No one knows for sure how Google’s search engine works. Of course, the people that made it have a pretty good idea. But, due to how vital Google’s search engine is, it is no surprise that they keep its inner works a mystery. It is a good thing as people cannot easily crack the algorithm and ruin the engine’s reliability. Still, one of the downsides of it being mysterious is that many link building myths revolve around it. So, to help banish them, we will take a closer look at some of the worst.
Our picks of the worst link building myths
While researching these myths, we’ve found dozens of different ones – from those spouting that content quality is a frivolous pursuit to those saying that video clips are the only thing that is going to matter. While we will focus on the six myths that we feel are the most damaging, know that there are a lot more out there.
Google doesn’t care about link building anymore
The first myth I came upon took us a little off guard. After all, there are so many link-building guides and strategies out there. So, it seems a bit weird that people think that link building is useless. But, upon closer inspection, I’ve managed to find where this notion came from. Namely, in a certain way, link building is dead. But only if we are talking about old-school spamming and putting links wherever you see a chance. Modern Google’s algorithms are far too advanced to consider these links as worthwhile. But, link building as a whole is far from dead. In Google’s own SEO Starter Guide, there are over 80 mentions of links. Therefore, the notion that Google doesn’t care about quality links is far from true.
More is better
At the other end of the spectrum, we have people who think that links are all that matter. No matter the quality, they will post links like there is no tomorrow, no matter the context. As I hinted at in the previous myth, this is wrong. Modern links are all about quality. True, you have to have a decent number of them. But, it is paramount that you do your best to incorporate them as naturally as possible. This “natural” style of linking is what Google is after and what it will push for as long as possible. So, the sooner you start ensuring that your links fit naturally within your content, the better.
Comment sections and forums lead to bad SEO results
People that are new to website management often fear comment sections and forums. After all, giving your readers a direct way to post on your website might seem like you are opening yourself up for attacks. A malicious person can use your comment section to spam links or other poor content, and therefore ruin your ranking with Google. By the same token, hackers can use forums to breach your protection and overwhelm your website.
This, as you might have guessed, is a myth. Forums and comment sections, just like any other aspect of a website, are under constant protection. There are complex frameworks in place that protect forums and comments from malware attacks and bot spamming. Is there a way for people to misuse your comment section and forums? Yes. But, them doing so won’t have much of a consequence on your SEO results.
Backlinks are not an important factor in SEO ranking
In one of his interviews, John Mueller stated that Google doesn’t really care about the number of links to a website. Taken out of context, this insinuates that backlinks are not necessary, as they are just as valuable as standard links. While this is not what John Mueller meant, people have taken this sentence and run wild with it. So much so that a myth has developed that backlinks are not essential for SEO ranking.
Well, this is not the case. John Mueller tried to point out that the total number of domains pointing to a website is more important than the number of links. Therefore, backlinks are crucial for your ranking, but it is paramount that you make the right choices with your links and get a decent number of quality domains to point to your website. Doing so is bound to increase your SEO rankings.
Guest posts are hurtful
Another common link building myth we’ve come across is that people consider guest posts a thing of the past. They think that Google considers them spam and that quality content is only the author’s content. Of course, it is entirely wrong. Why would Google regard high-performing, well-written gusts posts as irrelevant? Obviously, backlinks are taken more seriously, as it is prone to outdated practices. But, by no means should you avoid accepting or posting guest posts, especially if they naturally link back to their author.
Google doesn’t care about old content
“When it comes to checking content, Google only goes back six months. Everything before that is not important.” To some, this makes sense. After all, it does seem like an efficient way for Google to scan millions of websites that are constantly uploading new content. But, the reality is much different. When Google checks your website, they check all of it. In fact, their goal is to inspect as much of it as possible. Thus, you should provide Google with a sitemap and make the job easier.
This is one of the more damaging link building myths because people tend to ignore old content. When it comes to link building, know that old content is just as important as the current. So, all the old links that lead to nowhere, or were placed there with little care, will impact your SEO. The wise thing to do is to research SEO tools and keep a clean, adequately updated website. That way, you can always have a decent chance of getting good results.
During the last 20 years of working with various websites, Kevin Whittaker has gained keen insight into what SEO and SEO management are all about. Now, he focuses on sharing that knowledge with others.