There are many myths when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is an ever-changing field so it can be easy to understand the confusion, but sometimes even some well known SEO or marketing blogs will publish questionable or even incorrect content just to get ahead of a search result or try to stand out from the crowd. Not honest and not good. Add this to the fact that Google is always tweaking its algorithm and the often misunderstood “correlation does not equal causation” truth and figuring out what really moves the needle can be a lot harder than you would think.

There are some SEO myths out there that just don’t want to die but if you want to make sure that you are spending your time on things that actually matter then you need to avoid these SEO myths and make sure they don’t become a time and production suck!

#1: AMP Boosts SEO
Many studies have been done on this and while it’s not a stretch to say that Google wants this to become important at some point, but right now it simply doesn’t move the needle. The biggest thing is to have a site that loads quickly and especially avoiding being in the bottom quarter of websites speed-wise.

Very few studies have shown AMP to have any effect on rankings and those that did often times the previous hosting or responsiveness of the theme was terrible, resulting in problems in load times that multiple other practices could also fix.

The fact that AMP makes display advertising a no-go is all the more reason to not mess with this often annoying and complex system unless Google eventually makes it necessary.

#2: There’s a Way to Engineer Top Rankings
Yes, in the old days keyword stuffing and spamming backlinks was enough to rank near the top of Google. You might need to adjust some title tags in especially competitive niches but those were the main things. That’s not the case anymore.

Above all else Google wants original high-quality content that provides a great user experience. If this sounds more gray area than cut and dry, that’s because it is. Words like “keyword density” “backlink ratio” and others have been replaced with “Trust,” “Authority,” “Quality of Writing,” and “User Experience” all things which we can understand, but don’t set up for a cut and dry mathematical formula or step by step system to get top rankings.

No amount of precision coding, backlink spamming, or technical methods will make up for a lack of trust, poor quality writing, or a lack of trust.

#3: Backlinks Matter More Than Content
For years this was true even if Google didn’t want to admit it. Now that has changed. While links are still a crucial part of off the page SEO, terrible content ca’t be overcome. Your content has to be at least good and you should try your best to make it very good both in quality and user experience so keep that in mind while producing or outsourcing content.

#4: Links Are Dead
While content is much more important now, the other end of the myth is that links are dead. They’re not. They are one of the five most important direct factors in ranking sites in Google in addition to being a major consideration when Google ranks things like trust and authority.

If you can avoid these four major SEO myths that just don’t want to die then you will be in much better shape in your online marketing efforts.