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.