Listen, I’m an SEO professional, but even I shake my head sometimes at the content experts are putting out there these days. What’s more, sure, everyone might understand from a super high-level strategical level what to do, but from a tactical level everyone is baffled.
Because I just got into the SEO field a few years ago, I entered into it when things were already evolving to be less technical, less checklist, and more holistic marketing (what the *%#@ is PageRank sculpting?!?). Good for me because my background is in marketing and SEO copywriting, but bad for others who only know how to do the conceptual and tactical activities that no longer work and they’re baffled. Doubly bad for business owners and marketers in other disciplines who are now more confused than ever.
Without further ado, I present the Top 10 Most Contradictory Pieces of SEO Advice in 2014. I’m not providing educational information about what is right or wrong in this post – just a list of contradictions that make you want to bang your head against the wall. Take this tongue-in-cheek advice with a grain of salt and let’s have some fun:
1. The New SEO is here. The more things change the more they stay the same. SEO has not changed and has always been the same. But different.
2. You should no longer target 1-2 keywords per page. Add in variations and synonyms. Still target 1-2 keywords per page.
3. Guest blogging is dead. Guest blogging should only be done if it’s not for SEO in mind. Guest blogging with with a link back is okay if it’s done right.
4. Linkbuilding is dead. Create content people want to link to. It’s still important to get high-quality links out there on your site. Promotion and outreach is important.
5. Authorship is the best thing since sliced bread. Authors should implement authorship to help users discover their content more easily in search. Google has cut authorship in search results by 20-40%.
6. Don’t focus on keywords. Use your keywords in strategic places on the page.
7. Social signals are critical to SEO. Social media has replaced linkbuilding. Google cannot read signals from Facebook and Twitter as part of the ranking algorithm.
8. On-page SEO is not enough to get a site to rank. On-page SEO only can be sufficient for sites not in a very competitive niche.
9. Track, measure, and monitor SEO results. Track the right data. Don’t track data that no longer matters. Keywords that send traffic are another important piece of your analytics pie. Google no longer shows keywords and encrypts this data. Ranking reports are obsolete. Check your rankings, focus on improving rankings, and your conversion will improve.
10. Don’t focus on keywords, focus on topics. And concepts rather than specific keywords. Still do keyword research. Keywords are the language of our customers. Use keywords that all mean the same thing so you can be relevant for all of them.
*BONUS*: 11. SEO is dead. Don’t focus on making Google happy. Making your content findable online is important. SEO is the discipline of making content findable.
Hope you enjoyed those! I had way too much fun writing them. What’s your favorite piece of contradictory SEO advice? Drop a comment below and let’s have some fun!
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Jenny Munn is a freelance Search Engine Marketer focused on generating awareness, traffic and conversions. Her mission is to help businesses fill their pipelines faster. Jenny is passionate about her field, and is a frequent speaker on SEO and website marketing. Jenny has taught SEO at EdNet, WordCamp Atlanta, NAIS, EdNET, Digital Atlanta, Solo PR Summit, Business Marketing Association, Atlanta Tech Village, SuperNova South, PRSA, and various digital marketing organizations. Find out more at https://jennymunn.com/.