Sometimes I look at online posts that talk about SEO and face palm at the garbage myths being thrown around. Let me clear up 5 of the top ones I’ve seen:
I will tell you right now, there’s actually more than that and if any of the 5 I mention here aren’t ones you’ve heard or aren’t sure are a myth or not, PLEASE leave a comment below so I can clarify if it’s legit or garbage.
There’s a whole book chapter I can write on backlinks and why this belief in their value being high, is wrong, but I’ll save you that time by saying the most important things you need to know regarding them:
Backlinks HAVE value, but there are a number of different things that make a backlink useful, worthless, or toxic and if you don’t know how to differentiate which is which, do not believe anyone who makes a general statement about them being the most important thing or buy these things from people because you may be getting the toxic or worthless ones in most situations.
If you’re on the beginner end of understanding backlinks, become an expert in literally 5 or minutes or less by reading this article I’ve written to help you understand them and differentiate which are good and bad. And this one will help give you more examples of how to properly use the good ones!
Backlinks, while they carry value, they are NOT the most important thing in SEO. In fact, there are numerous factors that are, not just any single one. Now that one has 10, but…
There are 7 things I focus on with my sites that generally ensure those 10 factors are handled:
You’re welcome to disagree with this below, but I have honestly seen better ranking from following those 7 principals than I did from backlinking.
Don’t get me wrong, if for example, you can get a high authority page or person with a high authority mentioning your site, linking to it and getting tons of their traffic to flood into yours, then that is certainly a major plus for your rankings, but ultimately, those 7 things play a better, long term role.
So whatever you’re currently seeing from people who claim to have the answer to SEO by selling you backlinks, run away those guys.
Myth #4: Exact match domains impact SEO positively. Slightly true.
You will notice that in this I’m covering, rarely will I ever flat out say that this or that myth is 100% false and very often there are more grey factors in the mix to consider than just a black and white yes or no answer.
Such is the case when it comes to exact match domains which are still being preached about as being positive influences on organic rankings.
This myth was actually once legit though but it did lose that value overtime, but the people who originally saw results from it kept preaching about and it became a parroted thing, and eventually as it lost it’s legitimacy, it did become a myth eventually.
Today, I can tell you this much regarding EMDs:
You can still make them and in some cases, you may rank high for them, including for certain keywords, but rarely, will you ever high for a competitive keyword, because the domain name alone, will not be enough to rank high for a keyword where other sites are already ranking for and have much more SEO ranking factors in place. They WILL outrank you, that I promise.
What I can tell you is to read this article on domains which does cover EMDs, so if you’re deciding on a domain name, don’t abandon EMD’s entirely just yet, but at the same time don’t let yourself be limited by ONLY having to go the EMD route.
Myth #3: You need to use PBNs. I say avoid this.
Private blog networks are still a popular approach being preached about for SEO success and there’s many networks which sell these services that make a great buck on it (that’s why they still preach about it), but the very nature of these things undermines Google’s own rules of organic ranking.
Why do I say that?
Well I often compare PBNs to a toxic form of backlinking. And this is because PBNs are actually just another form of backlinking (it’s basically just a few blogs linking back to your website and giving it value), but they are far more concealed about it.
That concealing nature (hiding from Google spotting them) is the very reason why their foundation is based on deception.
And Google has also officially said they don’t like blogs which do this stuff (here is their article). They basically classify this stuff as “link scheming”. If nothing else, and you don’t trust my word on SEO topics, look up Google’s own blog for the answers to this (the link above).
Never the less, PBN networks and the people who push them claim they’ll hide your site from being spotted by Google and will help you get better rankings. It’s certainly possible, but at it’s core, it’s still a risky gamble. I don’t like the idea of having a site run on this type of thing, make good money, then get penalized in an instant if it’s ever spotted.
I know what it’s like to lose your site rankings instantly and it’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Myth #2: Using YouTube videos on your site to have it rank. Somewhat true.
This happens to be another one of those grey SEO topics, because there’s more to this strategy than you think. My position on this is that you should ideally be using YouTube videos on your website that are related to keywords you’re targeting, but you shouldn’t JUST be putting up a video on a blog post and not having any content at all.
That’s what the context of this myth is all about. YouTube videos are great to use for backlinking to your site, but they should not be the sole thing that’s on the page!
You absolutely should be having a lot of content and be using a YouTube video to add to the blog post’s value. If you can make your own YouTube videos, this would be better, but using public videos is also totally fine.
The fact of the matter is that when it comes to SEO, the video itself, because it’s an external link will not be classified positively for your SEO efforts, but it will NOT be negative either, so you won’t really get any higher rankings by just having a video on a blog post.
What will however make it a positive thing is if there is content alongside that video to help an incoming visitor get a better reading and viewing experience from your page (and that will actually impact rankings better). That is why you should have YouTube videos on your site.
If you don’t, it’s not a major problem either, I hardly ever use them personally and I do fine.
Myth #1: Ranking for competitive keywords is impossible for new sites. Wrong.
You’re trying to rank high for a keyword that gets 100,000 searches a month. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could hit the first page for that keyword? Of course it would, as you’d probably make a lot of money off that ranking.
But there’s a problem…competition. And added to the competition, with all the updates Google releases that destroys tons of site’s rankings every time, you get additional myths like SEO being dead.
And when you take that problem, and combine it with there being a great deal of competition from other blogs and sites all targeting the same keyword too and most of them have more site authority, more rankings, and overall have been in the game longer.
Is this a lost cause? No.
People let competition in SEO scare them away all the time, but the fact of the matter is that even a new site can overtake and outrank high, longer lasting, high ranking sites through the 7 things I listed above and through the Google dance can eventually become the big dog.
I say this as someone who started new sites in competitive markets and have successfully done this and I also say this as someone who has had big dog sites and have been outranked by newer ones.
Let me hear your list of myths you know about and want answers to!
I gave you 5 broad, yet common ones I’ve heard from looking them up on forums, social media, blogs, you name it. I can honestly name dozens more, but I’d love to leave that to you folks. If you have questions on the 5 I have provided here and/or want to add your own myths you’ve heard or aren’t sure if they are real, let me know 🙂