Below are some of the more outlandish things we've heard fellow SEO services providers tell their clients and prospective customers. We thought we'd take the opportunity to debunk these SEO myths and empower you to choose an SEO consultant that doesn't make crazy claims like these.
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"We guarantee your site will be on Page 1 within X weeks!"
If you hear an digital marketing agency or SEO consultant make a promise like this, RUN, because they are straight-up lying to you. None of us has any control over which sites get ranked on Google or how, and with Google's algorithm constantly changing, what achieves results one day could falter the next.
We can't possibly control every variable that goes into ranking sites for a given keyword phrase, but we can optimise our websites as best as we can, given the established SEO best practices.
"I just finished this site's SEO"
There's no such thing as being done optimising a website. There is always something more you can do to enhance your site's performance and increase the odds of it climbing the search rankings.
A healthy SEO maintenance program should entail continuous monitoring of the site's performance and tweaking of the optimised elements. That is: its ranking for each keyword will go up and down over time, and in order to maintain or increase search visibility, you must keep optimising.
Instead of being a "set it and forget it" thing, consider SEO an ongoing investment - a marathon, not a sprint.
"Paid ads help improve SEO"
Paid search (i.e. AdWords) and organic search (i.e. SEO) are two entirely separate beasts. Paid rankings are directly affected by how much money you're willing to invest in your paid advertising program, while organic rankings reflect the investment you've made in optimising your site. If an SEO consultant tries to sell you on paid rankings with this argument, I'd be very skeptical of their motive.
The bottom line? Both paid and organic search can be effective ways of driving traffic to your site, but they're independent from each other.
"We're partners (or affiliated) with Google"
Since Google does not disclose who their partners and affiliates are, whoever makes this claim is either lying or in major breach of their contract with Google. In other words, it's almost definitely not true.
You don't need to worry about social media - it doesn't affect SEO"
First, we recently published an article that is the exact antithesis to this statement: 7 Ways To Use Social Media To Improve SEO
And second: FALSE.
It's true that the Google algorithm does not factor in social media metrics like likes, shares, and followers. But that doesn't mean that social media has no effect on SEO success. In fact, it has some indirect effect on SEO: for example, sharing posts across social media helps get a web page indexed faster. And sharing links often leads to more sharing of links, both on websites and other social media accounts.