SEO is an industry that is constantly evolving and changing, which means that information circling about SEO has a tendency to get misunderstood. Ideas that were once true might be completely irrelevant today, so it’s important to be aware of some of the most common SEO myths. In fact, part of being able to create a successful SEO strategy is being able to recognize and dodge some of these myths, so let’s get right to it.
SEO Myths to Watch Out for in 2015
Below are a few old SEO myths that some marketers still believe along with a few new myths to be on the lookout for this New Year:
New SEO Myths Emerging
Link building is finished.
This is a myth that has come about in recent months as Google continues to push the importance of writing content for readers and not to build links. It’s true that if you’re worrying about variety and building links in as many places and in as many ways as possible your SEO will suffer. However, this doesn’t mean that link building is finished.
Google still likes to see quality links and references around the web pointing back to your website, and while your readers do need to be your number one priority, you can still work to build links that will be beneficial in both aspects. In other words, the way link building is done might be changing, but link building itself isn’t going anywhere.
Social media signals affect your SEO.
This one actually walks a fine line because many people believe that social media signals will affect SEO someday (myself included). However, Google does still not take social signals seriously when it comes to rankings. This is not to say that social media doesn’t matter or isn’t worth your time, just don’t expect to spend hours optimizing your accounts and then your rankings will increase. Your traffic may improve which may help you earn more natural links across the web, but you will not see a direct affect when it comes to social signals and rankings.
Great content is all you need.
Content is absolutely the most important thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you need to really succeed. People have to actually find that content, which is where SEO comes into play. Content should come first, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do. Marketers unfortunately are starting to spread this myth, and while there are worse things you could be doing for your website (definitely), getting over this myth will help you move a little bit faster.
Older SEO Myths Still Circulating
Nofollow links aren’t worth it.
This is the oldest myth in the book. In fact, most marketers know that this is a common myth and yet still believe deep down that nofollow links aren’t worth it. The truth is that nofollow links can still bring organic traffic to your website and give your website visibility on sites that may not accept dofollow links. A nofollow link will show the Google bots, editors, and readers that you care more about creating a relevant link than getting SEO credit. It’s oftentimes seen as more natural. Learn more about the benefits of nofollow links here.
Directories are dead.
Directories have a bad reputation as being spammy and of poor quality, so many marketers just avoid them altogether. However, if you’re really careful about which directories you work with and you focus on finding niche directories, the SEO benefits can actually be great. You can earn visibility on an authoritative site and get your name out there in a different way. It’s all about being able to analyze directories and find good opportunities. Check out this article to learn more about analysis.
Guest blogging is bad for SEO.
Guest blogging got a bad name thanks to this article from Matt Cutts who said that guest blogging was no longer relevant. However, people need to remember that Cutts did eventually revise this article to remind us that guest blogging can be beneficial if done correctly. This goes back to the idea of link building as well. If you focus on offering content to only relevant and authoritative sources, you won’t be penalized (and in fact should be rewarded).
You can never have too many internal links.
Internal links are one of the easy SEO tasks to complete. When relevant, link back to another page on your website and you’ve got a great ranking factor, right? Unfortunately, while this was true in the past, internal links are becoming less important and therefore the less you have the better. They are certainly still important, but it is possible to over-do it.
According to a CIO article, Dina Akhmetzhanova of Diligent Commerce Ltd said, “Think of the users experience when inking your pages on your site. Would the benefit from five different links on your home page linking to exactly the same page? Also, diverse anchor text for the internal links is quite important. So the key is to keep the number of internal links per page to the minimum as defined by user needs, and use different anchor text every time you add a link.”
You should optimize your anchor text with keywords.
This may have been the norm several years ago, but now any link that is attached to keyword-rich anchor text is a big red flag in Google’s eyes. This goes back to the idea that links should be for readers and not for the purpose of SEO.
Are there any myths that you know of that are not on this list? Let us know in the comment section below.