If you were to Google SEO myths, dozens of results would show up. Does this mean they are all to be absolutely disbelieved and discarded when you are optimizing your own online content? Certainly not! Some SEO tips are less like myths and more like bad practices, while others simply have less impact on page rank than other strategies might. While some myths do contain a measure of truth, there are still plenty of SEO ideas out there that should be stricken from existence to prevent further damage to your marketing efforts.
Myth #1: SEO is dead. No doubt you’ve heard this myth bandied about the water cooler on more than one occasion, and some variation of it has been resurrected to refer to any number of things over the past decade. Despite the claims otherwise, SEO has not died an untimely death or been replaced by content marketing, user experience or mobile-friendly optimization. In fact, those particular aspects work with SEO and contribute to the overall success of search optimization.
Myth #2: Anchor text must have keywords for proper optimization. In truth, it really doesn’t matter what your anchor text says, as long as you don’t use the same anchor text for all your internal links. If anchor text is keyword-rich and appears to be over-optimized to search engines, it could actually hurt your SEO efforts.
Myth #3: Keyword-rich URLs improve page rank. If you’re seeking visible improvement, forget keyword-rich URLs. This myth is often perpetuated simply because humans think it’s easier for other humans to read URLs that look like sentences (and have keywords in them). They don’t make a difference to search engines when indexing pages, and can often only be found in searches that use exact match queries in parentheses.
Myth #4: Social signals do (or don’t) impact search results. Do they? Don’t they? Google denies it, SEO experts claim they’ve proven it and, in the end, no one really knows for sure. While there’s no true rule of thumb here, building out social media marketing plans can’t hurt you and can ultimately bring about more brand awareness.
Myth #5: Canonicalization isn’t really that important, so don’t bother. On the contrary, canonicalizing URLs if your site can be accessed by several different ones is very important for page rank purposes. Otherwise, each individual URL gets its own page value, instead of all the points and popularity going to one dominant URL.
Myth #6: Personalized search results have nullified the power of organic search. While Google does use personalized search results for users based off of browser cookies, the difference in results is negligible. Organic results still trump personal ones, primarily because people don’t continue to search for the same things day after day.
Myth #7: Outbound links are just as important as inbound links. Outbound links have essentially no ranking power when compared to inbound links. This is because they have no authority or value since they are coming from your site. Where they point to is insignificant in terms of your page rank, because you could otherwise attempt to artificially elevate your rank by pointing to dozens of expert and authority sites.
Do your own research and find even more SEO myths that you should stop listening to right now. Use caution, however, and make sure you’re not actually disregarding what could be a valuable piece of advice in favor of public opinion.