8 Most Common SEO Myths

posted in: SEO/Marketing | 10

The process of SEO keeps changing. The techniques that used to help you reach a top position on the search engine results pages (SERPs) no longer work: keyword-rich domain names, keyword stuffing, reciprocal links get you nowhere these days.

Website owners need to be aware of the SEO myths and other misleading information out there to avoid wasting valuable resources and potentially harming their rankings.

SEO is a very confusing subject to many. Let’s get few facts straight and debunk those myths once and for all (yes, I know, that does sound naive). Let’s start focusing on what really works.

Myth # 1 – SEO guarantees success.


What website owners need to understand about search engine optimization (SEO) is that there is no constant. SEO is a moving target and even some long-standing and “guaranteed” methods of SEO success have been proven ineffective.

Myth # 2 – SEO is “set it and forget it”.


This couldn’t be further from the truth. SEO is constantly changing, it is also ongoing. Just like one’s website is never “finished,” neither is one’s SEO. There is always something more you can do to improve your website’s SEO. There is always another competitor who just outranked you and you need to step up your game. You are never really done.

Myth # 3 – Keyword meta tags are still important.


Google does not use this data to determine your search results position. In fact, content within keyword meta tags is treated as part of your website’s content and as such should still be utilized. However you shouldn’t waste time perfecting it. On another hand, Yahoo continues to use keyword meta tags.

I’d suggest to use keyword meta tags as a reference guide to keep track of the terms you are optimizing individual pages for, at the same time scoring some points from Yahoo and possibly some other search engines.

Myth # 4 – Meta descriptions are invaluable.


Google used to display meta description on the SERP’s and so every SEO paid close attention to maximizing its potential, sweating over its proper length and usage. Now, with Google offering matching lines/phrases in the page content related to the search query and displaying selective parts of the content on the SERP’s snippets, meta description is no longer invaluable.

Myth # 5 – Watch out for keyword density.


Keyword density and keyword stuffing go hand in hand. Maybe at some point it was important to make sure that a certain percentage of content consisted of key phrases as search algorithms picked up on that but it’s no longer the case.

At the same time keyword stuffing won’t hurt your website directly, but will surely result in poor user experience affecting your traffic and ultimately your rankings.

Myth # 6 – Trading links helps boost rankings.


I’m still getting requests for “link exchange” but I can tell you they’re waste of your time and energy. Reciprocal links don’t add any value to your website (for users or search engines) and I wish the practice just died already.

Myth # 7 – A flash page means bad SEO.


Using flash will definitely give you less options for SEO compared to a content rich page, but that doesn’t mean bad SEO. Focus on other SEO factors, such as building high authority linkes, and you can get equally good results.

Myth # 8 – Duplicate content penalty.


People think that just because you publish the same content as somebody else you are going to get penalized – not the case at all.

SEO is constantly changing. Knowing what’s true and what’s not will ensure that your prospects will find your website when you want them to.

10 Responses

  1. Interesting points. Now how about a post on what techniques are guaranteed to work for SEO.

  2. Haha. I guarantee there is no guarantees but you can get pretty close with the 25 Most Important SEO Factors! Happy SEO’ing.

  3. Thanks for this article. I found it really useful to test whether my knowledge was up to date. You get bits of info on this drip feeded to you so often, but all together and not in such an easy to digest format.

  4. I’ve been beating myself up over proper SEO but turns out I’ve wasted a lot of time doing things that bring in little results. Thanks for this short, easy to digest list of things we shouldn’t really worry about.

  5. It’s an interesting that you bring up Flash on websites. I still think one looses a lot by choosing a full Flash website. If the client wants Flash I always suggest having a top bar or side bar that has a Flash animation. This way you kind of have the best from both worlds.

  6. Thank you guys for your comments!

    Roch, I’m not a fan of Flash myself but you gotta admit there are some sites out there that don’t seem to suffer from being Flash-only sites. Those are typically older and already established sites, however. My advice is use Flash to add interest but stay away from navigation and core content.

  7. I hate “link exchange” practice. I owe few personal project and I’m still getting “hot offers”. Hate this.

    Good post, valuable informations. I totallt forgot that Yahoo still uses keywords… Umm

  8. Totally agree. Lots of these offer emails don’t even get opened – they’re a waste of time IMO. You are much better of concentrating on building one-way quality links from related sites.

  9. Exactly. I really, really hate when I see nice website, with cool and creative layout and… plenty of links in the footer. Really hate it.

    Thanks to people like you some people may know what is true and what is myth. SEO is constantly changing all the time. I recently had a Client that wanted his website to be “on the first place in Google search results” and he wanted me to… guarantee that I’ll do that in few days 🙂

  10. Great list, I competely agree. I also wrote about myths, including keyword density.

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