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The Truth and Myths About SEO

The Digital Marketing world changed a lot ever since the Coronavirus pandemic started. A lot of businesses shifted to online business to make their business afloat. To stay on top of the competition, SEO is one way to achieve it. In this article,  the truth and myths about SEO will be discussed. There are a lot of arguments and misconceptions about Search Engine Optimization and people wanted to know the facts for these speculations to be solved.

Sean Si from SEO-Hacker enumerated some truths and myths about SEO. He also provided his insights about it and these are the following:

Myth: On-site optimization is just a small part of SEO.

Truth: On-site optimization plays a big role.

There are very few blog entries about on-site optimization. Perhaps because it is closely tied to having a technical background. On-site optimization can just as easily deal with keywords as much as it can with coding. And with all the new coding required stuff coming out like Schema Markup, Responsive design, Site speed optimization, etc., it’s easier to just go and do off-site and outreach to try and improve rankings.

That being the case, SEO specialists who know how to do on-site optimization well are easily at the best strategic positions today. Lots of people and blogs are talking about link building, link outreach, co-occurrence, co-citation, etc. Some don’t even know what they’re talking about.

Shift focus to on-site optimization. You’ll thank me for it.


Myth: You don’t need technical SEO. Content is king.

Truth: You have no Frikin’ idea what you’re missing.

Technical SEO is just a small part of on-site optimization. However, please realize that Google is a technical engine working a technical algorithm that reads your (technical) website.

Remember, your website is made up of a bunch of codes in the back-end. Whether you realize it or not, having a website is already technical in nature. If you neglect technical SEO as unessential because you can write like Seth Godin, you’re wrong. (Well… maybe not if you can really write like Seth Godin.)

A hard tweak here and there, an update on your structured data markup, a canonical to some duplicate pages, and voila!

Technical SEO is where the magic is.


Myth: Linkbuilding is dead.

Truth: Linkbuilding just got a lot more natural.

Any news that something in SEO died is a lie until proven with solid data. Or at least, until Danny Sullivan and Bill Slawski says so.

What really happened is that link building shifted to a more ‘natural’ way of evaluation. Artificially built links are seen as a taboo – and are deemed to get devalued or penalized.

Of course, building naturally earned links is encouraged. Who are we kidding? It’s way harder to earn links than build ’em up-front.

However, if naturally earned links make it harder to game Google’s algorithm, then it’s going to have to be the way to go.


Myth: Content marketing is the new link building.

Truth: Not really. You can still go with diversified Linkbuilding.

Content marketing has been built up and up and up and up. So many blogs wrote about it – even claiming it to replace link building.

I think you can never replace link building.

People tried social signals. People are trying co-citation. And so on and so forth.

However, links are still one of the main fundamentals of how Google sees the web. An influx of relationships between one website to another.

Links make up the web. Deal with it.


There’s another article entitled “Top Google Ranking Myths” written by Amanda Hoadley of Northwoods.  The content is as follows:

Myth #1: Keyword Targeting is Irrelevant

Truth: Keywords still matter! Just not in the same way they once did. Keywords are still showing on search engine results pages (SERPs), and every Google algorithm update is intended to further hone in on search intent. You should still include keywords in your content, but any efforts by content marketers and bloggers to hit a certain keyword ratio became obsolete with Google’s Hummingbird update.

So, keyword ratios are out, but a focus on creating content based on search intent – knowing the motivation behind why particular keywords are being searched – and naturally incorporating relevant keywords in your copy is critical.

Myth 2: Meta Tag Keywords Don’t Matter

Truth: Meta tag keywords DO matter. Meta tags are used in HTML documents to provide structured metadata about a website and appear between the opening and closing <head> tags on a page. The three elements of metatags are:

  1. Title tag
  2. Meta description
  3. Meta keywords or phrases

Google doesn’t use the keyword meta tag for ranking purposes; however, meta tag keywords are still relevant as they indicate to Google what your content is about. Meta tags can also make your search results more appealing, which attracts more clicks from searchers.

Myth #3: Target Keywords in Anchor Text Don’t Matter

Truth: Link building has become a crucial part of SEO strategies; however, there is a debate in the content marketing community about whether you should use keywords in your anchor text. Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink that takes a user to another page.

The main reason why content marketers debate the value of keywords in anchor text is that overoptimization is penalized by Google. Keyword stuffing is seen as a red flag, which negatively impacts site rankings. To say keyword-rich anchor text doesn’t help your site isn’t accurate because anchor text helps Google understand page content and helps determine relevancy when it comes to link building.

So, instead of avoiding keyword-rich anchor texts, just change your approach by diversifying your anchor text to avoid overoptimization.

Myth #4: Having More Links is Better than Having More Content

Truth: There was a time when it was better to focus on creating more links than it was to develop more content, but that time has officially come to an end. Now, it’s all about the quality of links rather than the number. Creating a natural link profile with amazing content is what will help improve your search rankings.

Why the change? In the past, webmasters and SEO pros started to take advantage of link building by creating chunks of links that had no valuable content just to improve rankings. As Google caught on and its focus changed to search intent in order to serve up better content to its users, having relevant, trustworthy, and authoritative links became the name of the game.

Myth #5: Too Many Keywords Will Result in Poor Organic Rankings

Truth: SEO experts and bloggers are always asking themselves how many keywords are considered too many and if Google will penalize a website for over-optimizing. The simple answer is that as long as your keywords are used naturally and your content is helpful, the number of keywords you have doesn’t really matter.

The key to avoiding over-optimization is to make sure you include a variety of keywords in your content, including:

  • Branded keywords
  • Product keywords
  • Long-tail keywords
  • Short-tail keywords
  • Market-defining keywords
  • Customer-defining keywords
  • Latent semantic indexing (LSI)
  • Geo-targeting

The bottom line? Focus on creating natural and helpful content for your website visitors instead of counting keywords.

Myth #6: Social Doesn’t Impact SEO

Truth: While it’s true that a “like” or comment on a social post doesn’t directly influence your Google rankings, they do have a positive impact on shares and engagement.

And shares and engagement create social signals, which can have significant SEO value. Sharing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels has been shown to increase social impressions and organic click-through-rates (CTR). Check out this social media study on SEO influence for more information.

If you’re successful at creating engagement on your social accounts, then your chances of attracting a larger audience via organic search and also of driving ideal traffic to your website increase – in turn, improving your CTR and impressions.

Myth #7: Local SEO Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Truth: When a user is searching for a product or service in their local area that you provide, you want to show up in those search results. But if your site isn’t optimized for local search, those users may not find you. That can mean lost conversions and potential lost business. In fact, 46% of all searches are conducted by searchers seeking local information, and that’s a significant amount of searches!

To make sure your business is showing up in local searches if you haven’t already done so consider visiting Google My Business (GMB) and creating a GMB page to help promote your business profile on Google search and maps.

Myth #8: Images Don’t Need to Be Optimized

Truth: Google uses file names and URLs to understand images, which makes optimizing your images a necessity. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to use images that are supported by Google, including these file types:

  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • WebP
  • BMP
  • GIF
  • SVG

Your images also need to be accessible, which requires the addition of alt text. By adding alt text, your images will be accessible and understandable to those with vision impairments or other disabilities and will help Google understand them. (Learn more about website accessibility and WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards.)

Your alt text should be as descriptive as possible without any spammy attempts – for example, “waffles” versus “chocolate chip waffles with powdered sugar and syrup.” The more descriptive your alt text, the better understood your image will be and any chance of being penalized for overoptimizing reduced.

Additionally, to make sure your images can be discovered within Google’s image search,  consider using an image sitemap and HTML markup to help Google understand your content.


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