When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimizations), there are a lot of novices out there, and unfortunately some of them give terrible advice. It’s one thing if you’re just not an expert and just can’t really cover a topic in depth. It’s another thing if you are giving wrong SEO advice…advice that may actually hurt the unsuspecting reader.
I really don’t understand why people do this. Some of them just don’t know any better. Some of them take an approach of “fake it till you make it.” But if you’re a new blogger, you may not be able to tell what is correct and what is incorrect, nor who you should trust or who you shouldn’t.
I’ve gathered some of the worst SEO advice I’ve seen. And, chances are if you see a blogger who is recommending any of the below “tips,” they are not very knowledgeable about SEO. They certainly aren’t an expert, and I’d run if I were you.
And, if you want to get started on the right course, feel free to start with my FREE SEO Course. You can sign up here.
9 SEO tips you should avoid at all costs
1. BAD ADVICE: Upgrade to Yoast Premium plugin
So first, I want to clarify that yoast does not “give you SEO” as some people seem to believe. (nor can any SEO plugin). It really only measures your usage of a keyword phrase. It tells you nothing about whether or not you will rank. It simply gives you some guidelines to follow.
The most important reason to use yoast is that you have the ability to add your meta description, and this is why I use it. Yoast probably accounts for 5% of your SEO…at best. Instead, you’ll really need to learn how to really do SEO
My 2 ebooks can help you with that. Check out Easy On-Page SEO (the first step of writing a well SEO Optimized post) and then Easy Backlinks for SEO (the 2nd phase of ranking your articles). I’ll discuss this a bit more below.
Now getting back to Yoast premium. As I mentioned, many new bloggers mistakenly think that Yoast “gives them SEO.” And, it doesn’t. Their logic then is that Yoast Premium must be better and “give them more SEO.” Wrong again.
You will certainly pay more with yoast. But will you really get more? No. Many like the convenience of being able to redirect URLs that they changed. But, the truth is you can do this for free on a lightweight plugin called “Redirection.”
The trap that most fall into with Yoast premium is that they actively change their URLs and this can be very harmful for SEO (unless you really know what you’re doing). When you do this, you slow down your speed (which is very important for SEO) and you create a maze in your database. This will also slow things down and cost you more in hosting fees.
So ironically, many novices think they are improving their SEO with Yoast premium. But, in reality, they are often hurting it. Stick with basic Yoast, and you will be fine. Seriously. I get over 500,000 pv/month without it!
It’s all about learning how to write good content and optimize it. There are no tricks. There are no short cuts.
2. BAD ADVICE: Install the Jetpack plugin
The jetpack plugin is a major resource hog…so it really slows down your site speed. This in turn is bad for user experience as well as SEO. (Yes, site speed is a ranking factor).
There really is nothing in Jetpack that you need. Everything in there is either unnecessary or can be delivered faster/easier in other ways.
Also, you should know that you should not rely on the Analytics that you find in Jetpack (or any other plugin for that matter). They are not accurate and often overstate your data as they include bot traffic.
If you want to learn the right way to install Google Analytics on your website, check out Tracie Fobe’s FREE intro course. She explains how to install Analytics correctly…as well as Google Search Console in one of the chapters.
And if you have any questions on elements that you love in Jetpack, check Tracie’s article on Why you shouldn’t use Jetpack (and what to use instead).
3. MYTH: Just writing what you feel like and are passionate about is enough
Yes, you should choose a niche that you are an expert in and/or very passionate about. This to me is a given. But, it is not sufficient.
You need to help people and solve their problems. Writing about your life or you opinions is irrelevant. Nobody cares. Seriously, nobody cares.
People want their problems solved. Think about how you can help them. Define your audience. Uncover their problems or dilemmas. Figure out what they search for. Solve these issue.
Do not think for a second that if you write it, they will come. It doesn’t work that way. People have questions or dilemmas. They are out there searching for answers.
4. MYTH: Commenting on other blogs helps with backlinking
I still see this advice out there…in blog posts and even in some expensive courses. I want you to know that this advice is from about a decade ago. News flash: It doesn’t work. In fact, it’s a waste of time.
Blog commenting will do nothing for your SEO. (It can help for networking, but it’s a waste of time for SEO). So first, blog comments are 99.9% of the time nofollow links…which means no link juice is passed between sites.
The few exceptions seem to be when a blogger uses the commentluv plugin (almost no one uses this anymore) AND they have selected those links to be follow links (almost none of those sites do this anymore…and yes, you used to be able find lists of blogs that use commentluv…and I can tell you that every few months, these lists became shorter and shorter as websites reset their parameters…i.e. they would say that that the links would be follow links, but in actuality, they were NOT).
Furthermore, link juice within the text of the article is what’s valuable (not at the end in the comment section). And, link juice is divided among the outgoing links. So these blog posts have hundreds of comments from people desperately seeking link juice. So even if the link juice was in fact delivering real juice, you would only get a teensy sliver or drop of juice (i.e. a small fraction of next to nothing).
If you want to learn how to build effective backlinks from high domain authority sites, check this out.
5. BAD ADVICE: Buying links
This is against Google’s TOS. It’s a form of black hat SEO, so you want to avoid it like the plague. It can result in a manual penalty.
And, if that happens, you might as well start over. And, I don’t mean start your SEO over…I mean start a new site at ground zero.
6. MISLEADING ADVICE: Blog everyday
Creating content for content’s sake won’t get you anywhere. And, creating more of it (e.g. blogging every day) won’t do you any good either.
Thin content won’t rank and can actually hurt your site. It’s all about quality, not quantity. Great content can do very well – it can rank well, it can engage your audience and it can convert well. Mediocre content does none of that!
A great piece of content is often worth 100x as much as a mediocre piece of content. So focus on high quality/epic content only (e.g. 2000-3000 words that is SEO optimized, relevant for your target and searched often).
Or course, more high quality content is better. And, if you are able to produce high quality content like this everyday, more power to you. I know I can’t do this. I generally do 1 quality article per week and I’ve had some months where I’ve pushed myself to do 2 a week for a month at a time. But, beyond that, I exhaust myself…and start to burn out.
Do what’s right for you and remember that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
Unless you’re a natural writer that loves to pump out a ton of content and can do this on a sustained basis, it’s usually a major waste of time and resources. You will be usually be better off reallocating that time towards updating and optimizing existing content as well improving images and reducing site speed.
7. BAD ADVICE: Social media doesn’t matter
First of all social media does matter. Over time Google and the other search engines have been placing more and more emphasis on social media for ranking signals.
Secondly, when more people view your social media posts and start spreading them your article gets more exposure to your target customer . This can really help your article gain traction and rank on Google faster.
In addition by giving your article more and more exposure, you increase the possibility that someone will create a back link to your article (assuming it’s good quality). See how this quality thing keeps coming up?
So, it’s not a question of whether SEO is more important than social media or vice a versa; rather, it’s that the 2 channels are synergistic and can help make your articles rank much better and much faster.
In my experience, when I can get a social media post to go wild on Pinterest it generates a lot of traffic to my blog post which in turn pushes it up to Page 1 much faster. In fact I have found that pins that do very well on Pinterest can cut down the time for my blog post article to get to Page 1 by 2 to 4 months! Others have had similar experience when Facebook articles go wild.
Here are 3 resources to help you do better on Pinterest and Facebook.
First is Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies. Her course is amazing and enabled me to get over 200,000 pageviews/month just from Pinterest.
Pinterest is great, but it’s not intuitive. This guide explained the mystery behind Pinterest so I really understood it and it was no longer a mystery. It’s super reasonably priced too. (and, you can use the coupon code pinning5 for $5 off).
Facebook is another important social media platform. In Tracie’s Facebook GPS, she shares how to really make Facebook work for you (rather than vice versa). She shares how really leverae your Facebook page and how to create a group of loyal and engaged followers. It’s truly amazing. Oh and best of all, I have an exclusive coupon code for 15% off. Use DEBBIE15.
Third is Lena Gott’s Traffic Transformation. She explains how she went from 0 to 400,000 pageviews a month using 17 Traffic strategies. She covers everything from Facebook to Pinterest to SEO and whole slew of other ideas.
8. BAD ADVICE: Try ranking for high volume keywords
One of the most common mistakes I see among new bloggers is that they get their hands on a keyword finder, and they have no clue how to use it!
Their natural instinct is to try to rank for high volume keywords, and this is a huge mistake. As a newer blogger you will never rank for high volume keywords because there is way too much competition.
Your site is new and has low domain authority, so you need to find keywords that are relevant for your site, your target and that you can actually rank for.
If you really want to learn how to do this properly I’d highly encourage you to take Mike Pearson’s Stupid simple SEO course.
He breaks this down into easy to follow steps so you can write articles that you can actually rank for on Google and the other search engines.
He also teaches you how to find commercial and buyer intent user words (so you can make more affiliate sales as well as how to leverage your competition and what’s working for them.
His course is only open 4 times a year. If you miss one of the open windows, definitely sign up for his FREE Email course which is excellent, too. Then you will get notified when the course reopens.
9. BAD ADVICE: Backlinks don’t matter; if you just write good content, people will come
Anyone that tells you this is clearly a novice when it comes to a SEO. Backlinks are extremely important in building the authority of your websites and of the article that you are writing.
Backlinks generally account for at least 50% of how well you rank, and according to most SEO gurus, backlinks are THE single most important factor in your ranking and credibility
Just thinking that you can build it and they will come (without backlinks) is simply naive. Backlinks are signals about the quality of your article and site. Quite simply, it is the easiest and most effective way for Google to access the quality of your article because high quality backlinks are challenging to acquire and hard to fake.
I explain how and where to acquire high power backlinks in Easy Backlinks for SEO. Some of these methods are super easy…and some are more challenging. This is a guide that will help you for years to come as you progress as a blogger.
Final thoughts on bad SEO tips
Please don’t believe everything you read, especially when it comes to SEO. Check the source and expertise of the writer. And, I’d encourage you to learn SEO from multiple resources. If you’d like to get started on your SEO journey and learn some more, feel free to sign up for my FREE SEO course.
Related SEO and blogging articles:
- How I made over $22,000 a month on my blog
- How to earn $7,000 a month on Amazon Associates
- Do ads hurt your website?