Search engine optimization (SEO) is omnipresent and evolving faster than ever before, so it can be challenging to identify what is a myth and which strategies actually work. Many common SEO misconceptions are floating around, particularly regarding content. If you start implementing SEO techniques that don’t fit the bill with Google, you can end up doing more harm than good to your campaign.
Luckily, when it comes to all things SEO, we stay on top of the latest trends, so you don’t have to! Keep reading as we clarify what’s an SEO content myth and what will ultimately get you ranking better and faster!
First Thing’s First: What Makes For an SEO Myth?
Before we explain away some of the more common misconceptions about SEO, it can be helpful to understand how these myths can come about:
Obsolete Recommendations - Simply put, what used to make for an effective SEO strategy may no longer work. Google’s algorithm changes frequently and is growing smarter every day, so older strategies might just not be impactful anymore.
Too Much Weight On Minor Elements - When you find something works within your SEO campaign, it’s understandable to want to apply it to everything. Of course, you want to see success! Sometimes, though, small factors are given way too much importance and can be a waste of time (or even drag you down in the long run).
Unverified Strategies - Many times, particularly from outdated recommendations, we are given strategy ideas that haven’t been tested or verified. This can deter you from implementing strategies that are proven to work well - especially when it comes to content.
Misunderstanding Google - Unfortunately, Google is often the culprit when it comes to creating SEO myths. It can be tempting to take a minor comment from a Google representative and run with it as the “next big thing,” but it’s best to take any new information with a grain of salt until it’s been verified.
7 Common Misconceptions About SEO Content Ranking
Now that we’ve explained how these myths can rear their ugly heads, let’s dive into some of the most common SEO content misconceptions out there:
Myth #1: You’ll Get Penalized for Duplicate Content
This one can be confusing because, regardless of whether or not Google will penalize you for it, having duplicate site content is generally not a best practice. You want to make sure that the content on your website is fresh, unique, and accurately describes each page as it pertains to your business to help users reach their end goal.
That said, Google is smart enough now to understand that duplicate content happens, with the goal being to pull the most relevant, highest quality content page as a search engine result. If you have duplicate pages on your website, just make sure that proper technical SEO steps - such as canonicals and internal linking - are being utilized to avoid running into any indexing issues.
Myth #2: Longer Content Performs Better
While length can be a big factor in quality content, it’s important to remember that longer doesn’t always mean better. Word count isn’t a ranking factor, but pairing that with relevant, formatted, and well-optimized content can certainly lead to higher rankings.
Myth #3: The Better Your Content, The Higher Your Rankings
When it comes to content, quality is subjective, making it hard to pinpoint exactly what is considered high-quality. You might be certain that your blogs are superior to your competitors, but if they aren’t meeting outside qualifications - relevant searcher intent, quick to load, easily scannable, the list goes on - they simply won’t perform well.
Myth #4: Optimizing Copy Is a “One and Done” Effort
As SEOs, we know that optimizing copy isn’t a one-time job - it requires ongoing maintenance to ensure it stays relevant as industries change. A blog published and optimized in 2019 may not be answering the same user questions as a blog written in 2022. Search queries, content formatting, and the type of content play into the end ranking results. Although it may have been optimized to a “T” at the time it was written, if a piece of content is more than a year old, it likely needs a refresh.
Myth #5: Interactive Content Doesn’t Move the Needle
User experience is (almost) everything when it comes to SEO, so if you use your content to enhance that experience, it can seriously improve organic performance. By its very nature, interactive content increases engagement, which is a win in Google’s eyes. Enhancing your website with infographics, videos, and other visually-appealing content adds interest to an otherwise “flat” choice of content and can make your brand stand out from the competition.
Myth #6: Syndicating Content Can Harm SEO
Let’s just get this out of the way at the jump: syndicated content is NOT considered duplicate content and isn’t a form of plagiarism. Syndication is essentially a third party publishing an article from another source. When published correctly with those cited sources, it won’t do any harm to your SEO or your website. In fact, syndicating your own website content on a third-party platform like LinkedIn or Facebook can be extremely helpful when it comes to visibility and getting your content into the world!
Myth #7: Focus On More Links Over More Content
Years ago, in the earlier days of Google, there was a time when it may have been beneficial to have a page stacked full of links. However, times have changed - and for the better! This technique was overdone to the point where it negatively impacted user experience. Google quickly picked up on the fact (hello, Penguin algorithm update!) and penalized sites with unnatural internal linking.
Instead of worrying about how many internal links each of your pages has, instead focus on where those links are going by re-optimizing historical content or building out fresh, relevant content. When there is high-quality content at the end of a natural, well-placed internal link, you are more likely to see SEO success.
Content is vital for reaching both long-term and short-term goals in your SEO campaign. Understanding what truly moves the needle and what is hearsay can help you focus on what matters to improve your visibility, boost rankings, and ultimately generate leads.
Want to learn more about how an effective content strategy for SEO can benefit your business? Contact our team at Page One Web Solutions today to get started!