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Most myths are harmless. It takes 7 years for chewing gum to break down. Sharks do not get cancer. Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of SEO myths. At best, they are misleading. At worst, you waste valuable time, money, and resources that will never improve your SEO.

Maybe this is nonsense, not a myth, but it’s important to start with it.

Lazy journalism likes to declare many things dead, and the CEO makes no difference. According to the content researcher of Ahrefs – this phrase has been used 3 367 times since June 2016.

1 seo is dead

This is an average of 66 times a month.

Therefore – let’s clarify it once and for all:

SEO. No. E. Dead!

How do we know? At least, because we constantly monitor the traffic to MySuper.Site. Thousands of visits per month – only from “SEO”.

Then why do people claim to be dead?

There are all sorts of reasons, but perhaps the most popular is search results like this: 3 google answers knowledge graph

Does this negatively affect search results? Of course! If we look at the statistics in Ahrefs – when searching 14,000 times a month for this keyword phrase (How Old Is Elon Musk) – they were only clicked 1200 times. Ie only 8%.

4 how old is elon musk keywords explorer

But that doesn’t mean the CEO is dead. You are still receiving clicks from this keyword phrase, and Google only shows the answer for some of the phrases.

The truth is that as long as there are search engines – and as long as they are used and show organic traffic that you can influence in some way – the SEO will not die.

SEO is like going to the gym. You can skip one workout or another, but soon everything will fail if you continue to stay at home and eat too many chips.

Here’s what happens when you start neglecting SEO:

5 neglecting seo

Traffic starts to decrease over time …

There are several reasons for this to happen:

  • your competitors stand in front of you (because they have not stopped working on their CEO)
  • you lose backlinks
  • your content loses “freshness”

This is the reason why most SEO professionals (74%) charge you monthly for their services, instead of per hour or once. They know that SEA is a long process and that their clients need to invest in the long run to see results.

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Is this valid for all sites? No. There are times when you can neglect SEO for years and continue to have constant traffic, month after month.

Here is an example:

 

6 consistent traffic

This site was last updated in 2011, and still has about 500 visits per month from organic traffic.

Republishing content is something we do a lot.

Reprinting content is something that is often done. Then why invest in new one if it’s a myth?

“Freshness” depends on the niche. For some things it is more important than for others. In an area where everything is developing extremely dynamically – this is certainly an important factor in ranking.

An example of such a niche is the “SEO” niche.

Here’s an example of what happened to one of the pages that hasn’t been updated in months:

8 top google searches traffic dip

Traffic decreases for months, but after updating the information – it quickly goes up. Because the theme of the page is one that changes quickly over time.

On the other hand, freshness is not particularly applicable to searches such as “how to tie a tie”, as the process is still the same. That’s why Google has ranked certain pages and hasn’t changed them since 2013.

9 non fresh content

Most people think that longer keyword phrases consist of many words, but this is not true. Long keyword phrases are low volume searches. The number of words does not matter.

Both examples below are longer phrases:

10 long tail queries

But here’s the important thing – although they get less demand, they are usually not easier to rank than the more popular ones.

Here is the difficulty of the key phrases from the example above:

11 long tail difficulty

Despite the significant difference in the volume of demand – the difficulty is relatively similar. This is because the longer phrase is supportive. In other words, this is the less popular way to find something.

The reason they are not easier to rank is that Google ranks them in the same way as the “main” keyword phrase, seeing them as synonymous phrases.

Duplicate content is what is exactly the same, or almost the same as another that already exists. It could be on the same site or on another. Eg. both links below will take you to the same content:

https://buffer.com/library/social-media-manager-checklist/
https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-manager-checklist/

Google says there are no penalties for duplicate content due to a number of reasons but this myth is still quite popular.

And although you will not be punished for it – it can lead to SEO problems such as:

  • unwanted or unfriendly URLs in search results
  • deleted or syndicated content that is displayed higher than you
  • dilution of backlinks
  • wasted budget for crawling

It is no exaggeration to assume that the more your content is shared on Facebook, Twitter and the like – the better it will rank. However, more people share something – it should be interesting and valuable, worth ranking, right?

Maybe, but according to John Mueller of Google, these social signals don’t affect rankings:

This is most likely because they are easy to manipulate. For little money you can buy all sorts of similar services – likes, shares, etc.

But if so – why so much research show a correlation between social sharing and ranking?

15 social signals seo study

There is no specific reason for this, but it is most likely due to:

  1. Most shares lead to more impressions, which leads to more backlinks (which is already a factor).
  2. Pages that rank well on Google get more traffic , and some of these visitors share content on social media.

Let it be clear: there is no payment for Google for advertising directly to affect the ranking. As much as you love conspiracy theories, Google won’t rank you higher because it fills their pockets.

However, this does not mean that advertising does not indirectly affect the ranking.

And this is because with advertising you can attract backlinks.

This does not mean that you will start a campaign and start “flooding” backlinks. The campaign must be strategically oriented for this purpose.

PageRank is the foundation of Google. This rank shows the quantity and quality of backlinks to a page.

Google has confirmed that this is still a factor in 2018:

But since Google stopped public results on the pages in 2016 – some have decided that we should no longer think about this value.

It is true that it is difficult to talk about something that is no longer visible. But it is also a fact that page rank is still a factor in SEO and getting backlinks from high quality sites is important.

Everyone wants to be ranked first, but that’s only because we think that if we are the first result – we will have the most traffic. This is not always the case. In fact, the first result gets only 49% of the traffic.

18 top ranking page traffic study

Why? Because most pages get traffic from many keyword phrases, not just one.

For example – see the top-ranked pages for the “high protein diet.” The second page receives more traffic than the first page because it ranks for more keyword phrases.

19 top ranking page traffic

The lesson here is to stop thinking about positions and focus on traffic.

The main ways to achieve this are through:

  1. Cover the topic in depth.
  2. Build more backlinks to boost the page’s credibility.
  3. Hit the search intent correctly.

Given that most pages rank for hundreds or thousands of keywords, it’s hard to believe that some people think research isn’t important. What’s the point of optimizing for something you won’t get traffic from?

The survey also helps you make sure you’re optimizing for the most popular way to search for a topic. This is important if you want to drive the most organic traffic to your page.

Conclusions

This is by no means a complete list of SEO myths. These are just the most popular ones, the ones we come across most often and the most important to ignore. Did we miss something? Write us in the comments!

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