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Busting the top 15 SEO myths of 2014

James A. Martin | July 17, 2014
It's tough to tell what's real and what's myth today when it comes to SEO best practices. So we asked the SEO community to bring us up to date on the current state of link building, content marketing, social media and more.

Wilfred Hirst, senior strategist and SEO expert at Brafton, has a different take. "In reality, Google weighs content that has a strong social interaction heavier than content that does not have any social presence. The best practice is to always post your content on Google+, as this will have it indexed immediately."

Myth 5: Google Killed SEO Value of Press Releases

"One of the top SEO myths that came out of Google's recent Panda 4.0 algorithm upgrade is that Google has killed the press release," says Miranda Tan, CEO of MyPRGenie. "But it doesn't mean that posting your release on a press-release site has lost its value." 

"The days of writing press releases solely for 'link juice' are over," Tan says. "It's time to start using press releases the way they were used for the first 125 years of their history: as a way to tell the media about your company, products and services. And, of course, as a way to let current or prospective customers keep up with the news from your business. Instead of simply packing keywords into a press release, companies will now have to earn the attention that will get a higher search rank."

Myth 6: It Helps to Optimize All Anchor Text With Keywords

Anchor text is the text within a hyperlinked phrase, such as "click here" when written as click here. In the past, optimizing anchor text with important keywords helped boost search rankings. During the last year or so, Google algorithm updates diminished the power of optimized anchor text.

"Including targeted keywords in a site's internal and external linking structure to boost search rankings is no longer an effective strategy," says Michael Morgenstern, vice president of online marketing, The Expert Institute. "In fact, over- optimizing anchor text for targeted keywords can result in a loss of rankings and/or a manual penalty from search engines." 

Myth 7: Google Authorship Helps SEO

The SEO benefits of Google Authorship are debatable. (Google Authorship is an identity-verification process that links a Google+ profile to the Google+ user's online content.) 

"There is no concrete evidence showing that search results featuring a well-respected author rank better than those that don't," according to Austin Paley, corporate marketer, Blue Fountain Media. "While [Google Authorship] doesn't have a direct effect on everyone's search results, it's extremely helpful to include author mark-up when applicable."

Google used to display thumbnail photos of verified authors along with their content's search-result listings, and some believed the images helped encourage higher click-through rates. However, Google recently started to discontinue that practice, according to Search Engine Land.

Myth 8: Guest Blogging is Bad for SEO 


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