I’ve heard a lot of things over the years as I’ve worked in the unique field of SEO. Ours is an industry without a university, or valid certification program. Where sheisters claim to have the cure-all for everything, and relatives of business owners chime in with all kinds of “helpful advice”. So I sent around some Twitter DMs to other SEOs I’ve run into over the years to ask them one simple question:
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve heard someone claim was a valid SEO strategy?
After the redesign (that ignored most of my advice) the agency exec says “now we can add some content in the footer for the SEO”.
Just last month I was involved in a respected and renowned weekly SEO twitter chat. The first two questions were along the lines of “what can I do to avoid common indexation issues?” and what “what can I do to avoid common content duplication issues?” At least 3 people for each question answered “Use schema markup”… Schema has plenty of uses of course, but if your site isn’t getting indexed correctly or has content duplication issues no amount of schema is going to fix that. It’s the new buzz word.
[Client said that] “I’m spending $5k/mo on AdWords so I get better natural search placement, too.”
Who: Kaltronis Reddit: /r/BigSEO
Automotive SEO has not improved much from 2009. We still have vendors claiming you don’t need responsive websites, pagespeed is of no concern, duplicate content across hundreds of sites is par for the course, and no SEO should cost more than $1200 a month. It’s a crazy isolated space that spends all the money, and gets the finest techniques of five years ago. *There ARE a few good companies, but they cost a premium (Just like every vertical)*
[I was told] that clicks on pages matter more than any other SEO process. The site owner had each employee clicked though 50k pages a day. No joke.
An SEO guy to my client said “You only have 200 pages. That’s not enough pages to rank in Google!”
Here is a dumb thing I actually see over and over. You have a brand new site focusing all their “SEO” efforts into on-page optimization and site architecture. They obsess over title tags and the perfect H1, flawless canonicalization etc. etc.
6 months later they label SEO as snake oil and move their focus into direct sales channels. On-page optimization is vital…but only if you are earning the links that make Google trust those optimizations.
A new site should really focus 80% of their efforts on link earning not keyword tweaking.
Who: Matt O’Connor Twitter: @OC2015
That you needed to put keywords in white text, on a white background on relevant pages that needed to rank highly.
I’d have to say “just create great content” meaning: you don’t (shouldn’t have to.. whatever) do any link outreach to your “great content”. I think Paul May crushed dem skulls of that crowd when he wrote about fairy dust.
Who: Wayne Barker Twitter: @wayneb77 Keyword Anchor Text Link: Boom Online Marketing
I guess we are talking tactics over strategy here. It’s often a case that I may infer what has been said by the actions that the unnamed take part in. A common one is that blogging is a solid tactic in isolation from other work. We are currently combining, rewriting, deleting and editing the blog of a client whose last company pumped out average post after average post. Frustrating.
Another is quite prevalent at the moment and that is going big wins everything. Going big can be good if you are really confident that you have tapped into something.
There are just loads and loads of them. “If you are doing PR well you don’t need an SEO”, “You don’t need technical SEO”.
If someone says something can be done in isolation and without tapping into other channels, or without other people involved is BS.”we can do your SEO without input from client or their staff” is a bullshit strategy.
Who: Zak Nicola Twitter: @ZakNicola
A guy thought that it would be smart to take a car dealership website and break it up into five URLs.
One URL for new cars one for used cars one for service and one for tires and one just for the dealership info. The top navigation would link out to the different URLs and would swap it out depending on which you are all you were on.
His idea was that having five different websites would gather more traffic and that the linking between them would help increase rankings. He basically wanted to take all the pillars of relevant content that are under the category of being a dealership and break them up into individual sites and linking out it just was a bad idea. This was before the EMD update, and it had some legs for about 6 months. But he held to this tactic after the update even in the face of being sandboxed across thousands of dealership websites.
So heard anything stupid recently? Add a comment or DM me on Twitter to get your answer added to my list.