SEO has more than its fair share of myths, legends, and misconceptions. The search engines are in no hurry to give away the deep details of how they rank websites, as more than a few people would immediately try to take advantage of their methods, and there are countless “experts” weighing in and giving their opinion on every little event.

To combat all of these wild misunderstandings throughout the SEO field, Ranjana Jha fro SEO Best Practices attempted to refute the most common myths you’ll run into.

  1. Brands don’t need SEO – Many believe big brands don’t need optimization because they are going to automatically rank well, but those people misunderstand SEO. Optimization is a process that influences every aspect of a webpage from design, to content, and site construction. Not only that, but SEO plays a role in many off-site factors that increase visibility such as social media and creating a natural high-quality link profile. Even the biggest brands wouldn’t be doing as well online without all of these practices.
  2. Content generation is your ace – Content generation is the new trend in SEO as links are being more downplayed, but far too many people are missing the point. Google has been turning to content and site quality because they want to offer sites with real value to their users. Putting up new content all the time just for the sake of posting something doesn’t benefit anyone. Content can be a great tool, but if you aren’t offering something valuable, you’re wasting everyone’s time and you won’t maintain your rankings.
  3. Links are Golden – This myth is slowly fading out as Google gets more and more strict about their linking policies, but there are still some who believe links are the best way to get high in the rankings. Similar to content, links only matter if they have real value. Google can spot cheap or low-quality links from a mile away. If you aren’t fighting to earn real high quality links, you’re more likely hurting yourself.
  4. Keyword stuffing still works – This is an old practice which Google is well-versed in fighting. Filling any available space with excessive keyword usage or key phrases only makes you look desperate or fake, and Google isn’t going to do you any favors.
  5. Commenting on blogs with key anchor texts – This is another one that is fading out, but there are many who are still trying to exploit this strategy using random anchor texts and linking to unrelated content. However, most webmasters are using the “no follow” tag, so those links aren’t getting any benefits.
  6. Paid anchor links on popular sites will give you a boost – This one didn’t actually use to be a myth. But, Google has caught on and now buying link space for the singular purpose of inflating your page rank doesn’t accomplish anything (aside from wasting money).
  7. SEO means Meta tags, keywords, and content – Trying to break SEO down into just a couple of factors is a fools game. Many will list those aspects as the basic SEO elements, but optimization extends much further beyond those simple steps.
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