Choosing a search engine optimisation (SEO) expert to work with can be a real challenge to every business. Search engine algorithms and ranking factors change constantly keeping everyone in the dark. So before you hire an SEO expert, be aware of these seven most common SEO lies.

1. An SEO expert knows the algorithms.

Google keeps adjusting and updating its ranking factors; there’s no way people outside of Google can know the search algorithms they’re using.

One example is RankBrain. It is Google’s new artificial intelligence that was implemented long before they made it known to the public. While the new ranking factor was in effect, none of the SEO experts noticed and realised until Google made the announcement.

2. An SEO expert can help any industry rank.

Understanding consumer intent is one important ranking factor in SEO. This, however, varies on each type of industry.

So for an SEO strategy to be effective, one must have a real insight of the niche and the audience’s needs. This requires knowledge and experience in the industry.

3. All you need is SEO.

SEO is a way to reach your audience, but it’s not everything. There are many other channels that marketers can take advantage of to make one’s business successful.

In fact, the most effective marketing strategy combines different channels (e.g.  content marketing, advertising, social media marketing, etc.) to reach the audience.

4. It is better to have more links.

Backlinks still matter. But Google is keeping a keen eye on the kind of links that are pointed at your website. Google has been penalising domains with a lot of unnatural linking practices. Make sure that yours are legitimate and has high quality and authority. A link building strategy that shows “the more links, the better” would hurt your search rank.

5. It’s okay to have duplicate content.

Google doesn’t know websites’ intentions for making duplicate contents, so they recommend that you minimise boilerplate repetition and similar content, avoid publishing stubs, and tell search console on how your site will be indexed. Using duplicate content to manipulate search and get more traffic will be penalised eventually.

6. An SEO expert can get you on Google’s first page.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines is warning businesses not to trust SEO firms who are making claims of quantifiable results. An example of this is an SEO expert telling he can fix your SEO in a months time and put you on Google’s first page.  Page Rank can change on a day-to-day basis, and any SEO should know this. An honest SEO will not promise anything but gives you a portfolio of his successes instead.

7. You only have to follow Google’s recommendations.

97 percent of Google’s revenue comes from advertising. Simply put, it wants you to spend on Adwords. Although businesses should certainly follow any recommendation coming from Google, SEO experts should know that it doesn’t end there.

Paying attention to the elements that are making an impact on SEO, and keeping up with industry research is the way to an effective SEO strategy.