10 Organic SEO Myths

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Myth 1:

You should submit your URLs to search engines.This may have helped once upon a time, but it's been at least 5 or 6 years since that's been necessary.On other view == Comment: Your site should be found through links from other sites. Submitting them to search engines does nothing because your site will only gain popularity if other sites link to you.

Myth 2: Your site will be banned if you ignore Google's guidelines.There's nothing in Google's webmaster guidelines that isn't common sense. You can read them if you'd like, but it's not mandatory in order to be an SEO.

Just don't do anything strictly for search engines that you wouldn't do anyway, and you'll 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 3: 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 don't want to count paid links as votes for a page if they can figure out that they are paid, but they often can't. Even if they do figure it out, they simply won't count them. It would be foolish of them to ban entire sites because they buy advertising on other sites.

Myth 4: You need a Google Sitemap. If your site was built correctly, i.e., it's crawler-friendly, you certainly don't need a Google Sitemap. It won't hurt you to have one, and you may be interested in Google's other Webmaster Central Tools, but having a Google Sitemap isn't going to get you ranked better.

Myth 5: You need to update your site frequently. Frequent updates to your pages may increase the search engine crawl rate, but it won't increase your rankings. If your site doesn't need to change, don't change it just because you think the search engines will like it better. They won't. In fact, some of the highest ranking sites in Google haven't been touched in years.

Comment: This has a lot to do with the type of site you have. However, most content is inherently static and doesn't require that you update it too frequently.

Myth 6: 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!

Comment: I believe these have been purposefully made separate so that there is no confusion about how it impacts results. I would argue that Google should consider giving people better rankings if they're willing to pay for keywords, but I sure 100 other people could argue why that's against the social good.

I just believe that the ability to pay for keywords is an indicator of a keyword's success for the company, and therefore, should be an indicator that the site is relevant to the topic.

Myth 7: H1 (or any header tags) must be used for high rankings. There's very little (if any) evidence to suggest that keywords in H tags actually affect rankings, yet this myth continues to proliferate. My own tests don't seem to show them making a difference, although it's difficult to know for sure.

Use H tags if it works with your design or content management system, and don't if it doesn't. It's doubtful you'll find it makes a difference one way or the other.
Comment: I believe this has some value, but it must be part of a bigger content on-site picture.

Myth 8: 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 9: You need to optimize for the long tail. No, you don't. 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 easy...simply include them somewhere in a blog post or an article, and you'll rank for them. But that's not optimization.

Myth 10: 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 '90s. However, I never said that 250 was the exact number of words you should use, nor did I say it was an optimal number.

It's 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.

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