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SEO – Fact or Fiction?

SEO – Fact or Fiction?
Summary: SEO is a dynamic world – which means it’s a breeding ground for myths, some true, some false, but mostly somewhere in between.

Fiction! Once you’ve sorted your SEO, you’re done.

Think about your SEO as like going to the gym.

You need to do it regularly to really get the benefits. It doesn’t really matter if you skip a session every now and again, but if you swap to spending your evenings slobbing on the sofa instead, all the hard work you’ve done starts to unravel itself.

This is why you need to maintain your SEO…

  • Google changes ranking factors (there were more than 5,000 updates in 2021 alone)
  • Your competitors working on their SEO get higher up in the rankings
  • You start losing backlinks as businesses you are linked to update their sites and your links get broken
  • Your content becomes stale as your competitors post fresher content

Most SEO professionals work on a monthly retainer basis to help you stay on top of these changes.


Fact! Content Recycling works.

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of freshness of content (as in our last point), but it should be remembered that “freshness” for ranking depends on the query. Where your original content is of good quality and still holds true (your evergreen content), republish or re-purpose it to get people looking at it again.

For example, Google surfaces posts from as far back as 2011 for the phrase “how to tie your shoelaces”

SEO - evergreen content

Fiction! Long tail keywords are easier to rank for

Google’s AI is very clever at recognising where a phrase is really a longer worded way of searching for a popular topic – in these instances, Google surfaces the more popular phrase. Here’s a good example cited by Ahrefs :

SEO - Long Tail Keywords
Source : Ahrefs

“How to lose weight” does have a slightly higher keyword difficulty, but look at the difference in search volumes! This is because this kind of long tail keyword is seen as saying more or less the same thing and is therefore a less effective “supporting long tail keyword”.

This is not to say that all long tail keywords are ineffective – well placed “topical long tail keywords” ARE easier to rank for, and so should be encouraged. This is where the additional words add a new dimension or point of clarification to the shorter phrase.

Think about “Ladies’ Hat” versus “Ladies’ Natural Straw Sunhat” as an example of a topical long tail keyword.


Fact! Duplicate content affects your SEO

Whilst Google does not directly penalise duplicate content in it’s ranking factors, it does affect your SEO because of the way that Google crawls websites.

Duplicate content can be within your own site (repetition) or across multiple sites (where it’s seen as potential plagiarism)

Put simply, if Google finds duplicate content within your site, it surfaces the first page it finds on your site and ignores the second one. If it finds duplicate content from another site, Google surfaces the one from the site with highest authority. If you don’t want a page of content no-one sees, make sure each page has a purpose and stands alone in terms of it’s metadata and content.


Fiction! Investing in Paid Search improves your Organic Search ranking

There is a conspiracy theory that Google want your money, so they reward advertisers by pushing them up in organic search.

Of course, Google doesn’t share it’s secret sauce, what it does say is that PPC spend has never been included in the organic algorithm.

However, if you use Google Ads with a strategic intention to attract relevant backlinks to your blogs, then the additional backlinks can help your organic rankings.


Fact! Where you rank influences your search volumes

Recent research from Ahrefs has shown that Page 1 attracts 49% of the search traffic.

However, the old adage “there’s no better place to hide than on the 3rd page of Google” doesn’t hold 100% true as you can see in this diagram from the report :

Why do SEO rankings matter?
Source : Ahrefs



SEO is a dynamic environment which changes all of the time – whether it’s Google updating their algorithm, your competitors refreshing their SEO tactics, or your customers being in search of something new.

There are many tools out there to help you manage your own SEO, but the specialists (like us) are out there as we live and breathe these changes every day so are in a position to respond much more pro-actively – we call this Adaptive SEO.

Want to find out more? Just contact us to arrange a chat.

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