SEO Misinformation: How to Avoid SEO BullShit That Could Be Damaging
SEO Misinformation is as rampant and damaging as the tactics used in Mean Girls — find out how to sift through the bullshit to get to the truth.
There is a lot of SEO misinformation you can find online that can range from ridiculous to down right costly.
SEO has become a focal point in many internet marketing strategies and ideas.
Consequently, there is such a massive volume of information on this specific topic, well, it can make it hard to navigate what is true and what’s just nonsense.
This is true of anything that’s in super high demand and where there’s demand there’s opportunity for many copy cats, swindlers, fakes, and con men.
If you want to get your website pages ranked in Google Search — you need your SEO to be tight and the first thing you’ll need to do is avoid SEO misinformation.
According to Forbes, the SEO industry is approaching $80 Billion.
One statistic you won’t find online is how much of that $80 Billion is actually wasted on fake or BS SEO services.
SEO is a long-term investment and the last thing you want to do is waste money on bad SEO, or even wasting your time on learning the wrong rules and SEO strategies.
That’s exactly why this article is SO important!
This post will be your guide to avoiding any SEO misinformation that will cost you time or money.
Fact vs. ‘Fiction’
The most important part of this article, everything hinges on this…
There is a very big difference between fact and fiction when it comes to SEO.
Now, of course, there are a lot of nuances that make search engine optimization as much an art as it is a science. Still, if you’re trying to learn about it you need to start somewhere and the best way to distinguish between fact and ‘fiction’ is the source.
It’s all about good sources, good data, and strong information.
You’re sure to find some very interesting and wildly inaccurate statements online.
If you see a statement that seems to good to be true, you should take the time to consider just how true it actually is.
In order to do so, see from whom does this info come from – what is the source.
Is it a random blog, or is it a Google employee, or a paid ad like the ones shown above?
A great rule of thumb is to rule out anyone who contacts you directly via cold call or email. Another might be to avoid claims such as “kick ass SEO for only $199“. In fact, here’s a snippet of Google’s very own guidelines for sifting out SEO bullshit.
Next, case studies and in-depth research carries a lot of weight.
Online communities such as MOZ and SEJ are places where vetted SEO professionals publish and share valuable information. If you’re looking to self-learn SEO these are the places to go to get the education you need.
When it comes to optimizing your website, you have to rely on specific Google statements, patents, actual regulations, and even long term veteran industry professionals. Anything else online is either based on these couple of sources or its just conjecture.
Vet the Source
Like I mentioned at the start of this article, there is a LOT of information out there and many great sources in addition to MOZ and SEJ.
Just remember to take a good, hard look at the person (or website) that is providing you with the information.
Are they trustworthy?
Now, we’re not just talking about whether they talk like a used car salesman. No, you should keep a lookout for anything shifty in general.
First of all, what are their credentials?
What kind of courses or seminars have they finished?
Can they show results?
Do they have recommendations?
If so, check them out, see what websites they have worked on, what companies they worked for. Any and all educational certificates need to be checked as well. They might have user responses and reviews, but unless there are hundreds of them you can’t really trust a couple of cherry-picked responses.
Like I mentioned before, stay away from people who promise you crazy, amazing, magical things. Not only are they most likely wrong and lying — snake oil SEO can cause irreparable damage to your site.
The road to success is clear, but it’s very difficult. Get rich quick schemes have never, ever worked.
Notes, Data, and Experimentation
Next, if you want to advance your SEO skills while avoiding getting duped by misinformation, we suggest taking notes. These notes should most often be centered around what Google has to say. Getting as much data as you can is key.
A Great Place to Start is by Understanding Page Rank’s Role in SEO
All digital marketing professionals must keep in mind that PageRank does not affect the position of websites directly, but it helps to improve their performance. There are many indicators and factors which indicate the ranking of websites. But PR is still one of the most important factors using which Google determines the ranking of websites in its SERP. The main disadvantage of PageRank as an algorithm code is that it lies in hanging nodes.
From There, You Should Understand the Technical Aspects of Your Site
Every webmaster should get into the habit of conducting regular SEO audits of their website. The purpose of this is to identify potential elements that could hinder your ability to achieve a top ranking for your target keywords. All good SEO should start on-page.
Black and White: Understanding What Happens Off-Page
The easiest place to hide SEO misinformation is in the shadows of the grey area. A lot of the actual ranking part of SEO happens off-site.
It will become imperative for you to distinguish between black, gray and white hat SEO tactics.
It’s not like SEO service providers who cross the line are labeling their services “black hat”.
And, sure, some black hat SEO tricks are pretty obvious and clearly go against the published principles of the terms of service prescribed by the search engines, but many… not so much.
There is One More Aspect That is Important Above All Else – actual experimentation.
You can count on any professional SEO agency in Sydney, any programming firm in Hong Kong, any graphic design company in Seattle to tell you that actual practical work and empirical experimentation are both vital if you want to learn and improve upon your skills.
When it comes to experimenting with SEO, you’re own website is the perfect place to start. SEO is truly a process that takes time, patience and practice, so you might as well start now.
If you feel like you need a little more guidance prior to actually implementing — click here!
Develop Your Skepticism
Skepticism gets kind of a bad rap. It’s generally tied to distrustful, angry people. But being a skeptic doesn’t mean you’re an old crank — it simply means you’re cautious about your business. While there might be many people like this, you should develop your skepticism in another way. Namely, we are talking about an actual skill, a bs meter if you will.
First off, you want to learn the basics of critical thinking. Understanding the different logical fallacies, what bad reasoning is, what it looks like, it’s all crucial in order to develop your skepticism. Is basically the best way you can avoid getting duped on the internet.
You should also research and analyse your own biases. Where do you think you are not being objective, as far as how your thinking is concerned. Maybe you easily fall for guilt trips, or salesman wearing a fancy suit. Maybe you are easily won by the charm of a plain-speaking, down to earth guy. Maybe you get easily confused by fancy science talk. There is no shame in being susceptible to such machinations – we are only human. The point is understanding where your weak points are.
In order to avoid SEO misinformation, you need to understand sources, and you need to understand your own biases. A poor source can be easily caught if you know where to look. Data gained from Google or research papers are trustworthy, but a random blog run by a half-done con artist isn’t really. Learn to devise your inner skeptics, work hard on strengthening your critical thinking skills. Get these two factors under control, and you are golden.