Whilst browsing the Internet a couple of days ago, it suddenly dawned on me, that not only is there a wealth of SEO knowledge out there, but also an equal amount of SEO misinformation, which can only be regarded as rumours, fiction or myths!
SEO myths can leave you scratching your head & wondering which way to turn, therefore I have decided to write this article on the Top 10 SEO Myths Explained, in the hope of clarifying some of the more common fairy stories that you may pick up, not just from the Internet, but a mate down the local bar, a colleague at work or wherever!
Top 10 SEO Myths Explained..?
SEO Myth 1. It is possible to guarantee a 1st page ranking to a client!
The Truth: This is one of my favourites, because quite simply if you think of the number of websites out there and then realise there are only usually 10 places on page 1 of most search engines, then quite obviously this is utter rubbish! The only way any SEO company could guarantee you such high ranking, would be if they optimized your page for some obscure term that is never searched for, but that would kind of defeat the object I reckon.
SEO Myth 2: Do it Yourself SEO is False Economy!
The Truth: Search Engine Optimization and Marketing is a pretty complex beast and as with most technical subjects, it does require a fairly steep learning curve. If you have the time, patience & inclination, to read & learn as much as you can on this subject, then it is possible to save yourself hundreds of dollars per month. Ultimately, how well you have learned SEO will be shown by how high your website ranks with the major search engines.
SEO Myth 3: Organic Search Engine Leads Are Near Worthless
The Truth: This is utter garbage, even though I’ve heard it said on numerous occasions. Think of it this way, there are basically two types of advertising;
1. Blanket coverage (Newspapers, TV & Radio etc)
2. Targeted advertising ( Where you optimize your web pages to meet search requirements)
If you can fully optimize your web pages for the particular keywords your targeting, then when Jo Public does a search in Google & your listing pops up on page 1, you are then satisfying the search requirements & as such your web traffic is highly focused & is searching for exactly what you are offering.
SEO Myth 4: Websites are optimized during development.
The Truth: It is true that some web designers will actually build a website with search engine optimization in mind. However this is far from being common place, as many web designers tend to focus on the aesthetics as opposed to any SEO. It is also true to say that as many as 60% of all sites are not fully optimized for high ranking, so anything you do to optimize your site’s pages will put it ahead of those competitors.
SEO Myth 5: By placing keywords in the keyword meta tag, this will help rank your site for that keyword.
The Truth: The relevance of the keyword meta tag is no longer as crucial as it was a few years ago, nonetheless it can help search engines understand what your site is about, the same would be true when submitting to web directories. It should however be noted, that you should only use 5 to 10 of your strongest keywords & also ensure that any keywords used must appear in the body text of that page. If not then there is an increased likelihood of your site being flagged for spamming.
SEO Myth 6: The more times you repeat the keyword in the page, the higher it will rank.
The Truth: This can be a little tricky since each search engine uses different algorithms & factors for ranking. As a basic guide, a keyword density of 2.5% to 7.5% is recommended for tweaking the page for higher placement, without running the risk of incurring penalties for spamming. Combined with other optimizations, the correct keyword density will help towards getting ranked higher. It should be noted that above all else you should write for your human readership & not for the search engine bots that may or may not crawl your pages.
SEO Myth 7: Tiny or Hidden links & text can get your page ranked higher.
The Truth: Hahaha this is one that goes back to the days of stuffing your keywords meta tag with every possible keyword variation you could dream up. Search engines & in particular, Google, have come a long way since the early days of the internet & such underhanded tactics as Keyword stuffing and hidden links in the page are well known to all of them. If you try your hand at this type of optimization, then your website will be very short lived & will eventually be heavily penalised or even banned. Most serious webmasters / developers would agree that it’s not worth the risk.
SEO Myth 8: The more reciprocal links you have, the higher your Google page rank will go.
The Truth: Both Outbound & Inbound links are factored into page rank. Unreciprocated links count higher than reciprocated links, because reciprocal linking is now seen as nothing more than “favour for favour”. Therefore the more quality inbound links you have to your site, without having an equal amount of outbound links, the higher your PR. Just take a look at a few of the larger social networks, they have very high PR & in most cases any links back to your site are set as “NoFollow”. I would advise therefore, that any outbound links be set as “NoFollow” as this will help preserve your page rank & link juice.
SEO Myth 9: There is no need to update your site to maintain your rankings.
The Truth: A site that is well maintained & regularly updated will always out rank those that are not. Search engines love sites that are updated frequently, it help them to provide fresh up to date content & also helps ensure that your site does not end up with a long list of code errors, such as broken links etc. Sometimes it is also necessary to adjust your optimization for certain keywords & phrases & if this is neglected then you can often find that your ranking will slip much lower over time. This is one of the reasons why blogs tend to do very well with the search engines & ranking, by their nature they are constantly being updated & added to.
SEO Myth 10: High rankings for a keyword can be achieved without changing the code or content of the relevant pages.
The Truth: Part of the art of SEO is being able to write an article that is fully optimized for the search engines; this includes carrying out keyword research, creating keyword rich & attention grabbing titles, ensuring keyword density & placement guidelines are met & also ensuring that page layout & seo elements are giving you the best possible chance of attaining a high ranking with the search engines.
Our “Top 10 SEO Myths Explained” is not an exhaustive list & let’s face it; it is not meant to be, it is purely meant to offer some basic guidance to those that require it, in the hope that they will achieve a decent ranking for their websites.
One other point worth noting is that search engines continually update and change their algorithms & therefore what works today, may not work tomorrow, therefore read what you can when you can & try to stay one jump ahead in the search engine optimization game!
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