6 SEO Myths that Absolutely Need to Die in 2015
Recent research by BrightEdge, analyzing billions of pieces of online content, has revealed that organic search is the number one source of traffic online, responsible for 51% of traffic online.
Similar research conducted by Conductor came to the conclusion that organic search is actually responsible for 64% of online visits.
While the above 2 studies focus mainly on the traffic potential of search engines, we also have research to prove its commercial power. Research by Monetate has revealed that right after email, search traffic is the second best source of traffic that converts to revenue; with a conversion rate of 1.95% for search traffic, social only came in third at 0.71% - the difference is that massive!
When we consider data from these sources, the reason behind all the SEO craze becomes so clear; in fact, data from the US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 to 2014, by Forrester estimated the SEO industry to be worth over $5 billion in 2014; this will most likely increase in 2015.
As with any massive industry, there are myths that constantly have to be dispelled; some of these myths will rear their ugly heads again, and we'll have to cut them off again.
If your business has even the slightest interest in SEO, you should ignore these myths at all cost.
Myth #1. SEO is Entirely Different from Social
Long gone are the days when SEO is all about link building, anchor text and lots of content.
Those things are still important, as we'll get to later in this article, but social media is just as important, if not more important than some of them.
While Google hasn't publicly admitted to using Facebook likes and Tweets to directly influence rankings in their SERPs, social media still really counts in rankings; bloggers have reported seeing their content suddenly get indexed as soon as it is shared on Twitter, and some SEOs have even speculated that Google+ activity is influencing rankings.
What matters most, though, is that social activity on your content signifies engagement, and besides the fact that it leads to more eyeballs and links for your content - which influences rankings, engagement with your article eventually determines how well it ranks in the search engines.
Myth #2. Mobile SEO is a Waste of Time
While recent data from the latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report has revealed that mobile ecommerce traffic in the UK has overtaken desktop traffic, with mobile traffic reaching 52%, it is still very obvious that desktop traffic is still leading in terms of sales and revenue generated.
A recent Shopify study analyzing over 100,000 ecommerce stores using the Shopify platform also came to the conclusion that mobile ecommerce traffic has passed desktop traffic.
Many SEO proponents use the fact that desktop traffic is still leading in terms of sales and revenue generated to discount the importance of mobile SEO.
The recent IMRG report revealed that mobile commerce now accounts for 36% of UK e-retail sales. While mobile sales still has a long way to go in terms of sales generated to meet up with desktop sales, you shouldn't take it for granted. 36% of sales is not to be sniffed at for any business!
Google recently announced that they will now be using mobile responsiveness of websites as a factor when ranking websites for certain keywords, especially when it has to do with searches that will be served to mobile users.
Myth #3. Pagerank is the Most Important SEO Metric
Well, let's put a final end to this myth today.
Whenever someone tells you that Pagerank is the most important SEO metric, or the only metric they will consider in their link building efforts, send them a link to this article you're reading now.
PAGERANK IS DEAD!
Yes, there's no need to be unambiguous about this; Pagerank died a VERY long time ago.
Google no longer updates the thing and there are many new and authoritative sites that have a Pagerank 0; most of these sites will pass you more authority than a lot of Pagerank 5 sites. Does that make them useless for SEO? NO.
Pagerank was last updated years ago, and it has been dead ever since.
Instead, focus on using key metrics like SEOMoz's Domain Autority and Mozrank; those are a hundred times more accurate than Google Pagerank is today.
Myth #4. Link Building is Dead
This is one multi-headed hydra that keeps regrowing and rearing its ugly head no matter how many times you cut it; this myth just doesn't want to die.
Link building is NOT dead.
For a very long time, links to other websites will be a form of endorsement or recommendation of what is on that website, and link building will remain active for as long as that is the case.
Now, obvious attempts to game the search engines by trying to score a lot of cheap links will mostly likely get you penalized than anything else, so beware of that.
However, link building as a whole is not dead.
Myth #5. Anchor Texts are a Waste of Time
Now, this is another major myth in the neighborhood of the myth that link building is dead.
Anchor texts are not a waste of time; they have been effective for a very long time, and they still are.
What most SEOs probably mean to say is that a lot of things have changed with anchor text usage, and with the history of Google updates aimed at seriously penalizing those who are blazingly attempting to game the system, improper usage of anchor texts can be more damaging than helpful.
While anchor texts are not dead, you still want to be careful about how you use them. This anchor text article by SEO expert Nathan Gotch is an absolute must read as far as effective anchor text usage is concerned.
That said, you also want to avoid focusing solely on anchor texts for your SEO; use a diversity of tactics, and employ a solid SEO strategy while ignoring the myths in this article.
Myth #6. Google is the Only Important Search Engine
Now, this myth needs to die fast!
Yes, with an approximate global market share of 88% according to data from Statista, Google is still the leading search engine in the world.
However, things are changing fast; a recent change by Mozilla, making Yahoo the default search engine for its Firefox browser, and some other market changes have led to an increase in market share for Bing and Yahoo.
In fact, I'm gradually starting to see Bing and Yahoo popup more for search traffic in the analytics of the sites that I manage.
So, yes, Google is still the leading search engine and it would most likely be for a long time, but it will be dangerous to completely ignore the other players.