Social Signals Impact Rankings & 4 Other SEO Misconceptions

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It’s 2021 and we are able to efficiently launch a rocket into area, however we are able to’t cease the unfold of misinformation on the web.

Even in advertising and marketing, there are issues we’ve heard (and possibly even repeated) that qualify as misinformation — nuggets we took as gold to information our SEO methods on the time as a result of everybody thought the identical factor.

Maybe it was as soon as true.

Maybe it was by no means true.

Maybe it is true… however not in the best way you suppose.

And although SEO has change into a extra data-driven subject than ever earlier than, numerous foolish beliefs nonetheless persist.

Let’s debunk a number of of them.

Here’s a fast roundup of the 5 greatest misconceptions about SEO I’ve seen spouted within the final yr, and why they only aren’t true.


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Recognize any?

Misconception #1: Social Signals Impact Ranking

Whether or not social indicators impression SEO has been a sizzling subject for at the very least the final ten years.

It is sensible that the extra followers you have got, and the extra site visitors you divert to your website from social media… and due to this fact the higher your search rankings.


John Mueller is on the report way back to 2015 saying that no, social indicators don’t immediately impression your rank.

This is as a result of followers may be purchased. Likes and feedback are vainness metrics. Content that’s straightforward to share will probably be shared.

When does social media impression your model’s visibility in the various search engines?


  • Individual posts or items of content material present up in search on their very own as a result of they rank to your model identify or key phrases organically.
  • Google acknowledges {that a} piece of content material on Twitter or Pinterest is related to go looking outcomes and consists of it within the index.

Misconception #2: SEO Is Dead

From Steve Ballmer’s prediction that the iPhone would flop to a New York Times op-ed claiming laptops would by no means acquire any reputation, there have been quite a lot of dangerous predictions made through the years.


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One of these has been that SEO was a dying fad and web sites shouldn’t pay any heed.


The concept that SEO is lifeless has been round because the early 2010s, principally seized upon by web agitators attempting to ascertain a brand new tackle a lot of the madness inside the business on the time.

And when you bear in mind the Wild West that SEO was again then, you would possibly perceive why some individuals believed it couldn’t probably final.

They had been half proper.

SEO just isn’t lifeless, however…

  • The SEO content material gold rush is lengthy over. Content mills – which exist for the only real function of churning out as a lot content material as attainable no matter high quality – are taking part in a dropping sport.
  • Producing SEO-focused content material is an outdated technique. Articles written for search engine crawlers and filled with key phrases received’t win you any factors anymore. (In reality, it’ll harm you.)

But SEO will probably be lifeless when Google is lifeless, and the 6 billion searches taking place each day say it’s not.

(*4*)6.5 billion searches per day in March 2021. In March 2020, the variety of day by day Google searches was about half that.Google search statistics.

Misconception #3: Duplicate Content Negatively Affects Your Rank

In 2011, Google started rolling out the Panda replace to wash up the entire low-quality, skinny content material that had choked up the SERPs.

It signaled the tip of the SEO content material gold rush and the start of a brand new period — one dominated by skilled content material put out by authoritative authors and reliable sources.

Sounds nice, proper?

However, sooner or later, misinformation about what high quality means to Google started to flow into. One of these SEO myths was that we must not ever, ever put up duplicate content material on our websites or we’d get penalized.

Not true.

According to Google’s John Mueller, it’s regular for websites to have a sure stage of duplicate content material. When a number of pages containing the (principally) similar data return from a website, Google merely doesn’t present them.

Users will see this as a substitute:

Search notification about omitted results.Ever seen this? It occurs when pages have duplicate content material.Search notification about omitted results.

That could be a dangerous factor by way of your content material not touchdown in entrance of eyeballs, however provided that these omitted outcomes are supposed to be distinctive.


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If you want a novel consequence, you could have distinctive content material. Otherwise, don’t sweat it if these touchdown pages all look comparable otherwise you’ve bought a number of weblog posts overlaying the identical subject.

Misconception #4: Content Is King

Since Bill Gates coined the phrase in 1996, we’ve latched onto the concept content material is king as a result of it’s what drives visibility on-line.

Yes, having nice content material issues.

Yes, serving up superior content material wins eyeballs and conversions.

You should create the very best content material you can. But saying that content material is king is about as correct as a enterprise saying that its retailer signage is crucial factor in its total technique.

It’s essential, however it’s lacking the purpose.

In the 2020s, content material isn’t king.

Your viewers is king, and your content material must serve them.

Misconception #5: Keyword Research Doesn’t Matter

What’s the purpose of optimizing for one key phrase if you’ll rank organically for lots of?


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I get that query rather a lot.

Sure, the emphasis in SEO has shifted from key phrase stuffing and peculiar, SEO-laden headlines. We don’t shove phrases into sentences or sentences into paragraphs simply to get our key phrase density anymore.

But when you suppose key phrase analysis doesn’t matter anymore, you’re doing your self a disservice.

Keyword analysis helps you:

  • Understand what your customers are literally typing into Google. You can optimize for all of the key phrases you need, but when they aren’t the place your viewers goes, you received’t come up of their searches.
  • Determine whether or not the key phrases you’re utilizing are applicable for the search intent. Google pays consideration to individuals utilizing key phrases incorrectly and penalizes them accordingly.
  • Identify low-competition alternatives to rank nicely and within the path of your viewers. Why compete for invaluable short-tail key phrases when you possibly can snap up long-tail key phrases your rivals have missed?
Search predictive suggestions.Pro-tip: Most of Google’s predictive solutions are long-tail key phrases.Search predictive suggestions.

Stop Believing SEO Misconceptions and Focus on Building a Great Brand

From superstitions about key phrase density to concepts in regards to the true position of content material, there are quite a lot of SEO misconceptions on the market.


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Some of them was true however aren’t any longer, given the best way the sphere has developed. A couple of of them had been by no means true – they only sounded good, so we believed them.

Succeeding at SEO isn’t about shopping for into standard conspiracy theories or myths you’ve heard by the grapevine. It’s not about leaping on fad recommendation.

It’s about constructing an awesome model on a basis of superior content material and considerate key phrases.

Now that you simply’re empowered by the reality, go forth and create the worth customers are on the lookout for.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by writer, March 2021

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