15 Biggest SEO Myths to Bust in 2024

SEO is swarming with myths and misconceptions that do make the lives of SEOs and their clients really hard. These myths come from people’s ignorance, misunderstandings, and impatience.

Say, some SEOs simply follow Google’s guidelines, don’t get results in a couple of weeks, get angry, and say that Google lies. Others ignore guidelines, do black hat SEO as recommended by forum “advisors”, get results in a week, and then face a big drop in rankings. And, sure thing, say that it doesn’t work.

Google’s AI experiments make the situation even worse, as people become worried that SEO will disappear and everything will change.

Today, I’m going to explain and bust the most popular and confusing SEO myths. To understand what tactics work and what tactics are monkey business, I have analyzed what Google spokesmen say, found several case studies, and compared this to my own experience. Here’s what I’ve got.

Myth #1. Keywords don’t matter

Rumors that keywords don’t matter for SEO started growing from confusing blog titles like Do keywords still matter?, Why keywords still matter in 20XX, etc.

These titles, in their turn, appeared from the previous Google algorithm updates. As Google learned to better understand the semantics behind the search query, figure out search intent, downrank spammy content, etc.

Nowadays, as search engines keep mastering AI, controversial statements on keywords’ importance become even more widespread. As a result, SEOs and site owners doubt if they need to focus on keywords the way they did earlier.

Myth busting

Google has never explicitly said that keywords are not important. Never. What Google said is that content should be written for humans, bring value, and not be stuffed with keywords. And never should it be written for search engines alone.

On top of that, here’s an interesting thing. Google representatives tend to underline the importance of manipulation-proof SEO factors. All for the sake of drawing attention away from factors that are easy to manipulate and hard to spot.

Everyone would agree that unlike keyword occurrence, content uniqueness, usefulness, and value are really hard to tweak if you’re not actually writing useful content per se. Google’s content quality checklist definitely makes us think so:

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?

  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete, or comprehensive description of the topic?

  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond the obvious?

  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources, and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?

  • Does the main heading or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?

  • Does the main heading or page title avoid exaggerating or being shocking in nature?

  • Is this the sort of page you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia, or book?

  • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?

  • Does the content have any spelling or stylistic issues?

  • Is the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don't get as much attention or care?

The truth is that Google implies no controversy when speaking about content and keywords. Your content should be of high quality, just as it should cover the topic in detail. To cover the topic in detail, you have to use keywords. The only thing is that keywords should be used naturally and in the appropriate context so that Google can better understand you.

What you should do

Use keywords naturally and mind the context. Naturally means that you should leave spammy query-like keywords in the 2010s — having phrases like buy sneakers munich sale on your pages is not an option today.

At the same time, make sure your content is not watery. If your page is about cats, then you have to use the keyword cats in your content to let Google and users understand you right.

WebSite Auditor’s Content Optimization module comes in handy here. The tool welcomes you with keyword suggestions based on the top 10 SERP competitors.

Download WebSite Auditor

You will see what keywords your top competitors use and how often. In addition, the tool will also show the synonyms and other terms that help cover the topic in depth.  Besides, WebSite Auditor will show how your competitors use keywords in meta elements and spot your empty alt texts.

Update your content according to recommendations and enjoy your growing positions.

Myth #2. SEO is gone

Your website may be perfectly optimized, rank high, and bring tons of organic traffic. But then another Google update rolls out, and your rankings become a mess. In addition, Google keeps experimenting with SERP layouts, which also makes SEOs worried that search algos only favor rich and famous market players. Like, if you’re out of this league and don’t have millions to spend on advertising, you may not even try to catch up with your competitors by mastering your SEO.

Myth busting

Well, SEO is not gone. It is changing and evolving just as it has always been since it exists. What worked in the 2000s didn’t work in the 2010s, and what was a go in 2015 has become obsolete by now. And it’s ok if today’s SEO practices will be outdated in a year or even less — technologies change rapidly these days.

As for the assumption that it is advertising that is killing SEO, it is not true either. Advertising is not an SEO tactic, and it works in a different way. Plus, if you look at the Google Search ad revenue report trend, you’ll see a steady decline.

descending trend of Google Ads revenue

This can only mean that advertisers cut off on paid promotion — and consequently seek profits in organic search. So we can expect the growing popularity of SEO, not its decadence.

What you should do

Stay tuned to Google’s news and updates not to miss anything important. Update your SEO strategy accordingly, but don’t give in to panic. Audit your site regularly, mind the health of your content and backlink profile, and keep an eye on your competitors.

Tools like WebSite Auditor and Rank Tracker are of great help here. WebSite Auditor will examine your website’s on-page and technical SEO and offer opportunities for improvement. Meantime, Rank Tracker will help spot SERP fluctuations and changes in rankings.

Myth #3. EMDs don’t work

In 2012, Google rolled out an update aimed at wiping out spammy websites. Exact-match domains, or EMDs, were one of the agenda points. In other words, spammy websites with EMDs had to be deranked, and EMDs had to stop being a ranking factor.

John Mueller’s words prove this:

"…just because keywords are in a domain name doesn't mean that it'll automatically rank for those keywords. And that's something that's been the case for a really, really long time."

"...it's kind of normal that they would rank for those keywords and that they happen to have them in their domain name is kind of unrelated to their current ranking."

John Mueller

Myth busting

This is where the fun begins. Google spokesmen only mentioned “low-quality sites with EMDs”, but didn’t say a word about good sites with relevant EMDs.

What’s more, there are a lot of cases across the web that prove the power of EMDs. Like, if a website is properly optimized, then EMD can boost positions greatly.

organic traffic growth after EMD campaign
Source: https://www.holisticseo.digital/seo-research-study/exact-matching-domain

EMDs also help improve brand awareness in search engines. It’s easier for Google to draw parallels between the brand and the website if the domain matches the brand name.

EMD also works for Google Business Profile SEO — having a keyword in the business name is one of the best practices. The tricky point is that your business name in GBP should be the same as the real-world name of your business, as Google doesn’t favor marketing tricks.

Still, keep in mind that EMD will most likely help you rank for the keyword that is present in the domain.

What you should do

Think about including relevant keywords in your domain at the moment of the domain name registration. Besides, a good idea is to buy an EMD for a special campaign and make it rank. If your domain name is obviously outdated and needs rebranding, you can buy a new relevant EMD and move your website there, but do it carefully so as not to waste your SEO effort.

Remember that just as with any other website, a site with EMD needs attention in terms of all aspects of SEO: content optimization, on-page SEO, backlinks, and technical soundness still remain an inseparable part of your daily routine.

Myth #4. PageRank doesn’t exist

In 2019, a former Google employee said that Google had not been using the original PageRank since 2006. The thing is that in 2006 Google really did file a new patent named Producing a ranking for pages using distances in a web-link graph, which looked like a replacement for PageRank.

Today, Google keeps reminding SEOs that it is content that matters first and avoids mentioning PageRank at all, to say nothing of its importance.

Myth busting

In 2020, John Mueller actually confirmed that Google keeps using PageRank, but admitted that the original formula had changed:

Yes, we do use PageRank internally, among many, many other signals. It's not quite the same as the original paper, there are lots of quirks (eg, disavowed links, ignored links, etc.), and, again, we use a lot of other signals that can be much stronger.

John Mueller

So, despite the fact that PageRank of today is not the same as it was in the 2000s, it is still used to rank pages in SERPs. Sure thing, new algorithms are more sophisticated and complicated, but the core idea remains the same.

Another interesting fact is that Google officials are trying to persuade SEOs that there are many other ranking factors that are much more important than PR. Still, this should be read between the lines — PageRank remains a manipulation-vulnerable thing, so Google tries to drive SEOs’ attention to something more innocent. And keeps introducing new mechanisms to fight link juice manipulations.

Note. On our website, we have a big and detailed post on PageRank and its evolution. Feel free to check it.

What you should do

Upgrade your backlink profile and monitor its health. Try to get dofollow backlinks from reputable websites of the relevant niche. Regularly perform backlink audits and monitor your competitors — your new backlink prospects may be already linking to them.

SEO SpyGlass can help you here. The tool will analyze your website’s link profile in detail and provide all the key stats on their quality. So you will have a clear understanding of how many backlinks you have and where they come from. SEO SpyGlass will also help you analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles and find new prospects to get a backlink from:

Download SEO SpyGlass

This assumption may seem logical, as links pass PageRank. So why should you pass link juice to other pages on other sites if you can keep it and have your pages stronger? Many SEOs, especially beginners, consider this idea true.

Myth busting

Outcoming links do not decrease the PageRank of a page. On the contrary, they help add more weight and authority to your page.

External links are especially important for websites that deal with YMYL topics. In this case, outcoming links work as proof of authority and credibility, which are actually YMYL ranking factors.

Here’s a case study run by RebootOnline that proves the importance of outcoming links. The team took several brand-new domains and tried to rank some pages for keywords that look like science-related or medical terms (these words do not exist in real life). Half of the pages were linked to some high-authority websites, while another half did not get any outgoing links at all. The results turned out quite straightforward: pages with outcoming links ranked better.

pages with outcoming links ranked better
Source: https://www.rebootonline.com/blog/long-term-outgoing-link-experiment/

The importance of outcoming links seems to be only growing in the era of Google AI integrations and Generative Search Experience. This is because AI will have to check the authority of the information it receives to properly reward relevant content with better positions.

What you should do

Link out, of course. Still, do it wise — link to pages that are actually relevant to your niche and do prove the fact you’re writing about. Do not forget about the quality of your content though, as it has to be useful and well-written. Otherwise, links won’t help.

In 2005, Google introduced the nofollow tag to fight PageRank manipulations by limiting link juice flow. Still, people started using the new tag in a twisted way to artificially funnel PageRank to pages they needed. Google, in its turn, changed the mechanism once again. It started equally distributing PageRank share between all the links on a page but only passing weight by dofollow links.

equally distributing PageRank share between all the links on a page but only passing weight by dofollow links

In other words, nofollow links started passing their link juice share to nowhere. This led to the assumption that nofollow links, especially backlinks, are absolutely useless and have no SEO value at all.

Myth busting

While dofollow links are obviously more helpful when it comes to SEO, nofollow links are not useless.

First of all, a healthy backlink profile cannot but have a big share of nofollow links. Why? The answer is quite simple — many links that appear naturally in, well, “wildlife”, are nofollow. Otherwise, the web would have drowned in spam.

Second, Google has officially stated that link attributes such as nofollow, sponsored, and UGC tags are treated as a hint, not as a directive. In practice, this means that Googlebot will see the tag when crawling a page, but will decide on how to treat it on its own.

Third, it is actually the truth that nofollow links don’t pass PageRank. But, as Google once said, there are many, many other signals that signalize the quality of the page. And nofollow links do pass some of those, as even a nofollow backlink from a highly-authoritative and relevant website like Wikipedia may strengthen the recipient page. The thing is that nobody’s sure what exactly works in this case — traffic, brand visibility, or something else. Probably, all of the above.

What you should do

Take care of your backlinks and don’t neglect reputation management to naturally get mentions from credible sources. Take part in niche events, promote your brand, be active on social media, manage reviews, etc. In other words, do your best to make any mentions of your brand positive.

Myth #7. Content must be long to rank

The longer the content is, the more keywords it can potentially feature. The more keywords you have, the easier it is for Google to “understand” that your page is the best and the most meaningful. So, the page will definitely rank high. What’s more, Google may even penalize your site for empty or thin content, so it is crucial to write as much text as possible.

Sounds pretty logical, right?

Myth busting

Content length is, of course, important. But the truth is that your content doesn’t have to be the longest in the world but has to fit in the average SERP values. You don’t need to write, say, 5000 words if your top SERP competitors’ pages have 500.

Plus, keywords are not the only thing that signalizes the high quality of the content. Things like images, loading speed, and backlinks are also important for SEO and rankings.

Moreover, Google has recently said that it is not the word count that matters, but search intent. So if you manage to satisfy search intent with 400 words, then fine. If you need 4000 words, it’s fine, too.

For example, let’s look at product pages in ecommerce. Hardly any of them would feature tons of characters, but all of them have images and briefly describe the item sold. These pages also tell about prices and key features. For pages like these, quality is signalized, among other things, by fast loading speed and properly applied structured data, not the amount of text.

On the contrary, how-to guides are usually long, as they describe the process or any other matter in detail. But they have to be properly structured as well and have clear navigation, which is appreciated by both users and Google.

What you should do

Audit your content and analyze SERP competitors for best practices. I recommend using WebSite Auditor here. Head to the Page Audit > Content Editor section, choose a page, specify the keyword, and here you are:

Download WebSite Auditor

The tool will analyze your page, calculate your optimization score, and suggest improvements (including optimal word count) based on on-page SEO best practices and on your top SERP competitors.

Myth #8. AI content has no chance to succeed

Google’s position on AI-generated content was pretty clear — AI is evil. Here’s what John Mueller said on the matter during Office Hours in April 2022:

Currently it’s all against the webmaster guidelines. So from our point of view, if we were to run across something like that, if the webspam team were to see it, they would see it as spam.

John Mueller

A year later, in April 2023, John Mueller also seemed not too enthusiastic about AI content:

John Mueller also seemed not too enthusiastic about AI content

Sounds controversial considering the recent rapid development and popularity of Chat-GPT, Google Bard, Bing Chat, and many other lesser-known tools.

Besides, Google Spam Policies also mention Spammy automatically-generated content as a “chance” to get penalized.

Myth busting

John Mueller doesn’t seem a fan of AI content, that’s true. But in this case, it feels rather like personal preferences than actually Google's official position. As for the official position, Google these days has become much more tolerant when it comes to using AI. Here’s the official statement on AI-generated content by Danny Sullivan:

Our focus on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced, is a useful guide that has helped us deliver reliable, high quality results to users for years.

Danny Sullivan

So, if the content is of high quality and does bring value to users, it doesn’t really matter who produced it. What’s more, Google explicitly states that “appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines.”

As for the penalty for spammy automatically generated content, it is the word spammy that matters most. Actually, spammy content is penalized even if it’s created by humans, but spammers prefer to use AI for content creation (it’s faster and cheaper).

What you should do

Don’t deny the technology — it’s already here. Treat AI not as a replacement for human work but as a useful tool that can help you. AI is an assistant, but, anyway, it is limited. It is trained on human-written texts, that’s why it cannot produce something new from scratch.

What AI can help with is the structure of the text, proofreading, generation of outlines and titles, and many other SEO routine activities that take time but need no creativity of a human’s mind. Anyway, carefully revise any content (both machine-generated and human-written) before publishing it on your website.

Myth #9. Guest posting doesn’t help

In 2014, Matt Cutts said that

If you're using guest blogging as a way to get links … stop.

Matt Cutts

This statement caused an uproar and immediate preaching against guest blogging. Even today SEOs are still arguing if guest posting is a good idea.

Myth busting

There is no technical difference between guest blogging content and any other type of blogging. If the content is of low quality, Google will penalize it for low quality, no matter if it’s a guest post or an article by your in-house author.

If guest posting was a scam, then we would not have had major news platforms and blogs accepting hundreds of contributions from freelancers and external authors.

What you should do

Follow the best practices for guest blogging:

  • Avoid spammy blogs that do not have unique content.

  • Choose blogs that are related to your niche and write on relevant topics. Most resources usually offer a list of themes they are interested in, so you can choose one of them or submit your own idea if it’s worth it.

  • Don’t overdo with links and over-optimized anchor texts — it looks spammy.

  • Create high-quality content for end users — something that will be able to resonate with them.

  • Reply to comments and build your email list.

If you are not quite sure where to start with guest blogging, you can find potential guest blogging prospects with the help of LinkAssistant. All you need is to create a project for your site and initiate a search for guest posting prospects.

Download LinkAssistant

Specify keywords and get a list of top guest blogging opportunities for your niche. Pay attention to the Domain InLink Rank metric — it is an authority score created on Google’s original PageRank formula, so it will help you see the authority of a potential partner.

Download LinkAssistant

Reach out to them and agree on the terms in more detail.

Myth #10. Keyword-optimized anchor texts are bad

In 2012, the first Penguin update rolled out. It was focused on spammy links, over-optimized anchor text, and link relevancy. As a result, most sites with optimized anchor text were penalized. As Penguin is no joke and is hard to recover from, it is better to stay away from keyword-optimized anchor text.

Today, Google Spam Policies are still quite straightforward on optimized anchor texts and consider them link spam:

Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass ranking credit, or links with optimized anchor text in articles, guest posts, or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:

There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.

Myth busting

Tell the difference between over-optimized anchor text and diverse anchor text. The first one is, obviously, a red flag. But it does not mean you shouldn't optimize your anchor text for target keywords.

What’s more, Google's best practices for anchor texts explicitly state that too generic link texts are as bad as weirdly long and spammy ones:

Besides, descriptive anchor texts help Google build ties between the entity mentioned in the text and the information linked to.

What you should do

Make your anchor texts diverse and descriptive, but avoid click-bait and spam. Anchor text like learn how to earn on bitcoin risk-free with crypto trading courses cheap London is not a go, but crypto trading courses may be of much help.

For example, your anchor texts may be:

  • Descriptive (on-page SEO audit tool, list of cheese types)— anchor text with naturally used targeted keywords.

  • Brand name (SEO PowerSuite toolkit, new McDonald’s menu) — brand name or a combination of a brand name + a keyword.

As for generic link texts like read more, learn more, click here, buy, etc., you can use them, too. But in this case, make sure they are surrounded by enough context, so users and search bots will have a clear idea of what they will see after clicking the link. Or you can paste generic anchors on CTA buttons.

Don’t forget about anchor texts’ diversity — this will make your links look natural. You can check your anchor texts and their diversity in SEO SpyGLass:

Download SEO SpyGlass

Also, mind the number of links per abstract, as having many links in one paragraph or, even worse, per sentence, is a spammy tactic. Even if anchor texts seem ok.

Myth #11. Page layout doesn’t affect SEO efforts

Many site owners, especially beginners, still think that website design has nothing to do with search optimization. Like, SEO is about keywords, meta tags, and backlinks, and that’s it.

Besides, the internet is crowded with posts like Hottest web design trends for 20XX. This makes site owners think that web design is something “trendy” and “beautiful”. Trends change fast, that’s why it is ok or even necessary to update the site design every time a new web fashion appears.

As a result, web pages get redesigned every year or even less. And, of course, a page gets tons of new pop-ups, videos, background GIFs, and other heavy formats — all for the sake of beauty and trends.

Myth busting

In 2020, Google introduced Core Web Vitals — a set of user experience metrics that officially became a ranking factor. Core Web Vitals (or CWV) are affected by webpage loading speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. This actually means that design does influence SERP positions.

What’s more, Google has recently announced a new CWV metric, INP (Interaction to Next Paint) that is going to replace FID. The difference between them is that FID only measures response time for the first user’s interaction on a page, while INP considers all interactions. This can only mean that UX and design are becoming even more important than it has ever been.

Besides, you cannot but take user behavior into account. While behavior is not a direct ranking factor, it can make all your SEO effort worth nothing. How? For example, you have a properly optimized page with good content and powerful backlinks. But once users get there, they see a big slow pop-up blocking the whole viewport and preventing them from reading your content and further navigating the site.

Here you can see even two pop-ups blocking the viewport and conflicting with each other.
Here you can see even two pop-ups blocking the viewport and conflicting with each other.

Users will most likely bounce off and go somewhere else, leaving your content sitting idle behind the pop-up.

At the same time, obviously bad and outdated design can also destroy your SEO effort — 38% of customers even stop browsing a site if it looks awful.

What you should do

Speaking of the technical side of your web design, keep your Core Web Vitals in the green zone. You can use Google Search Console Core Web Vitals report to spot possible issues.

While the CWV report of Search Console can only show which metric needs a fix, it does not tell what exactly you should fix to get rid of the problem. To get a more detailed analysis of PageSpeed issues and instantly receive a solution, turn to the PageSpeed report of WebSite Auditor:

Download WebSite Auditor

Speaking of design, find balance. It’s not a good idea to redesign your site every time you see a new list of trends. But if your pages do look outdated, you can carefully tune them to stay up-to-date and not scare people off.

Remember to make your site redesign SEO-friendly not to lose positions gained by the moment.

Myth #12. Near-me optimization doesn’t work for local SEO

The concept of near-me optimization — when you add near me after your niche keywords and get something like steak house near me — is often referred to as outdated. SEOs criticize it for being unnatural, spammy, and too simple.

Nobody wants to have a spammy site, right?

near me in real life
Source: https://twitter.com/AliciaTatone/status/1640809733136306176

Myth busting

In the early days of SEO, near-me was really treated as a keyword. But the thing is that all keywords of the early SEO era were kind of weird, not only near-me ones.

Today, the situation has changed. Near-me keywords have become a mere local SEO thing. They are now treated not as keywords but as markers of proximity. Proximity influences Distance — one of the local SEO ranking factors.

Besides, there are many cases that prove the effectiveness of near-me optimization for local SEO. So, near-me may not be a new and disruptive optimization technique, but it is working.

More to that, Google has added a Near me filter for certain types of queries:

I can hardly believe that Google would have ever added anything spammy or outdated on their SERP.

What you should do

Optimize your local site’s content with near-me keywords. Most often, near-me keywords are placed in meta titles, H1 headings, and other elements Google pays the most attention to. But, sure thing, you’re not limited to these sections and can use them anywhere on your page.

Still, don’t overdo it — keyword stuffing is hardly your SEO goal.

Note. Take a look at our local SEO guide to see other helpful tactics and hacks that will make your business rank in the local-3-pack.

Myth #13. You need no SEO to rank if you drive traffic with ads

There’s an assumption that if you can buy yourself traffic, you have no need to invest in SEO to get it organically. SEO is so time-consuming, so why wait for the results? Launch ad campaigns and get your pages rank on the top of the SERP within a click.

Myth busting

The truth is that organic positions have no relation to Google Ads at all. You can advertise for all the keywords in the world if you can afford it, but you will never rank for, say, tomatoes if your website is about bicycles.

Also, paid advertising doesn’t help you get into SERP features such as knowledge panels, news, etc., as Google collects them organically. It is content and on-page SEO that helps.

Advertising should not be opposed to SEO — these two activities complement each other. Sponsored snippets have higher CTR and conversion rates and can be adjusted quickly if needed. SEO helps rank and organically grow popularity, although it takes longer to see any tangible results. Neither aspect is better or worse — they are just different.

What you should do

While you cannot do without SEO, you can easily do without advertising, especially if you’re on a tight budget or need to cut costs because of economic instability. At the same time, you can review the bids and see that many of those costly keywords became affordable to you. So you can try setting up new ad campaigns if they fit the budget.

Remember to investigate the SERP for the keyword(s) you’ve decided to advertise for, as it may appear that your page already ranks on the top or even wins a SERP feature.

Checking organic positions and SERP features via RankTacker
Checking organic positions and SERP features via RankTacker
Download Rank Tracker

In this case, it’s better to choose another bid. Why pay for clicks if you already have them free of charge?

Myth #14. Social signals have no SEO value

Social signals are one of the most controversial factors in SEO. Back in 2010, Google's Matt Cutts published a video where he said that social signals were a ranking factor. In 2014, the same Matt Cutts clearly stated in his video that Google does not consider social signals a ranking factor.

Myth busting

It is true that social signals are not used in ranking algorithms, but it does not mean that they cannot influence rankings. For example, social media pages are indexed, so they can appear in SERPs.

social media pages  can appear in SERPs

Booming social activity makes your content visible to the right group of users, which increases your engagement metrics. The more visits you get, the more sharing you receive, which leads to more links to your content.

Plus, social media work as a great source of traffic just because users click on the links you post there.

What you should do

Providing you already have a social media account with a link to your website, there is no need for any specific optimization. A few tips, though:

  • Mind the tone of voice to sound natural.

  • Adjust content for different platforms. What works on Twitter may not be appreciated on LinkedIn.

  • Aim for influencers from your niche. People who can recommend you, and it will mean a lot;

  • Engage with your audience. React to comments and suggest solutions in case there is any problem.

As your social media reach grows, you may want to use a social media monitoring platform like Awario to track mentions of your brand, respond to them in time, and be aware of what people think about you.

Myth #15. AI will destroy SEO

Artificial Intelligence is the most hyped topic these days. SEOs and marketers try to figure out if AI is a curse or a blessing and get worried about the future. Titles like AI will replace humans appear more often than ever before. Google and Bing keep developing and integrating AI into the search process. AI-generated images become almost indistinguishable from real photos or hand-made artworks. Handling tools like Chat-GPT becomes a skill required in a CV when you apply for a job.

At the same time, famous people like Elon Musk urge people to stop developing AI and see it as a real threat. Big corporations ban their employees from using Chat-GPT (especially after the data leak). Designers call to boycott AI-generated images as they are bluff.

At SEO PowerSuite, we had to calm down our users who asked the support team if SEO was going to die. Well, it looks like the SEO community is about to panic (if not already).

Myth busting

I’m going to tell you the same thing our support team told our users:

AI will neither destroy SEO nor replace humans. Period.

AI can change SEO (as well as many other niches), but it can never replace it. Here’s why.

AI does not create anything new. It scrolls the database of human-generated content, learns, and combines this knowledge to generate a text or an image based on the training material. This actually means that AI is as “smart” as the texts given to it. If you “feed” AI with gibberish, it will become gibberish, too.

Here’s an experiment by researchers from UK and Canada who tried to “train” AI using AI-generated content. The results showed that AI started to become “stupid” until the algorithms actually collapsed:

“Learning from data produced by other models causes model collapse — a degenerative process whereby, over time, models forget the true underlying data distribution … this process is inevitable, even for cases with almost ideal conditions for long-term learning.”

Google Generative Search Experience is meant to welcome searchers with a detailed machine-generated answer right on the SERP, but it is also meant to provide links to pages where the information is taken from. This only means that Google will still need high-quality human-written content to crawl, understand, rank, and train its AI.

What you should do

Watch the industry news to stay aware of new technologies, embrace changes, and learn how to make AI work for you, not against you.

AI is a tool, so, as with any other tool, it requires skills to use it. Like, you can open Google Analytics 4, but you will hardly understand anything if you don’t know what CTR or Behavior flow is. Same with AI. You can ask it to generate a script, but you will not be able to see if there are mistakes (they do happen).

To sum it up

SEO keeps evolving, and new myths will appear, too. Still, now you’re aware of the key misconceptions and know how to avoid them.

By the way, what SEO myths have you heard of? How did you bust them? Share your experience in our Facebook community.

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