SEO Traffic

14 Common Misconceptions About SEO

I don't want to see it!
Written by Peter Visser

SEO has often been thought of as a dark and mystical art – like Jedi mind tricks. But there are some common misconceptions that need to be dispelled.

1. Search Engine Submission

In the 90’s, websites had to be submitted to search engines as part of SEO. In many instances, the submissions were spam, so the process was retired along with Compuserve and ISDN.

2. Meta Tags Equal Google Gold

Not in 2014. Even Google has tried to set this straight by acknowledging that Meta tags are no longer ranking factors they consider. But, like the Loch Ness monster, true believers continue to hold on.

3. Links, Links, Links

It is important to have other websites link to your website. But quality trumps quantity. One link from an authoritative website is better than links from five blogs by your unemployed brother-in-law eating cereal from his mother’s basement. Think about it.

4. Keyword Stuffing is Effective

The days where you can hide keywords in the background are over. Focus on content for your visitors, and add keywords that flow naturally. There is no magic formula, but overuse of your keywords will annoy your visitors. Keyword stuffing is effective. See? Annoying.

5. Social Media Guarantee

There is some truth to this, but social media use will not GUARANTEE a higher ranking. Social media exposure can lead to more visitors, which can thus help increase your ranking. So like my page, ok?

6. Links and Words

There is more to SEO than the right keywords with the right links. SEO is an evolving industry, and if you want your website to remain relevant, you will have to keep up.

7. One and Done

SEO is a process, and one that is never finished. Staying atop the rankings is a constant battle. Running an hour on a treadmill is great, but you have be consistent if you want to keep wearing those skinny jeans.

8. SEO Takes a Professional

Negative. SEO can seem intimidating, but the basics can be easily grasped. Start by googling “understanding SEO”. Stick to results on the first couple of pages. If the site owner can’t boost their own ranking, they probably can’t help you.

9. You Can’t Start Now

Why not? You can roll out an effective SEO strategy at any time. Do some research, create a plan, and implement it. Even the most overwhelming task can be accomplished one step at a time. Think organizing your closet.

10. I Don’t Have Time For SEO

Do you have time for Facebook posts and Pinterest? Stop thinking of witty retorts to your friend’s status update, and start your SEO education. All it takes is a laptop, cup of coffee, and a free afternoon.

11. Startups Don’t Need SEO

SEO is EXTREMELY beneficial for startups. Trying to keep costs down? Learn SEO, apply it effectively, and drive traffic to your site.

12. Exact Match Domains Rank Higher

If you are selling cars in Raleigh, no longer ensures high rankings. Spammers started using domain names for ads, and thus, strong rankings are no longer solely based on domain names.

13. AdWords Equals Google Gold

There are very few guarantees in life. Using AdWords can certainly help by providing you with tools to adjust your campaign, but it doesn’t guarantee success. Learn SEO and invest the difference into growing your business.

14. Keyword Positioning Guarantees Success

It can be easy to focus solely on keywords that have high search volumes. Stuffing your website by using these keywords in titles and headers will not guarantee results. Successful SEO is about combining effective techniques, not focusing on one magical solution.

About the author

Peter Visser

Peter has been in the online space since 2008 when he created his first online company. Since then he’s made all of his money online. As well as designing and implementing custom strategies for businesses, he is also an avid fan of any kind of beer.