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Top 14 SEO Myths…Busted!

Presented on November 7, 2013

How do you know what’s truth and what’s fiction in SEO? During this webinar, Search Mojo’s Janet Driscoll Miller and Tad Miller will review 14 of the biggest myths in SEO and debunk them, one by one, so you can focus on the SEO tactics that really matter.

Kari:

Okay, I think we’re ready to begin. So, again, welcome to today’s webinar “Top 14 SEO Myths Busted.” I’m Kari Rippetoe, Content Marketing Manager at Search Mojo and I’ll be serving as your moderator for today’s webinar.

Before we get started, I just have a few reminders for you. Firstly, a recording of this webinar will be made available to everyone who registered and will be sent via e-mail on Monday. Secondly, there will be a Q&A at the end of today’s webinar. So, if you have any questions for our presenters today, please feel free to enter them in the “GoToWebinar questions” box at the right of your screen.

Finally, we encourage you to tweet about today’s presentation, using the hashtag #mojowebinar. Plus, you can also follow us on Twitter @SearchMojo. Today’s presenters are Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO of Search Mojo and Tad Miller, Vice President of Accounts at Search Mojo.

Janet has nearly 20 years of marketing experience. And in addition to her work in search engine marketing, Janet has a background in marketing communications. She holds a degree in public relations and communications from James Madison University and she is a frequent speaker at marketing conferences and writes for several blogs and print publications.

Tad Miller is Vice President of Accounts at Search Mojo where he works directly with clients to manage and execute their search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and online marketing strategies. Tad has a broad spectrum of search marketing experience in working with Fortune 500 insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, OEM automotive manufacturers and small startup online businesses to significantly improve their natural search engine rankings. Tad has also managed over $35 million of search marketing budgets for clients with a proven record in conversion optimization through strategic bid management, budget reallocation and landing page design and testing.

Search Mojo was founded in 2005 and specializes in all things search marketing including SEO, pay per click, social media advertising, online reputation management and content marketing. Search Mojo is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia and we also have an office in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ve been featured in several marketing publications and blogs. And we also speak at several conferences including SMX, Marketing Profs B2B and Pubcon.

Our clients include a variety of B2B and consumer brands, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. And with that, I’m going to turn it over to Tad with our first SEO Myth.

Tad:

All right, let’s get started. The first myth, number one, “Meta tag keywords actually help improve search engine rankings.” So, what are meta tag keywords? Meta tags provide meta data about an HTML document. You can see an example here. A Meta tag keyword description. We’ve got stuff like B2B lead generation, search engine marketing, that type of thing.

Well, the reality is, back in the days of AltaVista, Magellan and Infoseek, those primitive early search engines actually kind of used meta tag keyword descriptions in part of their ranking algorithms. So, we frequently still hear people say “You know, I did SEO back in 2010 and meta tag keywords were big back then. Do those still matter”?

Well, the reality is, Google doesn’t care. And that cuts from Google’s search [inaudible 03:58] team has gone out publicly. He’s said it at conferences, he’s done videos on YouTube. Google does not use the meta tag keyword in any of its Web ranking algorithms at all. It hasn’t been the reality for years and I think we can safely say that this is busted.

Janet:

Thanks, Tad. So, now, we’re going to talk about search engines following nofollow links. So, I have here “Search engines don’t follow nofollow links.” So, the first thing you have to understand when we talk about search engines and they follow links is that when you think about what that no-follow tag really means.

On the one hand, there’s two pieces of this. There’s passing page rank and there’s spiders actually indexing and following a link to another location. And so, let’s talk about passing page rank for a second. Passing page rank through a link is where the search engines treat the link like a vote of popularity. So, that’s what’s important in inbound links, right, for SEO.

But a vote of popularity on the subject. And sometimes, the subject may be partially or fully defined by the anchor taxed there in that link. On the other hand, when spiders follow a link, this is when spiders or search engine bots use links like a highway to find new content and index it, right? So, that’s the two parts of the link, when we think about search engines.

Search engines really can follow nofollow links. And when we talk about following, following is different than [inaudible 05:37] passing page rank. So, Google, they say specifically in their webmaster guidelines “In general, we don’t follow them.” It doesn’t mean they don’t always follow them and this means that Google does not transfer page rank or anchor text across these links.

That means for an SEO value like a vote of popularity, it would not be helpful. However, it doesn’t mean their bots won’t follow those links to find content. And from the Bing perspective, you can check out this search engine land infographic which is really helpful about how to use no-follow links and what gets used by which engine.

But in general, the search engines can follow nofollow links. They may just not really use them to count them for SEO purposes. So, when you see nofollow, it may not have any benefit from an SEO perspective except that new content can be found. So, that sucker is busted.

Tad:

Myth number three: “Being a Google Adwords advertiser helps your organic search engine rankings.” All right, we have a little bit of a conspiracy alert theory here. All you have to do to be number one on Google is spend a lot of money advertising on Google Adwords. There are a few paranoid types out there. These are typically the people that are worrying about things like, if I can get it to come up, the Google barge, the Google hot air balloon that provides Internet service to the third world. The Google self-driving car and that Google is essentially just watching your every move.

The reality is that Google is a math problem. It’s an algorithm. And math problems don’t do people favors. Natural search results are derived from an algorithmic math formula that has well over 200 different ranking factors and none of them includes your adverting spend. I’m trying to get this stuff to come up here, but yeah. It’s just a math problem. You can’t bribe it, you can’t advertise your way to higher natural search engine rankings, so we’re going to say that this one is busted.

Janet:

Myth number four: “Quantity of inbound links is more important than quality of inbound links.” So, is that a myth? Well, first of all, you have to think about how Google’s original page rank was developed. So, page rank being the algorithm and the patent upon which Google has to rank certain websites.

So, this diagram shows you basically different sites for different pages. And you can see that different bubbles are larger than others and have greater value than others. And this is actually from the Google original patent, although I don’t think it’s in color for the original patent. But it’s prettied up here.

So, you can get an idea that some sites have greater quality than others. And when they link to each other, they pass some of that value to each other. Not all votes, essentially, are created equal. Not all links are created equal, either.

And so, another thing that has really come about in the past year or so, maybe a little more than a year now, is the Penguin update, this angry penguin here, a little ninja penguin. And the Penguin update has been focused on spam, link spam, specifically. So, what is link spam?

Well, Google defines it as “any links intended to manipulate page rank,” since with the algorithm. “Or a site’s ranking in Google’s search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site.”

So, essentially, in this statement, Google is saying all SEO is bad. And it’s a little bit unfair, but I think they’re leaving it broad for specific reasons that they want to make sure that they have the door open in case they need to come after for something that they don’t like. But in reality, they know that there’s lots of bad linking out there for SEO purposes and they really want to cut back on that and have more quality. So, that’s what the Penguin update is all about.

And if you talk to SEO folks, this is the periodic table of SEO success factors that Search Engine Land put together. And the first one came out, I think it was last year. And this is the updated one for this year. And what you’ll notice on this chart, the top line there, the top line of items, is what SEOs in the industry consider to be the most important ranking factors.

And if you notice here, LQ, or “link quality,” is one of the highest- ranking success factors to get high rankings in SEO as espoused by all of these SEOs in the industry, trusted SEOs. And so, knowing that, I’m going to have to say that quantity over quality is really not a good idea, so we’re going to call that one “Busted.”

Tad:

All right, myth number five: “Exact match domains rank higher in search engine rankings.” Okay, here’s the theory. SEO is easy. If you want to rank number one for a word like “Crossover vehicles,” just by the domain crossovervehicles.com and voila, you’re on top.

Well, here’s the sad reality about this. This actually kind of worked for a while. It used to be you could buy these things and a lot of made for Adsense advertisers actually bought them for quite a while just for the purpose of getting high-end rankings and getting ad clicks. But then, Google rolled out this exact match domain name update. And you can see, there’s Matt’s face again. Minor weather update about this exact match domain update.

And essentially, it boils down to if you want to rank high in search engines, you can’t do it just solely based on your domain name. You can’t buy your way to the top with a good domain name. You have to fulfill all the other 200-plus ranking requirements to get that accomplished.

So, there’s a lot of people in the domain industry that aren’t happy about this. But the reality is, you just can’t buy your way to the top, now. You’ve got to participate and do all the things that are necessary to get to the top of Google rankings. So, we have to call this one “Busted,” too.

Janet:

Number six: “Anchor text is dead.” Long live anchor text. Is anchor text really dead? Well, it may not be dead, just not as important, possibly, as it was before. So, Google’s guidelines, we talked about linking schemes on our other myth that we were busting a few minutes ago, about links that are optimized with anchor text in articles or press releases distributed to other sites could be considered a linking scheme, because you’re trying to manipulate the results in Google.

And Google also says if you’re publishing a press release or an article on your site and you distribute it through a wire or through an article site, you must make sure to nofollow the links if those links have optimized anchor text. So, if you’re putting specific anchor text, they’re telling you “Make it nofollow.”

Because, essentially, in some ways, they think it’s like a paid link. Now, at Pubcon just a couple weeks ago, Matt Cutts said in one of his keynotes, that “Press releases are considered paid links and Google just doesn’t count them. And if a press release anchor text linking isn’t helping you today and he actually alluded that it probably never helped you,” which I disagree with. But that’s what he said.

So, where does that leave us? Well, messages from Google are frankly just cryptic. Because on the one hand, you have “Make press release links nofollow and avoid anchor text optimization.” Well, that would mean that they counted for something, right? If you make it a nofollow because you’re trying to give a signal to the search engines that they shouldn’t follow them, they shouldn’t count the page rank, etc, etc. and that you shouldn’t optimize the anchor text.

But on the other hand, Matt says “We don’t follow those links anyways because they’re paid.” So, if they’re not following them anyways, what does it matter? It doesn’t make any sense. And if you go back to the periodic table of SEO success factors that we looked at before, this is a server that was done with lots of SEOs in the industry.

Again, if you look here and this is this year’s model. I mentioned link quality is the highest under links. But right after that is link text, the anchor text. Now, it’s not quite as high as it used to be and the 2012 version, SEOs rank anchor text as one of the highest-ranking factors at a +3 instead of a +2. But they knocked it down just one level this year because they feel like it has less value than it used to.

But it still, according to most SEOs out there, has still a very significant value for SEO purposes. So, we’re going to call this link “Busted.”

Tad:

Okay. This is going to sound like it’s an echo from about 30 seconds ago because it’s really similar in nature. But the myth is that “Links in press releases are bad.” All right, let’s go back to late July 2013. There’s that link scheme description in the Google Webmaster Tools and they added this little blurb. “Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites are now considered a link scheme.”

And as Janet mentioned, there’s a little bit of confusion, again. Matt specifically said at Pubcon that Google has identified a lot of the top press release websites and they ignore the links. And it doesn’t penalize those who are using them. So, what’s a guy to believe? Are they bad, are they good? It’s really confusing.

Here’s the reality check. There are millions of press releases out there with links in them. And they’ve existed for years on millions of different sites. They aren’t going to require anyone to go back in time or just retroactively go back and find every instance of a press release link that got shared on different sites. That’s a completely unreasonable expectation that anyone should have to do that.

So, most press release distributors don’t even have an option to make links nofollow right now at this point in time. And the real burden, it seems to me, is on the press release distribution services to make links nofollow on a going forward basis. It’s really all on them.

You can’t be expected to find the thousands and thousands of places where your press releases got distributed with those links intact and get them removed or changed to nofollow links. There’s Matt again, here’s our reality.

Again, Matt said “A lot of the top press release sites are just ignored.” So, here’s what I think. You shouldn’t expect Google to personally penalize you for this, but you should expect that there’s going to be a power play that will likely play out in the next few months between Google and the press release distributors like PRWeb or Business Wire.

They’re likely going to use what’s called a “user-generated spam penalty.” That’s what you normally see for sites that have comment spam on them with links that are used to try and gain ranking algorithms. They’re going to put that penalty, likely, on every instance of a press release on a PRWeb or a Business Wire and probably try and remove them from the Google index.

And force them to put the nofollow attribute on all of the links that are on those press release distributor sites. So, the real benefit is in the distribution, though. You’ve got to understand links likely didn’t count on PRWeb and likely didn’t count on Business Wire. But when they got distributed to other sites that put them on there with the link intact, that’s really where the benefit was all along.

So, preventing those links from ever being followed in the first place on the press release distributor site is probably Google’s goal with this whole link scheme tactic. And again, all these changes are likely looking forward changes. They’re not retroactive punishments. There’s Matt over there saying “They’re not going to penalize people using them.”

I think that’s the reality. The penalty is likely going to come on PRWeb. And I don’t think you need to sweat about it or lose any sleep. Your old press release links are not going to impact your rankings likely. So, we’re going to have to call this one “Busted.”

Janet:

Thanks, Tad. Now, we’re on to mostly busted. So, now we’re onto myth number eight “Guest blogging is bad.” So, first of all, let’s talk about what Matt has said. We go back to Matt a lot, now we’re talking a lot about Google, but that seems to be, really, the one that most people are concerned about because there are so many changes and things going on in the industry.

So, Matt had said a true guest blogger is “someone who is an expert on a subject matter and doesn’t drop a heavy amount of keywords in their anchor text.” Let’s think about that for a second. If you work with writers who are not SEOs, then what you’ll find is that they’re not dropping a bunch of anchor text in their links because they don’t know to do that. SEOs don’t do that.

So, this is what Matt’s talking about. Subject matter experts typically are not going to be stuffing a bunch of keywords into their anchor text. That’s what SEOs do after the fact. And he also mentioned that he feels like guest blogging seems like it’s the fad of the month. But he said it’s best done in moderation. It shouldn’t be your full-time job.

The reality is I think Google understands that we do guest blogging as marketers for a multitude of reasons. Just like we do press releases for a multitude of reasons. We’re not just doing them for SEO, let’s hope.

So, guest blogging, getting your subject matter experts out there is important aside from SEO. And so, where is Google coming in, why should they penalizing you for something that you do as a marketer anyways? Well, they’re probably not penalizing you unless you start doing really spammy stuff.

Because this is just an effect of marketing. It’s what everyone has to do as part of marketing, digital marketing. Aside from SEO altogether, just like press releases, why should they penalize you for putting out press releases with anchor texts in them on the site? You have no control over it. Those types of things really seem a bit fair/unfair to the person who is putting that information up, the marketer. And so, I’m going to call this one “Busted.”

Tad:

All right. Myth number nine: “Social signals are the key to SEO.” There’s your social guru right there. Facebook shares, they’re the biggest ranking factor there is in Google. That’s the myth, right? Facebook “Likes” they’re a ranking factor, too. Social media follower counts can get you to the top of Google results. Maybe.

Google +1′s are a ranking factor. Yeah, okay, well, that’s the myth. Let’s talk about reality. Oh, wait. There’s more to this, there’s more. You can even buy your way to the top with these type of things. There are services out there that will allow you to pay $0.25 to get a Facebook fan. You can buy 400 Google +1′s for $40. You can buy 100,000 Twitter followers for only $399. Is this really working?

Janet:

I also like that it was real human users. Do you see that?

Tad:

Yes, I love that on the ad, that’s great. There’s also a bunch of correlation studies out there. Some pretty famous ones in the last two years, honestly. From big-name sites and companies that are saying that the greatest correlating factor to great SEO rankings are Facebook shares and Facebook comments and Facebook likes and tweets. There’s high correlation to great rankings when you add these at the same time.

But it always come back to the same response on all this stuff. Correlation does not always equal causation. Just because the bird flies by the window and I found a quarter doesn’t mean I should wait by the window for the next bird to fly by so I can get rich. That’s not going to happen.

So, sorry to be a downer about this. But Matt says that Google doesn’t use Facebook’s shared data. In fact, Facebook is blocking access to all that data to Google. And Google doesn’t use +1 votes as a ranking factor. And this is a very recent quote, he says “I’m just trying to decide the most politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1′s lead to higher Web rankings.” So, that one’s busted.

But hold on. Links are really the real social signal on all this. Links on Facebook fan pages or company pages still count a little bit. And an open, personal Facebook page with no privacy settings on is wide open for Google to see the actual links. So, they count a little bit, they’re there. And links on social channels with the nofollow attribute that don’t have that nofollow attribute, they can count it also.

So, there are also a few third-party aggregator sites out there like Compiled Tweets or other social media posts. And sometimes, they even strip off that nofollow attribute. So, here’s the reality. Don’t expect a lot of results from these kind of links. They don’t really scale into very much at all. And for whatever Google may or may not be valuing them, they’re out there and they count a little. But I wouldn’t depend on them as your whole entire strategy.

And here’s another thing. What Matt says about Google +1 rankings impacting rankings or not, he’s talking about the right side of that logo you see there. The Web rankings for everyone. The default setting is something called “Search Plus Your World.” And Search Plus Your World is what you see when you’re logged into a Google service like Gmail or Google+ or Google Music.

These results are really heavily personalized based on your own personal search history, the location you’re searching from, your social connections and the content associated with Google+ and your social connection’s content shared on Google+ and other places. So, that’s what most people are seeing if they’re signed into any Google service. And there are many hundreds of millions, I believe, on Gmail right now globally.

All right, let’s take a look at a personalized search result versus a non-personalized search result. On the left, you see a result for a search on one of our account managers here at Search Mojo, Scott Garrett. You can see at the top, a knowledge graph result for Scott for his Google+ page. You can see postings about Scott’s blog posts. And you can even see his Twitter ID there.

That’s what the personalized look of a search result on his name looks like when I’m logged in and I’m on the Search Plus Your World results. If I go to the non-personalized results, Congressman Scott Garrett, who I believe is from New Jersey, dominates the whole entire page.

So, when Matt talks about Google+ results not impacting search, he’s talking about this right side. On the left side, it’s obviously highly personalized and it is making an impact there. So, this one, I think we can sort of say is “Busted” but not quite busted.

Janet:

So, next up, myth number ten: “Author rank is here today.” So, first of all, before we start talking about whether or not author rank is here, we need to talk about what author rank is. So, author rank is this idea, if you look at the bottom here, that it’s basically becoming a ranking factor, a way that the algorithm is going to change.

So, what is author rank versus authority? We’ve got to clarify that. Authority is a measure of importance on a subject. And an author rank is a type of algorithm adjustment. And if you look at the bottom here, the current way that Google actually ranks websites is, Tad mentioned, over 200 items in this algorithm called “Page rank.”

And it’s based primarily on these votes of popularity from one site to another. That’s basically how this works. Today and when we talk about passing page rank and the level of votes of popularity, the quality of them, it has to do with the page rank of the site. And what’s coming or a lot of SEOs believe it’s coming, is a combination of page rank and this thing called author rank. Where using authorship markup on your pages and letting Google recognize that. Over time, as an author, you build up some level of authority, but it’s called “author rank” on a particular topic.

So, let’s say page rank works on a scale of 1 to 10, or maybe 0 to 10, actually. But let’s say you have a page rank of 8, right? My author rank might be on a scale of 1 to 10 also for a particular topic. But my author rank may be different for different types of topics.

So, for instance, for SEO, it may be very high. But for, say, rain barrels, which I don’t know a whole lot about, it might be 3 or 2.

So, the next question is “Is this here yet”? Is it here, are we using it? Because authorship is here. The reality is is that as of today, only 3.5 percent of the Fortune 100 have adopted authorship. And so, it doesn’t have a great level of adoption. This is where you add authorship to blogs and other content you’re creating and it will generate that snippet that you saw like my picture or your picture in your case. And we’ll show that in the search results.

We can see that authorship may be showing some authority signal for Google right now, but we don’t believe author rank is really here because of the fact that if you noticed that there’s so little adoption in some of the major brands, it would be very difficult for Google to probably roll this out right now. And A J Cohen, who’s really bright on this topic, talks a lot about it, wrote a blog post the other day. And he mentioned in it “Google is unable to use authorship as a ranking signal if important authors aren’t participating.”

That’s a very good point. So, in a lot of presentations I’ve done recently, I sometimes, sadly, call out people. I don’t mean to call them out but I have to sometimes to show, as an example, how these reporters or authors are not using authorship yet. So, as an example on the Washington Post, there is a reporter who works on the Google beat for Washington Post. And he does not have a Google+ profile page. So, he, ergo, does not have Google authorship set up.

Other authors at the Washington Post do, other reporters do, but he does not. And so, do you think that Google is really ready to shoot their own articles about them in the foot by de-ranking people who aren’t authors and haven’t to set this up yet? Probably not. So, I’m going to call this one “Busted.”

Tad:

Nice use of the “Busted” there, Janet, that was good. All right. Number 11 “XML sitemaps help your rankings.” All right, well, the thing about sitemaps that people need to realize is they’re really just to make Google more efficient and being at more efficient at finding your pages and sorting through all of the code on the site and giving them preferential treatment, the VIP treatment to find your pages and not make them have to go through all the work or waiting through all the code.

So, I like to say it’s greasing the chute, essentially. Sitemaps are more about giving search engines a really efficient way to find your content. The benefits are deeper indexing of your website and more frequent indexing. It’s really just about getting the content found and getting the content found quickly and getting them to find all of your content.

So, the thing we always recommend with them as a best practice, you’ve got to assume that your site really isn’t easy for Google or Bing to crawl. And you got to give them the shortcut in the most efficient way to get to where they need to go. So, they’re not likely to really improve your rankings.

There’s only one real exception to that. If Google’s never found a page on your website before because of indexing problems, that can help you. But for the most part, if it’s seen all this stuff before, it’s not going to help you. So, it won’t help boost your rankings, but it’s definitely a best practice. We still have to say it’s “Busted.”

Janet:

Number 12, “Schema is a ranking factor.” So, first of all, let’s talk about what is schema? Because you may have heard about it. Another word for that is “structured markup.” You may have heard of the structured markup term.

Basically all it is is where you add information to your existing HTML code and it help search engines understand the type of content that it’s reading. Think the context of the content on the page. So, for instance, there’s markup for videos so that you know, so that the search engines can tell “This is a video on this page. Here’s the information about that video” and so forth.

Now, Google even says directly in its rich snippet guidelines which schema or structured markup does enable something called rich snippets, which are extra pieces of information in your organic listing. They even tell you directly there “Marking up your data for rich snippets using structured markup or schema won’t affect your page’s ranking in search results.” And Google doesn’t even guarantee to even use your markup.

It does often improve click-through rate if you have a rich snippet show up using schema. So, that’s good if it improves traffic to your site. But as Google says, it will not improve your page ranking in the results. So, that one is “Busted.”

Tad:

Okay, lucky number 13, “The Hummingbird algorithm update is a game- changer.” All right, what is it? The Google Hummingbird algorithm update is a new search engine built both with the old algorithm with a few new parts added to it. It’s organized in a way that’s made especially to serve up what the search demands of today are. Well, that’s what the press release says, anyway.

It’s supposed to impact 90 percent of all searches done on Google. Now, what are those search demands of today? Well, they’re those mobile [inaudible 33:46] dial conversational searches like you would get with your Siri on your iPhone or on a Google Now type of search. Things like “What’s the best place to eat hamburgers in Charlottesville”? Or “When does Big Head Todd and the Monsters play Charlottesville”? Those long, voice-style sort of queries is what they’re really trying to address with this update.

All right, well, if it’s such a big deal, how come no one noticed? Google announced this algorithm update on September 26th. But it was actually rolled out a month earlier on August 20th. And there really was barely even a blip of conversation about “What happened on August 20th? All my results are different.”

Well, here’s the reality, folks. We can’t tell that a single ranking from all of our SEO clients was impacted at all by this update. Things look remarkably the same before and after. There’s been so much press, so much attention. Google announced this at their 15th anniversary. They even went back to the garage where the algorithm was supposedly originally invented.

There’s been so much supposition about what this algorithm means and what it does and what the impact on it is going to be on your website. The reality is, Hummingbird is more about the search query than it is about the search result. Google needs a better way to understand all those conversational queries and the old algorithm just wasn’t cutting it.

The Siri-like voice queries are really long queries. And the old one really just wasn’t built to handle that type of thing. So, they needed a better understanding of people’s natural language services and better understandings of synonyms that they can kind of shortcut the results to make these really long queries look like shorter ones.

So, it’s really about improved query processing. It’s more about the search rather than the results. And it doesn’t really change what you should do. The reality is, you should’ve been writing your SEO content to answer people’s questions like “Where is the best place to eat hamburgers in Charlottesville?” That really hasn’t changed. You should’ve done that before Hummingbird. There’s more emphasis on it now because Hummingbird is out there.

But it’s still a best practice before and after. So, we have to say it’s “Busted.” It’s not really that much of a game-changer from what we’re seeing right now.

Janet:

And, finally, what SEO myths webinar would be complete without talking about the most overused myth of all, “SEO is dead.” Which I think is funny, because I run an SEO agency and we’re doing just fine, if it’s so dead. So, SEO is dead.

Well, it’s not really dead. It just changes. And if you’re in SEO, you have to know that it’s constantly going to change. The only constant in SEO is change. In fact, I was telling someone the other day how here at Search Mojo, every day, we have a 15- minute news update that I give to the whole staff about all the changes that have happened in the last 24 hours. It’s crazy. That’s how much it changes.

And just this year, there’s been a lot of change around things like inbound links. We talk about press releases and the spammy sites and Penguin and so forth and all of those affecting SEO. So, really, what we’re seeing now is a much more greater emphasis on content. Like we mentioned with author rank, we think that may come, but it’s not here yet. But you see Google putting a lot of effort around things like authorship around content and trying to understand who authorities are in different ways.

And then, a greater emphasis on social. Tad said there’s a lot of correlation there and there’s a lot of impact with Google+ so far from a personalization perspective. But what’s the future hole with that? I can tell you in having attended Matt Cutts’ keynote at Pubcon last month, that he was saying “We recognize the importance of social. We want to understand that better because we understand how important that is.”

It’s so important to Google because, I’ll tell you. I even just saw an ad just yesterday from Bing, a television ad saying it’s really touching about how all your friends impact your life. And shouldn’t your search be impacted too? It kind of makes me laugh to think that search engines are doing these advertisements now. But they’re really trying to compete.

And they’re trying to say social inside the search engine at Bing is so much more effective. So, there’s going to be a lot more of that to come, I think, so keep looking for that. And really, SEO has just become more holistic. Really, it’s touching everything in your organization today. So, it’s not really a standalone entity anymore. It’s got fingers in everything you’re doing and there’s impact in everything you’re doing and all the types of content you’re creating.

So, if your SEO team isn’t quite involved with all the teams in your organization and marketing, they really should be. So, think about that going forward. It’s much more holistic than it used to be. It’s not dead, it’s just changed quite a bit over the years. So, embrace change and it can work for you. Now, I’m going to hand it back to Kari.

Kari:

Okay. And thank you, guys, very much. That was very insightful. And before we start answering some questions, I just want to, yeah, that is absolutely busted.

Before we answer some questions, I just want to let you know that if you want to ask us any questions about some of these myths that are floating around out there or want to talk to us a little bit more about that, then you can get in touch with Sean McCusty and there’s his contact information there. And also, I want to let you know about the next webinar coming up with our account managers Sarah Wyland and Scott Garrett and they’re going to be talking about some killer hacks for remarketing success.

So, some different ways that remarketing can be used to target your customers and retarget them and get them coming back to your site. Some really, sort of, innovative ways to use remarketing. So, you can register for that webinar today at search- mojo.com/remarketing.

And if you’d like to get in touch with either of today’s presenters, Janet or Tad, then you can connect with them through social media. And now, we’re going to take a few questions. And don’t forget, if you do have any, please do put them in the questions box in the “GoToWebinar” box at the right of your screen.