9 SEO Myths to Say Goodbye to in 2024 Here are the most common SEO myths that may be hurting your rankings.
- Following outdated or bad advice can hinder your SEO progress and prevent your website from reaching its full potential.
- Understanding the real factors that influence SEO is critical for success.
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Although most entrepreneurs understand the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), the online world is filled with outdated advice. The consequences of following bad SEO strategies are severe — a stagnant online presence, limited reach and missed opportunities for growth. Luckily, it doesn't have to be this way.
In this article, I'm going to dispel the nine most common SEO myths that may be hurting your rankings. In turn, you can focus your efforts on the things that matter and keep from making typical SEO mistakes.
1. AI is killing SEO
Many people believe that with the rise of AI tools like ChatGPT, people will stop using search engines to find information, which will make SEO redundant.
Although AI undeniably plays a crucial role in shaping our online experiences, thinking that it will entirely replace search engines is a myth. Because let's face it, AI tools, such as ChatGPT, often create content that lacks the accuracy and depth found in expert-written articles.
For example, if you ask an AI about what are the best SEO tools for your business, you'd get a very uninspired list based on scraped online data — no pros and cons, no tool comparisons and no expert insight. In comparison, the top-ranking articles from Google provide well-rounded, in-depth information supported by real-world experience, and that makes it clear SEO is here to stay.
2. SEO is a one-time thing
A prevalent misconception about SEO is that all it takes for success is hiring an SEO agency, creating some content and ticking off the optimization checklist.
The truth is that SEO isn't just a box you can check to rank better — it's a dynamic process that thrives on consistent effort. For example, you need to continuously create new content and build backlinks to secure and maintain the best rankings.
Treating SEO as a one-time operation is a mistake that can make your online visibility fade quickly.
3. High keyword density is important
Back in the day, keyword density was an important ranking factor. Everybody used to try to pack in as many keywords as possible, which would help them climb the search engine rankings.
Nowadays, however, keyword density is not important, thanks to more advanced algorithms that can accurately evaluate the context of online content. As a result, you don't need to jam in your keyword in your content as many times as possible. You should only use your keyword a handful of times when it feels natural.
4. You can rank with just a handful of articles
You can't publish just a few articles on the topic and expect to rank well. No matter how good your content is, Google looks for websites that establish themselves as authorities before granting high rankings.
A website boasting 200 well-crafted articles on a topic will outperform a competitor with only 10 articles. That's why you should up your content velocity, as this SEO technique can help you gain topical authority and start ranking quickly.
5. You can rank without backlinks
There's an ongoing debate in the SEO community about whether you can rank without backlinks. Theoretically, it might work — if you're in a niche without any competition, that is.
But the reality of the situation is that in 2024, non-competitive niches are few and far between.
So, if you want to target competitive keywords, you need to roll up your sleeves and build some quality backlinks by focusing on guest posting and building online relationships with other website owners.
6. Duplicate content gets you penalized
Contrary to popular belief, Google recognizes duplicate content as something that occurs occasionally. When that happens, it aims to avoid redundancy in search results by providing users with the highest quality and most relevant page. That said, Google is also more about streamlining results than imposing punitive measures for unintentional duplicate content.
This means that even if you do have duplicate content on your site, you won't get penalized for it.
7. Google cares about DA or DR
Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR) are metrics often used by SEO experts to evaluate the quality of a website. Both metrics are a numerical representation of a website's credibility and influence, which is important for guest posting campaigns.
However, although DA and DR are useful indicators for website quality, Google doesn't rely on them to determine search engine rankings. Instead, it uses sophisticated algorithms to assess the relevance and authority of web pages.
8. SEO is all about ranking first
Although ranking first on search engines is the best option, your SEO campaign can still be successful without claiming the top spot. That's because the rest of the top-ranking spots also attract a significant number of visitors to your website, which has a positive impact on your online visibility, brand awareness and bottom line.
Positions two to four can drive organic traffic to your website, bringing a solid return on investment. So, failing to rank first on search engines does not mean your SEO is a failure.
9. The keyword in the URL is a ranking factor
Stuffing your URLs with keywords is not as important as most people believe. In fact, including the keyword in the URL is far from being an important ranking factor.
So, instead of wasting time with minor SEO details, you should use proven SEO tips, like creating quality content and building high-quality backlinks.
There are many SEO myths out there. Following outdated or bad advice can hinder your SEO progress, preventing your website from reaching its full potential.
The nine SEO misconceptions from this list should help you learn where you shouldn't focus your efforts if you want to climb search engine rankings faster.