Common SEO Misconceptions Newbies Should Know

17 replies
I noticed that some people here in WF are new to SEO. If so, it is important that you know not only the basics of SEO but also the common SEO misconceptions.

"Our site gets a ton of traffic! We're so popular, for sure we'll be on the top rank."

You need to understand that search engines do not have insider information about your overall web traffic so they do not know exactly how popular your site is. But they can count up how many sites they find that link to your site and this is one factor in how they judge your site's popularity.

"We've got to get more sites to link to us so that our ranks will improve!"


If the only reason you set out to get more links is so that Google will rank you higher, you are missing the big picture. Inbound links are pathways that allow people to visit your site. They can be excellent, direct sources of targeted traffic!

"Our site is doing great! We ranked #1!"

Ranked #1 for what? Starting now, erase "We ranked #1 from your vocabulary and replace it with "We ranked #1 for the term ____." Ranks are irrelevant unless they are tied to a meaningful target keyword.

"We're only going to promote our home page."


SEO is not about your site, it is about every page of your site. Every single page in your site stands on its own merits and can sink or swim based on its unique combination of several factors. If you approach SEO as a page-by-page endeavour, you will be on a surer path to success.

"We've filled in our meta keywords tag...we're good to go!"

The meta keywords tag carries very little influence with the search engines, and it's certainly not going to do much for your ranks if the rest of your site isn't shipshape. Just like any element of SEO, the keywords tag works best in the context of a holistic approach.

So there. Hope this helps newbies out there who i noticed are a bit lost.
#common #misconceptions #newbies #seo
  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    All good advice.

    SEO is pretty easy when you know how. You just need to work on it a little bit at a time. I've written a completely free guide on the subject that I'll be releasing soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author morwanneg
      Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

      All good advice.

      SEO is pretty easy when you know how. You just need to work on it a little bit at a time. I've written a completely free guide on the subject that I'll be releasing soon.
      Great! Will wait for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    It amazes me how simple SEO really is. And yet it is so intimidating to people that don't know much about it.

    Hear this newbies, it really isn't that hard!

    It's getting it done that is difficult. Throwing up a few backlinks isn't going to propel you to #1 overnight, and sadly many people give up before they can see the fruits of their labor.

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author zoobie
    true #1 doesn't mean anything. it has to be related to some targeted keywords or I should say the keywords that converts into sales or at least newsletter subscription.
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  • Profile picture of the author CyrusYung
    I must say that keyword research and market research is very important in SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author DJMC
    And.......never underestimate the importance of RELEVANCY.

    I've had the best link juice from sites that matched 2 or more of my site's own KW.

    Another common misconception: "All No follow links are worthless" (myth: some no-follow links are counted by Google Webmaster Tools, they are part of the algorithm that compares KW in anchor text to the site's content. If no follow was completely worthless, then Google wouldn't count SOME of them)
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    Originally Posted by morwanneg View Post


    "We've got to get more sites to link to us so that our ranks will improve!"
    How exactly is that one wrong?
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    • Profile picture of the author coco28
      Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

      How exactly is that one wrong?
      I think its because the nature of the link is what matters, rather than the number. I mean keyword rich anchor text links will carry much more weight than thousands of 'click here' backlinks..
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
        Originally Posted by coco28 View Post

        I think its because the nature of the link is what matters, rather than the number. I mean keyword rich anchor text links will carry much more weight than thousands of 'click here' backlinks..
        That's not what the original post said. It made it sound like getting more links will not help you.

        I can only respond to what is posted, not what someone might have meant but did not say.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    seo is by far the best roi you can provide your website - you may have the best products and customer service as well as jaw dropping mutimedia interactive frontpage... but if no one can find you....
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    i mentioned on some other place, SEO is actually more and more turning into "content producing", as opposed to "classic" SEO as we had it years ago.

    The reason is that with recent web 2.0 blog platforms (WP...) on-site SEO has become less important (its basically good to go already, as opposed to years ago)..so fiddling with sites itself "for SEO" is really not needed anymore.

    Besides of link-building maybe, notice how much more influence and importance CONTENT and article writing has nowadays - its way, way, way more important and the best SEO you can do is put a GOOD article or two on your site, constantly every day.

    SEO has changed and it will even more in the future..
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  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    I'd add to that the SEO is worthless if you can't convert the visitor to the list and then to a sale. You can make good money with very, very little traffic. And you can make next to no money with tons and tons of traffic. I have done both, and I think the first way is better.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by beareroftruth View Post

      The meta keywords tag carries very little influence with the search engines,

      What? NO! Title tags are one of the MOST IMPORTANT on-page SEO tweaks you can do.
      Title tags are NOT meta tags and shouldn't be confused as such. The title is one of only four required tags that make up an html document, <html><head> and <body> being the other 3.

      Meta tags are optional tags and identified using "meta", such as:
      <META NAME ="name" CONTENT="content">

      Again, title tags are required, meta tags are optional, from a HTML point of view...Whether or not they are "required" from an SEO point of view, that's another discussion.


      SEO is not simple at all. The SEOs who are killing the incredibly competitive markets out there are doing advanced stuff that would blow your mind.
      Actually, it is pretty simple: Put as many words on as many pages as possible, then lnk to those pages. I've been using this simple strategy for 12 years. Optimization comes AFTER the first two things.

      However, we shouldn't confuse the word "simple" with the word "easy".

      And there's a number of god keyword researchers picking "easy" niches using only moderate SEO knowledge, and still making a "killing".

      Originally Posted by beareroftruth View Post

      No. Producing content != SEO. Applying SEO principles to writing content, e.g. being keyword conscious, paying attention to headers, etc., does not erase the fact that you're still doing "classic SEO" as you call it.
      Totally wrong. Producing "content" is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of SEO. Without content, one doesn't have anything to apply SEO to or linking to. And much of the efforts of the great SEOers (both black and whitehat) is focused on content creation.

      And producing enough content, IE "pages" will often be more powerful than basic SEO principles.

      Take the Warrior Forum just a few months ago as an example. It was using a forum (Snitz) that wasn't particularly SEO friendly. Nor did most posts/posters use basic SEO principles when creating posts. I doubt many posters did any keyword research... And Allen, the owner, is anti-SEO (sort of).

      Yet through shear volume of pages, and therefore combinations of words used, many Warrior forum pages ranked very well in Google, without plug ins or anything close to what we'd call "SEO".

      I'll take tons and tons of original content pages over a few "perfectly" optimized pages any day.

      Plus, I've never seen a "perfectly" optimized page rank #1 for a competitive keyword. There's likely a penalty for being "too well optimized".
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      • Profile picture of the author WareTime
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post


        I'll take tons and tons of original content pages over a few "perfectly" optimized pages any day.

        Plus, I've never seen a "perfectly" optimized page rank #1 for a competitive keyword. There's likely a penalty for being "too well optimized".
        I'm 100% on board with that. On page SEO is an incredible shrinking tactic. The h1, meta, blah, blah, blah techniques are known far and wide and shouted from the mountain tops.

        When everyone is doing something there is no advantage to anyone and as you state there may well now, or in the future be a penalty for being too well optimized. At the very least there will be no advantage.

        I'm a contrarian. I do things like run wordpress without nice permalinks, duplicate content elimination plugins, meta plugins, seo plugins etc and in the last six months my rankings have been on the increase across the board and several of my older optimized sites have been waning.

        I'm of the opinion that Google will not punish you for making a site that is straight out of the box. The more it looks like someone who has never heard the term SEO created the site, the better. Unoptimized is the new optimized!

        Unique, valuable content is the key. Produce as much as you can adn forget on site optimization. Your payoff will be natural links, which do mean something to search engines.

        The only type of possible optimization I do is writing nice descriptions because people see those in the serps and click based on them. You definitely want control over this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zubair Zm
    Good points morwanneg
    rgds
    Zm
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  • Profile picture of the author DrewG
    Great post.

    All common to what I believed about SEO when I first started out a year ago, especially about a site's popularity lol.
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