7 Reasons Why SEO Myths Are Widely Believed

Here are seven reasons why people hold onto SEO myths and false information, as well as what to do in each case.

In the realm of SEO, there are times when it seems like the 1993 classic “Groundhog Day,” in which Bill Murray’s character Phil Conners experiences the same day repeatedly.

However, one question is asked repeatedly throughout the day as opposed to the day repeating itself. Typically, the question is phrased as follows: what are some frequent SEO fallacies that need to be dispelled?

Conspiracy theories and SEO myths are hot topics. Here on Search Engine Land, we recently featured an article on misconceptions (11 Conspiracy Theories about Search, Google, and Big Tech), and we’ve published several others in the past. We won’t discuss any true myths or their discrediting here.

The more important question is: Why do your manager, coworkers, and team members continuously bring up these SEO myths? Or how did your client learn about such an illogical, long-since disproven strategy? They ought to be aware of it better.

Okay, no. No, never.

It’s part of your responsibility to comprehend how search genuinely operates and inform them why things like Domain Authority, E-A-T, and LSI keywords are absurd.

Please continue reading to find out the main justifications for SEO misconceptions and how some SEO experts respond to them.

1. Repetition

When a myth is repeated frequently enough, it starts to seem genuine. Our industry is prone to the propagation of false information, which appears in blog articles, social media posts, podcasts, and other conference presentations. Before you realise it, a myth has been created (or a new SEO boogeyman).

So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?

According to Holly Miller Anderson, lead SEO product manager for Under Armour in North America, “Educate. Avoid arguing.

According to Anderson, being as proactive as you can in educating your organisation and leadership team against SEO fallacies is one of the best things SEO leads can do. “Host lectures about SEO myths as frequently as you can (i.e., lunch and learn style), inviting folks to come in and hear some of the myths, discuss the ones they’ve heard, and provide various resources and proof.”

According to Anderson, this creates a platform where people can speak up about SEO without being judged as foolish. Additionally, it offers the SEO lead a safe space to dispel falsehoods.

2. Myths Are The Easy Way Out

“Free traffic” is SEO. At least, many clients seem to think so. When SEO is oversimplified, clients may believe that all they need to do is perform x, y, and z and then wait for all the rankings, traffic, conversions, and income to come in.

The “too good to be true” solutions are often simple SEO fundamentals—the basics. Everyone strives to provide “excellent” content, optimise their meta tags, respond to queries, and create mobile-friendly websites.

Even worse, these “simple answers” sometimes turn out to be strategies that could hurt your clients. Himani Kankaria, the founder of Missive Digital, said that is something you should never disregard.

I’ll tell them I won’t be doing it and won’t be letting my team do it since doing it incorrectly will cost the customer money, and fixing it would still cost more money, Kankaria said. What assurance is there that clearing up that mess would provide results, too?

According to Keith Goode, principal SEO product manager at Cox Automotive, better information is the only way to combat inaccurate information.

According to Goode, “Developers and even some SEOs will occasionally encounter a terrible piece of advice in a blog from 11 years ago (for example, PageRank sculpting) and will only bother to perform a further study to find the content that challenges or disproves it. Therefore, they’ll make a change to their websites that has undesirable implications.

Goode said, “I combat this false information by offering more recent blogs that refute the erroneous advice. Better yet, I’ll show them a piece that features a Google employee in direct quotation. Even better, locating the Google Developer documentation that refutes the initial assertion is enough to resolve the issue.

3. Information Overload

There is a wealth of information available concerning SEO. Numerous how-to manuals, articles, research, social media updates, podcasts, films, and more are available. Talk about a ton of information!

What else is simple to locate? SEO misunderstandings.

Lead SEO at Weights & Biases, Dave Davies, said that most SEO myths are somewhat accurate. He claimed that he has discovered that recognizing that kernel and going over why you choose not to use the strategy in this situation is applicable.

Additionally, specific strategies once worked but no longer did, and giving that context is quite helpful, according to Davies. “Consider forum spam from the beginning of the millennium or keyword stuffing around the same time. SEOs back then really messed up the results, and I apologise.

According to Maria White, head of SEO at Kurt Geiger, communication is the best strategy for combating misinformation.

White explained, “First, I gather evidence from reliable sources (Google and SEO professionals who conduct extensive study, such as Barry Schwartz, Jason Barnard, Lily Ray, and Marie Haynes).” I use the document to explain to the client why it is not a good practice and to discuss the possible adverse effects that a myth or evil ritual could have on the success of a strategy.

4. It Has A High Google Ranking, So It Must Be True

There needs to be more awareness that things that rank highly on Google are reliable and accurate. I’ve had enough experience with this throughout the years. When quoting a statistic, for instance, individuals frequently type [keyword + stats], check at the top result, pick the stat, credit that roundup post and press publish.

But when you look at the sources, you see that at some point, a phrase or a statistic was taken out of context and transformed into something it was never intended to be.

Google needs to rank the best or most accurate solutions, though consistently. The correctness of Google’s algorithms cannot be fully determined.

Fortunately, many SEO experts keep up with every nugget of information Google releases regarding SEO. Marie Haynes is one of them, and her company records everything Google says, whether in blog posts, particular announcements, videos, hangouts, forums, or anywhere else.

Haynes stated, “We store the information internally. “We can substantiate our recommendations with a link indicating what Google recommends for the majority of SEO subjects, whether they are myths or not,” the company stated.

The founder of Orainti, Aleyda Solis, adopts a similar strategy.

If there is official Google documentation about the subject that explains it, we refer to it. If not, we search for a quote from a Google representative from a Q&A or event that addresses and clarifies it. We also include my justification for it, if applicable, along with a “real life” example that demonstrates how it functions.

5. Insufficient Critical Thinking

Checklists for SEO can only get you so far. You are responsible for compiling and analysing all the data, arguments, and information you can before acting. Ultimately, you want to work in a way that benefits your clients, brand, and business.

So be sure to ask questions. Be dubious. Analyse everything you read, see, or hear regarding the who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Most of your clients cannot think critically about SEO and lack our expertise, information, and data. And even though it could be difficult, it’s sometimes necessary to be direct, particularly if the circumstance calls for a drastic shift in perspective, according to Kaspar Szymanski, co-founder of SearchBrothers.

Most clients understand that my only goal is to assist them and increase the visibility of their websites for pertinent inquiries, even when I point out the shortcomings in their current SEO strategy, according to Szymanski. “What’s not often recognised is that the main factor determining organic search visibility is signal input. In essence, regulating that signal input is search engine optimization. The best recommendation is to control what gets into search engines to get the finest outcome, which clients accept.

6. Source Looks Authentic

Those in the business for some time have observed well-known figures and websites that have disseminated dubious, deceptive, or outright false material.

Bill Slawski, Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital, says that as a result, we should create better material as practical alternatives from which to learn.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of false information out there, and some SEOs prefer to write popular clickbait than content that would be more factual. These authors occasionally succeed in getting paid by toolmakers, but they don’t help SEO clients who want to run profitable enterprises.

Those in the business for some time have observed well-known figures and websites that have disseminated dubious, deceptive, or outright false material.

Every media outlet and publishing website occasionally publishes false information, and most respectable ones acknowledge and fix their errors. In SEO, it is only sometimes the case. When corrected, some people disregard it or, even worse, steadfastly uphold their destructive information.

What should you do if you encounter clickbait or inaccurate information? Find out where they acquired the knowledge. Then send them to two or three reliable sources that are simple to verify, according to SEM International’s global managing director, Michael Bonfils.

“I wish it were that easy,” Bonfils remarked of his typical answer. But this is how it goes and what we do.

7. It Is Regarded As “Best Practice.”

It can be annoying that the response in SEO is frequently “it depends.” This is because the SEO best practices for news, local, and enterprise SEO may differ from those for e-commerce SEO.

Even in the same industry, all websites are different. While some approaches and strategies might be practical across other websites, the end outcome will invariably vary. For some websites, specific SEO “best practices” may be “bad practices.”

According to Jes Scholz, group chief marketing officer at Ringier, one way to handle this is to direct the conversation toward your current objectives and strategies.

Remind them of how effectively the current plan is working and explain that implementing both the existing strategy and the myth is not feasible owing to resource limitations, strategic conflicts, or other factors, according to Scholz. “Then grant them authority by concluding with a decision for how to proceed.”

We should genuinely question ourselves, according to Davies.

“Everyone here is testing constantly. My instincts have occasionally been wrong, notwithstanding how smart I consider myself to be,” Davies remarked. In essence, even if you might be correct 90% of the time, testing and discovering that one could pay off greatly in the long run.

The answer can be as easy as performing a test.

Find a collection of pages where anything may be tested with obvious indicators of search impact but ideally low on business, advised Davies (sites with strong impressions but low clickthrough rates frequently spring to mind).

What Should You Do If You Encounter These SEO Myths?

According to Ryan Jones, VP of SEO at Razorfish, the answer is not whether to debunk the misconception but rather how to do it.

“You have to let the client or employee down gently. According to Jones, the myth may have been sound advice or a well accepted idea in the past, but they may not have been up to date. “They may have previously employed a subpar SEO. While you don’t want to make them feel bad for it, you want to provide them with sound guidance. There is a time and place for everything; you must do it softly.

In other words, leave the “well actually…” and hostile demeanour for your subsequent Twitter debate.

“Don’t sidetrack a wider issue to engage in a technical SEO discussion. In that situation, a follow-up email or phone call might be necessary, Jones continued. “Never lose sight of the project’s overarching objectives, and don’t overlook the forest for the trees.”

While a client or contact has false knowledge about how SEO functions, it’s critical to be understanding when correcting any myths or misunderstandings, according to Corey Morris, chief strategy officer at Voltage.

Take a pedagogical stance, Morris said. “I can find an anchor point with them by discussing the wider features of how Google works, what it rewards, and why things are (or aren’t) included in that.”

The three-question litmus test is a critical component of Kevin Rowe’s standard methodology, which he uses as the vice president of strategy and product at PureLinq. These are the inquiries:

  • Did Google make the recommendation?
  • Is the person or business giving this information a full-time SEO for your niche or related themes for 5+ years?
  • Was a study conducted using a methodology?

It’s crucial to approach the client as if they are rational individuals with sound judgement rather than uninformed about SEO, according to Rowe. We are seasoned SEOs, but it doesn’t imply we always have the best solution.

But what if a client is adamant about a suggestion? The CEO and founder of Kalicube, Jason Barnard, said you would have to quit collaborating with them.

Why squander time? Said Barnard. Many wise business owners around the globe view SEO as something other than a one-trick-quick-and-easy-win-every-time strategy that requires no effort. Working with clients who want to incorporate SEO into a larger, business-focused digital design is a good idea.

At DMA, our services are reliable and trustworthy where the uses of such SEO myths will be inapplicable. Feel free to contact us for a free quoting on any services you may require assistance in.

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