The last five years or so have been boon years for both SEO specialists and Internet marketers alike. However, because SEO and web marketing services are in such demand there are now too many “professionals” who know very little about how search engines work. This in turn has given rise to plenty of SEO myths. Here are the top 10 for 2011, ranked in ascending order according to prevalence.
10. Submitting your site to search engines increases your ranking.
In the old days this might have been true, but no longer. Search engines like Google use web crawling technology that continually scans the Internet to find and rank pages. It will find your site even if it’s not submitted.
9. You need meta-tags.
First of all, search engines no longer look for meta-tags so you’re wasting your time with them. Secondly, meta-tags were originally designed to add key words that were not included in the content. By its very nature SEO eliminates the need for meta- tags.
8. With the optimal length of content is 250 words.
There is no optimal length for content when it comes to SEO practices. You only need to make sure you have an appropriate ratio between keywords and length.
7. Regular updates are necessary for high ranking.
Again, in the old days this may have been true, but some of the highest ranked sites on the web today haven’t been updated in years. Web crawlers look for relevance; avoid updating unless you’re adding quality, relevant content.
6. You can always be #1 for all your keywords.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous Web marketers promising to make you #1 for all your chosen keywords. With billions of pages across the Internet that claim is impossible to fullfil – just forget it.
5. You need a site map.
An XML site map might be useful for Google Tools but it has absolutely no bearing on your page ranking. A well structured site doesn’t need an XML site map anyway.
4. Flash is always bad.
While it’s true that Flash is irrelevant in terms of how search engines deal with SEO, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Flash only hurt your rankings if your site is all Flash with very little SEO content.
3. Google is the main priority.
It may be true that Google is the world’s most popular search engine, but it’s not the only one. A good SEO specialist knows how to optimize for a half-dozen different search engines.
2. Content doesn’t matter.
Unfortunately, many believe that content doesn’t matter as long as people visit your site. But if content is lousy to the point that readers aren’t reading it, how will they ever find your links? Content is king if you want loyal return customers.
1. Page rank determines success.
This is the most widespread myth in SEO, and it’s been so for decades. While page rank is important, most important is building a site which meets consumer needs. That means functionality, information, ease-of-use, and relevance.