It’s the perfect time to make like Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of “Mythbusters” fame and tear down 9 SEO myths that have been plaguing website owners since the dawn of creation (of search engines). If you’re responsible for a website, you have enough things to worry about – you don’t need to be pursuing beasts that are purely mythical in nature.
Here’s our list of 9 SEO myths you shouldn’t believe for a minute:
1. Google is the only thing, don’t worry about the rest.
Sure, we all know that Google is the world’s premiere search engine, but that’s no reason to ignore the other guys. After all, even in its hometown of Seattle not everyone goes to Starbucks; Tully’s does a darn good business. Bing and Yahoo combined capture about 50% of the market share Google does, so they are worth considering.
2. Your site’s page ranking will determine your success.
This myth has been floating around for years and almost unconsciously most of us buy into it. In fact, plenty of sites that have ranked highly within search results have failed. The most important thing is to meet the needs of your customer and clients.
3. Have a contractor in a far away land do your link building.
Connecting with a contractor somewhere in cyberspace who will manufacture back links to your site is a tempting proposition. But, these links are typically useless, ungrammatical mumbo jumbo in blogs that have already been identified as spammers. If you can’t create good links by your own networks and need to outsource link building, find someone who will use sustainable practices based on providing value to both users and search engines.
4. SEO is Internet alchemy.
In the Middle Ages, alchemists shrouded in mystery promised to make gold from lead. SEO is today’s Internet gold and some would lead you to believe that it’s more magic than hard work. There are numerous excellent articles to guide you through the process of SEO for your website but nothing makes up for hard work.
5. Meta tags are critical to your SEO.
There is no reason under the sun to bother “optimizing your meta keywords.” In the early days of search engines, meta keyword tags helped determine your site’s rankings. Unfortunately, spammers jammed their meta tags with enough keywords to clog a T3 pipeline. Now they are completely ignored.
6. You have to keep your articles to 250 words.
There is no magic length for articles on your webpages. Someone once told me,”The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” When it comes to articles, the main thing is to keep them concise and informative. If that is fewer or more than 250 words, so be it. And, take special care not to pad your articles with random keywords because you think they will catch the eye of search engines. That tactic will backfire.
7. Screw up keyword density and you’ve had it.
Just as there’s no magic length for your articles, there’s no super-secret keyword density you need to target. Again, communication and relevance is the main goal. Search engine algorithms are far more complex than a keyword density percentage.
8. Keyword-rich H1 tags equal great SEO.
H1 tags indicate the most important headline on any given webpage. Some say that it’s important to load up these headlines with a barrage of your most important keywords. Studies prove otherwise. H1 tags seem to have little or no effect now on SEO. Make your main headlines primarily to communicate important information and help guide your visitor through your pages.
9. Check Google PageRank to judge your SEO success.
It would be great if the Google PageRank scores on the company’s toolbar server were an accurate predictor of how well your SEO was performing, but alas, they’re not. If you do a little investigating on your own you’ll find plenty of sites with low PageRank numbers that are outperforming sites that have higher PageRank scores.