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Three SEO Misconceptions That Are Holding You Back

Three SEO Misconceptions That Are Holding You Back

by Philip Armstrong14th May 2015

There exists a great deal of disagreement among SEOs regarding best practices and the methods that should be used to rank websites in the SERPs

SEO is one discipline where any two experts can completely disagree on the key principles. For this reason it is difficult for clients, those who are learning SEO, and seasoned professionals alike to discern what is fact and what is fiction.

Misinformation is widespread, and erroneous ideas can become widely accepted. In an industry where mistakes can cause long-term damage to the rankability of a website, it is extremely important to be able to determine which experts can be trusted, and which cannot, and, which SEO practices are going to garner the best results for your online campaign.

With that in mind, let’s look at three of leading misconceptions in SEO today:


Onsite SEO is the only SEO you need

There are many SEO professionals who have the philosophy that SEO starts, and ends, onsite. They believe that once they have optimised a site with the correct meta data, keyword targeting, canonicals, mobile friendly, etc, that their job is done and that now it is up to the content to do the work of attracting traffic.

The problem with this approach is that it over-looks the fact that the majority of the most influential ranking factors relate to a website’s off-site optimisations.

You can create a website, optimise it perfectly to make it SEO friendly, and then produce a library of extremely well-written and compelling content – but without some form of promotion, your site may never be found.

If your site is not linked to from anywhere, and does not appear in the SERPs, then you will simply be left with a stock-pile of content which has never been read.

If you hire an SEO who preaches this type of philosophy, then be prepared to find someone else who will be willing to develop your site’s offsite SEO strategy.


Link Building is too risky to be included in a modern SEO strategy

Many of the same SEOs who preach that the only white hat SEO is onsite SEO, will also argue that engaging in any type of link building strategy violates Google’s terms of service, and will result in either a manual review or Penguin devaluation, citing Moz’s penalisation as proof of this.

I mean, if Moz were targeted and penalised by Google for unnatural linking, then what hope do the rest of us have?

The fact is however, the most significant ranking factor is still the number of high quality back-links your site possesses.

If you do not have a strategy for acquiring high quality natural links, then you will not be able to compete with the other websites trying to rank in your sector. The crucial term here being natural.

Earning natural links is not black hat, and is not against Google’s TOS. However it does require a certain level of creativity, imagination, and graft – traits which can be hard to come by!

For natural link building to occur, other webmasters need to have a good reason for wanting to link to your content – you have to have something extremely valuable to offer and you have to become an authority in your field of expertise. This is no easy feat, and is the reason that link building is harder now than it is has ever been; but that means that it is also harder for your competitors, and is an opportunity for you to surpass them!


SEO is about targeting one or two big keywords

Many people starting in SEO have the idea that they want to target one short-tail, high traffic keyword. For example if running a phone retail website, they aim to focus all of their attention on ranking for “cheap phones”.

This strategy is flawed for a number of reasons:

1. The majority of high converting/targeted traffic will usually come from the more obscure longer tail keywords.
2. These shorter-tail keywords are generally more difficult to rank for
3. Over-optimising for a single keyword can be red-flag and cause your site be slapped by Penguin.

You SEO campaign should be well-balanced, aiming to rank for a variety of highly related keywords, some of which may be being typed into search engines for the first time as we speak! This comes in part from creating comprehensive well-written content on a variety of different topics within your sector.


Those are a few of the many (almost endless supply of) misconceptions surrounding SEO. Making sure that you do not base your SEO strategy around these erroneous assumptions will surely help you avoid some of the earlier pitfalls that exist in the world of online marketing.

Think anything should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll add it to the post!

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About The Author
Philip Armstrong
Philip Armstrong is a content writer for the Just SEO newsroom. Having served as an Adword's manager for a number of paid search campaigns, he is an expert in spending money to make money, and regularly contributes in-depth articles on the latest news and updates on pay-per-click (PPC) matters.

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