Ten Organic SEO Myths
Here are 10 of the most common organic-SEO myths such as submit your URLs to search engines, Google Sitemap, update your site frequently, site will be banned if you buy links
This may have helped once upon a time, but itís been at least 5 or 6 years since thatís been necessary.
Myth 2: You need to update your site frequently.
Frequent updates to your pages may increase the search engine crawl rate, but it wonít increase your rankings. If your site doesnít need to change, donít change it just because you think the search engines will like it better. They wonít. In fact, some of the highest ranking sites in Google havenít been touched in years.
Myth 3: You need a Google Sitemap.
If your site was built correctly, i.e., itís crawler-friendly, you certainly donít need a Google Sitemap. It wonít hurt you to have one, and you may be interested in Googleís other Webmaster Central Tools, but having a Google Sitemap isnít going to get you ranked better.
Also: A well designed site should have a good linking structure, and the search engine should properly follow the linking structure without problem. In this case, you would not need a sitemap.
Myth 4: Your site will be banned if you ignore Googleís guidelines.
Thereís nothing in Googleís webmaster guidelines that isnít common sense. You can read them if youíd like, but itís not mandatory in order to be an SEO. Just donít do anything strictly for search engines that you wouldnít do anyway, and youíll be fine. That said, the Google guidelines are much better than they used to be, and may even provide you with a few good tidbits of advice.
Myth 5: PPC ads will help/hurt rankings.
This one is funny to me because about half the people who think that running Google AdWords will affect their organic rankings believe that they will bring them down; the other half believe they will bring them up. That alone should tell you that neither is true!
Myth 6: H1 (or any header tags) must be used for high rankings.
Thereís very little (if any) evidence to suggest that keywords in H tags actually affect rankings, yet this myth continues to proliferate. My own tests donít seem to show them making a difference, although itís difficult to know for sure. Use H tags if it works with your design or content management system, and donít if it doesnít. Itís doubtful youíll find it makes a difference one way or the other.
Myth 7: Your site will be banned if you buy links.
his one does have some roots in reality, as Google (specifically Matt Cutts) likes to scare people about this. They rightly donít want to count paid links as votes for a page if they can figure out that they are paid, but they often canít. Even if they do figure it out, they simply wonít count them. It would be foolish of them to ban entire sites because they buy advertising on other sites.
Myth 8: SEO copy must be 250 words in length.
This one is interesting to me because I am actually the one who made up the 250 number back in the late í90s. However, I never said that 250 was the exact number of words you should use, nor did I say it was an optimal number. Itís simply a good amount to be able to write a nice page of marketing copy that can be optimized for 3-5 keyword phrases. Shorter copy ranks just as well, as does longer copy. Use as many or as few words as you need to use to say what you need to say.
Myth 9: Words in your meta keyword tag have to be used on the page.
I used to spread this silly myth myself many years ago. The truth is that the Meta keyword tag was actually designed to be used for keywords that were NOT already on the page, not the opposite! Since this tag is ignored by Google and used only for uncommon words in Yahoo, it makes little difference at this point anyway.
Myth 10: You need to optimize for the long tail.
No, you donít. By their very nature, long-tail keyword phrases are uncompetitive; meaning that not many pages are using those words, and not that many people are searching for them in the engines. Because of this, ranking for long-tail keywords is easyÖsimply include them somewhere in a blog post or an article, and youíll rank for them. But thatís not optimization.
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