Long-standing misconceptions exist in every industry. These beliefs usually originate from either outdated information, general confusion, or even unintended miscommunication passed along without any verification. Inaccuracies exist even in the virtual landscape of Search Engine Optimization, potentially costing you time, money, and credibility. Be aware of these most commonly distributed rumors.

1. SEO Happens Overnight

Many marketers claim they can “guarantee instant results” to move your site to the top. Who are these magicians with the digital snake oil? This is not only impossible, but it also sells false hope. SEO is an ongoing effort that takes time. Not to say it will take a year before you see changes, but a true specialist is able to give you a deliverable timeline for what you want to achieve. Terms can be slightly shortened when targeting niche phrases within very specialized markets. However, there is no overnight surge because site optimization is a long-term practice involving many different technical and editorial factors.

2. SEO is a One-Time Upgrade

Remember that old “set it and forget it” infomercial? Optimization is the opposite of that. As previously mentioned, SEO is an ongoing effort. This does not only refer to the duration of time for implementing change, but also the continuous upkeep of content, off-page authority, metadata, and technical elements for steady upward mobility. Search queries will continue to evolve because society, language, and technology are constantly evolving. Most sites must also be evolving if they are not factually based. Meaning, search results for Queen Elizabeth’s birthday will always be April, but “Royal Wedding” could present as any currently engaged monarch. Search contexts will change, as easily as another website’s backlinks are suddenly altered, redirecting, or reading 404. To not perform regular site maintenance or refreshes is to risk falling behind.

3. The More Links The Better

Everyone loves links, especially Google. But quality links are the SEO coin of the realm, more so than quantity. A growing number of connections to other pages is important if the links are natural and make quantifiable sense. Search engines can recognize multiples of spammy links that aren’t relevant or from reputable sources. In fact, Google penalizes this behavior and causes a site to lose its ranking ability altogether. If a link is not adding value to the user, then it is considered a black hat technique.

4. The More Keywords The Better

Speaking of being penalized… just like links, many believe adding excessive amounts of specific phrases to a page, known as keyword stuffing, is an easy way to boost ranking. This is another instance where natural content valuable to the user outweighs the number of technical points a site is trying to score. For example, if there is a page that reads like

“For all your SEO needs an SEO specialist will provide SEO tips on how to boost your SEO”

Google will view this as a rank manipulation attempt and not a relevant resource. Another myth that needs to be addressed is cramming more into a URL resulting in a redirect just to update an address boosts ranking position. The 301s are not worth adding one more keyword on the end of the page link.

5. PPC Directly Boosts Organic Traffic

This exemplifies the source being mistaken with an adjacent effect, insisting that whenever money is spent on advertising, Google will signal a correlating boost for search engine results as well. An easily disproven belief since AdWords operates on a different playing field. Organic search originates from an index database, whereas pay-per-click exists due to monetary investment in bidding. However, it is possible for PPC to have an indirect impact. Paid search can add valuable insights into a website’s traffic regarding targeted campaign keywords, as well as brand awareness utilizing top-of-the-page ads. But a website’s position is not automatically integrated into a coinciding paid ad campaign.


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Congrats You're an SEO Mythbuster! But Now What?

As mentioned above, the digital industry still contains other misconceptions that can lead to frustrating or disappointing results. Forthea’s expert team of specialists can assist with growing your web presence, and ensure you never fall prey to any misguided beliefs.

About The Author

Alicia completed a Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Houston. Her passion for all things SEO grew from a love of strategy, metrics, and content creation. She aims to use her web skills to amplify digital presence for an optimal ROI. Devouring new movies and tv binge sessions are her favorite sports activity. When she is not working, she can be found perusing bookstores and exploring places unknown outside downtown Houston.

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