Duane Forrester, Bing’s Senior Product Manager, took to the Bing Webmaster Blog today to give his analysis on 10 of the most common SEO myths.
The SEO myths, along with a recap of Duane’s analysis for each, are as follows.
1. I need to rank #1
Duane says it’s nice to be on top, but actual rankings fluctuate on a daily basis. He also says not to obsess too much over being on the first page, as the click-through rates for the top positions on the second page are often times higher than the click-through rates for the lower positions on the first page.
2. My Title tag will save me
Duane says titles are important, but they won’t save a “sinking ship” if you neglect everything else.
3. Social is all I need
Again, Duane says that there’s no one thing that will bring success with SEO, but he also suggests that social media is an integral part of the complex formula of SEO.
4. Videos are all I need
Duane admits videos are great, visitors love them and they’re easier than ever to produce, but they also come with a handful of negatives. They slow down page load times and search engines don’t understand video content like they understand written content. Duane suggests if you’re going to add a video to your site to include a transcript of it as well, for the search engines’ benefit.
5. Buying ads helps my rankings
Absolutely not, Duane says. The day a search engine starts determining rankings based on ad buying is the day that search engine loses all credibility.
6. I make awesome content
You don’t get to decide whether or not you make awesome content, your visitors do. You can tell by how visitors engage with your content whether or not they like your writing style. Duane suggests following the patterns of your visitors when it comes to creating content.
7. Links are all I need
Duane says the most important thing when it comes to links is that they are acquired naturally. “You want links to surprise you. You should never know in advance a link is coming, or where it’s coming from. If you do, that’s the wrong path.”
8. Marking up my content will help it rank
Marking up content (I presume he means with Schema markup) helps search engines better understand your content, but it doesn’t boost rankings.
9. Usability is different than SEO
Duane says it’s time people started viewing these two things as similar, since they are both focused on improving a website for users. Optimizing for search and usability leads to the best experience.
10. SEO is all I need
Again, Duane repeats for a third time that just doing one thing very well doesn’t necessarily lead to success. SEO makes up the foundation of a website, but there are many other parts that go into it.
For more information about any of these points, please see Duane’s full post.