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5 Biggest SEO Myths Explained

Recently the senior product manager of Bing, Duane Forrester, published what he feels are 10 common SEO myths. We’d like to focus on five head-scratchers that we feel are the biggest SEO misconceptions for small and medium businesses today:

Myth #1: I have to rank No. 1 in search results – Obviously, the No. 1 spot on Page 1 is where you want to be for all of your most important keywords. But as Duane points out, it’s not necessary. This is because of two factors. First of all, if you’re in the second or third position, you’re still doing great. And secondly, if you’re appearing near the bottom of Page 1—where fewer people scroll down to see you—you may actually get fewer clicks than if you hold the very top of Page 2. Strategy-wise, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shoot for the top; it just means there is no need to obsess over the No. 1 position.

Myth #2: Social is everything – Social media is not just part of good marketing, it also influences search results. But many small and medium-sized businesses focus almost exclusively on building up their social media, neglecting other aspects of SEO. That may result in a good fan base on Facebook and Twitter, but it won’t necessarily boost your rankings. You need a coordinated SEO effort, too.

Myth #3: Videos! – More businesses are turning to videos to strengthen their SEO, but many aren’t using sound strategy to do so. Duane points out that embedded videos slow down your page load time and on their own do nothing to boost SEO. EverSpark’s video SEO strategy involves creating high-quality videos to place elsewhere on the web—such as an optimized YouTube channel—buoyed with keywords and pointing back to your site’s relevant landing page(s).

Myth #4: Buying ads will help my SEO – For some reason there remains a long-standing belief that paid ads boost SEO. They don’t. Ads and SEO have one thing in common: Done properly, they can both boost traffic to your site. But buying ads online—even if you buy them from a search provider like Google—does not figure into search algorithms at all. At best, you can buy ads that are placed beside the top results of your preferred keywords.

Myth #5: Links are everything – This myth is so close to true that it’s the most dangerous one out there. Many people with a passing familiarity with SEO believe that backlinks can do it all. There are a few problems with this. First of all, the weight of backlinks has declined substantially since the heyday of early SEO. They just don’t do as much on their own anymore. Secondly, this mistaken belief leads many businesses to try questionable link-building practices, like article farms or black-hat guest-blogging. These practices can actually get you penalized by Google and Bing—meaning you fall down the search results. Links are still vitally important to SEO, but as Duane points out, the best links aren’t the ones you buy, trade, or incentivize; they are the ones that pleasantly surprise you by springing up organically.

At EverSpark, we know that SEO can be a challenging aspect of marketing your business. We specialize in affordable, thorough SEO practices that not only move your site up through the search rankings; they also leave your team more confident in how to manage your SEO in the future. Contact EverSpark for a free site appraisal today.