Myths. They start so easily and can quickly become detrimental. Listening to them, as with all walks of life, can do some serious damage to your site or business. Here, we’ve listed 5 of the most prevalent and why they’re so wrong.
Myth 1: Build something great and they will come
In the world of content marketing, this is a top mantra. Build an amazing website and add some amazing content and you will see the traffic bust your proverbial door down.
If this were actually the case, SEO professionals would simply be content writers. Though awesome writing and content now plays a huge part of SEO, you site needs backlinks, a strong technical base from an SEO view-point, fast page speeds and so on and so forth. Simply put, it’s the sum of the parts.
By all means, create unique content, but other SEO tactics are needed if you want to get your website ranking accordingly with Google.
Myth 2: Link building is dead
Matt Cutts would prefer you to never artificially build a link to your site, but this the real world. And you can build it, but in no way or shape does it guarantee traffic will come to your site.
Cutts never actually said that links were dead.Cutts said Google has tried excluding links from the algorithm and the results were “much worse.” So while I don’t think it will stay forever this way, we have years before it potentially could go away, according to Cutts.
You need links. Every site does. What do you do?
Certainly don’t go to a link farm and buy links because this is regarded as a black-hat technique (the biggest) and will probably end up in your site getting penalised by Google. See this example I wrote about with Irwin Mitchell.
What you can do though is hire (or does this yourself) someone to go and create a strategic link-building plan and help you implement it. This means that you use strategic methods to acquire links in a way that would appear natural. For example, a tactic I’ve noticed being used a lot myself is with semi-professional sports teams. You can pay a semi-pro football/rugby team to sponsor them. This’ll cost money, of course, but what you gain is your brand name on (in most cases) every single URL of theirs, whilst having a link built from each one to your site – and this can run up to thousands.
Links aren’t dead, they’ve just changed quite a bit, and some of the old grey/black-hat techniques are now redundant or dangerous.
Myth 3: Google will spy on you if you use Analytics
If we’re talking about SEO and website performance in-general, Analytics is a must have. So often though we hear of people refusing to use it because they believe that Google spies on them.
Is this true? Yes and no would be the appropriate answer.
Let’s say you’re creating several domains that are being used for illegitimate things (links wheels etc.) and these sites all share the same Analytics code. Google now knows that you have these same domains (i.e you’ve linked them together and told Google they’re all yours). You’ve now effectively outed yourself, and even if it’s just an old site of yours which you haven’t fixed which is coincided with your new one, Google will punish you all the same.
However, is Google using Google Analytics as part of site positioning? No.
These are separate arms of the same company and they simply don’t interact at that level. Also, many sites don’t use Google Analytics, so if Google used Analytics to determine the results, it would probably be worse than excluding links as a ranking factor. It doesn’t make practical sense.
Bad data in = bad product out which = bad business. So if you are a regular company with a regular site, go ahead and add Google Analytics. The only one spying on you is the NSA.
Myth 4: Your rank/position with Google doesn’t matter
You might’ve heard someone say before that they “don’t care about ranking, just traffic”. Sure, there’s virtue in measuring traffic over rank but it’s also deceptive. It can be argued that there is no true top 10 anymore as the introduction of geolocation and personalisation will see two people living in different places probably see different positions for the same websites.
Converting/converted traffic is the most important metric when considering your return on investment, but the difference between 1st and 5th and 5th and 10th remains to have a massive bearing on the flow of traffic to your site. Be honest, will you go past the 5th position on Google for a product? Or past the first page?
Positions matter, rankings maybe not.
Myth 5: Social media is now the biggest link-building platform
You can get links from social, but not from sharing itself (Google+ excluded).
The reason is simple. There is a negative history with Facebook and Google and Google and Twitter. Neither company is willing to give Google consistent access to their fire hose, so Google simply can’t factor them into the algorithm.
A while back when Google did factor Twitter into the algorithm and had access to the fire hose, you ranked well for Twitter, but that changed when Twitter pulled that access from Google. You can learn more about that here.
Social is not the new link building; link building is the new link building,