I think you may be surprised by some of the SEO myths reported by our Guest Blogger, Laura Wheeler of Firelight Business Enterprises. REID ON for more from Laura. . .
1. Pages can “leak” pagerank. A misinterpretation of a statement by Google lead to this myth. It was really only perpetuated by people who thought that writing an SEO book was the key to getting rich quick (unfortunately they rarely knew enough about it to get it right!). There were enough of those though, that this myth is regularly ressurected, even though pagerank isn’t that valuable a marker anymore.
2. More content is better. Wrong. More content is just more content. More GOOD content IS better. If it ain’t good, it is just debris.
3. Articles help you promote better. Not unless they are GOOD articles. There are so many bad ones out there that even mediocre articles are a waste of time. They’ve gotta be original, and they’ve gotta be good.
4. Keyword tags matter. Not anymore. Don’t bother with these they’ll just waste your time and risk doing more harm than good.
5. Start with keyword research. Start with COMMON SENSE. That will get you further, with less effort, than any amount of research will. Research is only good AFTER you’ve done everything you can with common sense.
6. You have to be on the first page of Google to get any traffic. Absolutely NOT true! This is so badly misunderstood that even fairly popular SEO “gurus” think it is true, or like to say so because it gets them more money. Fact is, you don’t even have to be on the first 10 pages for your top keywords to get found, and to make a boodle. There are plenty of backdoor tactics that get you traffic without first page placement. This is so important, we’ll explain it all in our next issue.
7. Bold the keywords on your page. No, don’t. Bold the words you want people to pay attention to, and bold the thoughts that are most important. That is how you are SUPPOSED to use bolding.
8. Keyword density matters. No, content matters. Good, understandable text that explains what you are trying to say, and explains it well. Keywords happen naturally from that, without even trying. And the keyword patterns look so natural to a search engine that you never have to calculate the percentages.
9. Search engines don’t read words in domain names unless they are separated by a dash. We’ve proven that in fact, they do! Search engines will interpret words in the domain name, based on the words in the copy. If there are similar words in the domain name, they’ll pick them up and rank you for them whether or not there are dashes to separate them. This isn’t theory, we’ve proven it.
10. Search engines can now read Flash. No, they can’t. Google recently acquired the technology from Adobe to read it, but it has not yet been fully implemented. Further, when they CAN read Flash, they will only be able to read text that was entered into the animation as text, not text that is part of an image. So the ability to read Flash will depend on how the animation is constructed, and the value will vary from site to site. There has also been no word on whether or not they’ll delay reading it to reduce the load on the bots – reading Flash is VERY time intensive for the bots.
11. Search engines index plain HTML sites better than they index dynamic sites. NOT true. As a rule, search engines are just as capable of crawling and indexing a content management or shopping cart system. Years ago there was a difference, but this has not been an issue for many years. This is only an issue with badly coded sites, or with excessive use of Flash.
12. SEO is hard/easy. It isn’t really either. It is more a matter of understanding what really matters. Once you understand that, it takes work to create what matters. But it isn’t really hard to understand what matters – it is people! Help people understand what you have, in a way that appeals to them, and in a way that search engines can read. Everything else is just implementation.
Laura Wheeler and her husband Kevin own Firelight Web Enterprises in Wyoming. We like to feature articles from Laura periodically as we consider her one of the experts that can be trusted.