SEO is an essential ingredient in any successful digital marketing campaign.
Done right, you can climb the ranks of SERPs, capturing limitless clicks and traffic from customers searching for products and services like yours. When you compare organic vs. paid search, the revenue potential of SEO is unmistakable.
With that in mind, there are certainly right and wrong ways to go about SEO.
Aside from obvious black hat SEO tactics, it’s easy to fall for innocent SEO myths perpetuated throughout the industry.
Some of these were maybe true at one point, while others seemed to have just come out of nowhere and taken on a life of their own.
As a leading SEO digital marketing agency, VELOX Media strives to follow the latest guidance and SEO best practices to deliver real, sustainable results.
Here are five of the most common SEO myths we’ve seen over the years and the corresponding truths every digital marketer should know.
Content is the backbone of every successful SEO strategy.
From blog articles to product descriptions, meta descriptions, and more, content serves as a way to highlight your business to potential searchers and provide something for search engines to crawl.
Ideally, you should create content as often as possible. However, this rush to generate new content has led to the rise of some unfortunate myths and practices.
Namely, it’s led some marketers to prioritize quantity over quality, first through content farms and now through chatbots like ChatGPT.
You can usually spot this kind of content from a mile away. The tone feels off, it reads awkwardly, there are random keywords stuffed everywhere, and the content fails to answer your question or provide any new information.
This isn’t user-friendly content, and Google isn’t fooled either. After all, who wants to read something that’s terribly written and makes no sense?
In fact, the recent Helpful Content update was designed to catch precisely this type of low-quality content.
However advanced AI may be, it is still light years away from replicating the many nuances of effective, conversational language humans intuitively recognize.
While ChatGPT and other tools are useful for ideation and outlining, helpful, user-centric content still requires a human touch in most instances.
User-centric content written by a subject expert is worth its weight in digital gold and is an invaluable component of any effective SEO campaign.
The idea that all duplicate content is a hardline Google no-no is an understandable misconception.
In fact, there are many situations and instances that Google might penalize, in addition to other factors.
Google’s algorithm and crawlers haven’t always been the sophisticated, razor-sharp instruments we know today. In fact, duplication gimmicks were common back in the wild days of early 2000s black hat SEO.
Popular black hat SEO hustles included tricks like keyword stuffing and hiding invisible keyword-heavy text on a page to brute-force the search algorithm into providing an illegitimate ranking jump.
That kind of blatant SEO malpractice is virtually nonexistent now, and the Google algorithm swiftly deals with any site foolish enough to try it.
But there’s an important distinction between spammy and innocent duplicate content. The reality is that practices like posting quality content on a relevant site and publishing the same content on a blog, for instance, will not draw the wrath of Google. Your site might also have certain elements repeat across pages, which Google recognizes and is built to handle.
With that in mind, it’s essential to monitor for duplicate content across the web, as someone might scrape your site’s content and try to pass it off as their own. Additionally, duplicated pages on a site can cause a ton of bloat and eat up crawl budget, so avoid posting the same content across multiple pages if possible.
This is just one example of the differences between white hat and black hat SEO, but there are plenty of others worth knowing besides the SEO myths in this article.
The older the domain, the higher it will rank, right?
Like concerns about duplicate content, though, this myth also comes from a reasonable place.
For instance, all things being equal, there’s a good chance that an older website might perform better in SERPs than a comparable younger site.
You would think this older page has had more time to establish its authority and trustworthiness. However, Google has been entirely consistent about domain age providing no ranking benefit.
It appears this contradiction is a result of the classic correlation vs. causation conundrum.
The longer a website has existed, the more cumulative traffic it’s likely to have had. Plus, an older website has had more time to accumulate backlinks and produce more content.
Greater age also grants additional opportunities for administrators to tinker with marketing and optimization approaches, fine-tune SEM and SEO strategies, and otherwise optimize those websites.
Altogether, these actions can help boost any site’s ranking, so it’s no surprise that well-run, older domains tend to populate the top results of SERPs.
But for every well-optimized older domain, others continue to wither away at the bottom of results with little to no SEO efforts.
The same is true for newer domains. While some might struggle to make any headway in rankings, other well-optimized sites might surge right out of the gate.
The practical takeaway is that an effectively-implemented SEO strategy is the great equalizer.
No matter how new a website is, a first-rate SEO and digital marketing agency can make it as competitive as one that’s been online for a decade.
If you aren’t first, you’re last.
At least, that’s what many marketers and site owners tend to believe.
They set off with lofty SEO goals, and if their site comes even one spot short of the top ranking, they view it as a failure.
There’s no question that ascending to the top spot is amazing news for businesses. It means you’re the first link a searcher sees, and you can expect your CTR to go through the roof.
But there’s more to SERPs than just one top spot. In paginated results, there are nine more spots on the first page. Even better, Google’s continuous scroll update could boost CTRs across the board.
While we’d all love to be the top result, don’t discount being in the top five, 10, or 20 results. There’s always room for improvement, so track your rankings in Google Search Console and focus on climbing up one spot at a time. The ROI of ranking in Google Search is well worth the effort.
Ask experienced pros at a well-regarded SEO agency about their most common frustration, and you’ll likely hear one answer repeated.
Specifically, you’ll probably be told that it’s frustrating to watch clients steadily climb up the rankings, triumphantly reach the summit of the SERPs, and then decide to pack it in and call it a day.
This is essentially like turning off a plane’s engine once it’s reached cruising altitude. It takes just as much, if not more, work to maintain a high position as it is to get there in the first place.
SEO is a dynamic process that requires ongoing attention and effort. The longer a business keeps at it, the greater the aggregation of content, backlinks, and authority their domain establishes.
That makes sustaining an SEO campaign a fruitful investment in both the short and long term.
While the traffic and clicks can seem automatic once your site is in the top five results, maintaining or growing your SERP position requires ongoing SEO work.
But compared to the effort and budget it takes to maintain a PPC campaign, SEO is a bargain for the results it delivers.
The above examples are just a few of the dozens of SEO myths, misapprehensions, and half-truths circulating online.
Following these myths can be a waste of time and resources at best but could hurt your site and rankings at worst.
Have you fallen for any of these myths in the past? It’s not too late to turn things around and optimize your site for search engine success.
VELOX has a long history of exceeding client expectations and KPIs through a proven, ROI-driven SEO approach.
Our team stays up to date with the latest Google algorithm changes and shifts in digital marketing, making us a Google Premier Partner, ranked among the top 3% of agencies worldwide.
Contact VELOX to learn more about our innovative SEO and digital marketing approach.