The Ultimate List of SEO Myths Debunked

Join any SEO discussion group, and you’ll get fierce debates on possibly any issues. There has never been a discipline as vast and yet, uncertain as SEO. Sometimes, it is hard to differentiate SEO myths from facts.

Most of the articles and thoughts propagated by leading SEO experts are based on analysis. None outside Google are privy to how its search algorithm really works.

Google may occasionally tweet about what matters in SEO ranking, but those are still tiny pieces of confirmation compared to the vast algorithm driving the search.

Even if SEO agencies run analyses thousands of websites in case studies, there is still a margin of error in the results.

Therefore, it isn’t surprising to have SEO experts arguing on certain topics, or the rise of urban SEO myths that are blindly followed.

An SEO strategy that may work a year ago could be nothing but a myth in today’s practice. What’s important is to be objective and find out if there are truths in such practices.

It’s foolish to adopt a particular SEO practice, just because others in the community are harping about it.

For example, you still get certain marketers promoting the merits of building links from PBN. While it may work well to rank pages in the past, it is now a ticket for a Google penalty in today’s SEO.

Here’s a list of SEO myths that are still making their rounds today. Find out if you’re still implementing these outdated or make-belief practices in your SEO campaign.

SEO Myths Debunked - Truth Revealed

Google Sandbox

Myth

Many SEO experts believe in the existence of ‘Google Sandbox’, a mechanism that suppressed new websites from ranking on the search engine.

According to this belief, new sites are automatically placed in the Sandbox for 6 months before being evaluated and ranked like other websites.

Truth

‘Google Sandbox’ is nothing but a myth as Garry Illyes explicitly deny it in one of his tweets.

google sandbox seo myth debunked

John Muller again confirmed it in 2019.

seo myths debunked

What is commonly believed as the Google Sandbox, is, in fact, the effect of the search algorithm’s effort in trying to rank a brand new site.

A new website naturally lacks in content, backlinks, social signals. Thus, it also lacks authority and trustworthiness.

Unless building a global brand like Amazon, it takes a while before the site establishes authority on Google. With that said, it is still possible to rank high with a new site, provided you’re targeting a very low competitive keyword.

PPC advertising helps ranks

Myth

Occasionally, you’ll get views like this from the SEO community.

seo myth that paid ads affect organic seo

Google is the largest search engine in the world. However, the bulk of its revenue comes from advertisement.

Therefore, there are accusations that Google is rewarding sites that run ads on Google better positions in the organic results.

Truth

The truth behind the allegation is that ranking on Google’s search result has nothing to do with paying for Google ads.

Although ads and organic results appear on the same listing, both operate on different algorithms.

Google makes it very clear that this is just a baseless myth with this statement:

seo myth that ppc ads affect seo

Domain age as a ranking factor

Myth

So, the idea is that if you buy a domain, hold it for a few years, start building content around it, and it’ll suddenly outrank your competitors.

The idea of domain age as a ranking factor is fiercely debated amongst SEO marketers.

Just like the Sandbox theory (which is proven to be false), there are arguments that an older domain will outperform a brand new domain in the ranking.

This argument is backed by the fact that most pages that rank for high difficulty keywords belong to sites that have been established for years.

Truth

Again, this is a pure myth that’s based on misunderstanding how Google evaluates domain. Matt Cutts explained in this video that it’s pointless to purchase aged domains just for the sake of ranking higher.

Rather than the domain age, various signals like backlinks, mentions and content determine if your site can rank on Google.

Coincidentally, most authority sites which have been around for quite some time, have accumulated a large amount of those signals over time.

Hence, it gives the misleading impression that aged domains rank better.

Google cares about Domain Authority

Myth

Often, you’ll come across the term Domain Authority or DA in SEO strategies. There will be articles suggesting that a site needs to have high DA to rank higher on Google.

And when you see high DA sites dominating the search result, it’s only natural to assume that Google considers DA in its algorithm.

domain authority seo myth

Truth

Google never has and is not using DA as a ranking factor. DA is a metric created by Moz as an indicator of the authoritativeness of a website. DA is based on content, backlinks and other factors of a domain.

DA is sometimes confused with the PageRank metric, which was once provided by Google. PageRank is an algorithm used by Google to determine the importance of a webpage by evaluating backlinks pointing to the URL.

PageRank was introduced in 1996. Google confirmed that PageRank is still being used, but its prominence may have been reduced. It is now part of hundreds of other ranking signals.

debunking domain authority seo myth

What’s being confused with DA is the PageRank toolbar metric, which grades a webpage from 0-10. The toolbar metric was removed in 2016 as it’s no longer deemed relevant and at times confusing as a single metric.

So, Google doesn’t use DA in its algorithm. However, DA is still vital for SEO professionals. It is used as a predictive metric in determining how webpages would fare in Google search result.

Links are all you need to rank

Myth

True or false? 

Links are the ultimate ranking factor for SEO. After all, top results often have hundreds or thousands of backlinks built to them.

seo backlink myth

Therefore, the trick to improve Google ranking is to build as many links as possible to your site.

Truth

Links, particularly backlinks, remain one of the major ranking signals for Google. Backlinks indicate the importance of web pages and help Google in ranking them on search results.

While links are essential, an aimless strategy is detrimental to your SEO effort.

Ranking by merely building tons of backlinks may work prior to the Penguin update, but it’s no longer a viable strategy in today’s SEO.

Not all links are created equal. Some links, particularly those that are against Google’s policy, could do more harm than good for a website.

For example, buying links for the sake of gaming Google’s search algorithm is a strict no-no. So is participating in link-exchange schemes.

Link-building requires a proper strategy as Google is quick to pick on unnatural links and dish out penalties to the website.

A good link building campaign is one that uses White Hat SEO techniques and focuses on acquiring links from authoritative and relevant sites.

It also involves diversifying the types of links. While ‘do-follow’ links pass more SEO value, solely focusing on a particular type may be deemed unnatural by Google.

Therefore, your link outreach effort should also involve getting links in forums, Web 2.0 sites, blog comments and social media.

Keyword density matters

Myth

Some SEOs emphasised for the target keyword to be repeated several times in the content. Be it 2% or 4%; they believe that having a particular number of keywords in the text helps in SEO ranking.

The principle is further supported by tools like Yoast SEO plugin, which checks the number of times the keyword, or in recent revisions, keyphrase in the content.

seo myth regarding keyphrase density

If you don’t get the required amount of keyphrase in the content, it will be highlighted as a problem. Therefore, it must be true that keyword density matters in SEO.

Truth

There was once where keyword density does indeed matter for SEO. That was before 2011 when Google rolled out the Panda update.

Back then, repeating a number of the same keyword in the content could boost SEO ranking. The results are sometimes filled with low-quality pages, with keywords stuffed senselessly all over.

Since then, Google has evolved way beyond relying on keyword density in its algorithm. In 2014, John Muller mentioned that keyword density is something that you don’t want to focus on.

Need proof?

Here’s an article that rank on the first page for ‘get rid of bed bugs’.

keyword density seo myth debunked

Guess what the keyword density of the article is?

It’s 0%.

Google has gotten pretty intelligence in making sense of the content without relying on repetitive keywords.

If you’re overly focused on getting the keyword to appear ‘x’ number of times in the content, you risk keyword stuffing.

Keyword stuffing is precisely the opposite of what Google wants in an article. So, forget about keyword density and write naturally.

Create the best possible article that meets the search intent of a particular keyword. That’s a better way to improve your content’s ranking on Google.

Do what the big brands do

Myth

If you follow the big brands in the market, you’ll eventually get to the top of Google search. After all, those leading brands ought to be doing right in terms of SEO. Else, how could they be dominating the ranking with ease?

Truth

The fact is, most of the bring brands do have a degree of visibility on search, regardless of their SEO strategy.

A leading brand may have implemented a failed strategy, and yet, it still gets considerable organic traffic. If you replicate the same strategy on a new website, it’s going to have the opposite result.

It seems unfair, but big brands have high authority within their own industry. The brands are recognisable globally, and that itself is a ranking factor.

Brand authority is something that new businesses or websites don’t have. So, it isn’t surprising if you find it impossible to break into highly-competitive keywords even if you’re using the same strategies by the more prominent brands.

Smaller websites need to be smarter in their SEO goals. This means spending more time identifying less competitive keywords, build content around them and generate backlinks to grow the site’s authority.

It takes time before your site gains considerable authority where you can compete on level ground with the bigger brands.

You only need to do SEO once

Myth 

Some business owners are attracted by one-off SEO packages with promises of scaling the heights of Google search page after a series of ‘fine-tuning’.

Truth

It’s a mistake to believe that you can permanently be on top of the search results after a one-time SEO optimisation.

SEO just doesn’t work that way.

Even if you’ve engaged an experienced consultant, and do indeed get results, there is no guarantee that it will be permanent.

SEO is a pretty dynamic and volatile discipline. Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithms, with a few major upgrades in-between.

An update could be happening right under your nose as you’re reading this. As Google attempts to ‘perfect’ its search algorithm, websites experience volatile movement in the ranking.

Therefore, what works for your site at this moment may be obsolete in a matter of months. If you’re banking for that one-off SEO optimisation, you’ll be disappointed in the long run.

Furthermore, new content is added or updated daily. If you’re leaving your site as it is, Google may consider your content to be outdated and promote others above yours.

And it has been that way ever since 2011.

seo myths debunked

So, SEO isn’t a one-off magic bullet. Instead, it is an adaptive process where the site is continuously optimized with relevant best practices.

I need to use exact match keywords in my content

Myth

There are still practices where webmasters include exact keywords in content, assuming that it helps with Google ranking.

Does it still work in today’s SEO?

Truth 

Exact keywords matching was once a determining factor in boosting Google rank. However, it has been ages since it is a major ranking factor.

Google has evolved beyond the need for an exact keyword to determine the context of an article. In other words, you don’t need exact match keywords to rank at all.

Here’s a piece of content that ranks for ‘how to change Instagram icon’ and at the coveted #1 spot.

seo exact match myth

The keyword does not appear at all in the content, nor in the title. Yet, Google is still able to determine that the article demonstrates the way to change the Instagram icon.

So, do you still need exact match keywords?

Yes, but only if it makes sense. For example, if you’re ranking product pages, the product name naturally becomes the targeted keyword.

The bottom line is; if squeezing in the exact keyword makes the content unnatural, ditch it. Being relevant and staying natural is more important.

I should focus exclusively on building more links, not on creating more content

Myth

Judging by how links are moving the needle in SEO, shouldn’t you be building more links and not spending more time on content?

As long as Google still requires links to rank pages, it will remain a crucial ranking factor. It is also proven that building backlinks do send webpages to the top.

Is content no longer a factor in SEO?

Truth

When Google’s algorithm was primitive, it was possible to build tons of links and rank thin content. The Google Panda update in 2010 changes that.

Pure link-building without a content strategy is a recipe for failure. Links indicate the importance of a page, but content determines the relevance to the users.

Links are only as powerful when coupled with proper content strategy. It shouldn’t be viewed as a standalone SEO tactic.

This piece of article that ranks for ‘social media strategy’ has over 7,000 backlinks. However, it isn’t merely backlinks that brought it to the top.

seo backlinks myth

 

The article is written in detail and covers multiple steps that are relevant to the topic. It offers value to the users, and undoubtedly deserves the links built to it. In other words, it’s a legit linkable asset.

The article is also optimised for readability and SEO, which makes it easy to read. It demonstrates that content optimisation is equally, if not more important, than building backlinks.

Remember that Google’s primary focus is serving content that is relevant to users. Without good content, the thousands of backlinks are just worthless text links.

You don’t need to worry about optimising images

Myth

SEO is all about writing content and getting backlinks. Images are just part of the process and do not affect SEO.

That’s one of the common SEO beliefs that has seen webmasters insert and publish images as they are.

Truth

While it’s true that publishing an un-optimised image may not drastically affect SEO, it is still a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.

First of all, Google doesn’t understand images. It relies on the alt-text, a specific description in the HTML to learn what the image is all about.

Optimising the image’s alt-text with the keyword helps Google in determining the relevance of the image.

An optimised image could also turn up in the Images section of the search result, which increases traffic.

optimising images seo myth

If you’re using a high-resolution image, the size of the file may slow down the overall page loading speed.

A slow-loading page isn’t good for SEO. With other factors being equal, pages with fast loading images will rank higher on search.

Therefore, compress the images used in the content, use next-gen formats or choose smaller resolutions.

Having a secure website isn't important

Myth

Cyber frauds and data breach are only concerned with financial websites and those involved in e-commerce. For business websites, security isn’t important and does not affect SEO.

This is yet another misconception about security and SEO.

Truth

While it’s true that a typical information-only website is unlikely to be the target of attacks, neglecting the security of the site can drastically impact SEO.

Google is committed to providing a secure search experience for its users. Financial institutions and websites that involve monetary transactions are required to be secured by HTTPS.

In 2014, Google made HTTPS a ranking signal, which means websites, regardless of nature, are required to use the SSL encryption to get ranked on Google.

debunking secure website seo myth

The quickest way to check if your site is using HTTPS is to check on the lock icon on the browser.

how to check if the website is secure

If it’s not, talk to your hosting provider to have the SSL certificate installed. It is a simple move that will have a significant bearing on your site’s ranking on Google.

Google will penalise my website for duplicate content

Myth 

Some publishers triple-check content for plagiarism with Copyscape. They fret at the slightest sign of duplicate content because the common SEO lore says that it will get your site penalised.

Truth

It depends.

If you’re engaging in BlackHat SEO practices, such as spam or keyword stuffing, duplicate content can land you with a manual penalty.

Apart from that, Google does it best to ignore and devalue duplicate content on your site. According to Matt Cutts, you shouldn't be worried about having coped T&C or other legal pages and used it on your site. The search engine will simply ignore it.

When you’re getting lazy and use the same snippet of content over different pages, Google may devalue the duplicates, and they aren’t going to rank.

However, if you’re copying content from a site that’s not yours, you risk triggering a penalty. Even if you’ve spun the content to avoid duplication, it lacks uniqueness and hence, is difficult to rank on Google.

To be clear, you’re aren’t going to suffer penalties if you’re using duplicate content like legal pages. Or you are having the same snippet of the content appearing on multiple pages.

You’ll be penalised if you’re directly plagiarising others, either by penalties or a site takedown if a DMCA complaint is lodged.

Blog comments are spam

Myth

Some agencies resort to building thousands of links from blog comments, with the hope of improving a site’s Google ranking. But when Google handed out penalties, they conclude that blog commenting is a spammy practice.

So, does blog commenting for SEO still work? Or is it a spammy approach?

Truth

Blog comments are spam only when you do it for the sake of getting links. To get links, commenters often leave the URL in the website field or include it as part of the comment.

What separates a genuine comment and spam is the way the comment is delivered. If you’re only leaving a ‘Great post’ or a ‘nice read’ message as a comment, then it’s likely flagged as spam.

Experienced moderators often will trash such comments, as they are considered low quality. Low-quality comments could also affect the quality of the page itself, according to Google.

are blog comment spam for seo

So, if you’re leaving low-quality or spam comments, your effort can backfire and hurt your site’s ranking.

Here’s an example of bad comment.

example of bad comment that will harm seo

Instead, you need to comment in a smart way, which is about offering value and building connections.

Here’s a way better comment as it further the value of the topics covered in the blog. It attracts attention and is also unlikely to be flagged as spam.

good blog comments to help seo

Even if you’ve figured out the right way of commenting, it shouldn’t be your only sources of links either. If you’re having way too many links from blog comments, and very little from other methods, the link profile may appear suspicious for Google.

Diversification is key where you mix blog comments with other types of link-building strategies.

Tool X will fix all your SEO issues

Myth

The SEO marketplace is teeming with premium software like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMRush and Screaming Frog. These software programs are packed with features that allow keyword research, link audits, site crawl and more.

At a glance, the software is complete with every possible tool needed for SEO. So, does that mean that subscribing to one of the software is all it takes to solve your SEO woes?

Truth

Unfortunately, no.

It is undeniable that software like Ahrefs has made an SEO consultant’s life easier. Its Keyword Explorer helps to identify countless keywords opportunities and the Site Explorer allows in-depth backlink audit and analysis.

As helpful as they are, the software programs are just tools that rely on the individual operating them.

Even if you’ve identified potential keywords, you’ll still need the expertise to build content around them. Sometimes, it is better to optimise existing content with related keywords to prevent keyword cannibalisation.

A piece of SEO tool can’t do that.

The same goes for link-building. You can check out your competitors' backlink from SEO tools, but the effort in acquiring them is still dependent on SEO professionals.

Issues like broken links, orphaned pages and loading speed do show up in SEO tools alright. However, manual intervention is needed to rectify them.

Tools are useful in discovering problematic areas and exploring opportunities for optimisation. Ultimately, an experienced pair of hands are needed to get the job done.

How quickly your site loads isn’t important

Myth

You click onto your website, flip over a couple of social media posts, check some emails, and that’s when your webpage is fully loaded.

It’s better late than never, right? And it shouldn’t in any way affect SEO.

Truth

If you think that page loading speed doesn’t matter, you can’t be further away from the truth.

Page loading speed has everything to do with search experience, and Google intends to provide the best in that aspect.

Imagine someone clicks on your webpage, and it took more than 5 seconds to load. One would be forgiven to think that the site is broken and hit back immediately.

That’s how a potential lead is lost.

Google recommends that a page should not take more than 3 seconds to load because that’s where the bounce rate starts to increase drastically.

importance of website loading speed

The question is, will a blazing-fast page loading speed propel your site to the top of search ranking?

Probably not. Factors like optimized content and off-page signals are necessary to rank better in Google. However, having a slow-loading website is likely to end up in ranking lower than your site deserved.

H1, H2, H3 Tags Don’t Matter

Myth

After a couple of decades, surely Google has moved beyond using header tags for ranking? So, it is perfectly reasonable to exclude the header tags and still rank favourably on Google.

Truth

No. Header tags (H1, H2, H3) are no longer a ranking factor in today’s Google algorithm.

But they still matter in terms of SEO.

Here’s why.

Google confirmed that its algorithm has grown intelligent enough to understand the context of the content even if you’ve omitted every single header.

importance of header tags

Theoretically, it shouldn’t affect SEO ranking.

Now, imagine if this monstrous article that you’re reading is created without headers. Google’s algorithm may pick it up, but it’s unlikely that a human will make it past the 3rd paragraph.

Headers, while no longer needed to rank, are still required to structure the article for users. Else, it will be a large section of text that makes reading difficult.

With headers, users can quickly skim through subtopics and hone in on those that interest them.

Headers may no longer be what they were as ranking signals, but proper use results in better user experience. As far as SEO is concerned, user experience does affect search ranking.

So, include headers in your content but avoid stuffing them with keywords.

You can’t rank without a sitemap

Myth

You got an audit report for your site, and it’s missing a sitemap. You panicked because according to some SEO consultants, you can’t rank without a sitemap.

Truth

To get to the bottom of this myth, you’ll need to understand what a sitemap is. It is a file that is like a directory containing the URL of every page on your site.

A sitemap helps Google to crawl and index your website easier and faster.

You can rank with or without a sitemap. The difference is, if you have a sitemap AND have submitted it to Google Search Console, new pages are indexed faster and updates take effect sooner.

Most small business websites will have little issues without a sitemap. However, if you have a website with a few hundred pages, omitting a sitemap can make it harder for Google to crawl your site.

Having a sitemap is also not a ranking factor. However, it is still good to have a sitemap. You wouldn’t want new content to go undetected for months and lose out on the potential traffic.

After all, creating a sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console is easy.

Local SEO is the same as Worldwide SEO 

Myth

If you’re ranking for keywords like ‘best accounting software in Singapore”, surely it wouldn’t take much effort to rank for ‘best accounting software’.

Truth

Local SEO is usually applied by businesses to gain organic visibility for local related searches. It involves getting ranked on Google My Business (GMB), as well as appearing in searches that are location related or for terms like ‘dentist near me’.

Just because you’re getting good local traffic, it doesn’t mean you can replicate the same success with global SEO.

Global SEO requires way more effort as you’re competing with websites from other countries as well. It requires more effort, whether financially or execution, to compete on worldwide SEO.

Here's a simple comparison.

A site with a DA22 can make it to the first page for the term ‘best laptop in Singapore’.

difference between local seo and global seo

As for global competition for the keyword ‘best laptop', it takes at least a DA83 site to break into the first page.

importance of domain authority

Now, we’ve mentioned that Google doesn’t use DA in its algorithm but it’s still helpful to compare the stark differences in authority, content and investment that separates local and worldwide SEO.

Ranking results are guaranteed (and/or immediate)

Myth 

“#1 page ranking in 24 hours”

“100% guaranteed SEO ranking”

“Watch how I rank in Google in 60 seconds”

Those are a couple of common headlines you’ll see in some SEO agencies’ advertisements. But, are they realistic promises, or unethical, overhyped marketing?

Truth

Often, there’s a catch in such blatant advertisements. Can you get top spot easily in Google search ranking?

Quite possibly, but for keywords with little to no traffic. It’s almost a guarantee that you can rank for your brand easily if you’ve got the basics right.

However, ranking for keywords that offer valuable traffic often takes time. Even if you’re on an aggressive publishing and link-building campaign, it may take weeks before you started seeing improvements in organic traffic.

Occasionally, some SEOs may find loopholes in Google’s algorithm and manipulate it for quick results. Doing so is risky as Google always wisen up and punishes those that flout its policy.

SEO is a long term strategy, and each step must be designed with the users in mind. Anyone who tells you otherwise is hiding the truths or simply does not know what they’re doing.

Longer content results in a higher ranking

Myth

It’s easy to come into a conclusion that you’ll to write longer content to rank higher on Google, particularly when coming across a chart like this:

seo myth about content

Believing that writing more words will rank higher, you start grinding for 2,500+ words articles in your content strategy.

Truth

The chart does not, in any way, prove that longer content leads to a higher ranking. It merely shows the correlation between content length and position on the search results.

John Muller dismisses explicitly the notion that writing longer content isn’t going to boost search ranking.

seo blog article length

Instead, it is the quality of the content that will influence position on search ranking. It so happens that high-quality content tends to be longer because it addresses the topic in detail.

Can a shorter content, outrank a long-form content?

Yes.

This article took the top spot for ‘what is content marketing’. It has approximately 640 words.

seo blog article length myth

Meanwhile, Neil Patel’s 10,000+ words article on the same topic is a few spots down the results.

Instead of worrying about hitting a certain amount of word counts, you’ll want to focus on the context of the article.

Does the content meet the search intent of the keyword?

If you can write a compact piece of article that offers the same value as a long-winded one, Google will rank yours over the other.

If you are interested in finding out more, we cover the ideal SEO blog article length here.

No-follow links are worthless for SEO

Myth

When it comes to link-building, the attention is focused on getting ‘do-follow’ links while its ‘no-follow’ counterpart is deemed worthless.

Technically, only ‘do-follow’ links are crawled by Google, which means ‘no-follow’ links are pretty worthless.

Truth

Indeed, Google does not crawl no-follow links. However, they are far from being worthless nor being totally ignored in the search algorithm.

In 2019, Google changed the way it treats ‘no-follow’ links. No-follow links are now considered hints that may be used in Google search.

no-follow links seo myth

Even without the latest adjustment, no-follow links are still needed in SEO. First of all, no-follow links are part of a healthy link profile. If you have an overwhelming amount of do-follow links, you’ll risk triggering Google’s spam detector for unnatural link profiles.

Some no-follow links in highly-engaged forums can be a real traffic driver for your site. The clicks that come with the traffic can indirectly boost SEO ranking.

So, no-follow links are far from being worthless.

Social signals are not important for SEO

Myth

With Matt Cutts dismissing that Google users social signals to rank sites in this video, it is tempting to dismiss social media from your SEO campaign.

After all, what’s the point of wasting time on social media engagement, if the ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ doesn’t boost ranking?

Truth

It could be true that Google doesn’t take social media engagement into account when ranking websites.

However, that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the value of social media platforms.

For a start, having a presence on social media instils a sense of legitimacy. This is important when you’re working on local SEO.

Also, it’s hard to dismiss the correlation between social media engagement and web pages that are ranking on top of the search results.

Publishing high-quality content on social media leads to engagement and may result in some natural backlinks built to your site.

Considering the possibility that Google may include social media signals (if it hasn't already done so), it’s unwise to forsake the social media campaign.

Guest posting for links are bad for SEO

Myth

Circulated rumours indicates that guest posting for backlinks no longer work for SEO. If the rumours are true, guest posting may result in being penalised for spam.

Truth

The rumour started from this announcement on Google Webmaster Blog in 2017. If you read through the entire article, guest posting isn’t necessarily bad, when it offers value to the users.

What’s deemed spammy by Google is the act of guest posting purely for the sake of gaining backlinks.

In doing so, the quality of the content is compromised. The guest post is stuffed with spammy links, overstuffed with keywords or duplicated.

If you’re taking shortcuts in guest posting, then it is bad for SEO.

The correct way of guest posting isn’t for the sake of getting backlinks. It is, first and foremost, an opportunity to connect with an audience on a different platform.

You’ll need to produce content of equal, if not better quality than those on your website. Avoid unnatural links on the article and ensure any links included help expand the content.

Therefore, it’s a misguided perception that guest posting hurts SEO.

Keyword-rich anchor text linking is no longer useful

Myth

When the Google Penguin update rolled out, a website that built backlinks with keyword matching anchor text got hit hard.

It creates a perception that not only keyword-rich anchor text are no longer useful, but could incur penalties on websites.

Truth

A keyword-matching link is where the anchor text is similar to the targeted keyword of the destination article.

For example, placing a link on the text “SEO Myth” and directing it to this article.

What Google does when it crawls on such links is to check out the anchor text and determine the relevance to the destination page.

If you’re using generic terms like ‘learn more here’ or ‘in this article’, Google is unable to determine the relevance of the link.

Therefore, keyword-rich anchor text still plays a role in link-building strategies. What you need to avoid is to have the same anchor text on every link you built

Doing so will send a suspicious signal to Google.

Instead, use a mixture of matching-keyword, semantic keyword, branded keyword and generic ones when you build links.

External links offer no value

Myth

When you add external links to other websites, you risk losing out traffic as users click through it. So, external links are not helpful for SEO.

Truth

Rather than hurting SEO, placing relevant external links increase trust and relevance of your site. Both are geared towards the ideal of Google of what constitutes quality content.

For example, if you’re citing statistics from a source, link to it. Are you quoting a piece of advice from an industry expert? Credit him or her with a link.

Found a piece of in-depth article that your readers might be interested in? Include a link in the article.

Outbound links, when used strategically, can boost your site’s ranking. It builds trust amongst your audience and elevates the site to a position of authority.

Therefore, don’t be stingy with adding external links, just because of the fear of losing traffic.

Conclusion

It’s fascinating how myths came to life when it comes to SEO. Whether it’s an outdated practice or a poor understanding of facts, these myths do spread quickly in the community.

SEO consultants and webmasters alike are not spared into believing these falsehoods and sometimes to adverse effects.

What’s important is to investigate and get to the bottom of every single advice that you’ve picked up. It is wiser to rely on testing and research because, in the end, numbers don’t lie.

If you’re still dubious of any SEO practice, feel free do drop us a message.

Require further assistance in SEO? Feel free to reach out to our friendly and experienced Singapore SEO consultant. We are also rated by many as the best Singapore SEO company that has proven records to delivering results! We also provide local SEO servicesenterprise SEO servicesecommerce SEO servicesSEO audit services and many more.

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    Xavier Tan
    Co-Founder
    Xavier is the Co-Founder of Heroes of Digital. He started social media marketing and SEM long before it became popular in Singapore. His passion is in helping businesses grow through effective lead generation. He has overseen campaigns for Amara Hotel, NTU, Marina Bay, L'Oreal, and 100+ SMEs.

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