25 SEO Experts Reveal the most Clichéd Industry Phrases
We made it into a blog.
Oh you did guess that?
I’m sorry. I apologise for the clickbait headline, and I know it’s more hyperbole than cliché, but these Buzzfeed-esque titles have almost become a marketing cliché in themselves.
However, today is Cliché Day!
That’s right. This Monday (3rd November) is the official, world cliché day!
In case you needed reminding, World Cliché Day is the day when literally some people celebrate the usage of overused and unoriginal phrases.
Are you not excited?
The business world is littered with clichés, whether it be arguments, processes or simply words and phrases, and the SEO industry is no different.
We got in touch with 25 experts in the digital marketing field and asked them what they thought were the biggest SEO cliché crimes.
Click on the faces to see what they had to say:
@Midas_UK 1: "SEO is easy" 2: "SEO is hard". In reality its complex, requires effort but its not hard, & rarely easy.— Alan Bleiweiss (@AlanBleiweiss) October 24, 2014
@Midas_UK "content is king." Thanks to that vague gem too many companies have mass produced, fluffy, homogeneous, noisy text with no results— Bill Sebald (@billsebald) October 24, 2014
@Midas_UK how about "just create great content"? or "focus on your user and we'll figure out the SEO"? (paraphrases)— Geoff Kenyon (@geoffkenyon) October 29, 2014
@Midas_UK Content is king? "This" is the year for mobile? SEO is dead. Linkbuilding is dead. Linkbuilding is what matters. SO MANY! ;)— Lisa Barone (@LisaBarone) October 24, 2014
@Midas_UK Hi! I suppose we can't overlook "content is king"... (We're probably an offender)— marketingcharts (@marketingcharts) October 23, 2014
@Midas_UK "SEO is dead"; "[buzzword] is the new SEO"; "[buzzword] is the new link-building"— Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) October 24, 2014
- 1. All you need is great content. You can do well without it if you are willing to engage in riskier tactics to promote a site, but even with great content you still need promotion.
- 2. Links don't matter anymore. This one annoys me the most because no one has confirmed that links don't matter. You might just not want them to matter because you can't build good ones yourself.
- 3. You can Panda-proof or Penguin-proof your site. Nothing is safe and all this talk about preventing problems is helpful in that it might give you ideas on how to stay as safe as possible, but you can't guarantee that someone won't be penalized by something even if it's not logical. There are loads of examples of unfair penalties and a lot of them are on sites that are very whitehat, so thinking you can 100% prevent something bad from happening is crazy.
@Martijn was very kind as to email us in length about the SEO clichés he and his colleagues often come across. Here he expands on his tweet:
Good content doesn’t need promotion.
Correlation implies causation
We’ve seen companies do more correlation research around SEO topics, which is a good thing! However, people sometimes jump to conclusions when they see certain results and interpret them incorrectly. For example, some people believe that a 0.11 correlation is a huge correlation, when really, a high correlation is often due to other ones being even lower. We should be more aware of this so we’re not getting the wrong quotes out in the open.
…And here’s a few more of our ‘favourites’:
1. ‘Matt Cutts once said…’
As he is the head of the webspam team at Google, King of SEO and the second coming of Christ, quoting Matt Cutts has become rather popular. Despite his enormous power to make or break a business in a single click, for some reason he often divides opinion on SEO forums, comment threads and on social media. More often than not, he is widely misquoted.
2. ‘Roll out’
What happened to merely ‘introducing’, ‘releasing’ or even ‘bringing out’ a new product or service? Since when did everything get ‘rolled out’ as if it was a sumo wrestler who had overdone their bulking phase and had to be physically pushed down to the ring? Unless the next algorithm update takes a drastic change of direction and is in fact a spaceship, I don’t won’t to hear the phrase ‘roll-out’
3. Low Hanging Fruit
A.K.A. quick wins. Low hanging fruits are objectives (fruit) that are easy to achieve (pick). Clever metaphor right? By that same logic, high hanging fruits are the harder tasks, bad tasting fruits are the ones you don’t want to complete and rotten fruits are… well I’ll let you think of one for that.
* Probably not true.
I would like to give a special thanks to all the SEO experts who threw their hat into the ring and gave their two pennies worth. I’ve had a whale of a time. Hopefully we’ll all be singing from the same hymn sheet soon and we can push the envelope with some blue sky thinking going forward.
I hate myself.
Are there any other SEO or general marketing clichés that weren’t mentioned here? Why do you think they have become so popular? Is it necessarily a bad thing?
Let me know in the comments below or drop us a tweet @Midas_UK