It’s a given now that the SEO industry is one that will just continually be in constant flux. Last year alone we saw numerous updates from Google – Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, and Pirate – as well as many tweaks along the way. The dynamic nature of the Internet demands that those in the SEO industry stay ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing the ideal tactics to implement. People who fall behind end up adhering to outdated advice that will likely jeopardize their rankings.
The problem many marketers face is building a strategy that can adapt to the constant changes in Google’s algorithms. But as SEO best practices continue to change a lot of misinformation still persists. Let’s take a look at some of the most common SEO myths and learn the real facts about these issues.
Small Sites Don’t Get Caught Out
There’s no such thing as flying under the radar with Google. Big or small Google is pretty egalitarian about who it decides to punish. If you decide to engage in black-hat tactics you run the risk of getting penalized by the search engines, and the real kicker is it will take you much longer to recover than the bigger companies. Google operates off of algorithms, and spiders crawling through web pages, none of which are interested in your reasons for trying to take a shortcut to success.
SEO Is Voodoo
I have to tell people this continually, just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t make it voodoo. SEO is highly specialized but so are Law, Engineering, and almost every other profession. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
Those of us who understand SEO know this is not true. We can do the same thing over and over again, albeit customized for client needs and get the results we expect. This is because search is based on an algorithm. Algorithms are math. Math means you can test against it and see what works and what doesn’t. Science isn’t voodoo and that’s sort of what SEO turns out to be. We hear this myth a lot from people who didn’t put enough effort into their strategy, and just want to blame someone else for their failure.
SEO Is Cheap
This isn’t exactly a myth, this should probably instead say “Bad SEO is cheap.” There are plenty of scammers out there willing to promise you what seems like a fool proof scheme to climb the rankings. Anyone practicing black-hat tactics however are going to cause you a lot more damage than good. Paying more for better quality is something you don’t want to compromise on in the SEO game. You always get what you pay for. With your money allocated in the right way, you should see significant advances in your KPIs. But like most things, the more money you put into it, the more results you’ll get.
The only thing that really bothers me about this myth is due to the law of inevitability, one day the same people who say this year after year will actually be correct. However, that day is not coming anytime soon. You might as well say the Internet is dead! As long as there are people alive searching for and reading content online there will be a vital purpose for a quality SEO agency and companies that provide link building services.
Again this usually comes as a knee-jerk response to an update from Google. People fail to realize however that when Google does their updates, they really are for the benefit of all involved, readers, writers, and entrepreneurs. There’s nothing wrong with weeding out the rotten apples, it makes for a more robust and healthy industry, one sitting on a solid foundation.
Ignore the myth that guest blogging will get you in trouble with Google: If you do it right, guest posting is a great tactic that can help you build your authority and visibility. The exposure you gain on high-profile sites can help establish your reputation within your target market.
Domain Authority vs. Page Rank – Whoever Shall Win?
This one shouldn’t be a question. Page Rank has gone the way of the dinosaur and while many are now aware, it’s a fact that some are still struggling to come to terms with. Google has slowly stopped updating PR data, so your site can neither rise nor fall in PageRank over time. These days, updates come as infrequently as twice each year, and promise to come less frequently in the future.
DA is calculated using a wider range of metrics than PageRank. Some of those metrics include:
- The number and quality of incoming links. Who links to you and how many people do it how frequently? This can be improved by gaining backlinks from a wide variety of authoritative sources.
- The number and quality of outgoing links. Who do you consider worth linking to? Do you have too many links for your content? Do you link to authority sites or known spam domains?
- Domain registration information. Do you own 10, 20, 30 domains? Domain Authority monitors domains linked with the same information. If one of those sites becomes a spammy or black hat site, other sites owned by that person can be demoted.
- Domain age. Older domains have had time to establish more trust, so they can rank a little higher in Domain Authority. Many sites never last past their first anniversary. This metric can’t really be affected externally, short of buying an old, established domain.
- Link diversity. It’s better in general to have a smaller number of links from a wider array of valuable sites than it is to have a large number of incoming links from a small handful of sites.
And that is just a brief overview. Domain Authority is almost as complex as what the Google algorithm is. So hands down, the winner is Domain Authority. It’s time to bury Page Rank.
If you come away with anything from this article, it’s that you have to continue to research and monitor the changes as they come in order to plan for the future. Don’t let any myths no matter how much they are repeated interfere with the progress you should be making in your business.