SEO is hard to get your head around because it’s always changing, and everybody has a different view on things.
So, who do you listen to?
You’ve got Matt Cutts, the head of web spam at Google; who deliberately misleads people with his public statements, in an attempt to throw SEOs off what is actually takes to get a site ranking…
(Remember- Google don’t want you to understand SEO, so stop listening to them for advice!)
…And you’ve got an army of SEO ‘experts’ that throw their limited understanding of the algorithms around. But, they are secretly smashing their face on the keyboard because their site just got penalised by Google’s latest animal kingdom penalty.
It’s all getting a bit crazy, and today we are going to be taking a look at 3 of the biggest myths in SEO…
1. Writing Quality Content Will Increase Rankings
Here’s the thing. Google cannot tell the difference between content that is well-written and content that isn’t.
Sure, it can see duplicate content, and it can punish sites that have thin amounts of content on them.
But, it doesn’t have a collection of grammar spiders that notice you forgot to put an apostrophe in your content and slaps your site as result.
‘Content is king’ is one of the most ridiculously overused and misleading phrases within the SEO community.
So the next time someone tells you that your site isn’t ranking because your content isn’t good, think twice…
…Look at your inbound links… Look at your on-site optimisation… Compare that to the competition, and you will have your answer as to why you are not ranking.
2. Social Signals Are An Incredibly Important Ranking Factor
There was a lot of talk about social signals becoming the new links, but Google quickly retraced that statement and did nothing to move social signals into the algorithm.
There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, social signals are incredibly easy to manipulate. All you have to do is go and pay some service to like your site or tweet your post every now and then. You can have all the social signals that you could ever want, cheaply.
Secondly, Google struggles to maintain consistent access to the crawling data from the social media sites. A while back Google was completely shut out of twitter over a dispute, and they don’t want to base their algorithm around something that they don’t have control over.
So for now, social signals have little impact on rankings, it’s still all about links.
3. White-Hat SEO Won’t Ever Get You Penalised
SEOs often look down upon other SEOs that do black or grey hat SEO, like they are part of some kind of evil cult.
I’ve always been a supporter of actually looking at Google’s algorithm and building a site that won’t get penalised, that ranks highly and efficiently, and is protected from future updates.
Whether I use grey, black or white hat SEO to achieve that doesn’t really bother me.
I’ve seen sites that did nothing but white-hat SEO for the entire lifespan of the site, and they got penalised.
I’ve watched as guest blogging was once considered white-hat, only for Google to change their minds and deem it black hat.
To get SEO right, you need to pay attention to everything in Google’s algorithm and ensure you don’t raise any flags, you need to build a site that visitors will love and want to come back to, and you need to know where to go to get powerful links that make sites rank.