Have you heard any of these myths before that if your website just does one thing, it will shoot to the top on SERPs. That idea that your website will shoot to the top of SERPs is far from true. Unfortunately, this isn't true because SEO is constantly evolving and what worked yesterday might not work today. In fact, many popular sites have failed because they focused entirely on this myth!
So, SEO is the process of optimizing a website so that it will rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This means improving the visibility of a website so that it will show up higher in search engine results for certain queries. The higher a website ranks, the more likely people are to see it and click through to it. There are a lot of myths about SEO. The internet is a magical place, where Google determines your fate.
In this episode, we'll take a look at six myths that you should stop believing in order to stay ahead of the curve and get the most out of your SEO efforts. Are you ready? Let's go!
Listen to the Episode
Atiba de Souza: There are a bunch of myths floating all around now in 2022 about SEO, and you are probably wondering, "Do I even need to be concerned about SEO for my website anymore?"
Hey everybody! My name is Atiba de Souza, and welcome to Traffick Keys. If you're a business owner, try to drive more eyeballs to your website.
You are in the right place. We talk about how to do it organically. Yes! SEO. Because SEO still matters. Now, why is this even the case? Well, you see what happened just before 2020 was people were putting so much emphasis on paid marketing and it seemed like the only way to really drive traffic was to pay Google, to pay Facebook, to pay TikTok, to pay Bing, all these different ad networks to make sure your content got in front of your ideal customer.
And that seemed to be the way to go. That was one factor. The other thing that started happening late in the 20's, I guess that's what they're called, is there was so much content being created that it just became harder and harder and harder to rank organically at the top of really, not just Google, but any search engine, because there was so much content.
So naturally people started feeling like, "Well, maybe we don't have to pay attention to this SEO thing. Maybe we just need to pay for it, and then that will solve our problems." Well, yeah, that existed for about that long until the big iOS slap. Right? When iOS 14, 15 or whatever number they're on and came up now with their new privacy settings, it changed everything for everyone inside of the paid arena.
All of a sudden paid guys started saying, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! We need SEO." Yeah. They started saying that. Some of the biggest names, go listen to their channels now, they're all saying it. Because what SEO does — and this is the key thing to take away. As we go to a privacy-first world, as it becomes more prevalent that we need to be thinking about our user's privacy, the thing that we need to focus on is what's called zero-party data and first-party data.
Now, zero-party data is the data that we collect from a visitor on our website before they make a purchase. So now if you're not an e-commerce, then most of the data that you collect on your website is going to be considered zero-party data. If you are in e-commerce, then you've got the data that's collected after they make a purchase that's considered first-party data. Okay? So that's zero-party data and first-party data.
Now, what kind of data counts? Well, if they opt in for anything on your website and give you a name, an email address, or phone number — zero-party data. If they even give you a physical address — zero-party data.
The moment that money changes hands, everything after that — first-party data. All of the privacy laws are going towards you can only communicate with people where — or I should say — it's easier and more appropriate and allowed for you to only communicate with people where you've collected zero-party data or first-party data.
So SEO is your best shot to get that. It's your absolute, absolute best shot to get that because with SEO, what you can do is actually start to figure out who your ideal customers are as they start to give you data, collect information then when you go back to the paid networks, then on the paid networks, you have the ability at that point to say, "Okay, I know who my customers are, help me find lookalike customers. Customers who may be similar to them that also get this."
When you go to the paid networks, that also drives your ad cost down. That's one thing it does. The next thing it does is, it allows you to start doing retargeting on the paid networks, which also drives your ad costs down.
So now you spend less money on your paid media. You see, that's why the paid guys are looking and saying, "Huh, maybe we need to spend more time." And I'm telling you this cuz they're calling me. Some of the biggest paid guys in the world I've talked to, and they're all saying, "Hey man! We need to get our clients, SEO right because it's gonna help us on the paid side.
So SEO is not dead. SEO is not dead, and that's myth number one. People wanna say SEO is dead. SEO is not dead. As a matter of fact, it's more alive than ever. It's more needed than ever, and it's going to be even more needed in the future because obviously there is Google SEO. Well, guess what guys? Now, YouTube SEO is becoming a real factor.
Then in 2022, TikTok release, TikTok SEO. Yeah. So you'll currently start seeing the social media platforms as well, jumping on SEO bandwagons, and they're going to have their own SEO algorithms. So now we're not just talking about your website ranking, but we're also talking about your social content, which points people to your website ranking.
SEO is far from dead. This is just the beginning. So if you've been thinking, "I can just ignore SEO because it's over." It isn't. This is the time to double down on SEO. And this is the time that if you've been doubled down on SEO, you are going to start reaping the benefits. You're going to start reaping the benefits, and if you haven't, do it now before your competition catches up. SEO is not dead, my friends.
Okay, so now myth number two, and this is one that I absolutely love talking about because people say all the time that, "Google only ranks fresh content so I've gotta constantly create new content so that Google will rank it." Let's be clear on something. Google ranks relevant content.
So if your topic is one, that isn't evergreen. In other words, there is new data that needs to be presented, like say scores, like say sales. If there's new data that needs to be presented, then yes, Google is going to rank the freshest content because it's going to think it's the most relevant. However, if your content is evergreen, and doesn't get updated often, like let's say, Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
If that's what you're talking, that's not changing. It's not changing. And so Google doesn't necessarily want the freshest content there, it wants the most relevant content to what the searcher was searching, and that's the key. So it isn't always necessary to create new content or recreate the same content over and over and over, because freshness doesn't always matter.
Here's another example. Let's say you're doing the top X things for 2023. The top X websites, or the top X SAS products, or the top X whatever for 2023. Well, guess what? That matters and it won't matter as much in 2025. Does that make sense? So Google doesn't always care about the freshest content. It cares about the most relevant content.
Myth number three. Long-tail keywords. They're super easy to rank for. You gotta use long-tail keywords in your content. Okay, so I talk a lot about long-tail keywords because they are super important, but here's the deal. Long-tail keywords aren't necessarily easier to rank for it.
It's an incomplete statement and that's what leads to the myth. Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for when they don't have a lot of competition. So if, let's say you are in the beverage industry and you've got some new beverage, and you want to compete against Coca-Cola and you're both competing for the same long-tail keyword, guess what?
Chances are you gonna lose. Even though it's a long-tail keyword, it doesn't make it easier to rank for. So it's all about the competition. It's about the competition. Now, point of fact. Most long-tail keywords don't have a ton of competition. That's why this myth exist because there is a lot of truth in it.
But don't just go in blindly when you are looking at a long-tail keyword to write for, make sure that you do a competitive analysis and see is your competition already ranking for this keyword with great content?
Is there a lot of competition there? Cuz if there is, that might not be the best long-tail keyword for you to use.
Myth number four. Yep. Four. Myth number four. SEO myth number four that you are going to receive a duplicate content penalty. It's been around for a very long time. This one has been around — oh my gosh, people have been fighting about this since literally 2007. Okay?
That if I published a piece of content on my website and there was another page on my website with similar content, say a product page, okay? That they're going to compete with each other and Google was going to penalize us because it was duplicate content. Here's another one. Let's say I publish a blog on my website, and then I go publish that same blog on medium.com.
The Google's going to penalize me because there is duplicate content. Here's the deal. In 2020, Google officially came out and said, "Hey guys, we're smart enough to know. Number one, what was the original piece of content? And we can rank that if it needs to be ranked. Number two, if it is your website and there are multiple pages that have similar content, we're smart enough to figure out which one is most relevant to the searcher and show them that one. So there is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty." Google has said it. It does not exist. It isn't real and there are tons of SEOs out there, I know I was one for a while until I heard it from Google themselves who were telling people, "Hey, we gotta make sure there isn't duplicate content on your website or checking in your duplicate content score."
That used to be a really big thing especially on e-commerce sites. It does not matter. There is no such thing as the duplicate content penalty.
Myth number five. Links don't matter. When we look at SEO, there are three parts of SEO. There's on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. And in the off-page SEO, we're considering and looking at, "What are the backlinks that are pointing to your website?" Well, there are a lot of people who would like to believe that links no longer matter to your SEO. That you don't have to worry about backlinks.
So let's look at that and really break it down. So number one, for a very long time we were all concerned about spammy backlinks and junk backlinks and getting a penalty because we had too many junk backlinks pointing to our site. Well, in the last couple of years, Google has come out clearly and say, and said, "Hey guys, listen. We know that you can't control who links to your website and if there are a bunch of spammy links pointing to your website, we're smart enough to figure out that those are spammy links, and we don't count those for or against you. We just ignore them. So you don't have to anymore worry about spammy links and disavowing links. None of that is necessary anymore." So that's number one.
Number two. When Google launched their algorithm was first and foremost based on this link strategy of saying, "Hey, let's run a popularity contest. And the more popular you were by with the links that you had and how important the links that you had were, the more important we thought you were."
Well, Google has backed off of that some over the years, but not entirely. Absolutely, absolutely not entirely. The reality is Google has also come out and said in the last two years, "Hey listen. We still absolutely look at your backlink profile, and we do it on a page level. It's not about your entire site. We do it on a page level and we're looking to see, are the back links relevant? Do they matter?"
So for example, let's say you were running a doggy daycare and a paint company linked to you. Okay. That link doesn't matter. However, if a dog grooming service link to you, that link would matter. So Google has that.
Links still matter. And as always, you should never buy links. It is still against Google's terms of service to buy backlinks. You never want to buy backlinks cuz it's against the terms of service. Okay? So we want to naturally build links now, and the natural building of backlinks, there are tons of strategies, and I've done a ton of videos on those already, so you can find those on the channel.
But the most important thing to understand here is, links still matter. It's a myth that links don't matter in SEO any anymore.
Number six. Now this is one that's sure to spark some level of controversy because I've yet to have a conversation in a group setting about SEO where someone has not asked the question, "So how long should my content be?" And invariably, somebody's going to say, "Longer content is better." And guys, that's SEO myth number six.
Longer content is not always better. Hear that. Longer content is not always better. Here's the deal. Again, Google wants to rank relevant content. So if you were explaining how to do open heart surgery and you did it in 400 words, Google's probably going to think your answer isn't very relevant because it understands open heart surgery is a pretty complex process and you need more words to define that.
Likewise, if you were say, doing an article on how to start a YouTube channel and how to create a YouTube account. Well, if you took 10,000 words to do that, Google will say you don't need 10,000 words to do that.
So the answer and the key to length is, you need as many words as it takes to describe and to make your point, but no more than that. No fluff, no extra. Say what you have to say and be done. That simple. That simple. That is the true answer to how long your content needs to be. That is the true answer.
All right, so those were the six SEO myths that are still floating around today in 2022. As we head into 2023, and I want to tell you this, if you want to know how to implement any of this stuff, like writing better content or building backlinks or the other things that we talked about today, I've got videos all over this channel. Got videos all over this channel. Go find those. Go watch those. Go take control of your SEO in 2023 because SEO is not dead, and there's still time for you to get ahead of your competition. Alright everybody, I'll see you soon. Bye-bye.