5 Common SEO Myths

If you want your content or website to be seen, then SEO is an absolute must. Unfortunately, with how much the world of search engine optimization has changed over the last several decades, not everyone is sure what works and what doesn't.


Further to this point, there are still several widely repeated myths regarding proper SEO practices that simply are not true. For those wondering what exactly these myths are continue reading, as this is precisely what we will cover throughout the remainder of this article.


Blackhat Techniques Work

There was a time when keyword stuffing worked, but that was a long ago. Yet, some people still attempt these blackhat techniques claiming to achieve some level of success. Before we go into why this is not a good strategy, we should first develop a basic understanding of the difference between white hat and black hat techniques.


The whole purpose behind SEO algorithms is to provide users with high-quality content in response to a search. It does so by following a set of rules, some of which are passed on to content creators to help them make the best quality of content they can. Whitehat SEO respects these rules and tries to incorporate them with a value-driven approach. Blackhat, on the other hand, seeks to exploit these rules, effectively gaming the system into thinking the content is of higher value than it truly is.


So, one might say, it seems as though blackhat techniques are unethical, but not necessarily poor performing. While it is true that some blackhat may work initially, search engine algorithms are constantly being updated to ensure they deliver the best quality results to the user. When this occurs, most blackhat techniques become obsolete, and the search begins for new ones. As most people can appreciate, it is a far better strategy to create something of value that uses the rules properly straight from the get-go.


After Google Hummingbird, Keyword Targeting Is Useless

When Google first launched its Hummingbird software years ago, it promised to change the way search engine results are sorted and ranked in an effort to deliver a much better experience to the end-user. When this was announced, SEO experts and internet marketers quickly began to speculate on what these changes may be. Of all the conjecture, guesses, and rumors that can out of the speculation process, the assertion that quickly picked up speed was that keywords were no longer important.


Debunking this myth does not require an in-depth look into changes brought forth by Hummingbird, or any of the iterations after. Instead, it is simple enough to see that sites that rank on the first page of google do so for specific keywords.


Link Building Can Be Dangerous

There was a time when Google put a much greater degree of importance on link building than it does now. These days, content creators have found that link building can be pretty easy, and unfortunately for search engines and users, they do not need to rely on quality content to do so.


Thus, people began to think that link building can hurt their ranking and damage their other SEO efforts. However, just because Google and other search engines have put less emphasis on this act, it does not mean it will have a negative impact on a site's ability to rank.


This being said, some link-building practices are considered blackhat, and websites that engage in such techniques may be penalized with lower visibility. This is the only case in which link building is potentially dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.


Keyword Research Is A Waste Of Time

Once again, we come back to a conversation about keywords. This time, however, the claim is that the act of researching the most effective and relevant keywords for a topic is a waste of time. Once again, this is simply not true and can be seen by the fact that automated keyword research programs, such as SurferSEO, have become so popular.


In fact, keyword research has become more critical than ever. Why? Search engine algorithms have never been as advanced as they are now, and the way they use keywords have never been more dynamic.


Keyword Optimized Anchor Text Is Damaging

In 2012, the first Penguin update was released, which among other things, sought to reduce the value of spammy and poorly used links and anchor text. As a result, many sites with anchor text were penalized, leading many to believe it was bad practice.


In reality, anchor texts are fine and do help SEO performance so long as they are up to date with the newest guidelines governing their usage.