Featured Google Keywords SE Optimization Writing/Content

7 Common Lies About SEO

SEO Targeting
Photo Credit: Augur Marketing via flickr

There are seven common untruths often pedaled by so-called SEO gurus who are more interested in making money off you than in truly helping your business excel.

They are:

1. Content is King

Sure your need to have good content but content is not king. Popularity is king. If your site has the most users in it’s niche regardless of the brilliance of your articles or content your site is going to rank No. 1. Actually if you want to find the most interesting articles on a topic go the pages 5-10 of Google search.

Often the blog posts buried in the back of Google search have the most unique and interesting and often local perspectives.

I offer Mashable and The Huffington Post as examples. The goals of both of these sites is to pump out masses of content based on trends. Most of the articles are regurgitated content from various sources. There is nothing much original there. Yet, their websites get ranked like crazy for almost any keywords they want purely based on the popularity of their sites.

What is the answer? Of course, writing good content is important but make sure it is relevant to your niche and do not forget to promote the content as well. Content is not king, popularity is king.

2. Just Follow Google’s Terms and Conditions and Everything Will Work Out Just Fine.

Google does not want you to rank your website. They want you to use Google Adwords and pay them a fortune in pay per click charges. Google does not like SEO because people who get good at SEO do not need AdWords and Google makes ALL of it’s money from AdWords. Matt Cutt’s blog is the last place to look for advice on SEO.

3. Black Hat Techniques Do Not Work

Since Google does not want you to use SEO, essentially there are no white hat SEO techniques. Basically, all SEO techniques are gray hat at the least. If you are trying to game Google to get your listings above others when you employ SEO techniques then you are using black/gray hat techniques.

I had a friend who was an undercover narcotics detective for years. He told me once: “Crime does pay.” He saw people involved in criminal activity all the time who were making incredible amounts of money. However, the gains were often short-term since most ended up dead or in jail.

Black hat techniques can and do work, however, Google has some good cops on the beat. Google has the most money and hires the smartest people in the world. Chances are you will not beat Google with some aggressive black hat technique. It is probably best to stay as close to grey hat as possible and not get too “greedy” and use aggressive black hat techniques. If you do, you had better know what you are doing.

4. Using Your Keywords in Your Domain Name Does Not Work

I love Neil Patel’s blog. I think his blog is one of the most comprehensive and informative blogs on SEO. However, I saw that he said that using keywords in your domain to get ranked for your keywords does not work anymore. Wrong. It works and it works extremely well. I own a site, Classifiedsubmissions.com. Type in Classified Submissions into any search engine and you will see it as No. 1 for these keywords. I also own a site “bestplumberfortluaderdale.com.” Type in Best Plumber Fort Lauderdale and I am on the first page of Google with Powerhouses such as Angie’s List, Yellow Pages and Google My Business Pages. There are countless other examples.

If you want to rank specifically for certain keywords, using those keywords in your domain is a huge factor. Of course, you could choose to promote your brand instead which often is the best choice. But sometimes you just want to rank for specific keywords and if that is your main goal using those keywords in your domain is a great technique that works very well.

5. You Will Get Penalized if You Buy Links

It is OK to buy advertising but not links? How could Google tell the difference between if somebody is advertising on a site or if they bought a link? What is the difference anyway? If the link you bought is getting you real traffic there is absolutely no problem. My advice, just meet people in back alleys and pay for your links in cash. Then the Google police will not be able to follow the money trail. As long as the sites you are buying links are quality sites I cannot see any problems in buying links.

6. I Know Google’s “Algorithims”

Anybody who says I am an “algorithim expert” or even talks too much about algorithims is, at best, delusional. Do you work at Google? Do you have inside information on exactly what works and what does not work? We already know that Matt Cutts is here to benefit Google, so anybody parroting him is not to be trusted. Nobody knows the Google algorithims and Google is not going to tell anybody. Why? Because it does not want you to game the system. It wants you to pay for AdWords.

The type of SEO I like is observational. I do not listen to what anybody says too seriously. I test and I see what works. If you want to learn SEO, type some popular keywords into Google and see what sites come up first and try to figure out why. Look at what Google does, not at what it says. There are no algorithim experts.

7. I Will Get You Ranked On The First Page of Google

Actually this is the least of all lies. Get me on the first page of Google for what? “Craigslist Alternative Pierre South Dakota, Cars, RVs, Jon Boats and Tractors?” I can guarantee that I can rank you for that term. Sure I do not control the “algorithims” at Google but common sense tells me I will have zero competition for these keywords. There are only 10,000 people in beautiful Pierre South Dakota and the chances of somebody using that exact title are almost non-existent. So actually I consider saying that “I will get you on the first page of Google” to be a white lie.

To prove my point, I have actually made a video entitled “ Craigslist Alternative Pierre South Dakota, Cars, RVs, Jon Boats and Tractors” and you can search those exact terms in Google and my video is No. 1 on Google. Even if you just type in “Craigslist Alternative Pierre South Dakota” I am No. 2 right after Craigslist’s South Dakota actual page. The ranking was almost immediate. Well, do not ask me to do the same for “Personal Injury Attorney New York.” It might take a bit more work.

My approach to SEO is to see what is actually working. Take what anybody says about SEO, including me, with a grain of salt. Part of what makes SEO so challenging and fun is that nobody really knows the rules.

Think about it, why do you need a guru anyway? You need a guru when you do not have any inside information. Spiritual gurus are supposed to have special information about the after life that us regular people have no access to. That is why we tend to “revere” them. I encourage to be your own guru and see what works (both spiritually and with SEO.) I love hearing about people’s experiences rather than theory. Please share your SEO experiences here in the comments area.

About the author


Matthew Meyer

Matthew Meyer is the webmaster for The Free Ad Forum Free Classifieds and Quickregister.net SEO and Marketing Blog as well as Classifiedsubmissions.com classified ad submission service. If you visit his website he is giving away free classified ad submission software that he programmed himself as well as the free re-brandable ebook “101 Ways to Get Backlinks to Your Website.”


Click here to post a comment
  • Nice post. Point #4 is right on the money. Initially EMD’s are a little slow off the mark, but with some tender loving care they work big time. I have 2 of them, if I told you how much money I earn from my 2 EMD’s you would not believe me hence why I didn’t leave my website in the website field.

  • Yes, great article. I agree to every word you put in there. You are perfectly right! Thanks!

  • That’s a great piece. To the point and completely correct. Love what you say (several times) that its all about Adwords. For sure it is. Thats why they took took out keyword search data in google webmaster tools and replaced it with (not set) and (not provided). We just PPC for keyword research so we can find out quickly what works. The head it off because its very expensive even when you run it well and the query quality is much less compared to organic. I love hearing when people say exact keywords domain don’t work – it makes my life easier. And yes, its all about observation, research and hypothesis testing in our team. That’s all you need to inference on what ever Google has for its SERP model.

    Ill keep an eye for any of your future blogs. You are the sort of straight shooter I like 🙂

    • Tony, thank you for your well thought out comment.”And yes, its all about observation, research and hypothesis testing in our team. ” Yes, I agree. Often our experiences disprove the theories. That is why I love hearing about actual case studies and personal experiences.

  • These are very common myths and many people fall for them. I completely agree with you that nobody and I mean nobody who knows the rules to SEO. A lot of people really fall for the I will rank you #1 on Google crap. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  • Good list Matthew.

    I agree with you on the EMD or even and PMD point. I’ve seen some of my clients with brand new domains rank very well very quickly for quite competitive terms.

  • Nice Post about SEO. I agree with the point about content, but have a question: how to make popular any content and how to make it valuable?

  • Well written and useful article. There is so much crap about Google and SEO. The average businessman has no clue and gets taken by SEO scams.

    While I work the basics for rankings, I concentrate on content. The better the content the better the traffic
    We average about 85,000 visitors a month so we must be doing something right.

  • If you have some really interesting content on your site and update it regularly, people will revisit your site and tell other people about it. In this way you can bypass the search engines to some extent.

  • I appreciate and agree with your post. you provide such a exact information about seo. Thank you so much for your post

  • Content is a king is not the number of articles in your website but the way you have wrote the articles

    Although agree with all other points specially the last one because even Google can’t guarantee first page rankings


    • Hi Kadri, I am still trying to figure it out. Sometimes I see blogs with great articles that do not get traction and other times I see blogs with shallow articles finding popularity. Probably best just to stick to the basics and write the best content possible. I wish it was a pure meritocracy but it does not seem to be the case.

  • Great post. It’s about time someone was straightforward and honest about SEO. There is no SEO handbook, we are not in control and there is no absolute way to game the system. Google wants to sell AdWords, you hit the nail on the head.

  • I appreciate and agree with your post. you provide such a exact information about seo. They are a bounce of thief, they take your money and run, your website will never be in the first page of Google.

  • Great post i really love your guideline concerning SEO but the truth is that nothing is constant but subjected to change always that is why nobody can claim to be expert simply because what works today might not work tomorrow.

  • What a great article! Every point you make is right to the point! I think your bottom line is that SEO is not about smoke-and-mirrors, not rocket science, but just being smart and putting in the work.

  • Number 4 is so true. I am pretty hopeless at SEO but got my site number one on Google. Bing and Yahoo purely on the URL. Type in crane crews or tower crane crews and you will know my site lol

  • I have to say you better have blow out of the water content on your social media blogs or no one will follow or share them. The point of an SEO campaign is to get better domain and page authority for your website thus increasing your SERP.

  • Nice post! with this I can know more about seo. Thank you very much!(sorry if grammatically incorrect i don’t know much about english)

  • Great attitude, this article shows, that how much you love to be true to your professional. i can feel the anger in your words about the SEO rumors.i relay appreciate, all your statements are bold.

  • I would also like to add, if you do go to back alleys to buy some links, do your due diligence first on the links or you could be throwing your money away!

  • Thanks Matthew, I had big misunderstanding about seo till I saw your post, that really helped me as a beginner as I was taking my knowledge from matt cutts’s blog as a trusted source for information, After I read yours I think its the last place I should go to, So you’re the alternative I’m going to follow 🙂 keep up man <3

    • Ammer, Ultimately you are your own guru. Learn from everybody but then see what works for yourself. Take what people say with a grain of salt and run it by your own experience. Including everything I say. Thank you.

  • Great Post, thank Matthew, just curious though what are some aggressive black hat techniques you are talking about that might hurt SEO?

    • Hi Zack,

      That would make a fun post “7 Blackhat Techniques That Work” not sure if this is the place to go into depth on that topic. I find most black hat type techniques only work temporarily.

  • Great article very informative. So many misleading information on the internet about SEO it’s impossible to know which one to follow or what’s going to work. I am in the beginning phase learning everything I can about SEO .

  • Very nice article..i have given you full credits for this in my blog..Really you are trying to spread Google’s reality about SEO. Keep posting these. But still i want to say few words about “Google”… ‘Google is GOD due to their many number of Devotees and Admirers.

    What about Yahoo ? How they are working on their Algorithm ?

  • hello boss,
    you’re such a true seo minded.each line you have wrote is truth.really helps me a lot.
    Sagar Ganatra

  • Very little SEO knowledge in this article. Keywords in the domain hasn’t held much weight in years. Content is king because that’s where it all starts obviously. I scan read it and stopped when I realized it was filled with opinion instead of fact. One day you’ll get it.

    • If you just copy and paste this article onto your website it will not do you much good because it will be considered duplicate content. You can however, create your own article in your own words around these points but no copying and pasting. Good luck.

  • Yes, you are really a great man. You thing like a common man about the SEO. Your article is really a great one. Thanks for sharing a great article.

  • What a nice post. I just love this post and your blog. Thank you so much for posting and I would like to appreciate your work. I wish if I could get some more useful post like this. Keep posting and keep growing.

  • I don’t believe your site can be popular without great quality content. Everything else I agree with. I believe embedded videos on your website explaining how your products or services help people in their everyday lives is extremely important as text and images alone just don’t cut it anymore. In my past experience, I believe high quality backlinks and blow out of the water content is the best SEO method for obtaining a good SERP.

  • Right down to the middle. The true story about SEO. If you want immediate ranks on 1st page for just about any term you want, go buy google ads. There is no ranking for competitive term “in few days”, as most SEO marketers try to present, for a fee of few thousands dollars / month.

  • every body says content is king but honestly page 5 onwards on google search results is the one that has pages with the relevant information a searcher is looking for but what what caught my attention most was that google doesn’t like SEO and you right cos if we all rank our pages on google’s first page how will its employees be paid?????? Great Topic

  • Great article and thanks for posting it! I totally agree with most of your points, especially keywords in the URL. Few years ago it wasn’t a matter but since 2013, I’ve noticed that many websites URL/s with key words were from page 2 or 3 go to the first page! My website used to be in the 1st page but as I said, the URL doesn’t have any keywords on it so now it’s pushed down to page 2.

  • Think about it this way. If Google would immediately punish everyone who is doing black hat SEO, everyone could hurt their competitors by linking to them from crappy domains. This is just not how it works.

  • Well you had researched well . of course keywords on URL still working and even some of sites having duplicate content still they are appearing on top 3 ranking. great post thanks 🙂

  • I am glad that there are still valid blogs such as this which tries to shed light on issues that really affect bloggers directly, The last one ‘I Will Get You Ranked On The First Page of Google’ almost made me laugh out loud. Many thanks for the post.

  • I am happy that there are still true blue online journals, for example, this which tries to reveal learning into issues that really affect bloggers coordinate, The last one ‘I Will Get You Ranked On The First Page of Google’ essentially made me thunder with snickering. Appreciative for the post.

  • Hellow! Matthew, very informative info sharing in your post about SEO. I agree too with you and all the info 100% true. But I think Google is very clever.