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Classic misconceptions about SEO

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SEO is one of those things everyone who has a website claims to know how to get right.

While for the most it’s not rocket science, there are a lot of ill-informed opinions on how to get SEO right. These misconceptions are often grounded in how old school, ‘black hat‘ SEO used to work although they’re no longer relevant. In some cases, they never were accurate. Here is an overview of some common SEO myths.

Links, links, links!

One of the common errors when it comes to SEO is to think that the more links to your site, the better. In truth while links matter, they’re about much more than just numbers.

The quality and relevance of sites linking to you are for instance much more important. And getting lots of links from a single site has a limited effect – and can even get you in trouble with Google if you really take the piss!

Link building is dead

At the other end of the spectrum are people claiming that links no longer matter, and they’re wrong also. Put simply, if links didn’t matter then Google’s spam team wouldn’t still penalise websites for building too many.

It’s true that Google has developed a much more astute way to understand links, and numerous factors come into account when they determines rankings. However, to say link building is dead just isn’t accurate. My own experience in SEO has shown so many times over.

Keyword obsession

Another thing people often get wrong is that using a certain term a lot on a page will help you appear higher specific queries. Such approach is based on old SEO tricks of stuffing text with particular words or phrases, which often resulted in poor quality content but admittedly did bring rankings.

In truth, Google’s algorithm has a much greater contextual understanding of your content now, for instance taking into consideration related terms, synonyms and more. So basically, don’t worry about using the same word or phrase 10 times. It won’t help your SEO and will just piss off viewers.

‘All about great content’

A buzz phrase which I find both annoying and unfounded, it’s been coined mainly because ambitious content marketing campaigns are much more exciting and easier to sell than technical tricks and support.

Ultimately though search engines remain machines, and ‘greatness’ a pretty subjective concept. You should still aim to comply with good practices such as having a clear site navigation, optimised meta data, deal with broken pages and so on.

Social media doesn’t impact SEO

Technically, that’s true. Having lots of likes and Tweets doesn’t officially affect your rankings in searches.

However, social media popularity increases your content’s indexability, along with the chance of readers finding your content and linking to it. Both of which are good for SEO.

To learn more about the basics of SEO, read this post.

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