SEO is a complex field about which there is a corresponding amount of knowledge in circulation. However, since this marketing area is constantly changing, it can happen that knowledge from the past suddenly no longer applies. However, some of them persist – we are talking about SEO myths.
So these SEO myths usually stem from measures taken in the past that were correct. In part, however, they also arise from misconceptions. It is therefore important to identify them – so that you do not get bogged down in outdated or incorrect measures. We tracked down 9 SEO myths that you should avoid and discussed why you should avoid them.
9 SEO myths that are still spreading
1. Keyword density
A relic from the early days of SEO that still holds up valiantly today: keyword density. It goes straight back to the origins of SEO when it was all about using a certain keyword as often as possible. Such keyword stuffing is frowned upon today and is heavily penalized. From this, however, the belief has developed as an alternative that there is a magic percentage that needs to be reached.
In many places, 1% keyword density is spoken of, sometimes 2 or 3%. Even most SEO plugins consider such SEO myths as a factor. However, all of these numbers reproduce a misconception about SEO – that keyword frequency matters. Of course, in order to be found for a certain term, you must also use it on your site. But that happens quite organically – after all, try writing a text about asparagus soup without using the term asparagus soup.
Instead of focusing on the frequency of a keyword, you should pay attention to valuable to offer content that has a higher added value than that of your competition. This is how you provide Google and other search engines an offer that these search engines cannot refuse. If you then use the respective keyword in prominent places (H1, metadata …) in the SEO text, nothing stands in the way of the ranking from this page. Even if you only get 0.6744% Keyword Density.
2. Nothing works without meta keywords
Meta keywords are part of the metadata, which also consists of meta titles and meta Descriptions. While the title and description are displayed as a description in the search results, the meta keywords are keywords that are not visible to users, which are only stored for the search engine – and which have now secured a place in the SEO myths.
Because these hidden hints have no influence on the ranking. They are simply ignored by search engines – and have been for over a decade. After all, search engines are easily able to extract the content of a text directly from that text and the context. Accordingly, you can save yourself the work with the meta keywords. Meta title and description remain important!
3. Google sees the website in the same way as visitors
Number three of our SEO myths deals with a simple principle: what users cannot see, the engine certainly cannot see either.
This is based on the fallacy that search engines view the website the same way it is shown to us in the front end. A strong humanization of the crawling bots.
They perceive the website very differently than we do. They are based on the source text and code – and can thus read out hidden content elements such as accordions.
This is always possible if the hidden content is already loaded and hidden in the background via CSS. However, if the content is only loaded afterward when the action (e.g. click or swipe) is carried out, then it is also invisible to Google. Because the crawler doesn’t click through the website as users do.
If they are technically implemented correctly, you don’t need to worry about SEO worry if you access such content elements. Nevertheless, you should of course carefully consider what content you hide in such elements. Not because of the search engine, but because of the users. After all, the most important information should always be available as quickly and clearly as possible.
4. Longer is better
Admittedly: a rather clumsy title for this SEO myth. Still, the notion of text length occupies an important place within SEO myths. Because text lengths are always discussed, information such as “under 1500 words no text ranks”. But is it that simple and longer is really better?
This can be explained with a clear Answer YES. The pure text length has no influence on whether your content ranks well. There is no magic word count that you have to reach. On the other hand, however, it is clear that Google would like to offer searchers the best possible offer. And there are comprehensive texts that explain everything about a topic in detail, of course, at an advantage.
This leads to a clear rule of thumb in terms of text length: as long as necessary, as short as possible. It does not help anyone if you use a short article and then desperately inflate information to 2000 words. At the same time, you should also give yourself the space to really penetrate a topic in detail. After all, nowadays it’s all about the search intention and about offering the searcher as much added value as possible. This can also result in longer texts.
A negative example: How often have you looked for a recipe and had to scroll through the life story of the author’s grandmother until you finally found the desired recipe in the lower third of the text have found?
The rule here is: less is more. The essence of the cooking recipe with a clear explanation garnished with a short anecdote is enough to add value. On the other hand, you can’t write a content article about SEO myths that covers everything in 500 words. That would simply be too little information for such an extensive topic.
5. It’s all about keywords!
Especially for newcomers in the field of SEO, the thought quickly creeps in that it’s all about placing keywords appropriately and writing texts according to a formula. Many editors fear SEO – it can limit creativity. After all, it’s all about the keywords.
This is a misconception that, as already mentioned, relates directly to the origins of SEO. Many years ago it was completely normal to pack a maximum of keywords in a text. In some cases, terms were even placed randomly at the end of an article in a non-visible font color in order to be able to accommodate more keywords.
All the fuss about keywords definitely belongs in the realm of SEO myths. Because SEO content is all about the search intent these days. It’s about giving real value and valuable answers to searchers. Precisely about writing strong articles that captivate and inform. Only then do you think about keyword placements (H1, metadata…).
6. Duplicate content leads to punishment
The term duplicate content describes the fact that content between two different websites or within a website is similar or identical. For a long time, it was assumed that Google punished this behavior, which is not the case. So the idea is one of the SEO myths, although duplicate content has negative effects.
Because within a website, Google can then make a more difficult decision as to which page should rank for a specific term. It comes to “keyword cannibalism” – the pages take each other’s clicks away. So you have done twice the work for half the result.
With regard to other websites, copying is simply an offense under copyright law. In addition, the page that has been online longer having an advantage over the copied one, since this new page offers no added value compared to the well-known search result.
Stay away from duplicate content. It doesn’t result in a Google penalty, but it still has a negative impact.
7. All backlinks are the same
The main thing is backlinks – another slogan from the world of SEO myths. Because backlinks, i.e. links from other sites to your own, are seen as an absolute must. For this, money is sometimes assigned to dubious service providers, just to get as many links as possible. Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Wrong! Because the same applies to backlinks as to content: Quality is more important than quantity. A backlink from a specialist magazine is worth significantly more than a link from a dubious and spammy site. Because Google recognizes how high the authority of the respective source is. So don’t just base your SEO strategy on the number of links – but grab valuable backlinks with valuable content that are relevant to your site.
8. We do SEO – and then it’s done
SEO is often regarded as a completed process with an end goal. You research keywords and search intentions, optimize the website from the technical side and create content that does it all justice. Then everything is done, the website works and you don’t have to worry about it. Right? Unfortunately not. Because this idea of completed SEO is definitely one of the SEO myths.
SEO is a process. This fact results from three factors if you look closely:
Google is constantly developing its search engine. Therefore, the priorities of the ranking factors also change. New ones are added, and others become unimportant and degenerate into SEO myths.
The Competitors never sleep and improve their own websites. A page that is currently in the top 10 can be forgotten in a few months. So you have to keep an eye on your content and expand it if necessary.
The seekers are a big variable. Search behavior and the use of search engines are changing. There are new functions and the searchers learn in their behavior. In addition, the needs of what searchers expect from websites are changing (keyword: mobile first!).
Accordingly: SEO is never completed. It is necessary to constantly monitor, evaluate and optimize all measures. only in this way is it possible to assert oneself permanently in this field.
9. You do SEO on the side
SEO is often seen as something that copywriters or marketing managers do on the side – a less prioritized area in other words.
That is a big mistake!
To be really successful in the SEO area, you need real experts. Even managing SEO properly for a medium-sized business is a full-time job. If the content is then to be created, campaigns to be started and SEA to be implemented, a whole marketing team is needed.
Please do not misunderstand us: It is also possible to implement sensible SEO measures on a small scale. You should not take the subject lightly and give a responsible person enough space to act strategically and purposefully. This is the only way SEO will be a long-term success!
Conclusion: 9 SEO myths
- The Keyword density matters – No, it’s about search intent and value!
- Meta Keywords Matter – No, they are not read by Google!
- Google does not recognize hidden items – No, Google also reads hidden elements as long as the content is not first loaded by the action.
- Only long texts rank – No, texts should always be as long as necessary and as short as possible!
- It’s all about keywords – No, it’s about search intent and added value! (still)
- Duplicate content will be penalized – No, but it does harm through keyword cannibalism and may be a copyright infringement.
- The main thing is a lot of backlinks – No, with backlinks quality counts over quantity!
- SEO will be finished at some point – No, SEO is an ongoing process!
- SEO is done by the way – No, it’s a full-time job that requires a lot of dedication for long-term success.
Beyond these 9 SEO myths, there are certainly more half-truths and misinformation. Often these are facts that were once correct in the past – but now belong to the SEO myths. Therefore, this text also does not claim to be irrevocably valid at all times. After all, what is still considered correct today may no longer matter in a few years.
So if you want to use SEO as an active measure, you should do these 9 SEO myths always in view – and also keep an eye on innovations and changes. Because just as SEO itself is changing, so must experts adapt to it. We wish you every success!