30 Common SEO Myths: Are You Falling For Them?

1. SEO Is a Scam

The above statement comes mostly from business owners who got scammed by bad SEO companies. Some companies promise site owners top Google rankings. Do not fall prey to such claims.
Choosing Low-quaility SEO: Low-quality SEO companies usually make tall promises to their clients. Since they offer link-building services at dirt-cheap rates, some site owners prefer to work with them. In the end, they don't get you results but disappointments.
Choosing Bad Partners: Sometimes, bad SEO companies even claim that they are the official partners of Google. Remember: Google does not partner with any SEO company. But it gives SEO companies Google Partner status if they pass Google Ads product certification exams.
Spending Sub-par Amount: Likewise, if you pay a paltry $100 per month to an SEO company, you are not going to crack the SEO game. You may spend a few hundreds of dollars but with no results. Eventually, you will quit SEO and assume that it is nothing but a scam. But acknowledge the fact that you thought cheap is best.
Let us Be Clear: SEO is a serious business. You need consistency, patience, and money, of course. As a site owner, if you believe SEO is a myth, it is time to change your opinion. Because by thinking so, you are losing a lot that could otherwise put your business in the driver's seat.
Choose a Legit SEO Company: Do not harm your business by distancing yourself from SEO. Choose a legit SEO company and work with them hand in hand. You will start seeing real results in months, if not in weeks.

2. SEO Does Not Work Anymore

This opinion pops up now and then in the SEO world and dies soon. When an SEO tactic does not work, amateurs think that SEO is dead. The truth is that SEO does not die, but SEO tactics fail/evolve.
Stats: To fortify the claim, here we present you with a piece of data. In the year 2018 alone, Google had made 3,234 changes to its algorithm. Now imagine the kind of adaptations SEO has to undergo to stay relevant in the game. In harmony with the algorithm changes, specific SEO strategies become obsolete.
Keep up With Latest Updates: The key to having consistent success in the SEO game is to keep a tab on the latest changes happening to the search engine algorithm. Once you get the hang of the updates, upgrade your SEO strategy in line with the changes.
If you are scratching your head as to why Google is making so many changes to its algorithm, here is the reason: Black Hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO 'experts' use keyword stuffing, article spinning and paid links to rank high. As such practices violate webmaster guidelines, Google frequently brings in updates such as Google Panda and Google Penguin to quash Black Hat SEO specialists.

3. Long-tail Keywords Are Best To Rank High

Another SEO misconception that has gained traction among SEO enthusiasts is that the longer a keyword, the better. At first, it may make perfect sense if you are obsessed with keywords. But the truth is that long-tailed keywords have low search volumes.
Think Like an User: We suggest you think like a typical Google user. If you were to search for 'Baby Pink Lipstick,' you would not search 'I want to buy baby pink lipstick.'
Instead, you may use a phrase like 'baby pink lipstick online.'
Remember: Average Google user is a lazy person.
Low Search Volume: According to SEO experts, long-tail keywords are indeed cheap and less competitive but have low search volumes. They see no point in deploying a long-tail keyword that no one is using.
Though long-tail keywords are cheaper than general keywords, they do not give you a competitive edge over the latter. Yes, you can save money, but do remember that you can't meet your advertising goals by only using long-tail keywords.
Experts suggest using both short-tail and long-tail keywords to achieve the best results.
Pro Tip: Do not hastily delete a long-tail keyword if it does not perform well but has the potential to do so. Pay attention to factors such as Restrictive Match Type. Some keywords may need rewording or a higher bid. Just don't give up early.

4. Social Signals Help To Rank Better

It is very natural to assume that if a piece of content gets shared countless times on social media, it must rank higher on search engines. But experts think otherwise.
No Direct Impact: Social Signals do not positively impact your rankings since they are extremely easy to manipulate.
Are you not convinced by the above statement?
From Google: Just read what Google's John Muller says:
"Not directly, no. So, it's not that there is any ranking effect there. Social networks also have a no-follow on the links they provide when they post this content. So, it's not the case that it would give you any kind of ranking boost there."
Nothing But Vanity Metrics: A quick search on Google will throw you numerous sites where you can buy followers. On sites like Fiverr, you can hire an SEO 'Expert' for as low as $5 to get hundreds and thousands of social signals. SEO experts know that social signals such as comments and shares are nothing but vanity metrics.
Does that mean social signals are just a waste of time?
Nope. Social signals do impact search rankings when your content pops up in search results through organic keywords.
Likes & Shares: Another phenomenon you will notice with social signals is that the improved ranking will not last long even if the content has scores of shares, likes, and comments.

5. Buying Hundreds and Thousands of Backlinks Work

This is a myth that has been debunked by SEO specialists numerous times. Yet newbies are fooled into thinking that buying backlinks in bulk is an investment for their SEO goals. Remember: Google constantly outperforms every Black Hat SEO practice.
Dog-cheap Links: You may get some SEO mileage using the backlinks you bought at dirt-cheap rates. But the results are not going to last forever. Sooner are later, Google's algorithm updates will bust a dishonest SEO practice.
Don't Get Penalized: By buying bad backlinks, you are also putting yourself in deep trouble as Google does not think twice before penalizing sites that use Black Hat SEO practices.
Google categorizes these sites as Free-For-All. Such sites invariably have backlinks attributed to porn, online gambling, and pills.
Sandbox: Google has a filter called Sandbox wherein it restricts sites that violate webmaster guidelines. If you ever got yourself in the Sandbox, your rank will not improve.
Also, your site's visibility will be at stake until all the disputed elements of the site get removed from the web.
Choose Quality Over Quantity: At this point, you may think that 'Link Buying' is bad. Think twice. Buying quality backlinks as a part of your Link Building strategy will not get your site deindexed from Google's search results.
Avoid 'Link Farms' at any cost, but buy quality links from high-quality websites that are relevant to your site, if possible.

6. Ideal Keyword Density Matters

The following words are straight from various SEO experts: An ideal keyword density is a myth. Stuffing your content with a truckload of keywords does not guarantee you any good results.
User Experience Matters: Google, more than keywords, cares about user experience. While writing content, it is better to keep user intent in mind rather than keywords.
It is even understood from the legal patents of search engines that keyword density is not an essential factor for ranking.
For the uninitiated, keywords are vital in Title Tags and Body Content. However, they are not very crucial in Meta Descriptions, Headings, and Image ALT Tags.
Do Not Force Keywords: The latest search engine algorithms are so intelligent that they can distinguish content brimming with keywords from content sprinkled with relevant keywords. Forcing keywords into content is not the smartest thing to do, at least in 2021.
The more and more irrelevant keywords you stuff into your content, the higher the chances for search engines to decide that your site is nothing but a spammy one.
Keep it Natural: Position your keywords in a piece of content in such a way that it sounds natural. User experience matters more than keywords.
A study by SEMrush proved that keyword density is not critical as one may think. Search engines consider metrics such as page dwelling time, bounce rate, website visits, and referring domains for ranking more than keyword density.

7. Google Will Give Priority to Fresh Content

The answer is both yes and no. For search engines, 'Fresh content' is a ranking factor only when the query is relevant and demands the latest content. For example, Google will provide you fresh results if your query is "Fall 21 fashion trends".
If your query is "Fall outfit ideas," you may even get to see relevant blog posts published years ago. Understand that freshness only matters when the query demands it.
If your site has content pieces that require frequent updates, the 'freshness' factor is a boon for you. You can edit and republish such content pieces to get tonnes of traffic.
For instance, if you run a blog about automobiles and have a piece of content titled 'Checklist for buying a pre-owned car in 2021', updating the post in 2022 will be a wise decision.
Keep your evergreen content untouched, as republishing them will have little to no positive effect. Why waste your resources and energy on posts if they are not going to bring you new traffic.
An intelligent way to accomplish this task is to separate seasonal content pieces from evergreen ones.
Pro Tip: Need loads and loads of new traffic? Optimize your old posts by replacing broken links with working ones and republish them.

8. Guest Blogging Does Not Work Anymore

The former head of Google Webspam Matt Cutts indeed said in 2014 that "Guest blogging is done." However, he later clarified that Google's algorithm would make guest posts written only for SEO purposes irrelevant.
Guest posting does not work anymore the way it did years ago. However, it is certainly not dead. If it is dead, why do leading online publications still publish content written by guest authors?
For example, ProBlogger accepts guess posts to this date. The truth is that guest posting with SEO gains is no more.
Google sees guest posts for SEO gains as a manipulation. This is the same reason it devalued a lot of guest posts.
According to SEO expert Dmitry Dragilev, guest blogging is extremely effective when used prudently. Dmitry has written more than 1,400 articles for himself and his clients. He says one can use guest blogging to build authority and get exposure through backlinks.
Guest blogging with genuine insights into a topic still works and will always.

  • Mass guest blogging that lacks personalization is indeed harmful.
  • Google hates mass guest blogging because guest posts for SEO gains often redirect users to spammy affiliate sites.

Pro Tip: To make guest blogging work in your favor, do not hire writers who do not know about the topic they write for. Also, do not let writers use the same content over and over again across many articles.

9. Long-form Content Helps You Reach The Top

Let us start with Kevin Delaney's findings.
For the uninitiated, Kevin was the former managing director of Wall Street Journal and editor-in-chief of Quartz. With short-form articles (under 500 words) and long-form articles (over 800 words), Quartz's readership grew to over 5 million readers in just one-and-a-half years.
Kevin and his team found that short-form articles performed well than long-form articles. The reason behind the former's success is people's preference to read digestible content.

  • Similarly, articles over 800 words were preferred by those who want comprehensive details on a topic.
  • However, posts between 500-800 got less attention as neither of the audience liked them. This phenomenon is now called the 'Quartz Curve.'

Some think that long-form articles get you top rankings. Though readers view long-form articles as valuable ones, the truth is that most such articles do not provide high value for the users.
Some argue that long-form articles garner more shares than short-form ones. But they overlook the fact that the latter, on average, get more shares than the former.
For example, a report by Okdork and Buzzsumo says that articles between 3,000-10,000 words get more average social shares, 8,859 times to be specific. The researchers analyzed the top 10 percent of most-shared articles.
However, they did not consider that the time needed to write long-form articles is higher than short-form ones.
For example, if you write three 800-word copies and share them on social media, the shares they get in total can easily exceed the shares a 2500-word copy may get. One needs the same time to write both forms of articles.

10. Speed Does Not Affect My SEO

Slow page speed translates into a bad user experience which certainly affects organic search rankings. Google's algorithm detects sites that have higher bounce rates. Slow page speed greatly contributes to higher bounce rates.
Google does not want its users to wait for a long time to access a site's content. Hence it considers a page's speed as a ranking factor.
It is proven again and again that sites with high page speed enjoy high conversion rates. Users generally leave a site after 3 seconds if it does not load the content. PageSpeed Insights is a helpful tool to increase your page speed.
In June 2018, Google officially announced that it considers page speed as a ranking factor for searches done through mobile phones.
Since July 2019, Google began giving priority to mobile versions of websites during searches. The change was an aftereffect of the changes in the user base; i.e., the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users.
Does that mean that only page speed matters when it comes to ranking?
The answer is NO. Your site must have both relevant content and speed to outrank other similar sites.
Pro Tip: Pay attention to your 'Start Render' metric of your website. Start Render is the time your system takes to display the first visible change during a web search. Rendering is nothing but your system's process of turning code into visual elements.

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11. Duplicate Content Will Get You Penalty

One of the myths that refuse to die down despite many SEO experts debunked it a billion times.
Let us say it once again loud and clear: There is no penalty for duplicate content.
That does not mean the duplicate content poses no problem. Duplicate content affects your SEO for reasons such as unfriendly URLs, burning crawl budget, and backlink dilution, etc.
Not satisfied with the statement?
Let's listen to what Google says about duplicate content. "Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action unless it appears that the duplicate content intends to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results," says Google in a Search Central post.
Let's say your site has an article titled 'How To Be Calm Under Pressure' and that it appeared twice by mistake; Google will choose the best of the two pages and index it. There is no penalty or whatsoever involved if your site has duplicate content.
However, if you purposefully duplicate a piece of content to fool Google, definitely expect action from the world's largest search engine.

  • Creating multiple pages, domains, and sub-domains with duplicate content accounts for a penalty.
  • Scraping content from sites such as eBay and publishing them without adding any value also invites Google's penalty.

There is no recorded incident of a site being issued a 'Manual Action Penalty' in the internet history for unintentionally duplicating content.
Pro Tip: Google considers print-friendly URLs and mobile-friendly URLs as duplicates as they both carry duplicate content. To solve the problem, canonicalize your print-friendly versions to the original.

12. Buying Google Ads Will Boost Your Organic Ranking

SEO specialists often get calls from their clients asking whether advertising in Google will increase their organic rankings. Not just clients but digital conspiracy theorists still argue that paying Google will help you achieve a better organic ranking.
Google Ads and organic search results are two different breeds, and they do not get along. The crawler assigned for PPC is entirely different from the one set for SEO.

  • Paid search will help you increase the conversion rate, but not the organic results.
  • However, investing in PPC can indirectly affect your SEO performance if the advertising is on point.

Assume that your Google Ads campaign fares pretty well, and awareness about your product or service increases among the public.

  • The exposure may translate into articles about your company, products, or service. This may get you new links that will eventually improve your SEO.
  • Another way your ranking may improve is through people's inclination towards previously exposed sites. Do not be surprised if your site gets traffic even after you discontinued your Ads campaign.

The increase may be due to your website's higher click-through rate (CTR) and higher engagement rate that were registered while running ads.

13. Link Building Is Unnecessary/Dead:

For Google, links are among the top three ranking factors.
The misconception that link-building is dead stems from the very nature of the task: Constant evolution.
Link-building is not dead but evolved a lot.
Those who struggle to cope with the changes link building has experienced over the years think that the strategy is dead.

  • One of the tasks for Google updates such as Panda and Penguin is to target websites with unnatural and bad links.
  • The sad reality is that even many SEO companies failed to adapt to Google's changes to its algorithm.
  • Tactics such as social bookmarking, PR submissions, online web directory listing, and blog baiting worked wonders years ago but not now.
  • However, many SEO companies still live in a fantasy world and believe that these strategies still work well in 2022.

We can't stress this enough: SEO is an ever-changing game. One must learn to adapt to the changes.
For example, in September 2019, Google's way of crawling and evaluating links changed. After the changes, link builders have to attribute the links such as 'sponsored' and 'nofollow' to escape penalties. SEO companies that are ignorant of these changes are putting your business at risk.
In a nutshell, link building has become more challenging now.

  • An SEO company that churns out links like a factory is going to hit the wall for sure.
  • For 2022's Google, quality is more important than quantity. Channel your efforts in building high-quality backlinks from relevant websites, and Google will reward you.
  • Do not work with an SEO company that focuses on building hundreds of backlinks. Such companies are doomed to fail.
  • Consistency and meticulous attention are the two critical factors for success in link building.
  • Stay off-link farms and paid link schemes at any cost.

14. Google's Disavow Tool is Not That Important

Unfortunately, even some SEO companies think that Google's Disavow Tool is not crucial in SEO campaigns. Their ignorance may stem from Google's warning on using this advanced tool.
According to Google, if misused, "the disavowing feature can potentially harm a site's Google rankings."

  • For SEO experts, disavowing links is extremely important to stay ahead in the backlink game and escape backlink penalties.
  • Google relies heavily on this tool as it helped eliminate scores of Black Hat SEO techniques used by companies and individuals to manipulate it.
  • Upon its introduction, sites that used Black Hat SEO strategies found themselves in troubled waters. They suffered immediate rank drops.

Disavow Tool informs Google not to pay attention to specific links while crawling your site. Such links fall into Bad, Unnatural, and Spammy links categories.
The frustrating thing about using Disavow Tool is the Turnaround Time (TAT). It takes up to nine months for Google to complete the disavowing process.
Pro Tip: You can use the Link Detox Boost tool to speed up the disavowing process. The tool, along with the Link Detox Genesis algorithm, pressurizes Google to notice the bad links you have identified.

15. I Did SEO Last Year

SEO is never a short-term strategy, and it will never be.
As long as Google makes changes to its algorithm, you, as a website owner, need to update your SEO strategy.
Any guesses how many times Google updated itself in 2019?
More than 3,600 improvements.
Optimizing your site should never end. This is the reason almost all successful SEO professionals charge a monthly retainer rather than a one-time fee.
Things that were hot and trending in the SEO world last month may be obsolete this month.
Hence, keeping an eye on the changes and coping with them is the only way to stay afloat in the SEO Ocean.
Except for tasks such as managing backlinks and page audits, SEO is an ongoing process. Massive changes can happen overnight in the SEO world.
For example, the Covid-19 has resulted in a sea of changes in SE-optimization. The pandemic pushed many towards local businesses and services. This has a direct impact on Local SEO.
For the uninitiated, Local SEO is the task of optimizing sites to get more exposure from locals.

16. SEO Works Like Magic

If your SEO agency promises you overnight success, you are in the hands of a snake oil salesman.

  • SEO never brings you results instantly.
  • You may have to wait for weeks and perhaps for a few months to witness actual results.
  • SEO experts need to constantly evaluate the strategies put in place and replace or update the obsolete ones. Hence, expecting instant results is nothing but pure ignorance.

Today's SEO is immensely different from the one that was in place a decade ago.
Ten years ago, you just needed a handful of keywords to rank better in search results. Yes, SEO worked like magic in those years. This is certainly not the case today.
Today's SEO undergoes frequent changes because of the changes happening in the ways people search for things.
Modern searchers rely on tools such as Siri and Google Assistant to find answers to their queries. This has a direct impact on SEO strategies. SEO experts call this 'Natural Language Search.'
Some clients believe that SEO works only if their sites reach top rankings. This is a gross misconception. More than rankings, leads and conversions matter.
It is easy for an SEO company to manipulate its clients by saying that ranking matters the most. Because the statement above emotionally satisfies them.
This is downright wrong in the SEO context. Always pay attention to outputs rather than outcomes.

17. Keyword Stuffing Is a Strategy

Imagine we are in the 2000s. Keyword Stuffing is indeed a strategy. But the reality is that we are in the 2020s.

  • In today's SEO world, keyword stuffing not only disappoints you with zero results but invites penalties too.
  • For Google, keyword stuffing is a Black-hat SEO.
  • Today's Google is so intelligent that it can easily distinguish keyword stuffing from natural keyword insertion.

Put yourself in the shoes of an online dog supply store.
If a 750-word blog post titled 'How To Leash Your Dog' has the phrase aka keyword 'LED Dog Collar' 59 times, you may sound like a crazy and desperate salesperson for the readers.

  • The key to success with keywords is by natural insertion.
  • Do not try to outsmart Google in the matter of keywords.
  • Just concentrate on creating the best user experience for your site visitors; Google will send you a truckload of traffic.

Think from Google's point of view. As a search engine, it has to give users the best experience while browsing. If bombarded with irrelevant or inaccurate results, users are going to switch over to other search engines.

18. SEO is Cheap

This myth kind of goes hand in hand with the 'SEO is a Set-and-forget' one.

  • SEO is an ongoing process and requires constant monitoring, evaluation, and revision.
  • It is needless to say that any ongoing process needs a significant amount of resources and effort.

Certain agencies may lure you with cheap SEO services and promise you top rankings within a short time. Please do not fall prey to them.

  • It takes several weeks to a few months for SEO campaigns to pay off.
  • To achieve leads, conversions, and rankings, your SEO agency has to put in a lot of effort. Even then, ranking is something that no SEO agency can promise.

There are affordable SEO agencies available out there but not cheap SEO companies. At first glance, they may appear to you as a cheap SEO company. But tell yourself, you always get what you pay for.
If you just pay $99 per month to your SEO company, expect mediocrity, not excellence.
The agency may submit your website to a few low-quality directories and implement a handful of generic SEO strategies.
You cannot expect customized SEO campaigns and accountability from the company.
For a cheap SEO agency, there is only one strategy: One-size-fits-all. And the worst part is that the strategy is forever.
Whether it is an e-commerce store or a local brick-and-mortar business, their approach remains the same. Since you pay a meager fee to the SEO agency, you lack the immunity to questioning them if the campaigns fail.

19. Keywords Are Enough

The obsession with keywords stems from the fact that keywords were indeed a magic pill two decades ago. For today's Google, keyword stuffing is a strict no-no. However, firms made a great life for themselves just by using the right keywords in the 2000s.
Among the beneficiaries, microsite owners were the most benefitted ones. They stuffed their sites with top keywords and used them to drive tonnes and tonnes of traffic towards their digital products, mainly e-books.
However, the golden era hit the wall when Google came up with the Panda update in 2011.
The Panda update is so robust that today it is a part of the core Google search algorithm. The update is a filter that restricts and devalues sites that use unethical SEO practices such as keyword stuffing.
This brings us back to the query of Relying Only On Keywords To Rank High. The short answer to this query is NO. Keyword stuffing is one of the Black-hat SEO tactics that will categorize your site as a substandard one.
But using keywords wisely can put your site in a better place in the search results since it is still one of the top-ranking factors for Google.
According to a 12-year study by First Page Sage, Google considers keywords one of the top five ranking factors.
The first on the list is Good-quality Content. Next comes Keywords in Meta Title Tags. Backlinks, Internal Links, and Mobile-friendly sites grab the third, fourth, and fifth spots, respectively.
Apart from these five key factors, Google considers more than 195 factors to rank a site. However, this was not the case two decades ago. Backlinks and keywords were enough for a website to attain a first-page spot. Hence, to win the SEO game, one must give equal importance to factors other than Keywords.

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20. High-Volume Keywords Are Best

There is no such thing called the best strategy when it comes to keywords. Over the years, Google has evolved to cater to the needs of users more than ever.
Today, Google cares about user experience more than anything. Your keyword strategy should also be along those lines.
Keep your users in mind while creating content for them. Come up with words that they may use during searches. Do not go for specific keywords just because they have a large search volume. They may not pan out well for your business.
Assume that you are a Packer and Mover who primarily provides services in the suburbs of Houston. Instead of targeting the keyword 'Packers in Houston,' you can include renowned suburb names such as Sugar Land, Clear Lake, League City, The Woodlands, and Richmond in your keywords.
One of the drawbacks high-volume keywords have is that they are saturated. Hence, you only get a piece of the pie. However, you have an edge with low-volume keywords as you are an early bird.
If used correctly, low-volume keywords are a goldmine since you have no one to compete with. The key to having success with low-volume keywords lies in identifying them.
Not all low-volume keywords are going to bring you success. Keywords that have high user intent are the ones you need to hunt down.
For instance, if a user searches "How to choose the right mover in Clear Lake," he or she may not need a mover immediately. The user is still in the research phase and needs more time to pick a mover. This indicates low user intent.
However, if a user searches "Affordable movers in Clear Lake," the query signals high user intent. Such users are likely to become your customers more than anyone.

21. More Content Brings More Business

The myth that more content means more business grew bigger after Google's Panda update. The myth gained traction since Panda's aim is to identify and restrict thin and poor content.
The update led many content creators to believe that more content is what Google expects from them. However, that is not the case. A few pieces of exciting content with high-intent keywords can easily outperform dozens and dozens of mundane content pieces.
Content mills had their day ten years ago. Google rewarded such sites and gave them good rankings. However, the content they produced never held the attention of readers and made them frustrated.
When the Panda update was out, the tables turned. Sites that published quality content and provided actionable, engaging, and valuable content started gaining momentum.
As users started dwelling in such sites for a longer time, Google boosted their visibility by giving them good rankings.
Pro Tip: Instead of creating more content, publish a decent number of content pieces regularly. Consistency is crucial when it comes to content marketing.

22. Regular Content Is Not That Important

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in content marketing is creating high-quality content consistently — consistency signals to your audience that your business is active and brimming.
Additionally, websites that carry consistent quality content get an excellent Domain Authority Score. For search engines, Domain Authority Score is one of the ranking factors.
Consistency increases your brand's exposure among potential customers. By sticking to a posting schedule, you can keep your audience engaged. After all, you are not keeping them in the dark.
Regular content also means that you have more real estate to include call-to-action (CTA) links. The more CTA links you have, the more the business leads.
CTA links, typically, lead readers to product/service pages. When an engaging piece of content has a CTA link, the readers are more likely to check out the link.
A posting schedule tells your audience that you are punctual. Consistent keyword-optimized content coupled with outstanding quality is a sure-shot strategy to attain success.
Consistent content matters now more than ever because we live in the age of information. Every day, media outlets bombard us with information, data, and news that it has become nearly impossible for content creators to stand out.
Hence, it is incredibly vital to create more quality content to increase the chances of your content being seen or going viral.
Pro Tip: Consistency also matters a lot when it comes to your name across all social media channels. Your blog posts, social media profiles, websites, and the like should bear the same name and details for better SEO performance.

23. Black-hat SEO Does Not Harm Me

The fact that Black-hat SEO is not illegal keeps this misconception alive for so many years. However, the truth is that Black-hat SEO still violates Google webmaster guidelines.
What does that mean for those who follow Black-hat SEO strategies? Well, get ready for penalties and ranking drops. Your site may even get removed from the listing if the violation is something Google hates to the core.
Now that being said, some believe that Grey-hat SEO is a solution. Social media automation, cloaking, and purchasing followers are some of the Grey-hat SEO techniques.
Grey-hat SEO techniques have every reason to become Black-hat SEO practices shortly because Google keeps evolving and becomes more brilliant than ever.
At times, even some SEO experts justify Black-hat SEO saying that your competitors are doing it. Please do not fall prey to their claim since Google will behave passively on specific sites that deploy Black-hat practices but take action against one of them.
There were cases wherein certain sites lost their top rankings overnight for practicing Black-hat SEO. On the other hand, many websites have been escaping Google's radar despite overusing unethical tactics.
You may hope not to get caught by Google. Because you never know.

Related : Black Hat SEO - How to Avoid Getting Hammered?

24. Keyword Research Is a Waste of Time

This is one of the baseless myths that makes SEO experts' blood boil. Using the right keywords accounts for considerable new organic traffic. And the trend is never going to die.
Let us analyze a piece of data. According to various researches, Google processes at least 5.8 billion searches every day. If we break it down, for every second, the search engine receives about 70,000 queries.
Analyzing these queries will provide you with words and phrases that people use to search for information, products, and services.
You can use the same in your content and redirect potential customers to your website.
The myth gained momentum after Google's Hummingbird update in 2013. While reading a query, Hummingbird considers every word of it instead of concentrating only on specific words.
Apart from Hummingbird, Google also introduced Knowledge Graph and RankBrain. The idea behind these updates is to understand questions as humans do.
Contrary to popular belief that these updates made keywords less relevant, they positively impact keyword targeting. Experts say that the updates made 'Keyword Ratio' less relevant but not keywords.
One need not use many keywords in a content piece but a few with high user intent to drive good traffic.

25. Title Tag & Meta Description Do Not Matter

Title Tag and Meta Description are the two factors that decide the first impression of your website on your visitors. When Google shows your website as one of the search results, these two factors will give users a glimpse of what your site will provide them.
These two elements are essential for every website as they play a significant role in increasing click-through rates. However, they do not play any role in Google's ranking algorithm; Google announced this in 2009.
But consider these elements as slots to advertise your site and draft the content accordingly. While the Title Tag should be below 60 characters, the limit for Meta Description is 160.
Draft your Title Tag and Meta Description with compelling content stuffed with relevant keywords. When the search queries match your Title Tag and Meta Description keywords, Google will bold the keywords.
This will improve the click-through rates as the highlighted words quickly grab the eyeballs of the searchers. One can also include CTA links in your Meta Description.
If you run a uber local business, you can even give a phone number in the Meta Description for the searchers to contact. This feature comes extremely handy for local businesses as mobile searches are on an upward trend.

26. SEO Companies Can Guarantee Top Rankings

As many newbies to the SEO world quickly buy this claim, unethical SEO agencies continue to cheat them. Let us settle this for once and for all: Not even the world's top SEO agency can promise you top ranking.
Some shady SEO companies even claim that they have partnered with Google to achieve first-page ranking. SEO companies can indeed become Google partners. But what does it mean to be a Google Partner?
SEO companies that passed Google Ads product certification exams can become Google partners. Keep in mind that such companies have an edge on Google PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, not keywords and other SEO strategies.
A Google Partner can help you attain the first spot in the paid listing. That is not SEO. We repeat: Putting you in the first spot in the paid listing through PPC ads is not SEO.
If an SEO agency promises you number 1 ranking, the first question you should ask them is which listing they refer to. Reaching the number 1 spot in PPC listing is far easier than achieving the same in organic results. The more money you pump in, the higher the chances to appear on the top in a paid listing.
But when it comes to organic listing, one must excel in keyword research, competitor analysis, content marketing, URL structure, backlinks, and various other factors.
Even if an SEO agency stands out in the strategies mentioned above, there is no guarantee that they can put you on the top spot in organic listing.

27. Mobile-friendly Site Is Not That Important

This myth is a self-destructing one if you choose to buy it. Whether you like it or not, the world is steadily moving towards mobile.
At the time of writing this article, mobile phones account for more than 50 percent of the global web traffic. To be precise, 54.8 percent of global web traffic came from mobile phones in the first three months of 2021.
The trend is not going to reverse anytime soon as the percentage is above 50 since 2017. Likewise, more than 40 percent of today's transactions are happening on mobile phones.
More than these pieces of data, Google's stand on mobile-friendly sites is what important here. Mobile page load speed is one of the critical metrics for Google to rank your site.
In April 2015, Google came up with an algorithm change that rewards mobile-friendly sites in organic ranking. The SEO world fondly refers to this update as mobocalypse, mopocalypse, and mobilepocalyse.
If you still consider optimizing your website for mobile phones is not worth your time, good luck with your optimism because about 94 percent of the global organic search traffic comes from Google.
But if you truly understand the importance of mobile-friendly sites, Google offers you a free tool to check whether your web page is mobile-friendly. All you need to do is enter your site URL, and Google will tell you the result in seconds.
Google will also inform you if there any issues pop up while loading certain pages. Not just that, it will also suggest solutions to fix the problems.

28. Links To Authority Sites is Detrimental

True to an extent. Linking out to other sites will affect your traffic. But keep in mind that many sites have become famous by redirecting their visitors to high-quality sites.
As long as your link sites are of high authority and are relevant to your niche, your audience will feel satisfied and revisit your site.
Outbound links are great for building relationships with similar businesses. They increase the credibility of your page, especially when the links redirect visitors to authority sites such as,, and
Some believe that linking out to other sites affects your organic rankings. However, the truth is that your site's organic ranking may improve if it has the right amount of outbound links to authority sites.
By suggesting relevant sites and blogs to your visitors, you play very much by Google's rules. Google always wants its users to stay longer on the platform. It also intends to provide its users with high-quality content related to the queries.
By redirecting your visitors to relevant sites, you are easing the pressure of Google. You also increase the dwelling time of the visitors by connecting them with similar sites. As a search engine, this is what Google exactly wants.

29. Domain Age Helps in Ranking

This is another myth that deserves debunking now and then. Contrary to popular belief, Google does not calculate a domain's age based on its registration date. Instead, it determines the age of a domain based on the date it first discovered the site.
In Google's Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller's words, "Domain age helps nothing." But from where does this myth sprout again and again? In general, older websites have had enough time to build relevant backlinks, optimize their sites, content, etc.
The years and years of optimization have a direct correlation with older sites' ranking. However, some believe that older sites rank better because of their age.
Even if a site is 15 years old, it does not have the edge over new sites if it does not have enough backlinks from other relevant and high-quality sites.
Some even go to the extent of buying older domains as they have more backlinks. Black-hat SEO strategists exploited this method and bought aged domains in bulk, and started redirecting the traffic to irrelevant sites for business goals.
However, Google was quick enough to notice this unethical trend. It came up with a slew of algorithm updates that made the backlinks to unrelated sites irrelevant.
Another similar misconception that hovers the SEO world for years is that Google boosts the rank of a new domain. However, Google's John Muller, on July 5th of 2019, once again debunked this myth.

30. Stuff Keywords in Footer For Better Rankings

Indeed, stuffing keywords into the footer worked a few years ago. However, today's search engines do not consider keywords-stuffed links and texts in the footer for ranking purposes.
The reason for the change is over-optimization. Footer is one of the elements of a website ideal for repetitiveness. You may have seen footers of websites filled with exact words and phrases multiple times.
For example, as a part of this article writing, we researched a handful of websites and stumbled upon a roof repairing company's website.
The website's footer consists of phrases/links like the following ones: Roof repairing services in Toronto, Roof repairing services in Richmond Hill, Roof repairing services in Markham, Roof repairing services in Etobicoke. And the list goes on.
The website mentioned above is a classic example of over-optimization and keyword stuffing. Google simply does not value the links and keywords purposefully inserted into the footer.
However, if you are a local business, you can use your name, address, and phone number (NAP) in the footer.
Here is a good way of inserting keywords in the footer: Williamsroof lists its service areas in an organized manner. The footer looks super clean though it has a tonne of information.
Some sites stuff their footers with spammy links that redirect visitors to pill, poker, and porn sites.
The click-through rates (CTR) of footer links are also not that impressive. The footer also receives low crawler recognition due to its placement.
Pieces of evidence suggest that even keywords in sections such as "Similar Articles," "Popular Articles," and "You May Be Interested In" do not prove beneficial for SEO.

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