Top SEO Myths 2015

Search engine marketing is a valuable element in any successful business strategy, but few people understand what exactly it entails. While the specifics of the algorithms used by Google and the other search engines aren't known (and are constantly changing) there are fundamental elements of SEO that are commonly agreed upon. These methods have been discovered through vigorous research and testing, in addition to some general guidelines released by Google. Since SEO is a constantly evolving field, reading through any number of blogs will provide you with a slew of differing, often directly contradictory, beliefs and opinions on best practices beyond the fundamentals. Over time, some of these misconceptions have taken on mythic proportions, and persist through sheer repetition.  This week, we’ve decided to take the most commonly repeated myths and misconceptions head on, in an effort to clear the air.

SEO is DEAD

Seriously? Are there still people out there saying this? While it is true that approaches that worked last year, or even last month, may no longer be effective, SEO is by no means dead.  There will always be a need to organize and pull the most relevant data to search users. Achieving the right high rankings in organic search results is a cost-effective means of driving conversions, particularly for local search results. Of course, SEO is another area in which you get what you pay for. Legitimate, effective operations require time, skill, and experience. Any agency that claims to have a special relationship with Google (Google Partner certifications are one thing- claiming to be able to receive preferential treatment is another), or that claims to have a definitive list of ranking factors (while there are elements of SEO that are commonly agreed upon and supported by research and testing, many of the specifics and their relative weight in determining rank are undisclosed) used by Google (or any search engine) should be treated with skepticism.

SEO is NOT a One Time, One-Size-Fits-All Marketing Solution

Again, SEO best practices need constant refinement and evolution to stay competitive. While some fundamental aspects never change, truly effective strategies build on them and are refined constantly. In addition to the ever-changing algorithms, the age of links is another important factor to consider. Newer links tend to be viewed as more relevant by the spiders crawling the web, particularly after Google’s Panda update. Further, specific marketing goals require specific approaches. In addition to the need for fresh content, the best approaches to optimization require staying competitive with others in a specific niche- not to encourage content-scraping or spamming, but, approaches like being mindful of the keywords being used by others are a key factor in an effectively targeted campaign.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) Doesn’t Matter to SEO

Everyone pay attention here! It’s true that Google does not use metrics like Facebook shares or Twitter followers to impact search rankings. HOWEVER, social media DOES help accomplish a few very important things in any SEO strategy. First, SMM has the power to drive traffic to your site, which is the first step to turning that visitor into a customer. Additionally, blogs with social sharing buttons send positive social signals to Google about the webpage, which in turn helps that page’s rankings by building links.

Link-building is DEAD

No, it’s really not - with updates like Google's Penguin update cracking down on commonly used (often spammy) techniques like keyword stuffing, cloaking (eg hiding keywords in your code), or link-farming, many people have come to the conclusion that all link-building is frowned upon - This could not be further away from the truth. In fact, high quality links from authority sites are more important than ever. Google just wants you to make sure you are linking to related websites that add value to the user experience.

Content is KING

Again, this does have truth to it, high quality content (i.e. helpful, well-written, planned) is an important aspect of any marketing strategy, BUT, relying solely on content is a dead end road. It is a misconception we hear often that having the highest number of indexed pages possible is the key to getting a high ranking in search results. This approach often leads to having lots of “fluff” pages filled with duplicate content, which adversely affects your rankings. Quality content should be valued over quantity!!! (That’s right 3 exclamation points important) User-friendly, helpful, well written content will always prove more valuable than mountains of fluff.

SEO Marketing Takeaway

While SEO is an ever changing area, one thing about it will never change - taking shortcuts to achieve “quick” rankings will inevitably hurt you in the long-run. Google hastes being maliciously manipulated, and they will eventually catch on to black hat tactics. The best route to business success is to partner with an honest SEO company. Here at Utah SEO Pros, we love the constant challenge of staying on top of an ever-changing playing field. For more information and assistance with your own SEO strategy, contact us at (801)413-7734 or fill out a contact form here.
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David Torres
I build, manage, and optimize PPC campaigns (Search, Display, Shopping, and Video on Google, YouTube, and Bing) for clients in a variety of industries with a variety of spends. I am proudly GAIQ (Google Analytics Individual Qualification) AdWords, and Bing Ads certified. I write, shoot, and edit video, make motion graphics, and optimize videos for SEO, YouTube, and Social Media, along with proofreading, copyediting, and writing content.
David Torres

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