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SEO Myths Busted

SEO Myths Busted SEO is a strange business, It is always changing and being developed which means unless you keep up with the changes you can soon find yourself practicing SEO methods that are outdated or even damaging. What i am going to do in this blog post is go through some of the most common SEO myths and explain why they are not true.
  • PR Is Important - I am starting with this SEO myth because i am sick of people worrying about it. Heres the deal people. Even if PR was once a big factor in where your site appears in SERPS it isn't any longer because of how easy it is to manipulate PR. You can purchase pagerank so easily it was obvious google would drop the importance of PR in time. Not only that, But we only get to see toolbar PR which is 4 months out of date. Carry on getting backlinks, But don't worry about PR, Worry about getting links from related sites and worry about the anchor text used in those backlinks. You can read in another blog post about How important is PageRank

  • Google prefers static pages over dynamic - This SEO myth was recently debunked in a Matt Cutts grab bag video. Matt said that google will pass pagerank to dynamic pages (not that that matters) and they will be treated the same as static pages by the ranking algo. But he did advise keeping the number of parameters in your dynamic URL's few and don't use anything that looks like a session id. The example i always give to prove this myth is untrue is the official phpbb support forum. They use a 'straight out the box' phpbb instalation and they have no trouble what so ever ranking well for phpbb support related searches.

  • Adwords helps increase PR - This myth is usually fueled by people not knowing how adwords ads are generated and how google sees the internet. Adsense/Adwords ads are generated via javascript. Your browser downloads the JS file from google, Executes the script then displays what is in that file on the page. The google bot has no ability to read or execute javascript. So unless something is hard coded directly in the HTML of a page the google bot will not see it.

  • Sites that display adsense rank better - I don't really know what the origins of this SEO myth are, Perhaps people thought if you are showing adverts for google they will want you to get more visitors so they can make more money. The truth is adwords and adsense has absolutely zero effect on whhere you appear in the google search engine. Google relies on people using thier search engine, So they aren't going to risk the quality of thier search results just to make a few extra dollars.

  • .com ranks better than .info - recently i have read on a few forums people claiming that google favour a .com domain more than any other. I don't know why people would think this. Think to yourself, 'Why would google do that?" and unless you can think of a very good reason it's unlikely that google would do it. There is nothing to suggest a .com domain is going to have better quality content than a .info .cc or .ws so it won't be included as a factor in the google ranking algo. Google do not rank .com domains better and they do not spider them more frequently.

  • Meta Keywords are important to how a page will rank - Thanks Steve, I had forgot about this one. Like Steve pointed out (below), A lot of people worry about thier meta keywords. They want to know what words to use, how to seperate them and how many to use. The truth is it doesn't matter. In fact it matters so little that many people don't even bother using them anymore. As i understand it google doesn't take any notice of them. So if you think you are going to boost rankings or rank well based on what you have in your meta keywords think again.

  • Submit your site to search engines - I was reminded of this myth by Minaki over at WMT. When people create lists or small tutorials about what to do when launching a site they usually put "Submit your site to search engines" high on the list. This kind of practice is pointless, and according to some can be damaging. Search engines like to find you, they don't like to be told about you. If you want to get listed in search engines work on getting backlinks. There is a school of thought that says google put submited sites in a "special index" for some time simply because the sites were submited, I doubt this is true, But i wouldn't risk it. At best submiting your site to google does nothing and will not help you get listed in google.

  • Guaranteed first page on Google - Stay well away from any SEO that claims to be able to guarantee you a first page place on google for any search term. They are lying. If they really could do that thery would be millionaires. If after they look at your site that guarantee to improve your SERPS, that's ok. But they can't guarantee the first page

  • The more links the better - There is a common SEO myth that says you need lots and lots of links pointing to your site. In recent times google has got very good at spotting quality links, And any links that are from unrelated sites will count very little, if at all, towards your google ranking. The rule here is to go for quality over quantity, Get links that are related and don't waste your time getting 1000s of unrelated links.

  • You must use "index" and "follow" META tags - Don't use these tags at all, They are pointless. Google will follow and index everything unless told otherwise. You don't need to tell it to do this.

  • Getting in DMOZ is important for high rankings - While i would say you should try to get into DMOZ, Don't worry if you don't. DMOZ is not a make or break kinda thing, It's just a directory. If you don't get into DMOZ accept it and move on.

  • Keywords in a domain name are important - There may have been a time when google looked at a domain name and decided what the site was about based on the words in the domain. But now the words in a domain name are no more important than the words on the page. The only time keywords in a domain name could be useful is if the words are sperated by hyphens (-) and people link to you using your domain name as anchor text. Like when links become clickable on forums

  • PageRank prediction tools are accurate - Pagerank prediction tools are not inaccurate, They are completely fabricated. Unless the creator of the pagerank prediction tool knows the google pagerank algorithm, Which they don't, There is no way on earth they could even attempt to predict pagerank. Do not believe what a pagerank prediction tool says, It is not accurate and is completely made up.

These are all the SEO myths i can think of at the moment, But i'm sure i will add to the list as more come up. If you have any SEO myths you can post them and i'll do my best to explain them for everyone.


| Tips To Write Effective AdWords Ads »
| Getting Targeted Adsense Adverts »
| How To Build A Successful Forum »
| Free Web Statistics and Hit Counters »
| Putting Images Near Adsense Ads »
| Two More Matt Cutts Google SEO Videos »
| Top 6 SEO Tactics »
| More Matt Cutts Google Video SEO Tutorials »
| Matt Cutts GrabBag Google Videos »

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Saturday, 09 September, 2006

Good list Matt.

How about another myth that sadly won't seem to go away. Meta Keywords are important to how a page will rank. I'm surprised that people still see meta keywords as something to boost where a page ranks and agonizing over how to write them.

There should be more than enough info out there by now for people to realize that meta keywords will have no effect at all on where your page ranks.  

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Monday, 11 September, 2006

Great stuff and much aprreciated. Is there a chance of seeing a "best practices SEO" anytime soon? I saw you mentioned the backlink usage but not sure how it works for SEs to find relevance to our site.  

Posted by Blogger Sally Neill @ Monday, 18 September, 2006

What an excellent amount of information, cleared up a lot of things for me, thank you so much.  

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