There is no shortage of people who claim to be search optimization experts, who freely dole out advice to anyone who will listen, but are they really experts? To be clear, advice about SEO is available from many reliable sources, but knowing who they are is the key. When bad information spreads, even via Google, it gains credibility where there should be absolutely none. A good example of how wide and fast SEO misinformation can spread is the myth of “LSI Keywords”. There is no shortage of articles and blog posts advising how to use LSI keywords; there is even an LSI keyword generator.
The problem with LSI keywords is that there is no such thing as LSI keywords. John Mueller, Google’s senior webmaster, and trends analyst confirmed via tweet that LSI keywords are fake. Yet even with Google’s awareness that LSI keywords aren’t real, when you Google the subject it returns a multitude of sites that tell you things like “Why LSI Keywords Matter” and “The Complete Guide to LSI Keywords”. So, how do you avoid bad SEO advice, especially when a large number of people believe it? Let’s take a closer look.
Is it Fact or Not?
As with any news story or blog post, the writer should cite a reliable source. If a writer posts a story on “The Most Effective Keywords” make sure that they have statistics to back up their statement. Also make sure they cite the source of the statistics such as a study done by a university or paid research group.
Another source you can depend on is Google; any statement made by them can be counted on to be completely factual. Here is a point where due diligence is required; statements from Google are not always quoted in context, or the writer paraphrases them. You should always check the statement from Google yourself to be sure that you know the truth. If an article or blog post cites a TED Talk as their source, watch the TED Talk yourself to be sure that the speaker’s words were not misrepresented to further an agenda.
An utterly unreliable source is a correlation study. The study tries to find a correlation between variables, but a correlation does not mean the same cause. When a study has a coloration between a keyword and conversions, it’s like finding a correlation between polar bears and snow. While it is likely to find snow where polar bears are, they are not the cause of the snow. These kinds of statements are a result of blog posts that have no other goal but to get clicks. The writers (and that is a loose use of the word) are trying to garner attention, not to solve problems. As a rule, when it comes to SEO articles and blog posts, don’t trust ones that have correlation studies.
So, when it comes down to what information is relevant, and what is not regarding SEO; the onus is on you. Reading articles that have no relevant sources for statements made and seem to be a mostly unsubstantiated opinion. It is up to you to decipher if it is trustworthy. Using reliable sources such as Google, HubSpot, and Microsoft gives you a better chance of improving your SEO. O