10 Common SEO Myths to Ignore in 2024

February 29, 2024 | Platinum Consulting

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is always changing, and staying on top of the latest updates can be challenging. With each passing year, new trends and strategies emerge while old SEO myths continue to spread like wildfire. 

As a digital marketing agency, Platinum Consulting is committed to delivering accurate and effective SEO practices – and that means debunking SEO myths that hold us all back.

Search engine optimization requires a careful hand, and you need to know what Google and other search engines are actually looking for from your content marketing and SEO campaigns. 

So, without further ado, here are 10 SEO misconceptions to eliminate from your strategy this year.

Myth #1: Keyword Stuffing Still Works

Let’s be honest – this has always been shady. Repeating keywords excessively in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings is as outdated and ineffective as it was in 2010. 

While doing so may have yielded some results years ago, major algorithm updates (such as Google's Panda and RankBrain) have rendered this strategy obsolete. Keyword stuffing can even harm your website's search engine optimization efforts.

Today’s search engines understand how to analyze content quality, relevance, and keyword density. Keyword stuffing creates unnatural and awkwardly written content that provides a poor user experience – and search engines can penalize you for such manipulative practices.

Be warned: web pages that are caught using more keywords than seems appropriate may even face ranking demotions or removal from search results altogether.

Instead of trying to take the shortcut to better placement in search results, prioritize effective keyword research and keyword targeting. Your end goal should be to create high-quality, user-centric content that feels natural and incorporates search terms organically. 

Myth #2: Content Length Is Irrelevant 

This is definitely one of the most common SEO myths in 2024. Short-form content has blown up on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, which has led to many short-sighted claims that long-form blogging is dead.

Those of us in the trenches of content marketing and keyword research know that’s not true. Content length continues to be a crucial ranking factor in SEO campaigns for one big reason: length correlates with providing comprehensive, valuable information to users. 

While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to how long content should be, studies consistently show that longer-form content tends to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Longer content can simply cover topics in greater depth while also addressing more aspects of a subject. This enhances its relevance and usefulness to search engine users.

Moreover, long content typically attracts more backlinks and social shares, both of which hold a great deal of ranking power. High-quality, long-form content is also more likely to be cited and shared by other websites and social media users, signaling its authority and value. 

As you plan your content marketing and SEO campaign for this year, remember that shorter content tends to have a higher bounce rate and lower dwell time. This indicates lower user engagement, which remains a significant ranking factor for search engines. 

Myth #3: Backlink Quantity Matters More Than Quality 

Any SEO specialist will tell you that not all backlinks are of equal value to your search engine optimization strategies. The source of your backlinks is a huge ranking factor, but it also impacts your website’s perceived credibility. 

Some businesses view their link-building strategy as a numbers game, hunting down as many as possible. However, search engines like Google favor websites that prioritize the quality and relevance of links over sheer quantity.

High-quality backlinks come from trustworthy, authoritative websites within the same or related industry, and they serve as strong endorsements of a website's content. Not only do these relevant links enhance your search engine rankings, but they can also drive targeted traffic to your site, as users are more likely to click on links from reputable sources. 

Conversely, low-quality external links from spammy or irrelevant websites can harm your site's reputation and even lead to link-building penalties. 

In 2024, focus on genuine link-building outreach, content partnerships, and networking within relevant communities. This will strengthen your authority, improve your site’s search visibility, and establish your brand as a credible source of information within its respective niche.

Myth #4: SEO Can Be a One-Time Effort

We won’t lie – this SEO myth kind of makes us want to tear our hair out. 

An SEO campaign cannot be treated as a one-time effort. Search engine algorithms are dynamic, and when paired with evolving user behaviors, they contribute to an ever-changing field. 

Search engines like Google frequently update their algorithms to deliver the most relevant and high-quality search results to users. In other words, what works for an SEO campaign today may not be nearly as effective tomorrow. 

Even elements such as keyword research need to evolve as search trends and expectations shift. If you’re not continuously updating your SEO strategies, you’ll likely fall behind in SERPs.

Every aspect of optimization requires ongoing attention and refinement from SEO professionals. Although you might be hesitant to spend money from your marketing budget on indefinite SEO services, it’s the best way to stay ahead of your online competition. 

Myth #5: Keywords Hold Weight in Meta Tags 

Next up on the list of SEO myths, we need to talk about keywords in meta descriptions. If someone has told you they matter… they’re wrong. 

Meta keywords don't hold significant weight in modern search engine optimization for two main reasons:

  1. Search engines like Google have evolved to prioritize more meaningful ranking factors such as content quality, relevance, user experience, and backlink authority. 
  1. Meta keywords were historically abused by website owners who would stuff them with irrelevant or misleading terms. Consequently, search engines began to devalue them.

Moreover, search engines have become increasingly sophisticated in understanding the context and intent behind user queries. They no longer rely solely on meta description keywords or tags to determine the topic or relevance of a webpage. Instead, they analyze the actual content of the page, including headings, body text, images, and other on-page elements.

You’re better off using your keyword research into other elements of your SEO campaigns, such as your content production and link building. 

Myth #6: Google Only Cares About New Content

We’re thrilled to debunk this particular SEO myth. You’ve poured energy, time, and money into your content marketing over the years, and believe us when we say that old work still holds value – even years later.

Google cares about old and new content as long as it provides users with relevant, up-to-date information. While fresh content may capture current trends and events, older content often retains value over time by serving as evergreen resources that continue to address users' needs and queries. 

Google is smart enough to understand that some topics remain relevant regardless of when they were published. Therefore, Google's algorithms consider various factors, including the quality, relevance, and authority of content, regardless of its age.

As you create content in 2024, consider how you can put your old work to better use. In some cases, you may be able to simply refresh your existing content to reflect industry changes and the latest best practices. In others, you can repurpose old content into different formats for a fresh perspective.  

We also highly recommend sharing old content through social media, email newsletters, or outreach campaigns (as long as it’s still relevant and accurate). This can reintroduce it to new audiences and drive additional traffic and engagement to your website.

Myth #7: Social Media Is Separate From SEO 

Social media is an enormous aspect of modern content marketing, and it certainly plays a role in search engine optimization strategies. From LinkedIn to Facebook, Instagram to Pinterest, all of the popular social platforms can help enhance brand visibility, drive, traffic, and generate valuable backlinks. 

Although these social signals don’t actually impact your rankings in search results, we know that a strong presence on social media can indirectly benefit your SEO efforts in a few ways.

Firstly, social media platforms serve as channels for distributing content, allowing businesses to reach a wider audience and drive more traffic back to their websites. In turn, this can signal to search engines that a website is providing valuable content that resonates with users.

Additionally, active participation on social media platforms can help businesses foster relationships with influencers, industry leaders, and potential collaborators. This contributes to opportunities for collaborative content creation and link sharing – both of which support SEO. 

Myth #8: XML Sitemaps Boost Rankings 

It’s true – XML sitemaps are a valuable tool for improving a website's crawlability and ensuring Google can discover and index its pages. 

However, contrary to popular belief, XML sitemaps themselves do not directly boost organic rankings in Google SERPs. 

Submitting an XML sitemap to search engines like Google can help them understand the structure and hierarchy of your website, but it’s not a secret path to influencing how any of your individual pages rank. 

Think of XML sitemaps as a roadmap for search engine bots and crawlers. They can guide them to important pages and ensure they are indexed promptly, but they can’t do the heavy lifting of search engine optimization for you. 

Effective SEO requires a holistic approach that encompasses various elements, including content quality, relevance, backlinks, and user experience. If you’re putting all your eggs in the XML sitemap basket, that’s a mistake.

Myth #9: 301 Redirects Don’t Impact Rankings

301 redirects play a significant role in managing website migrations, URL changes, and consolidating content without losing rankings and traffic. 

When properly implemented, a 301 redirect should signal that a webpage has permanently moved to a new URL, transferring the majority of the original page's ranking signals. This ensures visitors are seamlessly redirected to the most relevant page, preserving the website's authority and visibility in organic search results.

While 301 redirects are essential for maintaining organic search rankings during website changes, they may also introduce minor ranking fluctuations as search engines adjust to the new URL structure. Additionally, excessive use of 301 redirects or redirect chains can potentially dilute ranking signals and impact crawl efficiency, leading to suboptimal performance in search results. 

The bottom line: 301 redirects are a valuable tool for managing website transitions and maintaining SEO equity, but they should be used judiciously and monitored closely to ensure minimal disruption to rankings and user experience.

Myth #10: HTTPS Is an Optional Ranking Factor

Last on our list of search engine optimization myths, we need to talk about Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). 

In this age of digital risk and cybersecurity breaches, HTTPS is not optional. Thanks to its significant impact on user trust, security, and rankings, Google has explicitly stated that HTTPS is a major ranking factor.

This means that websites with secure connections will undoubtedly receive some kind of boost in search rankings compared to non-secure websites. This underscores Google's commitment to prioritizing user safety and ensuring a secure browsing experience for its users. 

HTTPS encryption protects sensitive user data, such as login credentials and payment information, from being intercepted by malicious actors. By migrating to HTTPS, websites demonstrate a commitment to user privacy and security, which can enhance user trust and confidence in the site's legitimacy. 

Keep in mind that many modern web browsers now display warnings for non-secure websites, which can deter users from accessing or interacting with such sites. You don’t want people steered away from your site, which makes HTTPS encryption essential.

Get Help With Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There you have it: those are the most common SEO myths we hear from misled clients and colleagues.

As you cultivate your SEO strategy going forward, keep these falsehoods (and truths) in mind. Things are always changing, and it pays to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world of search engine optimization. 

Hire SEO Experts Today 

The best way to stay abreast of the latest trends is to work with dialed-in SEO specialists

At Platinum Consulting, we specialize in search engine optimization for businesses of various sizes and industries. We’re pros at helping clients cut through the noise with razor-sharp SEO strategies that generate lasting results. 

If you’re ready to jumpstart or streamline your local SEO strategy, talk to our SEO agency. We’re here to cover everything, from content marketing to creative website design and beyond.  

Contact us to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.