Debunking 8 Common SEO Myths

by | Mar 20, 2018

While Google is trying it’s best to maintain a confusing environment for webmasters to prevent them from manipulating its search algorithm, there are many “SEO experts” who contribute to the confusion by spreading gossip and assumptions that they have no factual data to back up.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths being circulated in the SEO industry and see if we can debunk them.

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Myth 1: Higher the Content-Length, Better the Rankings

Since the infancy of SEO, we have been taught that content is king and it certainly deserves that title because the main intent of people searching on Google is to find information.

But just like a game of Chinese whispers, the statement changed from “content is king” to “lengthy content is king”.

Google does take content length into consideration but doesn’t take fluff and filler content into its account. So unless you need words to explain the topic in detail without any unnecessary fluff, you shouldn’t bother taking your content to humongous lengths.

Here’s a funny example: If somebody asks you a simple question – Would you drink water from a glass or from a newspaper?

It’s wise to answer “from a glass” instead of rambling: Hi, thank you for visiting our website about your query of drinking water. Scientists say that it’s a good idea to drink water from a glass rather than a newspaper as newspaper won’t be able to hold the water.

Does the scenario sound familiar guys?

So, please don’t bother padding up your word count just for the sake of it.

Myth 2: New Links Should Improve Your Rankings, Else They Are Bad and Must Be Removed

This is the second most common myth (and a harmful thing to do for the sake of your site) I have seen circulating online. If you build some links to your blogs and see that your rankings are deteriorating instead of improving, then PLEASE don’t ditch those links as bad and try to remove them. Here’s the reason why:

As mentioned above that Google likes to play it’s part well when it comes to confusing webmasters, this is yet another act. The giant has a patented Random Docs Algorithm as a clever way to figure out the SEOs who are actively involved in doing SERP manipulation.

What the algorithm does is it gives your site a negative movement in SERP instead of the positive movement your site was supposed to get due to those new links.

If you fall into this trap and remove those links believing them to be poisonous, then you are in trouble, my friend. The negative movement, which was supposed to be a temporary fluctuation, becomes a long time headache for you.

So if you see no changes in your SERPs or negative ranking, then please don’t remove those links or make any major changes in panic. Continue doing what you do (add new content, throw in some social signals, build some more links) and patiently wait for at least 30 days.

If it was the random docs algorithm (and your links weren’t crappy in the first place), you will see the improvements in SERP those links owed your site.

Myth 3: Metrics Claimed by SEO Tools Are Accurate/Trustworthy

Well, this one is both funny and saddening to see how people trust and rely on third-party tools for the research they were supposed to do manually.

If I had a nickel for everytime new and some “professional” bloggers posted about “profitable” keywords to work with believing the words of tools, I’d be a millionaire!

Like the way I debunked the myths above, I have evidence for this one as well. If you happen to have Ahrefs, then please open the keyword explorer and key in the term “computer repair” and get ready for a big surprise!

According to it, you need backlinks from approximately six websites to rank in top 10 of this keyword!WTF feeling, isn’t it?

Just for the record, this post in no way is intended to demean Ahrefs or any tools for that matter. Tools are meant to be used in our research, they aren’t supposed to deliver the end product when you supply the raw materials.

Myth 4: It’s Necessary to Submit Every Blog Post You Publish via Fetch as Google in Search Console

This myth is recently doing a lot of rounds in webmaster forums and FB groups where many bloggers ask advice and suggestions to why their posts aren’t getting indexed by Google and some people proudly redirect them to this little tool in Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) known as Fetch as Google.

Let me tell you guys a little secret. The “Fetch as Google” is intended to help you study the crawl behavior of Google bot for your site and see if it has any sort of problems with your blog. I guess the confusion that this tool helps with indexing is because of a little “Request Indexing” button that appears after the fetch is done.

Don’t get me wrong here, it sure does the job. But do you need to do it for every new article you publish? A BIG NO!

That’s what the sitemaps are for guys. If you made sure to submit your sitemap index (if you happen to use Yoast SEO), then there’s nothing left for you do everytime you publish a new article.

Neither you need to fetch your site (or that particular post) again, nor you have to resubmit your sitemap (yeah, people do this one as well and I am killing two birds with one stone here) as it happens automatically.

Don’t believe me?

Just visit your Search Console a few minutes after you have published a new post or page and you’ll see that the sitemap will be fetched again automatically (and you’ll see that 0 URLs submitted, which again is nothing to panic about as the sitemap’s content are in pending state)

Myth 5: Never Work on a Niche with Medium to High Competition

This myth or should I say demotivating statement has prevented many newbies from getting their feet wet in the deep water (yeah, I am aware that I have combined two idioms here).

There’s nothing wrong with working on a niche which has medium to high competition as there’s a reason why many people are working in that niche and that’s money, my friend. I don’t want you to avoid looking for a low competition niche.

It is awesome if you found one but if you don’t, then don’t be afraid to step in a niche which is a little more competitive. It will be a great test for you to polish your skills and push yourself to new levels.

Myth 6: Believing in a Guaranteed #1 Ranking Claim

Another funny one here, guys!

Nowadays, most (I won’t dare to say all as there are some diamonds in the rough) link sellers on various IM forums claim that they can help you get to the top #1 ranking for your keyword in Google.

The way they advertise is clever though. I have to admit that. There’s usually a scantily clad supermodel to get your attention and the claims of “#1 ranking in Google” at the bottom.

Anybody who claims that he/she is associated with Google and can help you reach to the top is speaking a load of BS and it’s in your best interest to close the tab (or window) of your browser.

Don’t get me wrong here, it is possible to rank higher (even get to position zero) but it is a difficult and challenging task (the reward is equally worth it!).

Myth 7: Religiously Following Everything Mentioned in the Official Webmaster Central Blog

I don’t think I need to argue a lot for this one and I will quote one statement from the official webmaster central blog and move on to debunking the final myth.

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

Simplifying that statement: Don’t try to build a single backlink for your site! All links should be natural and editorial.

I guess I don’t need to comment any further on this.

Myth 8: SEO is dead

Here it is guys… I saved the worst for the last!

This one drives me nuts, winds me up, ticks me off, {insert other relevant idioms expressing anger or a lack of hope}.

They build bad links, stuff keywords, don’t bat an eye on the content, design and structure of the site, flood it with ads, and do everything that will make a visitor on their site throw up and finally they claim that SEO is dead.

SEO is not dead, my friend. It’s alive and kicking. It’s the old age techniques (which some people still use) that are dead and not the mothership.

There you go, my fellow webmasters. These are the eight common myths, which I sincerely hope I have debunked for you.

Please do comment if have any other myths you’d like to share with our readers or have any counter-arguments.

Our readers and I’d love to hear you.

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