Last night I checked Twitter in a drunken haze (I can still taste Mojito and chilli sauce) and saw that Matt Cutts had tweeted an article on “SEO Myths”. I’m not 100% sure what I was expecting but I found an article based around the same old SEO myths that you get on every SEO site ever.
So I thought “well what really are the top SEO myths?” and then it came, a genius idea. I could see what the top SEO Myths were for the top ten results in Google UK* and then see which ones were the most popular, forever defining the bestest most excellent SEO MYTHS EVER! For this “experiment” (I use experiment in the loosest of terms) I will be using the following results (date 20/08/2011)
- 36 SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To
- The top 10 SEO myths
- What’s The Biggest SEO Myth?
- 7 SEO Myths You’re Probably Following
- Top 7 SEO Myths
- 5 Most Annoying SEO Myths
- Debunking Some Common SEO Myths
- The Top 10 SEO Myths for 2011
- Top Ten Organic SEO Myths
- SEO Myths
O.k so some interesting articles in the top 10 via industry experts, random blogs I’ve never heard of and past it SEO guru’s who whine alot (it’s up to you to decide). According to Google the resources above are the best that you can get online so lets have a look and see what SEO Myths are the most popular!
I have reviewed the articles and have added the number of times each myth is mentioned.
2 – It is all about rankings/traffic and not conversions.
2 – Click through rates are used by search engines to influence organic search engine results.
2 – SEO is a dark art.
2 – In order to be successful you must update your homepage daily.
2 – Some SEO agencies are endorsed/approved by Google.
2 – A high PageRank means high rankings in the search engines.
3 – Great content = great rankings.
3 – H1 tags must be used to get high rankings.
4 – Spending money on PPC influences SEO and organic search engine results.
4 – An SEO campaign should be a one off part of a marketing strategy.
4 – Keyword density influences search results.
5 – Meta keywords and tags are still used by search engines to influence rankings.
5 – Submitting websites to search engines help increase visibility.
So the top 2 SEO Myths are submitting websites to search engines and meta keywords are still useful. Whilst reviewing the myths above I have come across a few that I don’t agree with but seem to be popular in the SEO community. Which ones do you think they are? 🙂
*I’ve removed http://www.seomyths.co.uk/ from the experiment as it features a number of posts that don’t look very good and the site looks a bit spammy (scientific I know…) I have also removed Rand’s excellent post at http://www.seomoz.org/blog/some-opinions-on-the-seo-myths-realities-fight because it is discussing a post contained within the top 10 and not actually writing about SEOmoz’s top SEO myths.
I wasn’t going to post the myths that I have gone through as I thought it would look spammy. But actually considering that this is a blog that 1 – no-one reads and 2 – I’m not concerned about getting banned, I thought why the hell not.
- Our SEO firm is endorsed/approved by Google
- Don’t use Google Analytics because Google will spy on you and use the information against you.
- Your PageRank score, as reported by Google’s toolbar server, is highly correlated to your Google rankings.
- Having an XML Sitemap will boost your Google rankings
- Since the advent of personalization, there is no such thing as being ranked #1 anymore because everyone sees different results.
- Meta tags will boost your rankings.
- It’s good practice to include a meta robots tag specifying index, follow.
- It’s helpful if your targeted keywords are tucked away in HTML comment tags and title attributes (of IMG and A HREF tags.)
- Having country-specific sites creates “duplicate content” issues in Google.
- Googlebot doesn’t read CSS.
- You should end your URLs in .html.
- You can boost the Google rankings of your home page for a targeted term by including that term in the anchor text of internal links.
- It’s important for your rankings that you update your home page frequently (e.g. daily.)
- Trading links helps boost PageRank and rankings.
- Linking out (such as to Google.com) helps rankings.
- It’s considered “cloaking” — and is thus taboo and risky — to clean up the URLs in your links selectively and only for spiders
- If you define a meta description, Google uses it in the snippet.
- The bolding of words in a Google listing signifies that they were considered in the rankings determination
- H1 tags are a crucial element for SEO.
- There are some unique ranking signals for Google Mobile Search, and they include the markup being “XHTML Mobile”.
- SEO is a black art.
- The Disallow directive in robots.txt can get pages de-indexed from Google.
- SEO is a one-time activity you complete and are then done with.
- Automated SEO is black-hat or spammy
- A site map isn’t for people
- There’s no need to link to all your pages for the spiders to see them. Just list all URLs in the XML Sitemap
- Google will not index pages that are only accessible by a site’s search form.
- Placing links in teeny-tiny size font at the bottom of your homepage is an effective tactic to raise the rankings of deep pages in your site
- Using a service that promises to register your site with “hundreds of search engines” is good for your site’s rankings.
- Home page PageRank on a domain means something
- Outsourcing link building to a far-away, hourly contractor with no knowledge of your business is a good link acquisition solution
- The clickthrough rate on the SERPs matters
- Keyword density is da bomb
- Hyphenated domain names are best for SEO
- Great Content = Great Rankings
- Satisfaction, guaranteed
- A high Google PageRank = high ranking
- Endorsed by Google
- Meta tag keywords matter
- Cheat your way to the top
- Keywords? Cram ’em in
- Spending money on Google AdWords boosts your rankings
- Land here
- Set it and forget it
- Rankings aren’t the only fruit
- The biggest myth of SEO is that everyone is treated equally by the search engines.
- The biggest myth is the duplicate content penalty.
- The biggest SEO myth is probably that of “quality content,” especially for new webmasters creating new sites.
- “£500 one off SEO fix and your website is good forever” – SEO and search engines move forward all the time, so should you website.
- “Nothing that a competitor can’t do to harm you” – There are people that make a living destroying other peoples websites
- “Link Bait won’t get you penalised”
- It’s not quite a myth, but I’d say one of the biggest problems SEOs struggle with is that it is all about rankings and traffic, rather than conversions.
- Meta Keywords are still useful
- Keyword Density
- Submitting Site to Search Engines
- Click-through rate is a major part of search engine rankings.
- The search engines penalize you if you do active/obvious SEO (they don’t).
- Participating in PPC campaigns (and spending more) will help you rank better in the engines (it doesn’t).
- SEO Is Done Once
- Keyword Density Matters
- Content Is King
- Trade Links to Gain Rank
- H1’s are your friend
- PPC Ads Kill Your Ranking
- Flash kills your SEO
- Meta tags
- Multiple domain names
- Doorway and gateway pages
- Resubmitting every week or every month
- Web optimization experts are too expensive
- We can optimize our site ourselves in house
- Search engines are not as good as other media
- The Most Annoying SEO Myth: Optimisation is Underhand
- Second Most Annoying SEO Myth: SEO is Influenced by PPC
- Third Most Annoying SEO Myth: Once Gained, Easily Maintained
- Fourth Most Annoying SEO Myth: Sites Must Be Submitted to Engines
- Fifth Most Annoying SEO Myth: One Tactic, Done Enough, Works
- You should submit your URLs to search engines
- You need a Google Sitemap
- You need to update your site frequently
- PPC ads will help/hurt rankings
- Your site will be banned if you ignore Google’s guidelines
- Your site will be banned if you buy links.
- H1 (or any header tags) must be used for high rankings
- Words in your meta keyword tag have to be used on the page.
- SEO copy must be 250 words in length
- You need to optimize for the long tail
- Keyword Density
- Avoid No Follow Links
- Spamming Keywords in Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords