6 SEO Myths and Legends: What Not to Do in Search Engine Optimisation
Over the years, lots of myths and legends have built up about search engine optimisation. Mainly because no-one really knows for sure exactly how the search engines come up with their results. Here are some SEO myths and legends that will help you to avoid the less scrupulous people trying to sell you search engine optimisation.
1. Higher Page Rank means higher search rankings
Google probably rue the day that they included Page Rank in their toolbar.
At best, the 1 to 10 Page Rank score is just a vague indication of how Google see your site versus the other sites out there. The figures are released every few months and are a snapshot, frozen in time. They’re also rounded – if you believe that Google only gives sites a score between 1 and 10 then you probably believe in the tooth fairy as well. The real figures will be much more precise.
2. You need to register your site with Google to get indexed
Maybe this was true years ago. Nowadays, the Add URL option is a waste of time. Chances are that Google’s robot will have crawled round your site soon after your domain was registered and it will crawl round again on its own accord. The same goes for any decent search engine.
3. Your pages need to have a certain keyword density
Generally, this isn’t the case. Which is why there are such widely varying figures for what your keyword density “should” be. There isn’t a magic figure for keyword density that suddenly turns your page from rubbish to fabulous in the eyes of a search engine.
Just write your pages for real people and your keyword density will be OK.
Of course, if you’re writing content for someone else’s site then you’ll have to abide by their keyword density rules but those will only look for a maximum figure. They’re not a target to aim for!
4. Meta tags make all the difference
Years ago, yes. But then sneaky webmasters started spamming the meta tags to raise their pages in the search results.
Nowadays no self respecting search engine pays any attention to the keywords meta tag.
The meta description tag is sometimes still used but even that is getting less common as the search engines try to use a description that is gathered from the page and is relevant to the query that their user typed in.
5. Reciprocal links will help your search engine position
Reciprocal links are the internet’s equivalent of “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine”. You agree to put a link to someone else’s site and, in turn, they link back to you.
Google and the other search engines are wise to this and discount this kind of link. They want you to link to sites because the site is worth linking to for reasons other than trying to artificially boost your own ranking.
6. We don’t need to use an SEO expert – we can do it in house
OK, I would put this one in!
On site SEO is mechanical and so long as you get the basics right, yes, you can do it in house. In fact, getting your pages “in order” is a good idea to help boost the rest of your search engine optimisation efforts.
But once you get past that stage, you need help from someone who knows what they are doing and who keeps abreast with all the latest developments. Otherwise it’s all too easy to go in the wrong direction and possibly get penalised in the process.