It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s been in the SEO industry for a while that so many SEO myths have arisen over the years.
Even to the SEO veterans out there, the great Google is a mysterious creature, never letting the public in on all of its secrets.
So, in the absence of all the facts, myths tend to arise to fill in the information gaps. The problem is that these myths can take hold if enough people repeat them, and that can be bad for the industry.
We know more about how Google works today than we ever have in the past. We still don’t know it all, but there’s enough information publicly available for us to debunk some of the SEO myths that seem to persist through the years.
So here are five of those myths, debunked!
By the way, if you really want to have fun with this post, take the true-or-false quizzes before digging into each section. Whether you’re right or wrong, you’ll get a quick explanation of the issue that you can explore more in the post.
So, test your knowledge, and prepare to get mythological!
1.) Cheap SEO Is Fine
We have heard this one before: clients hear the prices of SEO consulting or content and are so sticker-shocked that they claim they can get it cheap elsewhere, and even that SEO isn’t really worth the price.
You might hear:
“How can you justify charging that price for a service that doesn’t even directly make me any money?”
“I don’t know if I want to pay that price. I found a service that does cheap SEO.”
Even if those “cheap SEO” providers actually think what they’re delivering is valuable, the fact is that cheap and easy SEO is almost never good SEO.
Take a look at some of the best link building strategies that are out there. An SEO agency could employ an entire team just for link building for its clients.
It is extremely and utterly time-consuming to do link building at scale. But those strategies work for building backlinks that Google likes to see.
Sure, you can save a buck by employing one of those services that will get you a backlink in a matter of days or even hours, but it really isn’t worth the price you pay.
Those kinds of easy backlinks tend to be toxic backlinks, the ones from spammy websites that you would end up wanting to disavow one day.
Cheap SEO applies to link building, SEO consulting, technical SEO, and content marketing.
You can get all these products for cheap, no doubt. But that creates two problems.
One: it will most likely be quick, shoddy work designed only to make the provider some profit. And two: you will probably need to have the work undone and then performed the right way, adding to your expenses down the line.
The myth of cheap SEO has been thoroughly debunked: far from saving you on costs, it will end up being bad work and require a reputable agency to fix it.
Good SEO is absolutely worth paying for, when it comes from the right provider.
2.) Position 1 Should Be Your One and Only SEO Goal
A lot of times, when clients tell us their goals for their SEO campaign, they say they need to be position 1 for so-and-so keyword.
Now, on its face, there’s nothing wrong with aiming for position 1 on any keyword, if it’s possible for your site to do.
After all, more than 25% of searchers are going to click on the first result on Google.
But position 1 isn’t always the only place you should be trying to get to. It depends on what you’re targeting.
If you’re a blogger who produces straight content designed to bring in traffic, position 1 is probably something to try to achieve on its own.
However, you have other options if, for example, you run an ecommerce or recipe site. With products or recipes, you have the opportunity to appear in some of the other SERP features that Google supports today.
In these two cases, “popular products” and “recipes” are the sections your content can appear in on Google’s page 1.
You give your content a better chance to show up there by adding schema markup, or structured data, to the back end of the page on your site.
The right kind of schema can add extra features to your content right on the SERP, such as star ratings and brand names for products, and ingredients and prep time for recipes.
This is all useful stuff to see before even clicking on anything.
So, while you definitely won’t hurt yourself by aiming for position 1, it pays to get creative around what kinds of content your audience wants to see and how you can deliver it to them in other ways.
3.) SEO Is Dead
The myth that SEO is dead is just plain nonsense.
We’ve covered the dead-SEO myth here before, and it’s as ridiculous now as it has always been.
In that blog post, we discussed how people have been asking if SEO is dead for the last decade or more.
It’s a myth that SEO is dead because SEO is actually more alive than it’s ever been. People think it’s “dead” or that it isn’t worth pursuing anymore because of how smart Google has gotten at filtering out thin content, bad content, and content with spammy backlinks.
Basically, people call SEO dead because it’s getting harder to rank well.
But those two things are not the same. Today, Google is focused strongly on user experience, on what will give people the information they’re looking for and in the form they want to see.
If it’s taking you longer to earn backlinks to your content or to produce that content at all, I wish you the best of luck, but that’s just what the game is these days.
SEO is more needed today than ever specifically because it’s become so much harder to rank. You have to have awesome content to get people to want to click on you. That takes time.
It is a myth that SEO is dead. Please don’t believe it.
4.) Older Domains Rank Better Than Newer Ones
The SEO myth that older domains usually or always rank better than newer ones is kind of a murky one.
It isn’t complete bull; there’s a nuance to it that probably gave rise to the myth in the first place.
First off, though: domain age has nothing to do with a page’s ability to rank and is not one of Google’s ranking factors.
Now, as for why people think that domain age is a thing to worry about, it’s just because older domains have been able to build up resources and authority in their niche over time. Newer domains haven’t had that time yet, and so, for the time being, they are not authorities on anything.
That’s why it seems like Google favors older domains. But it’s a myth to believe that the domain’s age directly causes it to perform better in organic search.
5.) Increasing Word Count Helps Content to Rank Better
The last SEO myth we’ll talk about here is that simply increasing the word count of a piece of content will help it to rank better.
People believe this one because they’ve heard that Google prefers long-form content these days.
Once again, there is an extremely important nuance here.
It isn’t that adding words for the sake of words will automatically give your content new life. It’s actually that longer content will tend to be more detailed, comprehensive, and useful to users, and that’s the kind of content that Google wants to show people.
So, it isn’t directly about the word count itself. It isn’t like any post over 3,000 words will do well. The information has to be relevant to the keyword that was searched and match the intent of that keyword.
If you do end up spending 3,000 words covering a topic in tremendous detail, leaving nothing out, then yes, that content might just do well, and it needed 3,000 words to get there.
Only, don’t think it was the 3,000 words that did it. You just required that amount of words to include everything that does make content rank well.
You can check out our guide to writing website content to learn more about the finer points of content creation.
Got Questions on SEO Myths? Ask Us
SEO myths are more than just little nuisances. They harm our industry and could very well harm your business if you believe them.
That’s why we’re happy to dispel those myths here at LSEO. If there are other SEO issues you’re confused about, why not talk to our experts?
You can get in touch with LSEO at any time to learn more about how we do things the right way.