When it comes to search engine optimisation the internet is full of fantastic information. However, it’s also jam-packed full of SEO myths. Today I’m going to debunk just three of those myths to help you in your journey to internet success. There are many, many myths but the three I’m about to talk about are quite possibly some of the most talked about. So without further ado, let’s get debunking.
Why do these SEO Myths exist?
So the first thing you might be wondering is why these seo myths exist. Well, like anything, they’ve been spread around due to misinformation. The internet is a truly amazing place. It’s full of a mind-blowingly incredible range of information. However, just like I mentioned in our beginners guide to SEO, I recognise that not everything on the internet is true. The internet is packed full of fake news and information. When reading things online you’ve got to take everything with a pinch of salt. Don’t believe everything you read. You should take into account things like the information source, author and the date of the content, amongst other factors of course.
SEO Myth 1 – SEO is super quick & getting to number one on Google is easy peasy.
Wrong. That’s one of the biggest SEO myths. Why? Well, it’s very complex and time-consuming. To be good at SEO you need to be both patient and knowledgable. Having a good strategy and making sure your site is in tip-top condition takes time. Results aren’t instant. There are many, many factors as to whether or not content ranks high in search. It’s not a straight forward case of quickly writing some content and hey presto, you’re number one in search. If only it were that simple!
As time goes on it becomes harder to rank high in search. Why? Because there’s so much competition nowadays. Never before have there been so many sites online. Because of the increase in competition you really do have to stay at the top of your game. Ranking high in search, especially as a new site or business takes hard work and determination. Can it be pulled off? Yes. But you really need to be following those search guidelines, have a good strategy in place and ultimately you’ve got to be creating the best content that you possibly can create.
SEO Myth 2 – There’s nothing wrong with Black Hat SEO
One thing we HATE here at Canny Social is shady SEO and social media tactics. In terms of social media, we can’t stand the follow/unfollow method. It’s a sure-fire way to get us to unfollow on Twitter. In terms of search engine optimisation we really, really hate black hat SEO. What is it you ask? Well, there’s a great article explaining what black hat search engine optimisation is over on Hubspot. This gives you an in-depth introduction to the subject. But put simply, it’s the use of unethical tactics that set out to manipulate and cheat search engines. The ultimate objective is to rank highly by carrying out really shady tactics like keyword stuffing and cloaking, amongst other things.
The thing is search engines are smart and they’re getting smarter all the time. So if you’re thinking about carrying out these shady tactics that go against search engine guidelines, think again. By carrying out things like keyword stuffing and cloaking, you seriously run the risk of damaging your site. How, you ask? Well if you’re not following the guidelines and playing the game correctly that makes you a cheater. What happens to cheaters? They eventually get caught and punished. Ultimately that’s what will happen.
If you get caught, Google will punish you and they’ll do so by penalising your site. What happens when this occurs? Well, Google can make sure that you don’t appear at the top of search. This can be absolutely damaging as it means that your organic traffic drops and people don’t find you online. This means that potentially you could end up losing a whole lot of money on things like missed sales.
No one is safe from a Google penalty
And the thing about Google? Then can penalise anyone. Take BMW for example, a huge company. In 2006 BMW was penalised by Google. The reason why? Well, they were using the black hat technique cloaking. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s basically where you show the search engine one thing and the human user another. It’s against search engine guidelines because let’s be honest, it’s manipulative and unethical.
In BMW’s case, they were using doorway pages. These pages were stuffed with keywords with the aim to rank highly in search. However, when a user clicked on the link in search they were redirected to BMW’s German site. Google recognised the shady tactic that BMW was trying to pull and gave them the worst punishment possible, they completely removed them from the Google Index. Ultimately, in the end, BMW held its hands up and admitted what they’d done before removing the offending pages. They were then later reincluded in the Google Index.
All in all, black hat tactics don’t work, you’ll always be caught. It’s much more effective to spend your time carrying out ethical search engine optimisation that you know will work in the long run. In the SEO game, there aren’t any quick fixes or ways to instantly get ahead of the competition. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to put in the hard work. It’s as simple as that. Instead of wasting your time with the likes of cloaking and keyword stuffing, spend your time doing something way more productive. That thing? Educating yourself. There’s a whole world out there full of information on ethical techniques that you should be implementing. Take advantage of this information and really up your game.
SEO Myth 3 – Search engine optimisation never changes. Once you’ve done it you’re set for life.
This is probably one of the biggest SEO myths. A lot of people seem to think that SEO doesn’t ever change. They think that using techniques that worked when search first came about will still work just as effectively today. Sadly that’s not the case. SEO is changing all the time. Search engine guidelines are evolving all the time. What might work well today may not work effectively next year. So if you think that carrying out SEO is a one-off thing, you are wrong.
With Search Engine Optimisation you’ve got to be on the ball. Keeping up to date with all the latest guidelines and industry news is key to staying ahead of the game. Search Engine Optimisation is ever-changing. There’s always something new to learn which keeps you on your toes. For many, it’s kinda exciting as it means that you’re always having to use your brain to problem solve and come up with creative ideas and solutions. Sure trying to improve your site can be stressful. However, it can also be incredibly fun and exciting.
How you can improve and up your game as a digital marketer
Just like I discussed in myth 2, education is key to understanding search. There’s always something new to learn and discover. There are always discussions to be had and content that is waiting to be discovered. You don’t necessarily have to go to university and complete a degree in digital marketing. However, if that’s your goal, do it. That being said, many, many digital marketers are self-taught. It’s also worth noting that there is a variety of online course available. The world really is your oyster.
The biggest and best advice for improving as a digital marketer? Learn and keep on learning. Put what you learn into practice. Learn from your mistakes and ultimately? Do your best. Give it your all.