Search engine optimization as a discipline is shrouded in myth, driven in part by the constant changes search engines are making and the misunderstandings surrounding what has become a very technical discipline. Here are three common misconceptions you may have about SEO and the truth regarding modern SEO.

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SEO Is Just Keywords and Links

Search engine optimization is far more than keywords and links, though these still matter. For example, keyword density matters but the latent semantic terms or secondary keywords matter almost as much. For example, sprinkling references to computers and wiring ensures your article on routers comes up in a search for wireless routers and Wi-Fi instead of hand tools.

Links still matter to search engines, but link spam is now severely penalized by search engines. The quality of the backlink now matters much more than the quantity. This requires setting up social media profiles for your company that link back to your organization and sharing links to your content to get organic link sharing that has extra weight with search engines, instead of pasting the links in the comments section of various websites. It means you need to search out guest blogging opportunities or interviews on highly trusted domains with backlinks to your site instead of putting up content in article directories that link back to your homepage.

A new innovation in SEO is conversational search engine optimization. The best example of this is building content around the natural language queries people ask information appliances like Alexa or navigation systems like Siri. These questions can be featured as an FAQ on your product directory page or spelled out as the title of the article and then answered by the content.

Don’t forget to apply SEO to your company’s social media pages and app store pages. The ideal case is when your company’s homepage and social media pages dominate the listings when people search for your brand. Or you may need SEO just so that people find your company’s legitimate app and social media pages.

That SEO Is Once and Done

Too many people think that SEO is a once and done job. You’ve updated your website to be better positioned relative to the search terms that have the highest return on investment. Yes, you need to do this once. And then you will need to re-evaluate later and do it again. In reality, SEO never ends. One issue is keeping up with search engines as they penalize sites with thin content and the weight given to elements like social media sharing and webpage design. Another factor is your competition with your rivals. For example, they may have rolled out a site better optimized for the valuable high ROI, low cost search terms you rank well in. As time goes by, your rivals may be crowding you out. You have to re-evaluate your search engine optimization simply to keep your place in the race for traffic.

SEO Is All Google

While Google is the biggest search engine for English speakers, don’t ignore Bing’s 20% market share. Another variation of this issue is SEO for shopping sites like Amazon. While product pages optimized for Amazon search may not rank very highly in general web searches, tripling and quadrupling your sales on Amazon makes SEO a worthwhile investment for the vendor. The same is true when you apply SEO to eBay and other online selling sites. An ideal case is when your product comes up whether selling on your homepage or eBay or Amazon store, giving you multiple links on the first page, since this increases the odds you’ll get the business.


SEO is an ongoing concern for business. SEO is now far more than hitting the ideal keyword density and generating as many backlinks as possible. SEO remains a major issue for business homepages, but it should also be applied to eBay stores, Amazon product pages, app pages and company social media sites.


  1. Reply

    It is a great post about misconceptions about SEO, but let me give some technical point. Bing has some search market share but its traffic is not that much converting as much is of Google. Additionally, the algorithms of Bing are in the stage where Google was just after the start of Panda release. It emphasizes more on meta tags than it does on backlink evaluation. Keeping this background in mind, I suggest my clients to devise whole campaigns for scoring high in Google search results. If they do it properly, they will win on Bing as well.

  2. Reply

    Exactly, most of the bloggers are underestimating these factors. SEO is certainly not only about Google.

  3. Justin Smith


    Great post. I really like your point about SEO being more than just Google. Bing is becoming a larger and larger player, but even more than that, Twitter/Facebook/Instagram are also extremely important. Positive social media signals are correlated with good SEO, so it is also important not to overlook these channels, even if they might be a little bit more difficult to engage in organically for your brand or business.

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