The world of online marketing is full of antiquated concepts and beliefs that were either never true or have long been disproven. Unfortunately, many online marketing “professionals” perpetuate these myths, and consumers believe them.

Today we are debunking five common SEO and PPC myths — most of which you have likely heard before.

Myth #1: “If I pay for ads, Google will rank my website higher in the organic results.”

This is one of the biggest and oldest myths out there when it comes to SEO. Google’s organic and paid search results are totally separate. Google does not reward paid advertisers with higher organic rankings. Period.

Some disgruntled marketers may like to believe this myth as an excuse for poor organic rankings when their best SEO efforts don’t pan out.

Sure, there may be a correlation between paid advertisers and higher organic rankings, but any relationship would be due to advertisers investing in both paid and organic search, not any organic kickbacks from Google.

There are, however, many benefits of pursuing paid search advertisements in addition to SEO, but this is not one of them.

Myth #2: “All I need to do is get as many links as possible to boost my organic rankings. Any links will do.”

This is a very outdated way of thinking, but sadly many people still believe it.

First of all, Google has placed much more importance on link quality over link quantity. If you haven’t heard of Penguin, you better familiarize yourself.

SEO success today requires so much more than just links. While links are still extremely important, other variables such as domain authority, on-site optimization, technical SEO, page speed, mobile friendliness, and high-quality content cannot be ignored.

Myth #3: “Nobody uses Bing.”

While the majority of SEO and PPC conversations revolve around optimizing for Google (and with good reason — Google owns about 64% of the search engine market share), Bing should not be ignored.

Bing is a proven contender to Google and has a sizable audience. The Bing audience tends to be:

  • Blue collar
  • Less tech-savvy
  • 35+ years of age
  • Windows product users

Besides its audience, there are also other benefits of using the world’s second most popular search engine for PPC advertising:

  • Bing Ads costs are much lower than Google AdWords, as much as 50-70% less
  • Less competition
  • Niche opportunities
  • Exposure to a different audience
  • Bing/Yahoo! own about 33% of the search market
  • Bing powers a majority of Yahoo!’s search ads

Myth #4: “Google took away keyword data from Analytics, so we can’t do SEO anymore.”

The SEO world went up in arms when Google removed keyword data from Google Analytics and replaced it with the unsatisfying (not provided). Many irrationalists mourned the “death of SEO” and the deluge of fear-mongering blog posts and articles ensued (and continues to this day).

Yes, keyword data was a great asset and made it easy to know which keywords were converting and which were not. However, by being savvy online marketers, we can still find the information we need to draw intelligent conclusions from Analytics and Search Console data to optimize our websites and improve our organic rankings.

(Not provided) did not kill SEO.

Myth#5: “I just need to optimize my new website for SEO, then sit back and wait for the rankings.”

SEO is not a one-and-done, set-it-and-forget-it marketing tactic. It requires so much more than a one-time optimization of your site. Agencies offer SEO retainers for a reason. There is much to do after the initial optimization of a new or existing site, including:

  • Ongoing link building campaigns
  • Content creation
  • Content syndication
  • Outreach
  • Social media activity
  • Continual website improvements/optimization
  • Error diagnosis and corrections
  • User experience improvements
  • Competitive analysis
  • And the list goes on…

Bottom line: SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. If you are fortunate enough to earn high rankings after initial website optimization, rest assured your rankings will fall over time if you do not consistently work to improve organic rankings.

SEO & PPC Myths Busted

Don’t believe everything you hear (or read). Stay informed, seek multiple opinions, and keep up to date on the latest news and trends in search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.

This post was originally published on the Clarity Quest Marketing blog.