DIY SEO: Telling a Myth from Real Help Lyndon NA @darth_na #vcbuzz

DIY SEO: Telling a Myth from Real Help Lyndon NA @darth_na #vcbuzz

SEO industry is quite probably the most misleading one.

There’s so much FUD (is this abbreviation still a thing?)

When you try solving an SEO mystery, you are likely to come across quite a few conflicting (and often dangerous) theories.

At some point you are bound to feel helpless.

How to find real SEO advice? Let’s discuss.

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About Lyndon NA @darth_na

Lyndon NA @darth_na is an SEO and usability expert.

Lyndon is a former Google Webmaster forums top contributor.

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I accidentally stepped in to it. I originally started off in web-design … but realised that not only was SEO important, a fair bit of it could (should!) be handled by the web designer/developer. So started learning SEO.

After a time, I found myself applying “sales tricks” and sales-psychology to wording, suggesting methods to get attention, planning out content and promotion etc. And I’m still doing today.

Q2 When a website owner is looking for answers to a specific SEO question, how can they tell a myth from an actually useful piece of advice?

Unfortunately – they can’t 🙁 It’s a difficult and complicated problem. Some stuff is wrong, and always was. Some things are wrong now, but were right “then”. There are ideas/hypothesis presented/read as actualities/facts.

Then there’s hyperbole and attention getters, where “truth” and “accuracy” aren’t really a consideration. Plenty of pages out there lack dates. Some people intentionally alter dates 🙁

Many searchers/readers don’t check dates, or realise they can search with date-filters But the biggest issue of all is … if you don’t know the answer, it’s hard to find it, especially when there’s so many pages competing for your attention.

So – you have to learn to gauge things. Look at different sources, use a bit of judgement, and start noting which sources seem to be right more often. The more you learn, the easier it gets to discern “probable” from “unlikely” or “not quite right”.

Q3 What are some most ridiculous SEO myths even old-time SEO professionals seem to believe in?

Good question – and I don’t have an answer. I honestly cannot think of any specific thing that the more experienced SEO’s believe that I know to be wrong. But that leaves us with “SEOs in general” and “miscomprehensions”.

There’s no shortage of myths out there, and some of them last a long time because of glory-seekers and parrots (both are a bane in the SEO Sector 🙁 ). So things like “Google loves long form content” go on for years.

But the more complex one is misconceptions and miscomprehensions. When you look at the “long form content” myth – with a little experience/knowledge, you can see it’s a flawed idea. But to few bothered to look deeper, and look at other factors.

Things like “keyword density”, or, more accurately, “breadth of topic/theme coverage” (various related terms pertaining to each other) got ignored, and the simplistic idea of “word count” got opted for.

Q4 What are some good online places to learn SEO?

Tough question – as there’s no shortage of places. Personally, I’m biased (and spoiled) – Google’s Webmaster Forums is one of the best places to look. Everyday, real people (site/business owners, Webdesigners and SEOs) post their issues.

My personal favourite is Googles own Docs and Blog. Their FAQs and of course, the Google Guidelines and then there’s the Search Quality Raters Guide.

All are solid for learning at various levels. Then there’s sites like Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush etc. – all provide various resources and insights, and well worth peoples time.

I used to read the Marketing Pilgrim a lot when I first started (gone now), but another one I used to read was HoboWeb.

But all of them require time to read and think over, else you may end up misunderstand things (and many do). It’s also important to remember that “our words” and “Googles words” are not always the same. The sense/meaning can/does vary.

Love Glenn! And, to be fair, I’m a fan of @lilyraynyc for the same reason – lots of thought and research!

Q5 What are your favorite SEO tools?

100% – Search Console! Though I could live without it – some of the data there is more than valuable. Pair it with tracking data from things like Analytics/Matomo/SnowPlow etc., and you can get some serious insights.

Then there’s things like SpyFu, SEMRush, Ahrefs … but I think the tools I use the most are:

  1. My brain
  2. PHP + MySQL
  3. Spreadsheets (GDocs / MS Office etc.)
  4. Post it notes
  5. Server access logs too!
  6. Google SERPs (see what searchers see)

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