Have you ever heard that Google will blacklist you if you stuff too many keywords through the pages in order to gain SEO results? How about thinking that the more the content is shared the higher it will rank among the SERP ranking?
These are only misleading half-truths, but many entrepreneurs and search engine optimizers believe in them. For example, keyword stuffing won’t automatically lead you from being blacklisted by Google, and it’s debatable where the line between “keyword stuffing” and “keyword optimizing” even lies.
Social shares may play a role in ranking potential, as show by correlation studies, but Google has repeatedly denied that they do. Furthermore, there is also strong correlation that content with more social shares also has more inbound links, and inbound links are known to be one of the top two strongest ranking signals; this has been corroborated by Google. So claiming that the more shares you do the more ranking you gets is just a half truth, and is misleading.
The difference between Half-Truths and Truths
There’s the tendency for “half-truths,” rather than outright myths, to circulate. There are, of course, outright myths and misconceptions, but most of these are relegated to people outside the industry. For example, if you’ve never tried SEO and you haven’t learned much about it, I imagine it’s easy to continue buying into the old stereotype that SEO is a cheap gimmick designed to game the truth.
Half-truths permeate the SEO industry because we aren’t working with hard, direct information. Google and other search engines keep their algorithms as proprietary secrets, giving us clues about what they consider when ranking results, but not spelling it out for us. Accordingly, when someone presents an idea that sounds plausible, it readily accepted as truth.
Take the social media shares claim as an example; earning more shares on your content does increase the likelihood that it’ll earn inbound links, but it’s probably not the social shares themselves doing the work.