic to your website.

Domain Authority is important

Domain authority (DA) is a third-party metric developed by Moz, which aims to predict a website’s “authority,” or how well a website will perform organically on a 1-100 scale. This myth is usually perpetuated by newcomers to the SEO world – usually querying why their DA went down, or bragging over acquiring a link from a high DA website.

As a third party metric, Google does not use or rely on DA for its algorithm, and Google and Moz have frequently admitted that DA is unimportant.

I personally wish this myth would die, as it would be a huge help in educating newcomers to SEO who are being taken advantage of. DA is easily manipulated and there is no shortage of dubious link vendors selling “high DA backlinks” that would no doubt hurt the buyer in the long run.

Lewis Peters

Lewis Peters

Lewis Peters is an SEO executive with experience in an agency setting  but currently working in-house at a niche e-commerce business, onlineturf.co.uk.
Marcus Clarke

Marcus Clarke

Marcus Clarke, Founder of Searchant.co.

Links are bad

I wish the so-called experts would stop sending the message that links, internal and external, are bad. Internal links will help reduce your bounce rate, and external links are a powerful tool for enhancing site authority and ranking. It’s appalling how many SEO experts miss this.

Keyword density is the key to ranking high in SERP

It is true that the more keywords you have, the higher the chances that people will be able to see your website. However, this doesn’t improve your content at all because it will look spammy to Google and unreliable to the people who visit your website. Create keywords naturally and avoid littering them all over your website!

Page speed doesn’t matter

People are just browsing your website so the loading time of your website doesn’t matter, right? WRONG! Some people can be put off by a website with a 2 to 3 seconds delay. This can translate to hundreds if not thousands of people who choose not to stay on your website because of a minor inconvenience. You also have to consider that Google takes into account your page speed when ranking websites.

SEO is purely technical

One of the biggest reasons why most website owners don’t optimize their SEO is because they are intimidated by the technical jargon. Although a lot of SEO indeed requires technical expertise, there are things that require other skills as well. You’ll need good content-writing skills to create engaging content that will make viewers stay, and you need to have the ability to network with other sites as well. Remember, backlink building is more about convincing other websites to link to your site, which makes it more of a networking or social skill than a technical one.

Anh Trinh

Anh Trinh

Anh Trinh built his first desktop at the age of 10, and he started coding when he was 14 years old. He knows a thing or two when it comes to finding a good laptop, and he aims to share everything he knows through his websites. web: geekwithlaptop.com
Joseph Pineiro

Joseph Pineiro

Joseph Pineiro is the SEO Manager at 360training. He’s responsible for all technical, on-page, and off-page SEO. When he’s not working, Joseph enjoys reading, writing, and exploring outdoors.

Super high volume keywords are more important than longtail keywords.

Most people in marketing get that longtail keywords are easier to rank for and worth optimizing for, but they’ll still put 90 percent of their focus on five to ten keywords they “need” to rank in the top few spots for.

This is largely just the ego getting in the way. Yes, rankings for priority keywords can be a metric of success and drive traffic/conversions, but they aren’t the end all-be all. If you’re struggling to rank for a certain term, you’re far better off dedicating time towards ranking for longtail keywords than you are butting your head up against the wall of that highly competitive keyword.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.