What’s the Worst SEO Advice You’ve Heard?

It’s not unusual to come across questionable advice when combing for SEO news. Having different theories, ideas or conspiracies is fine… but some things are just plain ridiculous. Here are a few bad ones that I’ve seen lately and if these are part of your online organic strategy, it should be time to reconsider:

1) Don’t worry about search engine updates – In other words, keep doing what you’re doing and everything will be just fine. Right… Google Panda updates have consistently been rolled out within weeks of each other. In what world does it make sense to ignore these important updates? (Keep in mind that this isn’t a change in the algorithm, just a refresh). The idea is there but there’s no way you can completely ignore these updates and expect stable rankings.

2) All you need to worry about is creating great content – Preaching creation of great content is great but there’s more to online marketing than just that. Links are an essential part of helping readers find your content. This involves on page SEO, external linking and social factors. In the wake of all these Google updates, there are many proponents who believe that “less is more” and that can be a good thing. But it’s important not to leave out the basic aspects of optimization.

3) If your competitors are outranking your business, copy their methods – From copying link sources, website design to anchor text, I’ve heard it all! Copying a competitor is not a great idea as you might not understand everything that they’re doing to achieve those high rankings. You might think that it’s one thing but there is a lot of behind the scenes work that could make all your hard work ineffective… or even worse, it could tank your site! Lastly, how are you ever going to differentiate and have a clear brand voice if you’re getting all your ideas from someone else? It’s fine to get inspiration but in the end, you have to make it your own and make sure that it fits in with your long-term goals.

4) More content/links will help me rank better – I recently came across a case studies page of an internet marketing firm. Their “success” stories went a little something like this: Before: 78 web pages / After: 395 web pages. Before: 254 backlinks / After: 3764 backlinks. Since when did quantity become more important that quality? If you come across a company like this, it’s ok to question it. Let’s say you have 10 pages on a niche area and are still not ranking well – it’s time to ask WHY and not ask for MORE content. If you can’t rank for desirable phrases with that much content, something is seriously wrong.

Let us know of any bad or questionable advice you’ve heard recently.

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