One reason that many individuals and organizations are reluctant to start an SEO project is a lack of knowledge. Some are even reluctant to approach an SEO Service firm for fear of being “ripped off” or misdirected about the search engine requirements of their website.
It is always good to get as much knowledge about a topic before undertaking the project.
We understand that there are many myths about search engine optimization (SEO). This article will clarify the ten most common search engine optimization myths and misconceptions.
- SEO is about secret strategies
There is an SEO myth that SEO Experts utilize secret strategies and methods that result in top placement in search engine results. In fact, there are some “SEO consultants” who might guarantee top placement for your website. While performing search engine optimization can be a huge, time-consuming task, the methods employed are widely known and available to everyone. If there are “Secrets” used, these are primarily employed by “Black Hat” SEO Service Providers. Utilizing these services will actually harm or lower your position in search engine results.
- Load up on Keywords
Search engines are well aware of website pages that have been stuffed with keywords, regardless of their relevance to the content on the website. Keywords are key to the relevance and importance of the content on a web page. These keywords should be used (when possible) in the Title, meta keywords, meta description, and content of the web page for the best results. There is no magic number of keywords that will place your website before another in the search results. Best Practice: “Each web page should be written in a natural way and be designed with your website visitors in mind.”
- Let’s Load up the page with Content
Have you ever seen one of those web pages that seems to scroll on forever about a certain topic? These irritate me. Too much content that runs on will send your visitors looking for another site that actually “gets to the point”. Too little content and your visitors will leave still looking for an answer. Unique, useful, and up-to-date content is the best strategy for writing your content. Content is a major factor in regard to the relevance of your website. But there are many additional factors that are considered by the search engines.
- Keep Submitting Your Websites to Search Engines
I remember the days when there were online services that sent a notification to hundreds of search engines monthly to ensure that your website was indexed. While some of these still exist, they are not necessary. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all offer a method for submitting information about your website so they can begin to crawl your content. But submitting more than once could get you banned or blacklisted. The best method for getting your website into search engine results is to get quality links from other, relevant websites linking to your website using relevant keywords in the linking text.
- Guaranteed Top Search Engine Placement
“We can guarantee you #1 search engine placement!”. Have you ever seen this statement before?
This is a lie.
Your website can place well for keywords with little or no competition. But your keywords should reflect the message of your content and bring in the types of visitors you are targeting. It is impossible for anyone to guarantee that the placement of your website will be number one or even remain constant over time.
- All Links to my Site are Good Links
We stated earlier that “The best method for getting your website into search engine results is to get quality links from other, relevant websites linking to your website using relevant keywords in the linking text”. Links from a website on fashion tips to your website on website design probably won’t help your rankings in the search results very much. Links should come from websites with similar content if they will be of great value to your search engine placement. Google does consider some sites as “bad neighborhood” sites and these can affect the placement of your website in a bad way if they link back to your content.
Also, services that offer hundreds or thousands of links instantly should also be avoided. If Google sees a sharp increase in the number of links pointing to your website they get suspicious. Perform a link-building exercise in a natural progression by getting links from sites with a good reputation from the search engines. Check out every site that will link to yours. Usually, if a website has a high Google Page Rank, they are worth having a link to you.
- All Your Web Pages require W3C Validation
This would be great if all web pages followed a single standard. But with so many variables on the Internet (different web browsers, operating systems, etc.), the effort involved to maintain a website to a specific set of standards would be massive. The programming code of your website should be in a format that is readable by the search engine robots. You should have no problem if each page follows some very basic formatting guidelines.
- Search Engines do not like Dynamic Pages
This has been a very misunderstood area. Search engines prefer static content with static URLs. However, they can index dynamic URLs as well. They ask that you give them the opportunity to determine the content by not re-writing the URL to make the page look static. I have found that the methods used by blogging applications like WordPress offer a good method of maintaining the data needed for a search engine to index it properly while rewriting the URL to a more static value. A full discussion on this topic can be found on the Google Webmaster Tools Blog.
- Meta Tags are the most important
This is not entirely true. While Google does not use the keywords contained in the “Keyword” meta tag, other search engines and directories do use these values. The best approach is to write your content for your targeted visitors and put the most important keywords in the “Keyword” meta tag as well. Use of the meta tag will not damage your placement, but there are HTML tags that search engines consider more important for the placement of your keywords (i.e. – H1, H2, B, STRONG, etc.). But the best practice is, “Concentrate on your content”.
- High Google Page Rank is required for top Placement
Although a High Google Page Rank may help your placement in the search results, it doesn’t guarantee top placement for every search term or keyword. A low Google Page Rank for a keyword does not move you down in the results either. Search engines are all about producing a list of sites that is relevant to what the user is looking for.
We hope this list has helped you understand a bit more about Search Engine Optimization. If you would like to see how your site scores, book a call with us and we can provide a quick snapshot of how your site currently ranks.