Myth #1 Guaranteed SEO
Is there such a thing as Guaranteed Marketing? Of course not. When it comes to search engine rankings guarantees are impossible – Google’s webmaster guidelines warn against such guarantees.
Now I’m going to contradict myself a bit here. I guarantee I could rank you for the following search term on page 1 of Google:
“Guaranteed SEO will make my business a success and me very, very rich”
The problem with this is that there is no traffic to be had from this search term so what is the point? Whilst sensible expectations are entirely possible, given the competitive nature of SEO and the almost daily changes to Google’s algorithms, Guaranteed SEO is a myth – do not fall for it.
Myth #2 Google AdWords helps SEO.
No, it doesn’t. There is no relation at all.
Myth #3 Sitemaps are crucial for SEO.
Sitemaps are not crucial for SEO. Unless your site is badly optimised and has poor navigation, Google will find your pages just fine. If your site is in a poor state a site map should probably be the least of your worries anyway.
If however you have a very large website then yes, a site map is recommended.
Myth #4 Other Domains and “Microsites” I own with links to my main website will help my SEO.
No, no and no. Search engines are smart enough to know who is the registrant of the said domain and where it resides (i.e. your server). If you imagine a link to your website is a vote, then voting for yourself 100 times will only count as 1 vote.
Rather than trying to come up with ways of pushing up your rankings, concentrate on creating some good quality content – you’ll please visitors and potentially get the rankings anyway!
Myth #5 Links are the be all and end all.
It depends on what you class as a link. Any old link is not going to help your SEO, it will likely get you a penalty if it is deemed to be “unnatural.” A good link earned “naturally” because a visitor loved your content then yes, you can’t get enough of these.
Don’t try to cheat the system – it’s easier to just create good content then spend your life trying to game the system.
Myth #6 The optimal “Keyword Density” is…
There is no optimal density for keywords within your content. Many website owners (and even some SEO’s) seem to think there is a magic percentage of your chosen keyword (that you want to rank for) vs the rest of your page content that should occur to rank well.
Total rubbish. Google is very intelligent. If the visitor reading your content can clearly understand what the page is about then Google will do too. However, do include your keyword in your URL and Page Title in a sensible manner. Write for people and not search engines.
Myth #7 There is no relationship between Social Media and SEO.
The relation between Social Media and SEO occurs in two different ways. The first is a direct link: Google has been working for years to integrate G+ into organic search and its clear to see how G+ affects search: particularly where personalised search is concerned.
Second, given that the creation of quality content is crucial to attract natural links; Social Media serves as a medium to “seed” content. Great content is quickly shared via Social Media which results in not only relevant referral traffic but can also result in natural links to your website should engaged users find your content interesting enough to link to.
Myth #8 Google Page Rank directly correlates to your Google Rankings.
I wish! The truth is low page rank websites outrank high page rank websites all the time, it forms a part of the picture but thats it.
Myth #9 Meta Keyword Tags will help you rank higher.
No, they will not. They are not a ranking factor. Once upon a time they were, but since they meta keyword tags were often spammed and misused, they no longer serve this purpose – and have not done so for years. The do help your Click Through Ratio though, so write compelling text to attract clicks.
Also it’s worth noting that Google will use your content as your meta description if it thinks it’s more relevant.
Myth #10 H1 Tags are a crucial element of SEO.
They do play their part but they have been abused for years. It is advisable to make sure your H1 Tags are relevant to your page content but don’t be spammy. Focus on usability more than SEO.
Myth #11 SEO can be automated.
That’s like saying Marketing can be automated. No, it cannot be automated.
Myth #12 Keywords in domain names help you rank better.
Not since Google’s Exact Match Domain Algorithm update – They won’t hurt you but won’t help you either.
Myth #13 SEO is about tricking/cheating/manipulating Google
No, it has never has been. Many people spend a huge amount of time trying to trick Google into ranking their websites better. I just don’t see the point. It is much easier to give Google what it wants and go about it the right way by creating a great website that truly offers value. Any SEO company worth its salt would work to satisfy users and not just Google