The rules of SEO seem to change on a continual basis, and techniques that work one month don’t seem to work the next month. Strangely some website owners refuse to cotton onto this fact and so they continue to use the tools they’ve always relied on and that used to assure a good search engine ranking – even though a lot of these so called ‘tools’ have now fallen into the SEO myth category.
So what are the SEO tools and techniques that are now widely considered to be myths?
1. The higher the keyword density of your website content the better your search engine ranking will be.
This used to be true to a certain degree, but because spammers realized that keyword stuffing boosted ranking they took it to the extreme, with the result that now keyword stuffing can earn you a website review or even worse a ban. The same goes for the continual repetition of a single keyword. Any website that focuses exclusively on a single keyword will often be classed as a sp@m site and disregarded by Google and the other big search engines.
It’s much more advisable from an SEO point of view to concentrate on several keyword phrases that you know (through research) are searched more than most in your niche.
2. Putting your main SEO keyword in your Meta Tags will boost your search engine rankings.
Again this used to be true, but the spammers took this to excess as well. Now it doesn’t really matter whether you include your main keyword or keyword phrase in your Meta tags, they will be overlooked by most of the main search engines.
3. You should concentrate on just one keyword per website page.
This myth is related to the first one in that concentrating on a single keyword per page can lead to you inadvertently getting flagged for spamming. You only need to exceed the recommended keyword density by a relatively small percentage to get yourself noticed by the search engine spiders and bots.
Hence, it is again advisable to have a main keyword per page but also to include several popular alternatives as well.
4. Website SEO only needs to be done once.
This is probably the most frustrating SEO myth ever! Obviously if the rules of SEO are constantly changing then the SEO you use on your website needs to change accordingly. It’s pointless having useless, generic content stuffed with keywords on your site if the search engines now blatantly ignore such content. It’s also pointless sticking with old keywords when internet users have refined their search terms e.g. they may have searched for ‘iPhone’ when you initially did your website SEO, but now they probably search for ‘iPhone4’ or ‘iPhone3GS’ etc.
Website SEO is an on-going process and although you don’t need to update your content on a daily basis you do have to work at it on a regular basis to stay with the competition.
5. Trading links helps to boost rankings.
At one point website owners used to trade links with other website owners simply because they knew search engines such as Google looked favorably at sites with incoming and outgoing links. These huge scale linking strategies are now frowned upon by most search engines, and especially when the linking websites are seen to have absolutely no connection with each other i.e. they are totally unrelated in every way.
This SEO myth is one of the funniest because some website owners still believe that search engines won’t be able to recognize a useful link from a spam link. Non-useful links are easily caught and discounted by search engines and as a form of SEO they are now valueless.
6. My home page will always rank highest so I should concentrate my SEO here.
Search engine spiders and bots no longer read and index your home page more thoroughly than the rest of your website; a fact that means you need to SEO your entire website with just as much effort as you do your home page.
It isn’t uncommon for internal website pages to rank much higher for certain keywords than home pages so in order to cover all bases you must SEO your entire site – and this includes contact pages and other seemingly un-index-able pages.
7. All search engines use the same parameters to rank websites.
Again this is a huge myth that people tend to forget. Google uses over 200 factors to rank a website and it’s possible that Bing uses over 200 as well – but you can be sure they don’t use the same 200 factors.
The result of these differences: the SEO tactics you use to achieve a high rank on Google may not get you the same high rank on Bing or Yahoo or any of the other search engines. It’s important that you don’t try to satisfy every search engine with your SEO techniques or you could end up in a big mess and ranking low everywhere.
There are of course numerous other SEO myths floating around the internet, but these 7 are the ones that never seem to disappear. The sooner they do however the better for every website owner interested in getting their SEO just right.