9 SEO myths you should forget in 2019

eugene koplyk Eugene Koplyk 19/03/2019 7 min read


  1. The bigger site, the better
  2. Ranking is all you need from SEO
  3. Great SEO does not help ranking high
  4. XML sitemap boosts search rankings
  5. Quick reaction to the algorithm updates is the key
  6. Yoast SEO is all that I need
  7. Content is the king
  8. The perfect content length is 2,400 words or more
  9. Link building does not work anymore

Since time immemorial, people believed in myths. They sacrificed livestock for the rain or threw virgins from the cliffs for the calmness of the sea. The current state of the science proves, that those horrible sacrifices had nothing in common with the weather changes or crop capacity. Yet, people did believe.

Today the times of cruelty are gone, but the times of myths have not passed. Businesses of all sizes continue to believe in myths of modern business development. In this article, you will learn about the funny SEO myths that should be forgotten forever! Besides naming the myths, you will also learn what actually lies behind them and what to do to deal with them.

The bigger site, the better

Myth: The more pages I create, the better SEO ranking I will get.

Truth: Development of a large number of empty or thin on content pages makes no sense. Pages with poor content do not have any value to the users and hence are worthless at all. In fact, such creation of thin content can actually turn into spamming.

What to do: Develop a large number of pages with qualitative content, reliable internal and external links. Your content must be of great value for the user in the first place. It is essential that users (as well as Google crawler) see user journey just the way you need to.

Ranking is all you need from SEO

Myth: I need high ranking, to improve conversion on my website.

Truth: Ranking is tricky. Yes, several studies prove that the net-searchers mostly do click on the first three listings. However, this does not mean that they will stay on your website or perform any of the actions you want them to. The simplest example is that you are ranking in the top-three search results for a wrong key phrase or that your website does not look attractive to keep the potential customers interested. In this case, you do rank high, but there is no possibility to actually monetize this privilege.

What to do: Do not spend your whole budget on ranking high for a single keyword or phrase, do not set ranking as your ultimate goal for the SEO strategy. Focus on the relevancy of the chosen keywords and general appeal of your website. This is the only way to help potential customers find you and so generate more traffic and leads.

SEO ranking

Great SEO does not help ranking high

Myth: I cannot outrank a high authority site even if I have great SEO.

Truth: Anyone has a chance to outrank a higher authority site with good SEO. Of course, in this context, “good SEO” does not mean great Yoast SEO or just the addition of a couple of popular keywords, it is the best content on a particular subject.

What to do: The recipe is simple – develop great content. Research the net extensively, read case studies, come up with an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand form of your content because deep things are usually tough to understand. Insert backlinks to valuable resources, draw great click-through rate, secure great time on page, and it is in the bag – you outrank the higher authority sites.

However, remember that the final word is after the search engine and this is something you need to deal with. Sometimes, it is just not your luck. So the truth is that you can outrun the high-authority sites, but sometimes you might not be able to do it even with the best effort.

XML sitemap boosts search rankings

Myth: Installation of an XML sitemap will help to improve your search engine rankings.

Truth: Remember that a sitemap has no effect on the website rankings even though it makes them more “crawable” for a search engine. No study has ever proven the direct correlation between the submission of an XML sitemap and website SEO.

What to do: Even though an XML sitemap does not offer direct effect on SEO, it is still of great use for you. Design one for your website to ensure that all URLs of your pages are indexed for easy crawling since this can and will improve your website’s visibility in the long run.

Quick reaction to the algorithm updates is the key

Myth: The better and faster I adapt my website for the latest organic search update of the search engine, the easier it will be to stay ahead.

Truth: Search engines, such as Google, update their search algorithms about 500 times a year. By blindly updating your website to the latest releases, you will only destroy your strategy and bring no good to your website in the long run.

What to do: Before you begin making any changes to your website, you need to carefully review what the latest update brought and how it affected your platform. If you are doing everything right, there are very low chances that the new changes will impact you negatively. Keep also in mind that no SEO algorithm is perfect, so there is always room for improvement even without the updates. So before reacting instantly to the changes, take your time, consider the damages, and work on the most affected elements rather than rebuilding the whole system.


Yoast SEO is all that I need

Myth: Yoast SEO plugin can replace the professional approach to SEO strategy.

Truth: Yoast plugin helps SEO experts a lot, but it is not perfect. For instance, it works poorly for any language but English.

What to do: Work with Yoast SEO and with an SEO expert. Yes, the plugin can help you check the keywords number in a text or control meta title. This makes the optimization much easier, even for an amateur. But those green lights from the Yoast SEO do not guarantee perfect optimization. The plugin cannot check the trends or advise on the keyword choice and neither can it explain that a particular setting is not that great for a particular business. Hire an SEO expert or at least consult one to ensure that your strategy is not shallow and long-lasting.

Content is the king

Myth: Writing in-depth content with lots of numbers and summaries can help my SEO.

Truth: Yes, it can. No, it cannot. Content without keywords and great links means very little for your website SEO. Yes, it might be great for the users, but it is unlikely to rank high enough to reach your target readers.

What to do: Do write great content, but do not forget about SEO, namely keywords, links, meta descriptions, relevant visuals, etc. Fill your content with the relevant links, support it with useful graphics (with alts) and do not forget about the proportional use of keywords to rank high.

The perfect content length is 2,400 words or more

Myth: The content must be between 1,790 and 2,425 words to look best for the search engines.

Truth: While it is a known fact that posts with such a length rank higher and content length does matter, search engines evaluate the greatness of the content, not based on the word count but rather according to the readers’ satisfaction level.

What to do: Think carefully about the content you write and its length. While you cannot disclose the depth of a topic in 300 words, writing more than 3,000 might be too much as well. Do not overwrite. Use as many words as you need to reveal the truth and not bore your readers to death. Keep your articles structured, use lists and headlines for long articles to develop a structure and facilitate their reading.

Myth: Link-building does not help developing SEO.

Truth: Link building worked, works, and will work in the future. The question here is in the quality and reliability of both external and internal links you are using. For example, internal linking helps to build a website hierarchy. External links help to set the right relations between your website and the reliable source which is an essential element of any SEO strategy. Remember that it is almost impossible to score high on competitive keywords without the right links.

What to do: The doing is simple – use good links. For internal, do not set up too much linking; make it logical and easy-to-understand both for the system and for the user. For external links the rule is even simpler – use only credible sources. It is better to use one great source than 10 links of low quality.

eugene koplyk
Eugene Koplyk
Head of Marketing department
As a Digital Strategist, I help companies grow their business online. Here share my expertise, ideas, and best practices on Ecommerce marketing initiatives, branding, SEO, conversion and many more. If you want to stay connected, follow me on LinkedIn.
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