SEO Misconceptions: 15 Myths Debunked [Truth Unveiled]

SEO is a big deal for any online marketer or a business owner. Most beginners try to learn SEO online for their business or skill. Unfortunately, however, the internet is saturated with so many SEO misconceptions. In this post, I’ll help you in the best way possible to explain these myths and guide you so you can avoid them.

To help you understand the subject matter better, it is important to explain what I mean by SEO misconceptions.

What Are SEO Misconceptions?

SEO misconceptions are actually what people think is but is not in the world of SEO. It’s as simple as that.

It is important to debunk these misconceptions because they are completely misleading.

I’ll explain to you the commonest SEO misconceptions so you don’t fall for it.

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15 Commonest SEO Misconceptions

Although there are many misconceptions in the world of SEO, here, I’ll highlight 15 of the commonest ones.

1. Higher Domain Authority Means Better Ranking

Have you ever heard someone tell you that “You need to improve your DA to improve your SEO”? Or “get backlinks from websites with high DA“.

These are common statements in the SEO world but unfortunately, Domain Authority is not a ranking factor. To start with is not even recognized by Google or other Search Engines. It is a superficial metric by 3rd party SEO companies.

Here is the thing; Domain Authority can easily be manipulated by building spammy links to “inflate” a website’s DA score when in actual reality such a website is getting little or no organic traffic.

While the intention of the DA metric is good, it has been thoroughly abused and given undue importance.

So, what should be a good metric or yardstick to judge a good website from the SEO perspective? ORGANIC TRAFFIC, not Domain Authority. Organic traffic cannot be manipulated but DA can.

This misconception is one of the most misleading in the industry. Even “experts” spread the misconception. But now you should know better.

2. Guest Posting is The Only Link-Building Strategy That Works

The keyphrase “guest post” has about 2,000 searches monthly in the US alone and has about 1.5 billion search results on Google.

Guest post search query on Google

Why are Guest posts getting so much attention? Because there is an existing misconception that Guest post is the only link-building strategy that works. Sadly, that’s not true.

There are dozens of other link-building strategies that work. You could try out HARO to build links.

The point here is; to diversify your link-building strategy and not stick your neck out with just one method.

3. Agencies Would Manage Your SEO Campaigns Better

When I started out with SEO, I nearly outsourced one of my websites to an agency because I felt they know better or would give me better results. Well, while that may be true for many other people who know very little about SEO, it so not the case if you have a good foundational knowledge of SEO.

What makes an Agency unique is they (supposedly) have the time to run your SEO campaign while you are committed to other businesses or activities.

On another hand, many agencies build spammy links that eventually get your website penalized!

So, here is the takeaway: If you must outsource your SEO, make sure you are with a trustworthy agency with good reviews.

They’re usually pricy though. But if you have time, learn, and always learn and get it done yourself! Many agencies are so incompetent and are as good as you are. Never doubt you.

4. Algorithm Is King (Instead of Content)

The usual saying is “Content is King”. However, a few “experts” has reversed the saying “Algorithm is king”. Why? They believe we all have to bend to the rules of the Search Engine algorithm to rank better.

While the statement is true the underlying principle is largely vague and misleading.

The Algorithm was created BECAUSE of content, not the other way round. So, the algorithm cannot be your priority.

What’s the point here? Write valuable content for the human readers first, then complement it with the “algorithm” (SEO techniques), not the other way round. So, yeah content is still king!

5. Content MUST be Long To Rank

One ancient SEO misconception is that you must write a minimum of 1000 to 3000 words to rank well on the search engine. This is completely false!

As mentioned before, content is king. Write sufficiently to address a specific topic or pain-point of human readers. If you can address this in say 600 words, fine, don’t fluff it around with empty, boring, needless stories just to hit a word count target!

You can actually outrank a 1500-word article with QUALITY content that addresses key points of say 700 words.

The point here is that doing complete justice to your topic should be your priority not meeting a word count target! Your content may or not rank. It’s all about quality.

6. Low Volume Keywords Are Useless

Again, “experts” always tell you to go for keywords with a minimum of 1,000 monthly search volume because low-volume keywords are not worth it. Well, that’s a lie.

One of my websites gets about 700/800 monthly visits via a keyword that has zero search volume according to an SEO tool.

What’s the lesson here? SEO software or tools are not perfect. If you think people would be interested in that topic even though it has zero search volume, write it! That brings s to the next SEO misconception…

7. SEO Tools Are Perfect

While these SEO tools like SEMRUSH, AHREFS, UBBERSUGGEST, etc. are super helpful, they are nothing close to perfection. They should not be worshipped like an SEO god whose decree is final. No.

For example, their estimated monthly organic traffic, search volume, etc., are not usually accurate.

Don’t get me wrong. These tools are super helpful but know when to draw the line about the numbers they provide you because they are not perfect.

8. Digital PR Alone Suffices For Link Building

In some other world, especially marketers who are more “PR-Inclined”, they reason: “Why go through so much hell for just one backlink from the guest post when I can publish my PR article on multiple websites all at once?” Well, PR is PR and that defines the purpose of your article. SEO is more encompassing.

While Digital PR is good for PR’s sake and helps you diversify your link-building strategies, it does not replace every other link-building strategy and should not stand alone.

9. Without Sitemap, A Website Cannot Be Crawled By Search Engines

Sitemaps are indeed very good to improve the structure of your site and help to communicate that structure to the search engines. However, in my experience, I’ve seen clients’ websites that have no sitemaps but are getting organic search traffic. This means that their website pages are being crawled by search engines.

Don’t it wrong here. Sitemaps are good and I strongly encourage you to have one. However, you can strongly debunk anyone who tells you that without SITEMAPS your content or website CANNOT be crawled by search engines.

10. External Backlinks MUST Have Your Keyword Anchor Texts To Rank

Many times, you are being told to use keywords you want to rank for in your anchor text when building backlinks, maybe on guest post articles.

Well, if you are using the exact key phrase in anchor texts on multiple external websites, you are in danger of being penalized by search engines.

The search would easily sense that someone is influencing the link-building process. Meanwhile, the ideal standard is that links should come naturally because I find value in your content.

It is practically impossible for 5 different websites with different people to point to your website using the exact same anchor texts.

So, what should you do instead? Be flexible, natural, and diverse with your anchor texts.

11. Table of Content Improves Search Engine Ranking

A few times, I’ve heard SEOs say that a Table of contents would help you improve your ranking on the search engines. Well, that’s not exactly true.

The table of contents is specifically meant for your readers – humans, not the algorithm. They help your readers to see the structure of your content at a glance and possibly jump to the section they need.

It’s better to place much more importance on animates (humans) than the inanimate things algorithm.

While the Table of content could make your search result richer, like featured snippets would, it does not in any way influence your ranking.

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12. You Must Manually Search For Backlink To Improve Your Ranking

Ok, so this may sound strange but it is the truth. Let me explain.

You can actually have an improved ranking on the Search Engines without hunting for backlinks. I know about 3 friends’ websites with the same strategy. So, how do they do it? They write resourceful and high quality content that fetches them backlinks naturally.

They’ve never attempted to pitch guest posts or anything like that.

While I do not discourage your link-building efforts, I’m only pointing out that you can do without it with solid on-page SEO and resourceful content. However, your success largely depends on the level of competitiveness in your niche.

13. AI-written Contents Have Better SEO Results That Manually-written Content

There are many content AI software now that makes it easy to come up with 3,000 words in just a few minutes.

Personally, I frown at this because it is no longer human-to-human communication again with such blog posts. It is AI communicating with humans.

Coincidentally, Google partly shares my viewpoint. Google says AI content actually violates their content guidelines and such content or website would likely be penalized in the long run.

Being penalized by google is a step backward for your SEO campaign.

Since the news broke out, many have claimed that there is no way google would detect AI-written content. Well, personally, I think it just takes one intelligent and major core update to detect this in the future.

What’s the point here? Quality content written for and by humans still stand out no matter what.

14. SEO is The Only Means of Getting Traffic

Everyone is doing SEO because of the crazy numbers you can get from it organically and because it is sustainable over the year into the future, unlike paid ads. However, SEO is not the only means of getting ORGANIC traffic.

I know a few people that don’t know jack about SEO but get over 40K visitors and earn well on their websites. They have 4 to 5 large Facebook groups that strategically share their content and drive organic traffic.

Some others use Reddit, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

And yes, some marketers resort to paid ads.

All the same, the point is clear. SEO is just one of the numerous ways of getting organic traffic. Do not be misled.

15. Images and Videos Can’t Really Help Your SEO, Just Write SEO Optimized Content

Sometimes, we undervalue the power of images and videos in SEO and focus only on web clicks.

image search type on Google search console

According to Clark Boyd, images account for about 34% of search results.

Similarly, videos also are important.

SEO misconceptions about videos

The point here is that, if you can, stack up your content with a good number of original images or relevant videos of yours embedded in your content.

Contrary to the common SEO misconceptions, images and videos can improve your SEO because searchers can visit your website via multiple search results (web search, images, and videos) at the same time compared to just web search alone.

Final Thought

Now that you know the common SEO misconceptions, it is better to get them off your head as you approach your SEO campaign. Good enough, I pointed out what should be instead of the misconceptions.

If you found this article useful, you could also learn How To Add Multiple Keywords In Free Yoast SEO Plugin, How To Convert Videos In A Simple Way, How To Delete A Facebook Page On Desktop Android And iPhone, or the difference between Retargeting and Remarketing and much more valuable info that could improve online marketing skills.

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