In this age of content-led internet marketing, SEO is considered a dirty word by some ‘experts’. Search Engine Optimization may imply keyword-manipulation, paid links, and low quality content. However, SEO remains an integral part of marketing your brand – it’s just a little more refined, and much more ethical, than it was many moons ago.
There are many types of SEO software out there, some designed to help you get tangled up in performance-based data, others automating certain aspects of marketing. There are plenty myths about SEO out there, and if you buy into them, you can miss out on the benefits optimization offers – how many of the ones explored below have you bumped up against?
Google will Punish you for Doing SEO
Given the negative impact some Google algorithm-updates have had on companies’ online presence, it’s not surprising some people may believe Google is against SEO. However, Google actually says that using SEO can “potentially improve your site and save time”, as well as recommending SEO agencies for their “useful services”, continuing that if you plan on hiring an agency to handle your optimization, the “earlier the better”.
Google actually hates SEO techniques which attempt to cheat their algorithms, which is why their updates – such as Penguin and Panda – are consistently tough.
Link Building is Dead
Google will not penalize you for link building, nor is it dead: search engines still use link authority and anchor text significantly in their algorithms. According to Moz, link authority accounted for more than 20% of Google’s ranking factors as of June 2013. Provided links are legitimate, they remain a powerful arrow in your SEO quiver.
Social Activity has no Effect on SEO
Because Google doesn’t use Facebook shares or follows on Twitter directly in their rankings, some people may claim social activity is irrelevant to SEO. Not so. Being active on social media can help in search-engine discovery and indexing, and content distribution (vital for links and shares, building your brand presence). A high rate of activity on social media boosts your hit-rate, user-engagement, and increases mentions.
SEO is Cheap
SEO is a Guaranteed Service
Yup – SEO software / service cannot guarantee you results! No company or tool can be 100% certain of achieving high rankings for your keywords – Google uses in excess of 250 factors to determine rankings. There is no instant-fix, no one tool to rule them all.
SEO is for your IT Department
There is definitely a technical element to SEO, and the more experience you have with search engines and website architecture, the easier you’ll find it – but SEO is not exclusively for your IT department. Using software, tools, and expert assistance, various departments in a business can boost a brand’s online presence with great success – being organized and willing to experiment is key.