As with any complex industry, there are plenty of myths and even more fallacies in the SEO world. The average person has never heard of SEO and even those that have often don’t have a complete understanding of it.
This makes it particularly easy for people to get confused and to spread false information, often unintentionally and without malice. However, these myths can lead to businesses taking actions that can waste money or potentially even harm their business.
Linkbuilding is Dead
The first myth is the one that gets shared more than any other lie, that linkbuilding is dead. If you look back at past blog posts from some of the biggest SEO websites, then you’ll see that people have been proclaiming the death of SEO for well over a decade.
Listen now, linkbuilding isn’t going to die anytime soon. Will it ever become redundant, perhaps, but it’s not going to be within the coming years. The truth is that while Google is incredible at what it does, it can’t make data up out of thin air.
They are trying to track everything that they can, but they need to use external data to factor into their rankings. Without it, they would end up with too many low-quality websites ranking for competitive queries.
Instead, they have used links for years, which while easily manipulated, is extremely easy for Google to analyze and filter.
“We’ve done SEO before.”
Many small businesses who don’t understand SEO looked at it as a ‘one and done’ process, whereas, in reality, it’s something that you need to be working on constantly. If your competitors are actively improving their SEO, then it’s only a matter of time before they overtake you.
Similarly, you need to be willing to commit to a longer-term strategy. In this day and age, Google takes a long time to give you the benefit of your actions, which means that you need to have the cash flow to sit patiently while you continue to invest in your digital marketing.
At the very least we would recommend that any business considering investing in SEO dedicates themselves to 12-months of SEO with a minimum 4-figure budget. Any less than this and most businesses won’t see any significant results unless they are in an uncompetitive market.
Google Penguin is Gone
Google Penguin came in like a wrecking ball, to quote Miley Cyrus, and destroyed the SERP’s. Thousands of spammy businesses were removed from the rankings overnight, and the rankings were cleaned up.
Some SEO’s mistakenly believe that Google Penguin was a short-term algorithm filter and that it’s not gone. In fact, Barry Schwartz even wrote an article that argued that Google Penguin no longer punishes for low-quality links, they just devalue them.
The mistake when reading these articles would be to treat this as if Google Penguin is gone. It’s not. If you go ahead and build hundreds of spammy links or PBN links, your website will tank. That’s a fact. The intricacies of why it tanks might have been adjusted, but bad links have always been bad and will always be bad.
The truth about linkbuilding is that you need to exercise some common sense. Ask yourself if the link truly deserves to be there and if it’s the right place for you to advertise your business.
Keyword Research Isn’t Necessary
We argued in one of our other articles that keyword research is becoming less important, and we still stand by that, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t necessary.
The difference is that in this day and age the keyword itself isn’t as important. Google can rank your pages for phrases that aren’t even found on your page because it understands the intent of the searchers and the context of your content.
However, keyword research is still incredibly important so that you can find out the content that searchers are looking for. This allows you to create a list of pieces of content that you can write, allowing you to provide the most value to potential customers.
Guest Blogging is Dead
Finally, let’s jump back to 2014 and look at the famous Matt Cutts blog post that proclaimed that guest blogging was dead. We didn’t believe it then, and we didn’t believe it now.
The truth behind this claim was that spam and low-quality guest posts are dead. Well, they were never truly alive.
If you exercise some common sense with your linkbuilding, as we just mentioned, then you would recognize that submitting posts to irrelevant and low-quality sites was a bad idea. However, publishing your content on a website that you don’t own is still okay, provided that it’s relevant to your site, of high quality and doesn’t have a spammy backlink profile.