Lies, Myths, and SEO

30 June, 2014

SEO is an industry full of rumours, conjecture, and guesswork. There are no “sure things” and there are a lot of myths. To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, here are some of the biggest SEO myths that you should avoid buying into.

Keyword Density

One of the oldest and most persistent SEO myths is the concept of keyword density - filling your content with keywords over and over again to reach some arbitrary percentage that makes your content “relevant”.

This one has been debunked many times, but still crops up in SEO advisories. The best approach is to use keywords intelligently and where relevant to the text.

Meta Tags

In the dim and distant past, when search engines weren’t as good at working out what pages were really about, adding keyword meta tags was an important part of SEO.

Technically a good idea, this was driven into an early grave by people overusing the tag and filling it with spam. Whilst other title tags, like the title and description, are still important, the keywords meta tag can be safely ignored.

Adwords Improves Organic Results

SEO conspiracy theorists love the idea that paying Google for Adwords gives you a secret “boost” on your organic results. This has never been proven and, logically, it wouldn’t be in Google’s interests to do this - if your organic results are boosted, you would need your CPC less!

Google Adwords is a great tool for researching keywords and getting an insight into how Google sees your site, but there is no way to bribe yourself up the organic rankings.

Links don’t matter

Link building is hard work and Google, in particular, are strict as to what links have value and improve your organic position. This has driven a lot of SEOs to advise that links no longer count, pursuing social media activity in their place.

The truth is that links still count a great deal and until Google, and others, find a better ranking signal... links are here to stay. If you want to be sure about this, check out the video from Google’s Matt Cutts where he describes Google’s experiment with a search index that didn’t use links and why they abandoned it.

Search Engine Submission Services.

Submitting a site to search engines hasn’t been required since around 2001 and all the major engines publicly state that they don’t require submission of sites.

Despite this, services that offer “search engine submission” still abound. Ignore these and focus on getting good quality inbound links - these are far more likely to drive indexation and improve your search engine position.

So, if your SEO provider is pushing any of these myths your way, it may be time to think about a change. At the very least, make sure that you aren’t wasting time and money chasing these SEO myths.

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