7 Lies About SEO You Probably Believe

seo lies

SEO has been around for so many years that it should be easy to figure out what you should and shouldn’t do, right?

I wish that were the case!

The thing about SEO is that it’s constantly evolving. Not only does that mean a lot of the old information is inaccurate, but it also means there are a lot of misconceptions out there as anyone can create a blog and write about SEO, even if they are not experts.

Here are 7 lies about SEO that you probably believe:

Lie #1: It’s good to let authority sites republish your content

Typically, when an authority site that’s bigger than yours republishes your content, it is a good thing. You get a link back, and you generate traffic and maybe even sales.

The issue with having your content republished is that it creates duplicate content. Even if that authority site links back to you, search engines like Google will rank the authority site above yours. What’s even worse is that you can potentially get hit by a Panda penalty.

Just look at the KISSmetrics blog. We got hit by a Panda penalty for this.

traffic drop

As you can see from the graph above, we saw a 29% drop in traffic because we let authority sites republish our content.

Nonetheless, this is still a great tactic to leverage if you can get authority sites to follow one rule. They need to use a canonical tag that points back to your URL. This is the only way to ensure you don’t get penalized for duplicate content.

Lie #2: Bad links will hurt your rankings

When Google released its disavow tool, a lot of marketers went overboard. They felt every bad link was going to hurt their rankings. To some extent they were right: bad links can indeed hurt your rankings, but it happens in rare circumstances.

What Google is trying to do is stop the manipulation of its algorithm through link building.

A lot of the low quality links that point back to your website will be from low-quality aggregator sites. You can try to stop some of these sites by using services like Cloudflare, but don’t get paranoid and start disavowing every link you are not fond of.

The bigger your site, the more junk sites will naturally link to you. In general, you shouldn’t encourage these links, but there isn’t much you can do. Of course, you can disavow each link, but it is rare that these aggregator sites will get you penalized.

Just look at Quick Sprout. I have over 144,000 backlinks from 10,000 unique domains. Out of those links, 581 are coming from low-quality aggregator sites. In the seven-year history of Quick Sprout, it’s never gotten penalized for it.

Instead of worrying about these low quality links, focus your time on creating a good product/service and writing exceptional content. While you are at it, don’t buy links with the intent of manipulating rankings.

Lie #3: The more pages of content you have, the better

Content marketing isn’t a good fit for everyone. For example, let’s say you run a hedge fund. The way you make money is by getting people to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in your fund and taking a percentage of the profits.

The issue with blogging or creating tons of pages of content about what you do is that it is a very dry and boring topic. That means very few people are going to share the content on the social web and/or link back to you.

Before you add pages of content to your site, think about whether people will actually want to share and link to those web pages. No matter how good your content is, if you add pages that people don’t link to or share, you typically won’t see an increase in search traffic. It can actually hurt your traffic.

One of the first websites I ever created was Advice Monkey. Not only did I pop up a blog that no one read, but I also added over 1,000 pages of content. The quality of the content was pretty good, but very few people linked to the articles. In the end, my search traffic decreased. Once I removed the content, my search traffic started to climb again slowly.

Lie #4: You shouldn’t buy links

Sure, search engines don’t want you to buy links because this tactic can manipulate rankings, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy them.

Links are a great way to drive revenue to your business. For example, we bought over $10,000 worth of links and ads from CSS galleries to Crazy Egg before we launched. This resulted in an increase in monthly recurring income of over $2,000. To this date, some of those customers are still with us, which means our link-buying approach was profitable.

How do you buy links without ticking off the search engines? You nofollow the links. This way, you are telling the search engines not to count the links with no damage to your SEO, but you can still gain traffic and revenue.

Lie #5: The higher your bounce rate, the lower your rankings

The one thing I know better than anything else is analytics. I’ve co-founded two analytic companies, and I’ve helped hundreds of companies grow their businesses through analysis.

A lot of marketers claim that the higher your bounce rate is, the lower your rankings will be. For this reason, you need to reduce your bounce rate, right?

Having a lower bounce rate is typically a good thing, but it doesn’t mean you will have higher rankings. In my experience working with various sites, such as TechCrunch, Gawker Media, Amazon, and Microsoft, I saw no correlation between bounce rates and rankings.

Granted, this could be because a lot of the businesses I’ve worked with are large, but even with the small ones, I didn’t notice a huge difference in search traffic as bounce rates changed.

Lie #6: A/B testing can hurt your rankings

If A/B testing was so bad, do you think Google would offer A/B testing solutions? Just look under the Content Experiments section within Google Analytics. It is their version of A/B testing.

Sure, you may be creating duplicate content temporarily, but the potential increases in conversions make up for it. Plus, out of all the A/B tests I’ve run, I’ve never seen my traffic drop.

Just look at the homepage of my personal site. As you can see from the image below, there is very little content on the page. And I have a ton of duplicate versions of it.

neil patel homepage

I continually A/B test it and do so with all of my other businesses as well. I can tell you with 100% confidence that I have never seen a dip in rankings due to testing.

If you are worried, you can always noindex the variation to prevent duplicate content.

Lie #7: Your best content should be published on your own site

How much traffic does your website generate? My guess is not as much as Forbes or Huffington Post. So, what’s going to happen when you post an amazing piece of content on your own site?

Your traffic may double…if you’re lucky. But chances are it won’t.

You could be better off posting your content on other people’s blogs/sites.

Content is king, but if you place it on someone else’s site, not only may you see more traffic, but you may also see more revenue. Plus, you’ll also be generating authoritative links, which will help your rankings over time.

If you have a small blog that generates 10,000 or 20,000 visitors a month, you may be better off publishing your best work on blogs that generate over a million visitors a month.

Conclusion

Just because you read something, don’t expect it to be true. Heck, just because I publish something on Quick Sprout doesn’t mean you should assume I’m always right. I’ve been proven wrong many times, which is fine.

Always try to understand why certain things work the way they do, especially in SEO and marketing. Things are constantly evolving, and you need to stay current on new developments if you want to dominate the search results.

What other lies about SEO have you heard?

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Comments

  1. Great post! Especially the bounce rate lie!

    This can really go both ways, because if you take the time to solve the visitors problem perfectly, on the first page they land on……your bounce rate will be high. But, you have your visitor in mind!

  2. Hi Neil,

    I love to read your post as always learn new things. Thanks for sharing. I have a question, adding blog to free blog directories is helpful or harmful. I want to do this but not sure about this.

    Anyway thanks again :).

  3. Hey Neil,

    This is great. I heard these lies many times while searching for SEO tips. Every time it shares a different approach towards the SEO.

    Thank you for sharing this. I will help me to understand better about SEO…. :)

  4. I am also believing those are . But from now feeling confusion. :(

  5. I think all of the Google guidelines are a big lie. Why? Because still many low quality sites rank, still people buy links and get thousands of visitors, still Google is not that smart.

    • Adsense and Webmaster Guidelines are two different things. It seems you are getting confused.
      Although I know Google get more than 27% of its revenue from AdSense but still sites with Copyrighted Content and others related are not allowed to display its ads.
      If they allow this then they will get real profit but Google would never do this. No one knows why.
      Webmaster Guidelines is to rank better on Google and Adsense is to earn money from the site. They rarely cross each other path.
      Can you please tell me what’s your point. Exactly.
      Thank you!

    • Anurag, thanks for the insights :)

  6. Hey Neil,

    I love your conclusion.

    Also, I’d add the following: search engine (read Google) is not the state law. It is just a business player on its own field. So we may break the rules, but we need to make sure we are not get caught ;)

  7. Hi Neil,

    thank you. A great post again.

    What do you think, if someone interviews(not paid) you and links back to your website. Should I ask for nofollow or is a follow link OK?

  8. Thank you for this information. My blogs are both tiny, with nowhere near even the traffic examples you give in point #7. I spend a lot of time on my posts, writing and doing research and do feel frustrated at how few views they get. I had been wondering about this exactly what you say here – if should be submitting my best content to larger sites instead. Having read your post, I will now follow that gut instinct.
    Thank you.

  9. Greatly enjoy your posts, Neil. Broader question: As a sole practitioner, how much should I focus on meeting ever-changing SEO requirements vs. just creating great copy and promoting it on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.? I’m in a specialized B2B field where folks who find me through Web searches tend to be looking for low price, not specialized services at a reasonable price…

    Curious to hear your thoughts and thanks again for your valuable content.

  10. Hi Neil,

    I love to read your posts, good info sharing Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Thank you very much for the post Neil. I also have a question in mind, we are planning to change the html code of our website for making it faster but we also hear that may hurt our rankings even if the change in html makes our site faster. Is it a lie or the truth?

    Thanks

    Deniz

  12. As usual Neil finds a way to read my mind. I was unsure where to place my best content, thanks!

  13. Excellent post Neil. On the bounce rate point, the scenario where it may harm your site is if users “pogo” back to the search results. Surely that’s a sign to search engines that the landing page was not relevant? Any thoughts in this?

    • Hi Omar,
      I remember Google had some say on this (or maybe it was one of the whiteboard sessions on MOZ)… You are correct about the pogo scenario where the person jumps back to the search results straight away and that would indicate the content did not provide the relevant/necessary information.

      However, the bounce in itself doesn’t always mean that the information wasn’t found: maybe the person found what he was looking for straight away and bounced. Many blog posts have high bounce rates too, but they manage to stay among the top search results.

      One potentially counterintuitive thing to do about it, is to create more opportunities for people to interact with your content once they visit: playing a video is an interaction, clicking on an outbound link is also an interaction, and it would indicate Google (if they do manage to follow it), that the content has value in it.

      Adomas

      • Thanks for your response Adomas,

        Yes, I believe it was Rand over at Moz who covered it and coined the term “Pogo sticking” as it relates to search in one of his WBFs.

        And I do agree with you, it’s not a one shoe fits all and this is where UX analysis can potentially complete the story.

        Cheers,

        Omar

    • Exactly, as Adomas stated it isn’t the best indicator if the result is good or bad.

  14. Really nice post !

    Thank you for sharing brilliant contents frequently !

    I’ll follow you.

  15. Nice article Neil,

    You have a great way of looking at digital marketing.

    Always a very enjoyable and informative read.

    Thanks

  16. I have to feel that this is a direct response to my comment yesterday about duplicate content:

    http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/07/23/7-content-marketing-lessons-learned-from-losing-225418-visitors-a-month/#comment-995675

    Thanks so much for diving into it.

  17. Hello,

    I recently heard that MOZ did a sort of experiment where they had a huge crowd at a conference and had everyone in the room do the same search and then click on the site in the 10th spot. After that they then had everyone do the same search and that site was now in the #1 spot. First of all is there any truth to this and second of all what would be the cause of it?

    Thanks,

    James

    • James, I am not familiar. Maybe you can give me some insights?

    • It’s search engine manipulation and it can be done. There are websites who do it for you (pay other people to search a keyword, recognize the website and click on it, then spend 1 minute on the website and click 1-2 pages inside). If you get caught, you’re toast.

      The SAME crowd searching the second time and finding it on the 1st place is almost irrelevant.

  18. Great article Neil, It’s great reading your posts everytime plus they provide with great value information.

  19. Great post ad usual. Lie #1 is actually scary. I worked a lot to have my content shared and linked back by good sites and now I find out that it can hurt. Must straighten this one ASAP. Thanks Neil!

  20. Hi Neil,

    I’m not sure I agree with point 3 and why removing content resulted in more search engine traffic.

    As you say this was “pretty good” content it would help generate more long tail traffic even without any links.

    Can you explain why removing content would help increase your traffic?

    Thanks
    Robert

    • Because the amount of links didn’t go up. So there was very few links for a big site… if you have a good link to content ratio like Wikipedia it can help generate more traffic.

      • Hi Neil,

        So you are saying that unless a page/post has backlinks it’s not worth having that page and that page won’t drive any traffic even if it’s a quality page?

        For example a client may be in a boring niche or local niche and is unlikely to acquire natural links to a service type page, but those pages still get traffic based on the content.

        Surely if your pages were quality content and on different topics they would drive long tail traffic even without links. ( I know I have pages that get traffic without links)

        Plus if you take seo out the question, a local business owner wouldn’t think twice of removing content if it’s well written and driving traffic.

        Maybe this would be a great case study, you must have the stats and proof of this :-)

        Regards
        Robert

  21. Abhishek Mishra :

    Yo neil, remove my comment.. go ahead

  22. Great Post again Neil.

    Most of the tech sites may have a bounce rate around 60%. It is normal or can we do manipulations on site to reduce it and bring down to around 40%

    Thanks

  23. Neil whats the effect of using the same word many times in meta description just like zomato. they use the word “restaurant” like 6 or 7 times. is it good?

  24. Hi Neil!
    Thanks for letting me know how to safely buy links, almost every resources I’ve read online is always condemning buying links, but I will appreciate if you can explain to me how to NF those links. Great Article.

  25. Do you think that a sophisticated and highly technological company like Google can not eliminate the copier and the content’s original owner by the post dates? I do not think that any of the sites which steal your content will not hurt you. Because you can not control anyone who steals or copies your content. And I am more than sure that Google like fair company will not do this unfair penalty! Don’t you think so?

  26. Hi Neil,

    I’d say one of the other lies about SEO is that the site should have NO outbound links as, people argue, it would hurt your rankings (can’t count the number of people told me this).

    I came across to an opposite thought on either one of the Google videos or MOZ. Having outbound links gives people a way to interact with the content and provides value. If you have a page with an aggregated list of something, it can act as a hub for that specific topic and direct people to other sources. Those who visit, don’t go back to the search results straight away but explore the content further.

    I experienced it on my own blog, which was just recently created, when I managed to get into the first page for ‘(reasons) hate apple’ even though I barely used the phrase on the blog post, but provided many outbound links to other sources instead.

    Cheers,
    Adomas

  27. All points is patched to misconceptions, i liked point 2,3,4 and 7. Amazing detailed explanation. Thanks for Your Efforts Neil :)

  28. Really insightful blog post Neil, You demystified a lot of myths and answered a lot of questions on SEO with this one post. Lots of ideas that I need to take note of. Using canonical tags (which I need to do read more), nofollowing the links that we buy and the big thing be bold enough to publish the best content on other blogs. I have had some doubts specially on that one.

    Thanks again…
    Dr.Spencer Jones

  29. Hi Neil

    I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for doing some myth busting. I particularly liked your point about duplicate content. I try to keep my best posts for the Huff Post.

    Thanks again

    Jo

  30. Hello Neil

    I always get some solutions from your blog.
    Thanks for it

    Recently I heard that if someone republish your content then google give priority to that blog which was indexed first. Is it true..!!?

  31. Hi Neil,

    Wow..that’s is really interesting post to read. This post has cleared a lot of SEO doubts. You always come up with some great posts that help all even experts. Again, Thanks for the post…

    Sameer Choubey

  32. There are lost of lies Neil just because of Google’s algorithms, some algorithms are working and some are not. Some tricks works in some websites and the same tricks don’t work in other websites.

  33. Why not just use a robots.txt to get rid of those spammy backlinks? That’s what I did to get rid of all the Russian porn sites linking to me.

    Trouble is now the robots.txt is getting about 3,000 hits a month.

  34. Hi Neil, great post. i have a (probably silly) question about the bad link issue. I get hundreds of spammers attempting links with my comment luv plug in, which i installed as a good faith gesture for real commenters. it seems like it just encourages more spam. what is your take on comment luv- should i just delete it? also, the bad link can’t be a real link until i’ve approved it….right?

  35. Lie # 1, I always wondered it incorrect but all those so-called SEO Experts stresses that republishing your content by authority sites is always good…. Overall article is a nice peace.

  36. Many SEOs think that (Lie #5:) The higher your bounce rate, the lower your rankings. Almost posts I read before about this is somewhat that some SEO evangelist or expert in their way are telling other SEOs that bounce rate must be monitored because it can affect the rankings of a website. Thanks for the good insight. As usual great article Sir Neil. ^_^

  37. Neil – Great work as always. As an investment professional, I do have to make one critique regarding hedge funds (even though I know your thoughts were a tiny part of the article):

    In reality, it is often the 2% management fee, not the 20% profit share that makes hedge fund managers rich. Considering that the average hedge fund has severely underperformed a simple balanced index fund (but charges 10-20x the fees), there is a perverse incentive to raise as big of a fund as possible regardless of the returns delivered.

    Pension funds, endowments, and high net worth individuals are starting to see this, but far too many still blindly throw money at hedge funds.

  38. I loved the point # 7 Neil. It changed the direction of content I was producing. If we produce high ranking content and distribute it on
    high traffic sites with a back link to our site , we can have a long lasting results with increased ranking as compared to our own website that has a limited audience.

    thank you.
    khurram

  39. As a best selling author and frequent blogger, I have always prided myself in putting my best work on my company site, Paperboatmedia.com. In reading this, it makes complete sense about instead writing on other blogs or sites with a much larger audience, especially in order to reach new people that are unaware of me. Great post!!! – Thanks.

  40. Thanks for the great tips. I have a website which used to generate 60k visits per month. It got hit by one of the Penguin updates.

    When I checked my back links all of the posts that used to be on page 1 had a huge amount of bad back links from scrapers etc.

    To me, this is the proof that bad back links can actually hurt you. I’ve changed all urls but this didn’t help. I am now adding quality content to it on a regular basis, yet no improvement.

  41. Hi Neil, Thanks for this post and all your posts. I am wondering if pop-ups negatively effect seo? Thanks in advance for any advice on this.

  42. When Neil talks, you have to listen!

    Great insights on SEO Neil. Thanks for sharing.

  43. You know what, the best thing I like about this article is real life practically tested examples. This really helps in removing all the mentioned myths. Hats off!

  44. I like your insights man, thanks. Even I was beliving in most of these things. But with your findings and proofs; i need to rethink over them.

    I was thinking paid no-follow links are also bad, and this is why I never went on to buy links :(

  45. I love reading your posts, Neil, because I always learn something new. The tip about posting on higher traffic sites is right on. Plus your insight to links and Google penalties is quite educational. Thanks!

  46. Yet another great and fun post Neil. I must admit that I got caught in the “more content = better rankings” trap. :-D

  47. HI Neil,
    I like your suggestion that it can be more beneficial to publish your best content on somebody else’s site – it’s a tactic I’ve been using approaching authority sites in my niche and offering an original unpublished article. Working for me so far!
    Thanks, always valuable tips from you!

  48. Hi Neil,

    Another solid post.

    Quick question for you though. In #2 you made it seem like you “quickly” went through those 10,000 domains.

    Did you do this by hand or do you have a piece of software you actually trust?

    I have one website where even 10-20 bad links will hurt the rankings & they have over 900 different domains linking to them, most with high authority.

    Thanks!

  49. Good stuff here, thanks Neil.

  50. Great Post Neil. I’ve always had a question about duplicate content when publishing the post in regards to Categories and Tags vs Keywords.
    I heard that choosing more than 1 category will make duplicate content and I also heard that tags also create duplicate content.
    What’s your expertise on this?

    Love your stuff….you rock!

  51. Great post Neil!

    As far as other “lies” that I’ve heard are usually bad advice, reinforced by junk logic. I think it’s the junk logic, more than the misconceptions themselves that often do the most damage.

    For example:

    Don’t worry about your title tag…

    Because:
    1. I don’t use them, and I do ok.

    Or…

    2. Look at domainnameA.com. They rank #1 for keyword X and they don’t even have it in their title.

    The first example is anecdotal and could even be subject to the writer’s incorrect assumption over how he/she is “doing.” Furthermore, it ignores the possibility that they could be doing even better if they did optimize their title tags.

    In the 2nd example, virtually every other signal is usually ignored. DomainnameA.com could have countless inbound links, mentions, cocitations, etc from sources relevant to the keyword or its topic. Meanwhile, the sites it outranks could have terrible signals and find themselves overly dependent on a few signals, like their on-page content.

    Just my 2 cents…

  52. I’m glad that most of this i new already and i work only half time job as SEO..:)
    About content, we write it anyway for google so it isn’t relevant how much people would share this, etc.
    I’m talking about gaming industry, but also fashion, online tv, Smartphones and more, have allot of content created 99% for google.
    Visit my website and you’ll find allot of games reviews, tricks, history of games, hardly no one reading it, but without that my ranking was much lower

  53. Mhmm, interesting statement about bounce rates, will have to check that on my own, nice post Neil.

  54. hi Neil

    This is my 2nd visit on your blog, My thoughts on this piece are, adding to the points already covered by you.

    1. Authority sites republishing your content – I will prefer telling the authority site to allow me as a guest author and draft a unique content for them on that subject, which will be win win.

    Setting up cross canonical tag as suggested is the right solution but most of high authority sites are not manually edited, chances of a canonical tag especially for you they may not do.

    I am surprised to learn that Google authorship is not the solution for this problem, Your insight on this ?

    2. Bounce rate – I completely agree to an extent Google also agrees that bounce rate as measured by analytics is a poor indicator of quality in absolute terms

    You have covered the top seo lies well.

  55. Again, what an awesome article! Very informative for people like me who are now now trying to increase traffic. Time is money and it’s nice to know what I should spend more time on and what I should stop worrying about. Thanks as usual, Neil!

    Cheers,
    Amanda.

  56. Thanks . All the steps are clear. Specially Bounce Rate … Awesome Article.. :-)

  57. Hi Neil,

    All lies indeed. The disavow bit with bad links, well, so many bloggers panicked on that one for many, many days, running here there and everywhere, spending precious hours and precious days ridding their site of these poor links.

    That energy could have been better used created in-depth, helpful content, or by simply doing outreach through blog commenting or guest posting.

    As a rule; if people are panicking over something that’s not life and death, they are probably way off base. Google would not penalize someone for being over run by low quality sites on the link side of things; it makes no sense, and the sheer volume of work expected of us, to remove these links, is unreasonable.

    Google would rather have us creating in-depth content and linking up to authority blogs, to create more trustworthy, dependable, search engine rankings, versus trying to fix cruddy links all day long. It serves both parties better.

    As for content volume Neil, I deleted 3400 posts from my old blog and redirected it to my new one. I was done with it. I went in too many directions, and learned my lesson.

    After learning my lesson, I’m publishing three, 2500 word posts weekly on Blogging from Paradise, and am seeing great returns already.

    Quality beats volume every time. Google doesn’t need you to stuff the RSS feed, they want searchers to see well-written, thorough resources on Page 1, that solve their problems.

    Thanks Neil.

    Fab post.

    Tweeting in a few.

    Signing off from Fiji!

    Ryan

  58. Great article, that clear some miracle from bloggers eye and also make blog republish easy with the canonical link method. Thanks

  59. Awesome article Neil. You always come up with something new to share.

  60. This is great Neil,

    I was a little confused about the first one but very much sure of the last one.

    However, I think it is important to publish more high quality content on other resources when you just start a website.

    I also doubt Google Guidelines and smartness of its search algorithms, many scrapper sites still ranks well, they buy links, they put all ads above the fold, they do not do any comment/forum moderation.

    Anyway, this is a great piece of content, loved it.

    Thanks

  61. Nice article!! with your each and every post I get to know something new always. Thanks Neil!!

  62. Thanks Neil. I like the most your last sentence : “Heck, just because I publish something on Quick Sprout doesn’t mean you should assume I’m always right. I’ve been proven wrong many times, which is fine.” :) Alessandro

  63. Great post! Number 3 is particularly interesting – we often get together as a team to talk about upcoming blog topics to make sure our content is always fresh and unique. We believe that producing great content isn’t enough, it’s also really important to ensure that it’s shared with as many different influencers as possible.

  64. Hi everyone,
    I think many bloggers forget what is the most important in blogging – it is having fun. Don’t think too much about SEO, traffic and stuff like that. After all remember about fun, fun, fun, fun …….
    Cheers,
    Teresa.

  65. Hi Neil,

    Thank you for the great tips. Your blog stands out of the crowd and also has very genuine points. Lot of authority sites keep saying buying links, reducing bounce rate and guest blogging are bad, but you’ve spoken the truth.

    Keep the great tips coming. Newbies like us can gain a lot of knowledge from you.

  66. Hi Neil,

    I don’t think i’ve commented a lot, but sweet advice, I’m confused about Lie #3 how can a lot of blog posts possibly harm your site? I mean, sure if you post about the same thing over and over and promote it more than you should.

    But if you simply publish your post in an “under the radar” way it shouldn’t hurt right?

    Thanks

    • If you add content that isn’t getting linked to, it means that the content isn’t as good as it could be. For search engines it is also a sign that content quality isn’t that good.

  67. Hello Neil, thank you for the informative article!

    I am still a little confused about duplicate content, should it be avoided altogether? Matt Cutts says that some is understandable and would not be penalized while you say that it should be avoided and could bring a penalty…

    What are your thoughts on this subject “duplicate content”?

    Thank you!

  68. Hi Neil, very interesting point on the bounce rate as I was under the illusion that it was starting to play a more important role in rankings. Your point on buying links (and nofollowing them) is also a very interesting one. Is there any particular strategy you adopted when paying for links?

  69. Good point about bounce rate. Google has repeatedly said they are not using bounce rate in the algorithm because it would be too easily manipulated and I believe them on this one. That said, optimizing for a lower bounce rate is never bad!

  70. Absolutely agree with point number 4 in particular. Links are not just about SEO benefit – they’re the fabric of the web, they’re what MAKE it a “web”. Links are a good thing. Forget about SEO for a second… they simply encourage referral traffic and further exposure.

  71. I so agree with you on A/B testing, only problem is to convince clients that it won’t hurt and probably help improving their conversions.

  72. Thanks Neil;

    I really enjoyed the article and your closing is fantastic.

    “Always try to understand why certain things work the way they do . . .”

    Sound advice!

    Thanks David Baker

  73. Hello
    Thanks for the great article Neil. I always think that “Your best content should be published on your own site” but you proved me wrong.

  74. Hello Neil,

    Thanks for this wonderful article.

    But, I disagree with “#2 Bad links will hurt your rankings”

    I run a lyrics site, it lacks quality links, and every time whenever Google updates the webmaster tools data, the rankings of pages starts dwindling. It happened continuously for 4 months but, later I discovered that these low quality links were the culprit.

    After that, I had created a list of these links and disavowed them, bingo! pages start ranking higher within few weeks.

    So that’s my input on bad links, however it could be different for others.

    Thanks!

  75. Once again great article Neil. It seems every year the lies get better and better. I think part of the problem is there are a lot of people are reading every SEO blog they can get their hands on and then calling themselves experts.

    Here are two I heard this week:

    1. Social media is the new SEO – While yes Social Media should be part of every SEO campaign, it is not the new SEO. You still need to apply the basic principles.

    2. I can rank you #1 – I recently had a company tell me they checked out 20 SEO companies along with my company. Some were big SEO firms. He insisted they had to be right because how could so many SEO companies say the same thing and only 2 said different. I sent him the link directly from the Google webmaster blog and he was shocked. Yes we got the contract.

  76. You have one of the best blogs I have ever seen. Thanks for the knowledge.

  77. You guys are the best seo expert in the industry with most in-depth user psychology . I am very big fond of your blog. You have cleared lost of my doubt, especially bounce rate & bad linking.
    Thanks.

  78. Neil here points which you described are most of the people in SEO believe on those. When they are gonna to read this they will got hurt badly ;-). Here all points are true and even me also believe that SEO process could hurt by these processes but when I read the blog it clear me on many points as well about buying links and bounce rate misconception. Again a great post Neil….:-)

  79. Great article, Neil. #3 is really interesting and I guess it goes to show that links are still critical and instead of just writing content, people need to promote it. I see how Google’s algorithm can assume that content with no links is not high quality.

    #5 is one of the biggest myths I see and good to see it debunked by the owner of an analytics company.

    A lot of people also believe that linking out to a lot of other sites hurts them, but I’ve seen the opposite. As long as the article is high quality.

  80. Great Post – ….Tired of hearing SEO wanna be’s Guru thinking he know’s everything in SEO and GOOGLE world :)

    Link is a Link!

  81. Hey Neil,

    Nice article, particularly agree to the 7th point you mentioned, that the best content should be published on your own blog. People have to understand that it’s their content which will make them popular, so they should start giving out their best content in a guest post outreach.

    Great post once again. Keep it up man!

    Thanks,

  82. I once subcribe to the ” dont Buy Links” dogma for a very Long time, but i think my eye is now open. All thanks to you Neil

  83. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for this useful post, i have 2 questions hope you will help.

    1. How to identify low-quality aggregator sites?
    2. You have mentioned high bounce rate will hurt rankings, is this applicable for single page websites?

  84. Hi Neil,
    I’m not sure if I’m misunderstanding or just misinterpret the content but for Lie #1, i’m reading it as by letting other sites republish your content, it’ll cause duplicate content and harm your site in many ways (not just penguin). However, in this article http://blog.kissmetrics.com/myths-about-duplicate-content Myth #1 (although not written by you but i understand you’re the cofounder) it mentioned that duplicate content will only harm your site if it’s an extreme case with volume, timing and context. So my question is, how does duplicate content or non-original content hurt a site?

    Sorry if I’m misunderstanding both articles. Thank you!

    • Ignore the KISSmetrics article. I don’t agree with it and I have found differently from my own testing. :)

      Don’t let other people use your content without using a rel canonical back to your site.

  85. Pretty much knew what your write up covered Neil, and it is always good to reinforce what I already know by reading your post here. With that, keep up the great work! HF

  86. Hi Neil,

    Good to read your post as always learned new things. Thanks for sharing.Youm cleared lot of my doubts…keep going

  87. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for sharing Awesome post again i really Love 4th Point Great ideas i always follow your post

  88. Neil this is so true ! always help us to better knowing our project :)

  89. Good Points Neil,

    I’m not agree with 7th point.

    I think Website blog content is better than guest posting.

  90. Good Post. But I am confused about No Follow Links. I

    Any benefit of SEO Ranking for no follow Links?

  91. I think Link Collider helps to boost SEO. http://www.linkcollider.com is the best SEO booster website . It grows up online business. So I like this site so much

  92. Rad post Neil! I’m still unsure of the whole A/B testing arena, great marketing to make use believe that we need to do it but realistically the ongoing changes and testing can lead to confusion and misaligned analytics.

    I’ve tried it and adamant to make it work it’s just the whole process seems like it’s going against you somehow in terms of changing what the customer lands on, changing your user flow and so on.

  93. Neil,
    Excellent comment on the subject of buying links. As long as they are no follow they can still drive traffic to your site without drawing a penalty. Just make sure the whoever you buy them from ensures that they are on sites that are relevant.

  94. Neil i like the ways of your article.You did excellent job always expecially i more interest on Your Pro( http://www.quicksprout.com/pro/)

  95. You have a way of taking everything I think I know, and turning it on its head. ;)

  96. Neil, thank you for this great article (which was pointed out to me by a fellow online marketing professional; thank you Madeleine :)

    These are lies/myths on SEO I run into on a daily basis. On all of them I have similar findings, hunges or feelings. Glad to now have some additional ammunition to battle those myths. Because in the end, it’s all about educating our clients well. And to continue to educate them well in this ever changing world of SEO.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    All the best from The Netherlands,
    Chris

  97. Hi Neil.

    Very good advice and insights on this post, thanks!

    A few weeks ago I published a post titled “Why you should not publish your best post?” (http://www.vcgs.net/blog/por-que-debes-publicar-tu-mejor-post/) in which I explained something like what you mentioned in point 7.

    And after reading this post, I decided to do a funny version saying that you agree with me on that particular point. (http://www.vcgs.net/blog/neil-patel-de-quicksprout-comparte-mi-opinion/)

    Hope you like it.

    Many thanks for everything!

  98. Forget about it, i think i skipped that exact parragraph, Sorry

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