What are some myths about SEO?

By | August 24, 2019


Today’s question comes
from Ryan in Michigan. Ryan asks, what are some
of the biggest SEO myths you still see being repeated,
either at conferences or in blogs, et cetera? That’s a fun question, because
there are a lot of SEO myths. So one of the biggest that we
always hear is, if you buy ads, you’ll rank higher on Google. And then there’s an
opposing conspiracy theory, which is, if you don’t buy ads,
you’ll rank better on Google. And we sort of feel like we
should get those two conspiracy camps together, and let
them fight it all out. And then whoever emerges
from one room– we can just debunk that one
conspiracy theory. There’s a related
conspiracy theory, or myth, which is, Google
makes its changes to try to drive people to buy ads. And having worked in the
search-quality group, and working at Google for
over 13 years, I can say, here’s the mental model you need
to understand why Google does what it does in
the search results. We want to return really
good search results to users, so that they’re happy, so
that they’ll keep coming back. That’s basically it. Happy users are
loyal users, right? And so if we give them a good
experience on one search, they’ll think about using
us the next time they have an information need. And then, along the way,
if somebody clicks on ads, that’s great, but
we’re not going to make an algorithmic change to
try to drive people to buy ads. If you buy ads, it’s not
going to algorithmically help your ranking in any way. And likewise, it’s not
going to hurt your ranking if you buy ads. So those are some of
the biggest SEO myths that we continue to see
repeated over and over again. The other one is, I would
say, just in general, thinking about the various
black-hat forums and webmaster
discussion boards, never be afraid to think
for yourself, right? It’s often the
case that I’ll see people get into kind
of a group think, and they decide,
aha, now we know that submitting our articles
to these article directories is going to be the best
way to rank number one. And then six months later, it’ll
be like, OK, guest blogging. This is totally it. If you’re guest blogging, you’re
going to go up to number one. And then a few months before
that– oh, link wheels! You’ve got to have
link wheels if you’re going to rank number one. And it’s almost like fads. And if you think about it, if
somebody had a foolproof way to make money online,
they would probably use that way to
make money, rather than packaging it
up into an e-book and selling it to people, or
patching it up into a tool, and selling that to people. And so the idea
that you’re going to be able to buy
some software package and solve every single
problem you’ve ever had, is probably a little
bit of a bad idea. I read an article
recently where someone was talking about using some
automated software package, and trying to do white-hat SEO
with it, which, to me, sounds like buying a gun and trying
to use it as a hammer. Just be aware that a
lot of these tools, they have the potential to
dig yourself into a hole. Just because somebody says
they made a lot of money online doesn’t mean they really
made a lot of money online. If they really made a
lot of money online, they’d normally keep doing it,
rather than tell you about it. So just approach some of the
tools and services and products that you see on
the various boards with a little bit of caution. Try to avoid group think. And if you keep the
mental model of, what is Google
trying to do– we’re trying to return great search
results for users– then that helps you figure
out how to align yourself with those goals,
because if you’re aligned with those goals,
then we’re going to want return the high-quality
pages that you’re making. If you’re not aligned
with those goals– if you’re trying
to do fly by night, churn and burn, black hat,
spam, stuff that only lasts for a couple of weeks
before we catch it– you’re always
going to be working in opposition to the
algorithms, and you’re always going to be working in
opposition to regular users and what they want to see. So they’re going to
be kind of angry when they run across your stuff
if they’re at all tech-savvy. So that’s just a few of the
myths that we see over and over and over again. It’s kind of interesting
how a lot of people just assume Google’s
thinking about nothing but the money, as far
as our search quality. And truthfully, we’re
just thinking about, how do we make our
search results better? And that’s served us pretty
well for a long time, and I expect us to keep doing
that for a long time to come.

75 thoughts on “What are some myths about SEO?

  1. Charles Taylor Post author

    I predict that this video will be popular will be shared with many CEOs and SEO clients…but they still won't listen – LOL.

    Reply
  2. Parmveer Singh Sandhu Post author

    The question of SEO myths arises since we are still using the term 'SEO' while in my view it must be replaced with 'UEO – User Experience Optimization'.

    Its really 'Mental State' of marketers.

    Google wants to show 'Good Results' to the users, Good Results >> Useful Results, this is where UEO model works.

    #mattcutts on #seomyths  

    Reply
  3. Ahmet Deveci Post author

    Well said @Matt Cutts, yet another informative video. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  4. logan walsh Post author

    I heard if you post pictures of elephants on each page you instantly rank number 1 for ten months.

    Reply
  5. MilMike Post author

    Few years ago i bought xrumer and after few months it paid for it self and i made a shitload of $… unfortunately it does not work any more (for me) as google got better on fighting spam. Today seo is a bitch

    Reply
  6. DesignDaddy Post author

    Good info about SEO myths and other nonsense.

    Reply
  7. William Hunt Post author

    Excellent video from Mary Cutts on SEO myths.

    Everything boils down to your sites content being the best and most relevant search result, everything else is secondary! No beating around the bush on this one.

    Reply
  8. Ryan Ricketts Post author

    Love this. Really appreciate the insights, @Matt Cutts. Funny, too, because I’m also a Ryan in Michigan who had this same question. I must have a twin nearby!

    Reply
  9. Antoine Girault Post author

    Peut-être que cette annonce de Matt Cutts à propos de l'absence de lien entre référencement naturel et publicitaire va permettre de tordre définitivement le cou à ce mythe ? Wait and see…

    Reply
  10. Michael Pasquale Post author

    The best way to get rich online is be relative of Matt cuts – myth or reality ?

    Reply
  11. George Banis Post author

    Thanks @Matt Cutts.

    It's interesting how there's an entire industry built around Google search and yet it seems like no one outside of Google seems to know what they are talking about.

    It seems to me that the more passionately someone talks about SEO and the more effortless a software claims to make SEO then the less it should be trusted.

    Reply
  12. Chris Slowik Post author

    I don't think any myths were really debunked here, it seems more like @Matt Cutts is defending (1) changes Google makes to their search results and (2) how the ads and search work together.

    Reply
  13. Randy Hilarski Post author

    What are Some SEO Myths about SEO?

    I personally do very little SEO. @Matt Cutts just reaffirms why I do not like it. Focusing on social is just so much more fun. 

    #SocialMedia   #SEO   #Google  

    Thank you @Google Webmasters 

    Reply
  14. Hunter Willis Post author

    I hear San Dimas has some killer water slides. 

    Reply
  15. Russell Jensen Post author

    Matt,

    I am very curious about Google menus. These menus are taken directly from the restaurant's websites and eliminating the need for the user to go onto the business page. I can see where the use can get information "faster" but I also believe each restaurant has a unique experience they want to portray to their audience. Are restaurants really benefiting from this feature? I think restaurants need to keep their audience on their domain instead of giving up their traffic to the Google search result. Any thoughts? 

    PS I used Google menus today and the information said the restaurant had Ahi tuna, but that menu item has long been taken off their menu. It was upsetting… But I'll survive.

    Reply
  16. Chris Hirst Post author

    This should be retitled to;
    Matt explains real S.E.O. one – more – time!!!!

    Reply
  17. Michael Quinn Post author

    How to make $1 million dollars online via SEO.

    Find 1000 suckers to buy into your $1000 SEO course.

    Reply
  18. Dipti Ranjan Dash Post author

    Excellent video from #MattCutts on #SEO myths.Hope to see more good stuff about #SEO..Thanks..!!

    Reply
  19. Melinda de los Santos Post author

    Looks like there's hope for the little guy yet. (Plus it's good to know you're not greedy.) 😀

    Reply
  20. atentat07 Post author

    mat youve said this 1000x. Get a hold of your self man!

    Reply
  21. Cilene Bonfim Post author

    @How to get your readers happy, if they do not find your blog becuase Google does not show?

    Reply
  22. Anthony Lombardo Post author

    Is it best practice to have your blog post URL include the category in it's permalink?

    Reply
  23. Aaron Caralho Post author

    Matt cutts teaches us we should not rely on one specific piece of automated software, since it's ridiculous to think it will solve all your problems. What Matt is trying to tell us is we should combine all these tools to rank #1 on any keyword.

    Reply
  24. Danny Pryor Post author

    For users who do not understand what real development and content creation is, this video is a superbly informative take on the simplicity of attaining reasonably good search rankings. I am always fighting charlatan SEO companies that promise my clients or client prospects that they can achieve a number-one ranking on "page one of Google". I tell them not even Google would make such a promise. Because there are so many myths and so much disinformation flying around about what constitutes good development, an entire "SEO industry" has emerged that plays on the "fear of invisibility" and "loss of business". There are no great mysteries to composing a sound website that is informative and can convert those visitors into buyers. Sometimes the process takes longer than we would like, but that process does work. One simply has to invest for the long-term and not for the next week or month. What blows my mind is the fact so many qualified web and content developers are still using black-hat tricks to get their clients' sites ranked well, only for those sites to eventually require more work to maintain a reasonable search presence when algorithms change. In other words, the black-hat tricks force companies to spend more money, later, to clean up the damage done by an algorithm update or a penalty, which is great business for the charlatans. However, those practices certainly leave me and many other white-hatters having to answer for an entire segment of an industry that has run afoul of legitimacy and trust. So, thank you, Matt, for this one. I just wish other developers would speak loudly about these issues.

    Reply
  25. Ingrid A Post author

    Now get this (3:09 – 3:18) from Matt Cutt, "Just because somebody says they made a lot of money online doesn’t mean they really made a lot of money online. If they really made a lot of money online, they normally keep doing it, rather than tell you about it.” 

    Reply
  26. Dave Billings Post author

    All the fancy filters has created a monster.

    It's time Google stops the algorithmic filtering… Good legitimate business websites are getting bumped off. No Myth about it…  Bad links need to be ignored as no credit, no penalty…  Adwords is the only thing that's absolute while everything else is a guess. Lowest priority is organic search.

    How this makes for a good user experience when you can only find a website on Bing and Yahoo because it's penalized or caught in a filter at Google?
    Competitive search results without the junk is the key, don't you think?

    Noticed some of Google's IP's in SORBS for email spam and ask myself this question.  If  Google can't control it's own email spam, how can they possibly control link spam? If the trend continues everything will be filtered out along with SEO Myths.

    Reminds me of the Real Estate bubble. Everyone is in the SEO business and Google is Fannie Mae… Page 1 on Google, Not how much is it… Is it For Sale!
            

    Reply
  27. Manish Khanna Post author

    Agree on all counts, but if google wanted to provide better results, those websites which have been penalised cause of OLD ways and still have good content and user experience should show up at least somewhere in results. They should not have to start a new website all over again. Starting a New website is very bad for Branding and Matt you have always been promoting Branding then SEO.

    Couple of other myths I think a lot of people wants to know is.
    1. Does it make any difference if I use Disavow again and again ? Their is a Myth that you should not resubmit old bad links for disavow if you find them. 

    2. Does Social Media helps with Google Algo or is it a Myth, alot of users are talking about you have to use Google+ or you would not be awarded ? 

    3. Manual penalty can be removed, but Algo Penalty can never be removed, specially when there is no way to find if their is an Algo Penalty. Is this is a Myth too ? 

    Thanks 

    Manish

    Reply
  28. RankYa Post author

    Absolutely one of the best Webmaster help videos ever made by #Google keep 'em coming mate

    Reply
  29. Roovet Post author

    well I must comment on this video first I would like to say thanks you your a great explainer and I will also say thats may be part of the reason but let face the truth you also change it so people will buy ads with you other wise you would not make billions and you stock would not be so high , I love you guys business mind , but yes also I think you guys are trying to make your results better but come on man your a public company you have to keep showing profit let be real about it right lol…yes I understand you can not say anything that might put your job at risk…!! thanks again

    Reply
  30. Don Hesh Post author

    This is How it's link Matt, When you Advertise on Google, You get More related visitors, When you have more related visitors, They will stay on your site, Share content which results lower bounce rate and more social signals. Lower bounce rate + More Social signals =  Higher Google organic rank. 🙂

    Reply
  31. Enrico Cotulelli Post author

    think by yourself is the best i heard from matt – thanks!

    Reply
  32. Michael Mason Post author

    OK, so given that there is no link between AdWords and organic listings in Google I tried an experiment some time ago where a client ranked #1 organic for their term and IMHO didn't deserve it.

    They had AdWords running so we ditched the AdWords for a while and their organic listing disappeared.

    Within a few days of us restarting the AdWords campaign their organic listing went back to the top of Google.

    Answers on the back of a stamp addressed envelope please…

    Reply
  33. Adam Arnold Post author

    I think the biggest SEO myth – and I can't believe you missed this @Matt Cutts  – is that Google is anti-SEO! 

    Reply
  34. Pool And Spa TV Post author

    I always enjoy Matt's videos. This one is particularly interesting. Our web site turned 20 years old this year ( ! ) and being a fairly seasonal business, I can tell you all that for about half the year we always do Adwords, and the other half we do not. Our organic SERPS do not change due to us using – or not using – our Adwords account. That's been my experience over the years, so I agree with what Matt is saying, in that I do not think there is any "evil Google conspiracy" either way.

    Reply
  35. AMIR ARYA Post author

    Regarding this part:
    “”He also says that Google does not make changes to the organic algorithms to encourage people to buy ads.””
    So if any webmaster just with buy the seo software and have average knowledge could make high ranking for qualify website in google, … then nobody want to pay for pay per click or sponsored ad.
    Therefore how google can make money from advertiser.
    I’m just remember several months ago, when the google change “the organic algorithms” most of the website with high ranking has been moved to lower ranking in google.
    And then several companies call people as a Google certify to ask theme money for send back their website to high ranking again.
    Actually some webmasters have been got the website in high ranking and good traffic.
    But usually Google call this spam or “others thinks”, then after one or two months their website will be disappear from top ranking.
    There are a lot of real story about Google “the organic algorithms” that I can not say more about it at this time.
    For Example: if you believe that quality link back can help google to showing better index after search by some keywords, Then elephant can fly by himself.
    Sincerely

    Reply
  36. AMIR ARYA Post author

    Regarding this part:
    “”He also says that Google does not make changes to the organic algorithms to encourage people to buy ads.””
    So if any webmaster just with buy the seo software and have average knowledge could make high ranking for qualify website in google, … then nobody want to pay for pay per click or sponsored ad.
    Therefore how google can make money from advertiser.
    I’m just remember several months ago, when the google change “the organic algorithms” most of the website with high ranking has been moved to lower ranking in google.
    And then several companies call people as a Google certify to ask theme money for send back their website to high ranking again.
    Actually some webmasters have been got the website in high ranking and good traffic.
    But usually Google call this spam or “others thinks”, then after one or two months their website will be disappear from top ranking.
    There are a lot of real story about Google “the organic algorithms” that I can not say more about it at this time.
    For Example: if you believe that quality link back can help google to showing better index after search by some keywords, Then elephant can fly by himself.
    Sincerely

    Reply
  37. Joe Myers Post author

    Again….. content … content…. content

    Reply
  38. MabryCo Post author

    I couldn’t believe how much I’ve learned just by watching a 4-minute video. It’s a relief to know that ads aren’t that vital in establishing online presence. And yes, it’s true that the best mental model in SEO is “happy users are loyal users.” 

    Reply
  39. Petrina Hamm Post author

    These are so incredibly helpful. Thanks for putting these out!

    Reply
  40. PosicionamientoMX Post author

    a lot of links are good for my page, i thing isnt a myth

    Reply
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    Reply
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    I decided to use SEO service after my friend inform me about best SEO video and I have been using SEO service for 1 year and I feel many benefit. Please watch -LnaSNfl_x4 for complete information about SEO.

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  44. Masuda Rashid Post author

    Don`t be confuse if you`d like to make your website to be the top rank on search engine. This site will guide you to construct your site to the top one. Search "speed rank seo" on Google.

    Reply
  45. Shakar Ande Post author

    Want to know everything about SEO, Website Ranking, etc, SpeedRankSEO is the best in this department. Search it in Google for their services.

    Reply
  46. swamp n Post author

    Pls just tell us the recipe for the "secret sauce"..lol

    Reply
  47. Stanley Garland Post author

    So, how does Google take into account social signals? Do they count or not and if so how much. Just level with us.

    Reply
  48. Dmitry Radchenko Post author

    Hello Matt. Here is the main myth about SEO: "Your position depends only on moon phase". And there is my rationale… look at the top of "buy viagra" request. What will we see? The bulk of sites which violated all rules you described everywhere. A lot of doorways which have just few sentences and 1-2 keywords on a page. What are you talking about? For whom? =)

    Reply
  49. 180 Theory Post author

    I've heard those conspiracy theories. Then, pointed out to people that there is a whole opposite camp. It's like arguing politics or religion with people: pure ideology, 0% facts. 🙂

    Reply
  50. Priyal Koradiya Post author

    in google webmaster there are display 7000 link index but when i saw in google (site: url) there are only 500 url indexed? how can get proper result of indexed url. i want all that 7000 url in google (site:) which display in webmaster tool.

    Reply
  51. Michael Berger Post author

    Great video, love watching Matt and listening to his plain and simple speaking style.

    On the Google ads stuff my question(comment is that a site that gets visibility through ads gets a good starting point for the first few clicks.

    If the content is good, Google will recognize this right away through visitors actions. So in a way, Google ads will get you a head start, and if your content is good, people will stay on your site, share it and create more traffic this way.

    Reply
  52. Mayor mat Post author

    dear Matt i want to have my business posted at the first page of google search engine since i have the only type of this business in my country please advise me what to do thanks

    Reply
  53. Multi App Post author

    Cutts suggest to us, we suggest to you https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/play/_JdSR1_yRp8;context-place=forum/play try to look and discover how to write good algorithms for any type of search, you want quality, we want quality too

    Reply
  54. Upsc Exam Guide Post author

    Nice video…this also helped my blog to rank high in Google…thank you so much..

    Reply
  55. Carmen Richard Post author

    Ѕеarch іn gооgle: "Glamy Seo". Thеy arе the mоst еfficient Sео fіrm and ranked mу sіte wіthin shоrt sрan оf timе.

    Reply

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