Many of our clients ask us if they invest their time and/or money into SEO that they’ll be rewarded with high rankings for their keywords. And, they dare hope that their investment is a one-time shot where they can reap the benefits for years to come. Sorry Virginia, there is no SEO Santa Claus.
Here are a few misconceptions or myths about SEO we will debunk:
Myth #1. Guaranteed Results
There are so many variables to organic SEO (e.g., changes to the Google algorithm, a slew of new keyword-rich postings by competitors) that is impossible to predict exact results. Your expectations should be realistic. First you need to create a strong SEO foundation. We recommend quality keyword research that takes into account the competitive landscape. Your website then needs to be optimized with those keywords, with Long Tail keywords in sub-pages designed for lead conversion. Once that foundation is in place, you can create content (SEO-optimized blog posts), that demonstrate to search engines you have relevant and recent contributions in your field of expertise.
Myth #2. Page Rank Equals Pagerank
Huh? Google created Page Rank (thank you Larry Page) and it’s a calculation done by search algorithm that determines where you show up on Search Engine Results Page (SERP). In the early years SEO experts and hackers hammered the search engines to try an extract this information. In response, Google gave a toolbar Pagerank tool (note it’s one word and its different from “Page Rank”); it’s a number to see how a site ranks relative to others. Google in their wisdom provided this tool with the following caveat: beware that this number is months old and doesn’t contain all the same info used in the coveted algorithm. What does all this techno-speak mean? In a nutshell… just because you have a high Pagerank doesn’t mean you’ll be in a SERP Golden Triangle.
Myth #3. Google Endorsement
Resellers of Google AdWords and certified Google Analytic partners don’t get special treatment by Google in regards to SEO ranking. On the flip side, if you spend money on Google AdWords, it doesn’t mean that Google will give you preferential rankings either. However, it has been proven that if your site shows up in both organic and you use ads you will get a lift (upwards of 30%) of click throughs.
Myth #4. Meta Tag Keyword Stuffing Works
Stuffing works for holiday turkeys, but not for stuffing keywords into meta tags. The Google search algorithm doesn’t use meta tag keywords in ranking… at all. This old SEO practice may actually cost you SEO-wise. Your time would be better spent in making sure your meta descriptions are compelling for humans, and your content drives interest to what you offer.
Myth #5. Black Hat SEO Practices Aren’t Cheating
Trying to scam the SEO system is cheating, and cheaters eventually get caught. While they might get quick results, they aren’t sustainable. Just ask JC Penney who hired (hopefully in ignorance) a Black Hat SEO firm last year. They got amazing short-term results during one holiday season but it’ll take years to recover from being black-listed. Link farming, sneaky invisible keywords and other questionable practices will get you in trouble. Search engines continually modify their algorithms to penalize those with less than admirable practices. When in doubt, take the high road. The reward for Black hatters? A lump of coal in their holiday stocking.
There are more SEO myths to unwrap. Check back for our next post for the remaining SEO myths we’ll debunk.
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