At JDM, we offer SEO services but only in conjunction with websites we’re developing for clients. That said, we have had enough of the rampant lies, myths and misconceptions regarding SEO.   So here are just a few we’d like to put to bed:

SEO Misconception:

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Guarantees Permanent Top Placement

Well, this is partly true. Search Engine Advertising, such as Pay-Per-Click, guarantees top placement of relevant ads, but not permanently and certainly not for free.

Fact is, no one can guarantee permanent, top placement. Placement is the sole domain of search engines and they’re success is based on displaying only the most relevant results (be them ads or organic results). What’s more, search engines don’t want the same listings to show up over and over again. To that end, they constantly modify their super-secret search algorithms (sometimes daily).

A search engine professional’s job is to stay up-to-date on these changes, but so-called guaranteed, long-term placement is a big red flag and a common misconception.

SEO Myth:

Search Engine Optimization’s Goal is Top Placement

This myth is as wide-spread as it is inaccurate. Search Engine Optimization’s goal is to make a site more “findable.” At JDM, we call it “Search Engine Visibility”. On average, website’s only receive 6% to 7% of their traffic from commercial search engines. A site that has undergone Search Engine Optimization should shoot for that number to increase to 10% to 30%—at best. It’s important to note that SEO is based on visibility and relevancy. That is, how well a search engine spider can read the site and index it as well as targeting search queries (keywords) that are of maximum relevancy to the site. In other words, if the site doesn’t receive the top placement you want, don’t just blame SEO—blame the content.

SEO Lie:

META Tags are the “Secret Sauce” of SEO

This is our favorite SEO myth. META tags are used by search engine in their results, but their weight on the rank of the site is beyond minimal. Here’s a rule of thumb: if your SEO team thinks their META tags can force search engine spiders to return to your website within a specified period of time, at best, they have no idea what they’re doing.
SEO Lies, myths and misconceptions – oh my!

Look, don’t get overwhelmed. Just know that all you have to do is develop content for your website that is relevant, timely and informative to your target audience.

Trying to hire an SEO expert to out-smart search engines is like hiring an accountant to out-smart the IRS.  It just won’t end well.


Matt Schoenherr, 04/09/2012

“…but “guaranteed, long-term placement” is a big red flag and a common misconception.”

Amen. I’m amazed at how often we run across customers who have been sold on “guaranteed rankings in Google” only to find out once their PPC campaign ended, their top spot rankings did too. Of course, they were never told this would happen, so all that money they were putting toward PPC just dried up and blew away with little to show for it.

Thanks for the post!
Matt Schoenherr
Marketing Ideas 101

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