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Search Engine Optimization Myths You Should Leave Behind

4 minutes
Molly Gibson Kirby

The world of SEO is an ever-evolving, often confounding one. It’s been a buzzword for a couple of years now, but people still don’t know how it benefits a business. And those who do know give different advice on how you should manage your SEO. 

Sadly, a lot of that advice is wrong. 

In this article, we’re counting down our top SEO myths that everyone needs to know! This way you’ll be in the know when someone mentions the buzzworthy abbreviation. 

Myth 4 — SEO isn’t real. 

It’s tempting to think that SEO just happens. That if you build a website, they will come!

Sorry, but that’s not how SEO works. Google isn’t going to give you the coveted top spot because you think you’re doing a great job. Google has its own algorithm that tracks and assigns a quality score to websites. 

Your website has to actively work to score high with SEO marketing. If you don’t, other companies that do will dominate you in rankings. 

Good SEO is synonymous with good web development and great content creation. It will continue to be real as long as Google exists and has an algorithm. Bottom line: you shouldn’t give it the cold shoulder. 

Myth 3 — SEO is shady. 

This is a really common SEO myth people believe. SEO isn’t shady, it is actually incredibly bright! 

The reality is that search traffic converts 9% better than social media traffic. This means SEO marketing services are only as shady as the person doing them. Like many things in life, there are underhanded ways to get it done. And doing it the wrong way will have severe consequences. 

Take the Google algorithm for example. There’s a reason it gets updated as much as it does. People we consider ‘black hat’ SEO specialists don’t look at every update as a new opportunity to build a better website or write better content. Instead, they sneak their way into finding a loophole to exploit. 

There used to be a shady practice called link farming. Yes, it’s exactly how it sounds. For a fee, a website would generate hundreds of links for your website. Google loves when websites link to another website. Therefore in theory, link farming raised a site’s value in Google’s eyes. 

This didn’t fly under the radar for long and now Google can detect link farming. If detected, Google will severely punish your search ranking for doing it. 

SEO is a skill and a legitimate practice. Great SEO promotes better websites, not the kind that looks to exploit Google. 

Myth 2 — There’s no such thing as too much SEO.

Too much of a good thing can be a really, really bad thing. SEO is no exception! Think of SEO as a specialized form of marketing. We’ve all seen compelling marketing – ads that make us turn our heads and convince us to buy something. 

Anyone else swipe up on an Instagram ad recently?

While there are quality marketing campaigns, there is also marketing overload. Those deafening ads on the radio that seem to play every single commercial break or those billboards on Highway 97. Google hates marketing overload just as much as we do! 

Keyword stuffing is a great example of over-optimizing a website. For SEO, keywords are kind of like those billboards on the side of the highway. One every now and then is effective. Good ones work really well. But too many in a row is just obnoxious, and we’d rather see the views of Okanagan Lake (and quality content on the website). 

We always ask this question when it comes to SEO: does doing this make my website better to visit? If the answer is yes, it’s often in line with SEO best practices. If the answer is no, it’s overkill and Google will try to filter you out. 

Myth 1 — SEO can guarantee the top spot.

We saved the biggest SEO myth of 2019 that people believe for the coveted last spot. SEO is real, necessary and quantifiable. What’s not real is a guarantee that you will beat everyone else and rank #1 for every keyword related to your business. 

If an agency is promising you #1 rankings, they’re lying. 

While great SEO will deliver improvements, keep in mind that everyone else is doing SEO too. SEO is a long-term commitment. Depending on how competitive your niche is, getting in the top of page one on Google can take months, if not years, to achieve. While everyone wants to be #1, remember ranking high in Google isn’t actually the goal for your business. Selling your product or service is. 

SEO can help you achieve your real business goal and being #1 isn’t the only way to do it. If you want to learn how we can help you with your goals, reach out and let’s chat. We can also share some more SEO myths people believe!

Just the facts

SEO can help you achieve your real business goal and being #1 isn’t the only way to do it. If you want to learn how we can help you with your goals, reach out and let’s chat. We can also share some more SEO myths people believe!

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Molly Gibson Kirby, Content Strategist.

Written By

Molly Gibson Kirby

Molly is a journalist and content strategist who has worked in television, radio, print and online. She studied Radio Television Arts with a major in Broadcast Journalism at NSCC. Molly is certified through HubSpot’s Business Academy and has had her writing featured on Clutch.co.

Carla Du Toit, Science Writer and Marketing Director at Twirling Umbrellas.

Co Author

Carla Bardwell

Carla specializes in SEO, SEM, and all the other important letters of the alphabet that relate to internet marketing. She loves talking science and enjoys flexing her creative writing skills in constructing kick-ass, technical content.