SEO is like a jigsaw puzzle and its pieces, at times, seem scattered all over.
Add Google’s frequent policy changes to this, and you have a lethal formula for confusion, misinformation and rumors. Eventually, these wrong notions tend to take the form of credible myths that people keep peddling on the Internet.
However, there is no reason to believe any of these myths or give up on your SEO efforts.
I have put together an overview of the major myths that surround SEO and what you can do in order to steer clear of them and march towards higher ranking:
#1 Only the popular blogs can get traffic from Google
It’s one of the myths that you should ignore like it’s not even there!
There may be a grain of truth in the argument that websites which wield authority on a subject may rank higher at times. Google may give a position of privilege to certain sites for their authority.
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However, it does not mean that it’s the end of the world. It would be wrong to infer that nobody else has a chance.
Let’s assume for a moment that it’s true that only big blogs with authority get traffic from Google.
How is it possible then that new blogs become popular and get a lot of love from Google? To put it differently, no new blog should ever get traffic from Google. However, a lot of new blogs surprise us by the way they quickly arrest a lot of traffic early on.
It means if you get it right, no matter how small or big the blog is, you can get ample traffic from Google.
If you survey the blogs which draw heavy traffic from Google, you would find that they are all doing a few things extremely well.
One of the things that they do well is that they focus on long tail keywords. In other words, they focus on keywords which are outright specific. They avoid the phrases which are common and hence, invite a lot of competition.
In line with this, you should search and find out the sites or blogs which rank on these long tail keywords. How it helps is that you get to understand your competition and figure out how to go about it.
In any case, you can always discover long tail keywords for which you can create awesome content and woo Google. In order to accomplish this, you need to, first of all, discard the myth that only big blogs can get traffic from Google!
#2 SEO is difficult; Google keeps changing the rules of the game
Yes, you are right. But partially. Google does keep changing or modifying the rules of the game.
Should that discourage you? No. You should worry only if you are doing SEO the wrong way.
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If you’re doing SEO the right way, none of the changes that Google makes should affect you too adversely.
In fact, when Google introduces changes to its algorithms, and typically those who don’t do SEO or those who use old tactics are affected negatively.
There are people who try to find a shortcut like link building for ranking higher. The right thing would be to avoid links from suspicious or spammy websites. Some, still go with the keyword stuffing.
If you do clean SEO by following a few straightforward rules and be patient, you can get the traffic you want and deserve.
To start with, identify 1-2 focus keywords per page.
Quality content that is relevant and creates value is irreplaceable. So you should also focus on creating content that is unique, original and relevant. Google loves such content! If you can, you should get links only from good, high-quality websites.
Now are these things too much to ask for?
So it’s settled then. SEO isn’t too complicated, especially if you partner with an SEO company or specialist.
#3 Keywords are no longer relevant
Back in the day, it was easy to get Google’s attention by populating your post with keywords here, there and everywhere.
This was meant to give Google an inkling of what the post is all about. This strategy is no longer best practice, ever since Google changed its priorities to best serve humans vs. bots.
Therefore, some people tend to believe that keywords no longer matter.
Search engines cannot operate if they cannot get those vital clues in the form of keywords (and other ranking factors).
What has changed is how and where you use the keywords. Instead of keyword stuffing, you need to place the keywords strategically in a few of the most important places within your content.
You can place it in the main heading as well. The first paragraph is quite crucial so you can use it there, too.
It’s also best practice to put your focus keyword in the URL, page title and meta description so search engines can understand what the page is really about. Apart from this, you can use a variation of the keyword somewhere in the content.
Can we agree that it’s a myth that keywords do not matter anymore?
You can read the more tips about How to do keyword research effectively: 5 expert tips
#4 Guest blogging is no longer effective
It’s partially true that guest blogging may not work if you use it as a shortcut. Google understands your intent and it will not spare you if you try anything silly with Google.
However, it’s not right to say that guest blogging is not relevant anymore. So what’s the way forward then?
All you have to do is forget about everything else and write a clean, good post on a relevant topic for a quality blog or site.
One more proof that it is a myth that guest blogging does not work is that a number of good sites still invite guest posts. It is still alive and kicking!
Do the right kind of guest posting and it will work for you!
#5 Google Will Discover My New Post on its Own
It could probably be true for a website or blog that is really well-established. But for the rest, it is not likely to happen.
It means that you need to work hard to merit Google’s attention. Rather than hoping that Google will do it on its own, you can try something like Google Search Console. It can help you connect with Google and enable Google to learn about what you are doing.
While there are a number of advantages of Google Search Console, the most important is that you can keep Google in the loop about every new post and every page on your blog or website.
After your Google Search Console is set up, verified and connected with your Google Analytics, don’t forget to add you add an XML sitemap. This tool will tell you when errors need to be fixed in addition to alerting Google of new content on your website. it up following a few easy steps.
You should be proactive in dealing with Google and discard this myth that Google will discover your post on its own.
SEO is all about getting the basics right. You need to get a few fundamentally important things right and do it in the right way as well.
If it suspects any wrong practice on your side, Google can and will punish you. If you don’t follow SEO in its basic principles, Google can simply ignore you altogether.
You should steer clear of these myths and focus on clean SEO that goes all the way without resorting to shortcuts or magic tricks.
If you focus on SEO in letter and spirit and discard these myths, you will not only survive but also thrive in 2019!
Author: Lalit Sharma is the Founder & CEO of Ranking By SEO. He’s been working in the SEO industry since 2005. He can be seen contributing to SEMrush, Social Media Today, and Entrepreneur.