Myths about SEO constantly keeps on rising; and it’s so not cool.
Until Google comes to clear the air on these myths, they will continue to be what they are….myths.
In this blog post, I will be sharing with you some basic myths about SEO that are necessarily not true.
Does SEO still matter?
Yes, SEO still plays an important role in getting your content to be seen by your target audience.
You need to follow modern seo practices to reap it’s benefits.
With that said, here are 16 solid myths about SEO you need to ignore.
Myths About SEO
#1 YOAST is all there is to SEO
This is a big NO.
Yoast is a good SEO plugin which offers few optimizations, when it comes to optimizing your posts for search engines.
Some of the SEO works Yoast offers for free is
- Meta tag description
- Keyword tag
- Content analysis
These are all good SEO practices all bloggers can incorporate. But the truth is, it is just a small fraction of SEO.
There is a lot more to search engine optimization than Yoast.
It just happens to be a great SEO plugin that is really popular amongst bloggers. That is why it may confuse new bloggers on SEO.
Yoast free plan allows you to add one keyword tag, do basic content analysis,add meta tags, etc. to your blog post.
It also has some really tempting premium features that may want you to go premium with them.
Do I recommend that you buy the premium version?
Honestly, I don’t.
Rankmath, another SEO plugin, offers most of what Yoast offers in their premium version for absolutely free.
If you want to see how Yoast premium works, then you can install Rankmath SEO Plugin.
In conclusion, Yoast or any other SEO plugin, just guides you to optimize your post for organic traffic.
#2 SEO means instant traffic
How I wish this was true. But sadly, it is not.
New bloggers often expect to get traffic immediately they post something and when nobody has visited their site to read their first post, they get frustrated and want to give up in the first week.
I once thought so too.
It made me nearly stopped posting on my first blog after getting almost no page visits.
Read what I did to increase my organic traffic here
But the truth is, organic traffic may come but it takes time.
When you make your blog live, Google places your site in what experts call the Google sandbox.
The Google sandbox simply means Google wants to get to know your blog or website for some time before it starts ranking your keywords.
Starting your blog and implementing SEO strategies right from the beginning does not guarantee instant traffic.
When you start posting, it takes Google about 6months to a year before you start getting constant organic traffic to your blog.
If your blog is a very niched site, you may get Google traffic within 2-3 months.
Nonetheless, if you practice and use the right SEO strategies, traffic and clicks may come sooner than you think.
I wrote this post about types of keywords to use in your blog post not less than a month ago; and so far I’ve had 10 organic clicks.
It’s not much but considering how this kind of blog post is over saturated and my blog is only a month old, I consider it not that bad.
#3 SEO is done once and That will be it
SEO is definitely not done once.
If you want constant traffic to your blog then you should make SEO, a second nature in your blogging job.
All your posts should be search engine optimized.
This includes using paid or free keywords research tools to search for relevant keywords for your post.
Again, you should make sure to link to relevant posts.
This could be linking to your posts known as internal linking or to other authority sites which in SEO it’s called external linking.
Also, make sure your post pages load fast and it’s mobile friendly.
All these are to be done frequently to boost your blog post rankings.
This definitely shows that SEO is not done once.
#4 SEO is about stuffing one keyword in your blog post
Keyword stuffing is sexy…. Until Google kicks your blog down the ranking hill for trying to outsmart them by stuffing one keyword in your blog post.
This will make you see the ugly side of keyword stuffing.
I know Yoast encourages keyword stuffing but seriously, don’t freaking mind them.
There is a better way to use keywords than what Yoast tells you to do anyway.
Instead of stuffing one keyword in your blog post, why not use varieties of your keyword in your blog post?
For instance, if you are writing a post about starting a blog.
To avoid stuffing your post with countless ‘starting a blog’, you can use varieties of your keywords such as start a blog, blogging for beginners,etc in that post.
This way, you can rank for all those keywords with the same post.
Smart move right?
I always advise new bloggers to have one main keyword and 10 to 20 other keywords they can use in the same blog post.
This method helps you a ton by ranking you for different keywords related to your main keyword.
#5 Keyword Research doesn’t matter
If you ever believed this myth about SEO then you need to ask for forgiveness from SEO.
Keyword research is absolutely important for SEO to kick in for your website.
Personally, I think doing keywords research makes it easier to structure your blog posts.
Apart from it helping you to structure your blog posts, it can also help to know if you can target the keyword or not.
Keyword research is a good source of motivation for writing blog posts.
The metrics you will get from researching for search terms or keywords for your blog posts can help you measure your success for your chosen topic.
Use any of these 29 free keyword tools to do your keywords research.
#6 SEO is difficult
Ehh… not really.
It only becomes tedious but not diffficult when you have to go back to all your posts one by one to make it search engine optimized… if they were not at first.
You can always outsource the most difficult part to SEO experts to fix them for you.
Other than that, search engine optimization is actually not difficult.
What gets most SEO newbies confused is where to place the keywords in their blog posts.
Your main keyword is needed in your url, your title and in the first paragraph or 100 words of your blog post.
Remember not to over do it with one keyword in your blog post.
#7 SEO is all about backlinks
By jove! This always gets me frustrated.
I took it upon myself to help some people with SEO and seriously I almost died out of frustration.
They were so bent on getting back links rather than writing quality content and doing proper search engine optimization.
I’m not saying back links are bad. Far from that.
Backlinks helps Google to know the credibility and your authority in your niche.
This makes it an important factor for ranking.
But without quality content who will link to your post? This definitely is not a question for the gods to answer.
You can answer for yourself.
Focus on quality content and follow best SEO practices first before you go looking for Backlinks.
#8 Choosing exact match domain name won’t get you to rank
Choosing an exact domain name can get you to rank. But, there is a catch to it.
Only exact match domain names that are spammy looking won’t get to rank on search engine results page
Provided your site has quality content and links, your domain name can get you to rank for any search term instance of your domain name…… Only if the search term matches the intent of the user.
When choosing an exact match domain name, it is advisable to keep it short and sweet.
Suzi Whitford of ‘start a mom blog‘ runs an exact match domain name site; and honestly, she has quality blogging contents advice for moms here.
She ranks first on mobile for the keyword ‘start a mom blog’; and 2nd for the keyword ‘how to start a mom blog‘.
How is that possible?
Because her site talks all about starting a mom blog, it shows her site matches what user’s who search for that keyword want to learn.
This makes me believe that if you have an exact match domain which matches the user’s search intent, you could still rank.
On the other hand, a blog with the domain name bloggingideas.com does not rank anywhere for the search term ‘blogging ideas’.
Not that it doesn’t share posts about blogging ideas. It absolutely does.
But, the spam score for this site is 47% . I believe links on this site is spammy that’s why it is not ranking for any search term.
In short, you can still rank with your exact match domain name if only the contents of your site is good and not spammy.
You should, however, note that Google does not rank domains. It ranks pages instead.
Make sure to put much more effort in your posts’ contents rather than your domain name
Simply use your name as your domain name. That way, when you want to switch niches you will not get stuck because of your domain name.
#9 SEO is only about keywords
Keywords are the core basis of SEO but that is not the only way to get your website search engine optimized.
Here are other SEO practices to add to your keywords optimization to make search engines really love your blog.
Make your post pages load fast: Use Gtmetrix to check your page speed. If it’s above 3s you should make sure to make it load faster by following the recommendations they give.
Optimize your images:
Reduce your image sizes to help your images load faster.
A plugin like Short pixel is perfect for image compression
Describe your images using the Alt text. Include your keywords in it if possible.
Name your image files with your keywords before uploading to your site.
Use proper URL format: Make sure your URL contains your keywords with no number at its end
If possible remove stopwords like ‘a, to, and,for etc.’ from your url.
The point here is, there is more to search engine optimization than just focusing on keywords.
Combine all seo practices together; and you will see better results than what you may be seeing now.
#10 SEO is all about Domain Authority
This one here gives me a headache.
New Bloggers fret about DA to the point that it demotivates them when their brand new acquired DA of 10 drops.
Heyy I’m not downplaying the DA metric but I think it is a depressing metric that only plays with your feelings.
Google has not taken you out of their sandbox yet and you want to be established as an authority in your niche? Good luck with that.
Domain Authority is a metric designed by MOZ and not Google so why worry about it? It only predicts rankings.
MOZ clearly states in one of their articles that domain authority is not used by Google as a ranking factor.
They even made a reference that Google actually dislikes that metric.
You can read the full article here
It’s good to focus on increasing your DA but don’t let it depress you.
#11 SEO is dead
SEO is definitely not dead. It’s just the best practices that keep on changing.
Anytime Google updates its algorithm, it means they have made some ranking factor adjustments.
Their latest update only puts sites which have good links and authority on the SERPs.
This means you will have to work hard to get quality backlinks, good page and sessions duration, low bounce rate etc. to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Unfortunately, no one knows what exactly gets changed except to swim in the pool of theories by seo experts.
You can follow SEO experts like Neil Patel, Mathew Woodward and Brian Dean for updates on their findings according to their algorithm update research.
They normally give advice on how to stay on top after any algorithm update.
Long story short, seo has much energy left in it to die any time soon
#12 SEO is all about content
Content is good but what’s its use when people don’t stay to read?
A content without proper links to relevant resources is just empty.
Links and contents go hand in hand. To make people stay longer on your site, it’s important to link to other posts that will help your reader.
Linking to relevant pages increases your pages sessions which also signals to search engines that the contents in your post is helpful; so they should increase your ranking for that search term.
#13 SEO is using a .com domain
Another seo blubber dash you need to ignore.
It really does not matter the top level domain you use to get good rankings.
About 95% of bloggers use .com as their TLD so is only logical that people are more used to .com domains.
But honestly, any TLD can rank on the first page…. Only if it has quality links and contents that are engaging plus it matches the user’s intent.
I Googled the search term ‘self improvement ‘ which has a high search volume on my phone. Surprisingly, it was a .org domain that was ranking as number 2 after Wikipedia.
That domain also ranks as number 2 after Wikipedia for the search term ‘self love‘ on mobile
If your desired blog name with a TLD as .com is taken, you can go for the .org, .net, .blog etc versions of it.
#14 Google penalizes Duplicate pages
Google does not penalize duplicate pages….. Unless it’s a copied content.
Duplicate content on your blog may be due to several factors which you either control or not.
The most popular factors for hosting duplicate pages on your blog is the categories and tags pages in your blog.
According to a post by a Search Engine Journal on duplicate pages, if categories and tags are not titled properly, it can cause a duplicate of your pages.
For instance if you have a category page for self love and a tag for self love, this will create duplicates for the post you put in these categories and tags
These duplicate pages will be competing with themselves to rank which may hurt your rankings.
Here is a post by a search engine journal that talks more about duplicate contents.
But, in a nutshell, duplicate contents won’t get your site penalized so long as they are not copied from other websites.
Google is smart enough to know which post was first published. It will rank the first post and ignore the other duplicate content.
You can prevent duplication of your categories and tags pages by making them no index. This tells robots not to index your categories and tags page on search engine.
How to no index categories and tags in Yoast
- Click on the Yoast tab in your wordpress dashboard.
- Select search appearance
- Click on taxonomies
- Click on categories
- Tap on No under the show categories in search results
Do the same for the tags option. Scroll down to save your changes.
#15 Bounce Rate does not matter in SEO
Bounce Rate is one of the important factors when it comes to ranking.
Rand Fishkin in his SEO manly way proved within 70 minutes that bounce rate does matter.
He did a little experiment where he asked his twitter followers to bounce off a post ranking number 1 for a keyword; and stay longer on a page which ranked as number 3 for that same search term.
The results were instant. The post ranking number 3 for that search term shot to number 1, out ranking the previous post at number 1.
Believe it or not but bounce rate is one of the many ranking factors that decides your ranking fate.
How to decrease bounce rate
You can decrease your bounce rate by doing internal linking.
Link to other relevant posts that can help the reader.
Push related posts in your sidebar or at the bottom of your post to entice visitors to click on.
To add other posts to the bottom of your post, Gutenberg editor has a latest post block you can add.
Here is how to do it
How to add Latest posts block settings in wordpress editor
- Click on the add sign to add a block
- Search for ‘latest post’ in the blocks search bar
- Click on latest posts
- The latest posts block is defaulted to show all your posts.
If you want a particular category content to show, here is what to do.
- Click on the latest post block
- Click on the settings icon to display the latest posts block settings.
- Scroll down and select sorting filters
- Click on the box under category and select the category posts you want to appear in the latest posts block.
This may make your blog visitors not bounce off your posts.
These myths about SEO can be a pain when you start learning about SEO as a beginner.
You can test them out yourself to see if it’s true or not.
I have done mine and it makes me believe they are indeed SEO myths
Make sure not to overwhelm yourself with SEO.
As I always end in my posts, take one step at a time with your new blog.
Don’t ever give up on it.
It will surely make sense to you as you keep on learning about blogging and implementing the strategies you have learnt.
I hope this post on SEO myths has brought peace to you when it comes to search engine optimization.
Your turn now…. What other weird myths about SEO have you heard?
Would love to know what you have have heard in the comments section.
Heyy….do be a sweetheart and pin or share this post.