There’s a lot of confusing information out there about SEO.
Some people say keywords don’t matter.
Others say backlinks are king.
And a few sad souls believe the greatest SEO hoax ever: Google always tells the truth.
Unfortunately, those myths are slowing down progress for eager website owners and aspiring SEOs who are desperate to rank their content.
So in today’s email, I want to bust some common SEO myths for you.
That way, you can sort the facts from fiction and learn what actually does work for SEO.
Exact Match Keywords Are Dead Myth
When the Google Hummingbird update was announced in 2013, people started shouting that exact match keywords were dead.
Hummingbird’s role was to make the algorithm based less on exact keyword match and more on semantic understanding of a query.
But the fact is exact match keywords are still alive and kicking.
And they work to increase your rankings.
So don’t be fooled by this myth.
By putting your keywords on the page 3-4 times (minimum) as exact match phrases will almost always improve your rankings in Google.
Keywords In the Meta Title Don’t Really Matter Myth
Here’s another idiotic piece of SEO advice you shouldn’t follow.
Truth is that keywords in the meta title are the #1 ranking on-page SEO factor for a web page.
And this makes sense because the meta title is what’s displayed in Google’s search results for every web page’s listing.
Why on earth would Google ever rank a page in the top 10 that doesn’t have the searcher’s query in that page’s title?
Answer: They wouldn’t.
Meta Descriptions Are Not Worth Optimizing Myth
Google has publicly stated that the meta description is not a ranking factor.
Therefore, the gurus preach that you shouldn’t worry about optimizing it.
But that’s a bad way to do SEO.
Especially if you want to rank higher for your target keywords and get people to actually click on your page in the search results.
Fact is that if you put your keywords in the meta description, Google will bold them when they match the searcher’s query.
And which listing would you rather click on?
A link that has the keyword bolded in the meta description showing it’s highly relevant to the query.
Or a link that has a string of nonsense in the meta description that has zero indication that it’s related to your query.
Quality Content Is All You Need Myth
One of the worst SEO myths be spread like wildfire is that quality content is all you need to rank today.
They say that all writing in-depth content on a topic will automatically help you rank high in Google because you’re proving authority on the subject.
You can believe that if you want, but the truth is quality content must also have good on-page SEO applied.
Without good on-page SEO, the content will rarely ever rank in the top 10 on Google.
It’s sad. But true.
Backlinks Are King Myth
Many foolish SEOs like to gossip about backlinks being the be-all, it-all, ranking factor.
They believe that a website’s traffic potential all hinges on its backlinks.
While backlinks do play a role in SEO, they’re not as strong as they used to be.
And backlinks alone cannot rank a web page.
In order for a web page to rank higher in Google, it must be fully optimized, which means having both good on-page SEO and quality content in addition to backlinks.
E-A-T Is the Most Important Ranking Factor Myth
E‑A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
It comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines and is all the buzz right now with so-called “professional SEOs”.
They harp on the idea that E-A-T is a crucial ranking factor and any site that doesn’t have E-A-T proof is destined for failure.
But that idea is not based on reality.
Surfacing results with good E-A-T is what Google’s algorithm is supposed to do, but E-A-T itself is not an explanation of how the algorithms currently work.
There is no E-A-T score.
E-A-T changes according to the topic.
E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor.
And E-A-T is extremely hard to measure because there are thousands, if not millions, of variables at play for every website.
In my not so humble opinion, E-A-T will never replace the power of high-quality content combined with good on-page SEO.
To this day, I continue to rank content in position #1 with zero E-A-T to back it up.
But that’s only because I’ve developed a proven on-page SEO system that works like magic to get to the top spots in Google.
It’s called the Mastering On-Page SEO course.
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I’m the creator of SEO Chatter. I’ve been fascinated with SEO since 2005 and have spent most of my waking hours consuming SEO content from the top professionals in this field. My goal is to share the best tips and news about search engine optimization so you can get more traffic to your website.