Five Common SEO Misconceptions

Many people suffer from the same delusions of SEO. Business owners from all kinds of markets may have an expert understanding of their industry, but don’t understand why they need an expert to continuously monitor their web presence. A lot of people have a lot of misunderstandings about SEO for two reasons.

Firstly, the game is constantly changing. From search engine updates to new social media channels, you have to be knowledgeable of the latest and greatest trends to have any chance of success.

Secondly, there are always rumors floating around that aren’t backed by any tangible evidence, and these kinds of stories can quickly strike fear into the hearts of many business owners. If you aren’t an SEO expert, you need to be able to separate fact from fiction to make the right choices for your business. Be aware of the following mistruths about SEO before you make your next marketing decision.

Myth: SEO is "One-and-Done"

Unfortunately, some people believe that once their website has been optimized for search engines, they don’t need to take a second glance at their online marketing strategy. Even if you obtain the number one ranking for your keywords, you must realize that the web is not static. SEO is a constant battle, and you will find that many competitors rise and fall in the struggle for relevant rankings. Once you obtain any quantity of organic traffic, you must then maintain your SEO efforts to keep your ranking.

To better illustrate this point, let’s compare SEO to the Indy 500. Once a driver is in first place, do you think he lets up on the accelerator? What a ridiculous idea! There is no faster way to lose the race! If anything, the competitor in first place needs to fine-tune their efforts to ensure success.

Myth: Link Building is Irrelevant

How many times have SEO professionals heard that their profession is a dying art? With every new search algorithm update and every new social media platform, the sheep claim that SEO is a thing of the past. This holds true with link building misconceptions. However, link building is an undeniably legitimate way to increase organic traffic.


Link building techniques aren’t dead, they have only adapted to accommodate the latest updates to the Google algorithm. While it may be true that older, spammier techniques for link building have bit the dust, link building still gives your website two great advantages:

  1. Another steady stream of traffic (from people that follow the backlink)
  2. Increased ranking signals to the Google search engine algorithm

Link building hasn’t died, it has evolved. It is true, link building is not as easy as it once was. But in the end, the elimination of spammy and dubious back-linking techniques only improves the user experience of web surfers.

Myth: I Found a Great Keyword; Just Make Me Rank Number One!

Those that are inexperienced with the inner workings of SEO think it is a simple matter to rank high for any keyword. Some think they have stumbled upon a well-kept secret when they discover a keyword related to their market that is getting tens or hundreds of thousands of searches per month. However, you must understand that high-volume keywords aren’t necessarily the best way to obtain high quantities of organic search traffic. Most, if not all, of these high-volume keywords have been sought after for years by massive, multimillion (or even multibillion) dollar companies. Search volume alone is a poor indicator of keyword relevancy to your site. You must also consider the competition.

Furthermore, you also need to consider that even though a keyword gets the highest searches per month in an industry doesn’t mean it is the best way to obtain the most traffic. Aggregates of less sought after keywords and long tail keywords could add up to more traffic than the one that gets the most searches per month.

Myth: Google Abhors SEO Practices

For some unknown reason, some people have the thought that Google tries to discourage SEO. They think that each update to the Google search algorithm is another attempt to destroy SEO firms. Yet again, this is not correct. While Google does hate black hat techniques and people who cheat the system, they do not have anything against legitimate, ethical SEO firms.

Myth: Social Media Helps My Rankings

Contrary to popular opinion, social media platforms do not increase your ranking signals to the Google search algorithm. One rumor floating around is that the number of likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms somehow boosts your rankings in the SERPs. These social media followings do not increase your rankings. However, this does not mean that social media should be ignored, because it really is a great way to promote your site. While it may not directly improve your rankings, social media marketing can spread your content like wildfire and increase the chance that someone likes your content and creates a backlink to it on their website.

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

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