I am constantly surprised by the same SEO myths that I see posted around the internet. Just go to any SEO forum and you’ll see it chalk full of bad SEO advice and strategies that haven’t worked in years, or in some cases haven’t ever worked at all. Every once in a while we will get a new client who believes all of these SEO myths and we have to spend a little while convincing them that we know exactly what we are doing.
Just the other day I was leaving the office when I could hear two other guys from a different SEO company arguing over spinning articles. Both of them agreed that they should do it, they were just arguing over how spun the articles needed to be. I feel bad for their clients, spinning articles hasn’t worked in years, and it didn’t sound to me like they were getting any results.
This is why we have written this article here, so that you can learn how to avoid these mistakes. Some of these myths may surprise you; we have picked the ones that tend to come up over and over again that most people still believe today. Now you can feel safe knowing that you won’t fall into any of these traps.
#1: Getting Republished on Authorities is Great For SEO
Oh if only this were still true, it would be great since authority sites are always looking for articles to publish. Unfortunately, it is not. Google has been trying to crack down on duplicate content and yes, it is possible to get penalized from it.
You see there is a proper way to take someone else’s content in an improper way. The proper way is to use a canonical tag, but to be honest, most big sites don’t even know what that is. Unfortunately, when they don’t use it, you are the one who gets stuck with the penalty and the tough time of trying to escape the drought of traffic that you are in.
If you are going to allow your content to be republished, make sure that they use the canonical tag, if they don’t you will start to see a decrease in your search engine traffic. If they don’t agree to the tag don’t let them use it, as they’ll just take the authority for the article.
Now, with all of this being said, I do want to point out that this is something that can still drive traffic, as well as get your brand name out there. If this is your goal, then getting republished is a viable strategy, just make sure that they use the canonical tag so that you don’t run into any big problems in the future when you focus on search engine optimization. In doing this, you should be fine.
#2: Bad Links Will Destroy Your Rankings
Google is getting smarter, and it is becoming increasingly hard for SEO’s to cause negative SEO by just sending spam links to your site. This doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, but it is much less likely now. Some people will spend thousands of dollars a month on different companies or software that promise to ensure that they will get rid of all of the bad links pointing to your site. But why do you need to do this?
Take a look at Wikipedia for instance, how many bad links do you think point towards Wikipedia? There are thousands upon thousands of links, but they don’t get penalized. This is because Google recognizes them as an authority. Once you are recognized as an authority, Google will not be as willing to penalize you for bad links.
What I advise is to keep an eye open. If you suddenly gain 10,000 bad links overnight, I would definitely look into getting rid of those, but if you just have a few hundred, you probably don’t have a problem at all. Google understands the kind of tactics that SEO’s are using and nowadays bad back links usually don’t hurt or help a website. I would save my money and not bother spending it on companies who just sit around placing your links into a disavow tool because they read that this is what they should do.
If you have an extremely large site it is going to be almost impossible for you to keep track of all of your backlinks. Make sure that you don’t have any obvious problem backlinks and you shouldn’t run into any problems at all.
#3: The more content you have the better you will rank
This myth is almost true. In fact, it’s so close to being true that I almost didn’t include it, but then I remembered how important this is to point out to fellow SEO people. Content alone does not improve rankings. Linked to and popular content provides authority and rankings, but content by itself does not.
What does this mean? If you have a huge site that is full of tons of content but it’s not receiving any links at all you will probably not rank. In fact, if you have a blog that doesn’t get any exposure, it may decrease your rankings, as Google will think that a lot of your site just isn’t relative to your niche since no one is reading it.
So make sure that all of the content on your site counts. If you are putting out content just to add more content you will not see very good results, in fact your traffic will probably start to go down. Make sure that every piece of content on your website counts, and that it is all relevant and receiving traffic. This will increase your overall traffic as well as assist your readers with good relevant content.
#4: Never Buy Links
Alright, hear me out before you go off and rant in the comment sections about how wrong I am. Google clearly states that they do not like it when we buy links, so how can we get away with it? Simple, buy links to advertise, not for SEO purposes. Buy no-follow links that are set up to drive traffic to your website, this way Google doesn’t get mad.
Never buy links that are not no-follow. I once was doing SEO for a huge multi-billion dollar business and they had another advertising department that started buying links to gain exposure, but they were not no-follow links. Within 3 weeks we had a crazy Google Penalty that took 3 months to escape from – it was a nightmare. This is why you should do research and know exactly what you are doing before you act.
#5: Bounce Rate Can Destroy Rankings
I hear all the time that the higher bounce rate you have the worse your rankings will be. It would make some sort of sense, right? Google can tell how relevant your content is from your bounce rate.
So far evidence doesn’t point towards any correlation. I’ve run countless tests and I can safely say that as of right now bounce rate does not affect rankings at all.
Now, bounce rate can show you if you are giving good relevant content to your readers, and it’s a metric that you should pay attention to. But as of now, it plays no role in search engine optimization.
#6: Good Content is All You Need
Oh how I wish this was true, I really wish this was true, but it’s not. You do need good content, but you need a lot of other things as well. If you want to go viral for instance, you need to find a way to put your content in front of the faces of the people who are looking for information like yours. Once you do, the links will start to come along with traffic with conversions as well, but first you need to get the content out there for everyone to see.
This is why a good advertising and marketing campaign is crucial to gaining exposure. If you don’t have any way to get your word out into the public, then it won’t matter at all what you have to say. Same thing goes for gaining exposure with different authority websites. You need to reach out and create contacts so that you can gain exposure and start seeing results, that’s the key to gaining real powerful links and lots of traffic.
#7: Your Best Content Should Be On Your Own Site
I hate it when I read this, and I read it a lot. The truth is, yes, you need good content on your site, but who do you think will get you more noticed, your site or Forbes or the Huffington Post? One of those large authority sites right?
Exactly. Your best content should be going on big authority sites so that you can get your name brand out and recognized while building a lot of traffic. You should still have good content on your own site of course, but your very best articles should always be used on authority websites.
In conclusion, these myths are extremely prevalent, even today. This is why you should always be careful when you are asking advice on a forum or reading some SEO book that you purchased a while ago. Instead, take your time and listen to the professionals who know what they are talking about. I have been in this business for over 7 years now, and I’ve helped thousands of clients, some of them multi-billion dollar companies and others small mom and pop shops. We know exactly what works here at Rank Jane, and if you truly want to learn great SEO, just read our blog or check out our forums.
Any other myths that you want to mention? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.