SEO Superstitions: 5 Experts Weigh In

on under Experts, Gurus, & Other Mythical Creatures, Search Engine Optimization.

Keywords are everything. Link building doesn't matter. SEO itself is a myth.

These are statements we've heard floating around and all have strong opinions about. Everyone has their own tools and tricks they've picked up along their career, but some theories definitely work better than others. We asked some digital marketing experts to see what popular SEO superstitions they live by.

"Searchmetrics research has shown that there is little correlation between H1 tags and rankings. I've talked to many SEOs who have little regard for header tags. However, I still stand by optimized H1 tags and always emphasize them to clients.

SEO is about killing your darlings. It's about letting go of your corporate BS terminology and thinking like a human. Emphasis on a unique, focused H1 for each page forces the issue a bit. It's also about keeping each page focused on one primary idea.

Continually reinforcing this idea helps site designers get away from the dreaded "our services" page and to think about deeper dives into each discipline. It helps refocus your homepage to tell me who you are and what your do, and to avoid filling the page with meaningless jabber like "Do More Faster"."

Ryan Johnson, http://rsj8000.com/

"There is a decreasing benefit as a single URL links to you multiple times. I've never seen evidence to support this, but I've always believed it to be true. I assume that it is. It's the one reason that I've always resisted the urge to become a contributor to Inc, Forbes or Entrepreneur. The direct SEO benefit from linking to your own content would diminish over time.

Do I have evidence? Nope! But I'm sure it's true. :)"

Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media

 

 

"In terms of SEO superstitions that I live by, I think my answer would have to be none. Everyone will tell you that SEO is complicated and it is humorous to see all of the new "tricks" that "SEO experts" are discovering on the internet all the time.

SEO is pretty simple. At the end of the day, Google is an algorithm, and it can only organize and rank its search results based on two things: first, the information it is given by websites to read (the actual content on your website) and second, what your connections say about you (who and how other websites link to yours).

In summary, the "SEO facts" I live by that are not widely accepted are that SEO is not complicated and that SEO is nothing more than providing Google with the information you want to be associated with (on-page optimization) and having influential friends online (link building)."

Michael J. Kiriazis, Cliqthru Marketing

"Most will contend that bounce rate is not a direct ranking factor, and while Perfect Search Media undoubtedly knows that content and links are where it's at, we're a little ~superstitious~ when it comes to the effect that bounce rate has on page performance. That's why when it comes to reporting and analysis, we often take our data beyond the typical organic measures and we include page engagement metrics. Ensuring that content on the page meets user needs is SEO 101 and if it addresses our hunch on bounce rate, well, it's a win-win in our books."

Justin McIntyre, Perfect Search Media

"My first thought, and most tightly held superstition, is click-through rates (and possibly other user signals) influence search rankings. I hope it's true because we're always telling clients it is. Also, Rand Fishkin thinks Google is going to tell people straight-up it's one of their algorithmic signals in his SEO predictions for 2017.

We believe user signals influence rankings because Google is all about relevancy. What is more relevant than a result that gets clicked on more frequently than the other results next to it in the SERPs? It's a strong signal to Google's algorithm that your website has a result that's relevant to the user's query. Of course, they could always hit the back button, but that is a whole other issue that can bleed into design, content, UX, etc."

Ben Hicks, Chicago Style SEO

 

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  • Ryan Johnson

    Great topic. I still hold to almost all of these "superstitions." I guess a lot of SEOs think alike. Google doesn't always say that something is important, but if you see something working enough times, you go with it.

    • Thanks for the feedback! Any superstitions of your own :)