June 22nd, 2010 by George Aspland
Here are six articles over the past year from four senior SEOs’s covering SEO myths and boondoggles (Wasteful Pursuits).
We then highlight myths that two or more of these SEO’s agree are mostly a waste of time. However, there are some of these myths that are disputed at least in part by other SEO’s so it’s worth reading these articles especially the rebuttal article from Rand at SEOmoz.
This past April Stephan Spencer posted “36 SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To” including ….
Don’t use Google Analytics because Google will spy on you and use the information against you.
Meta tags will boost your rankings.
Having an XML Sitemap will boost your Google rankings.
H1 tags are a crucial element for SEO
It’s important for your rankings that you update your home page frequently
Click-Through Rate Improve rankings?
SEO is a one-time activity you complete and are then done with
There’s no need to link to all your pages for the spiders to see them. Just list all URLs in the XML Sitemap.
Using a service that promises to register your site with “hundreds of search engines” is good for your site’s rankings.
Keyword density is da bomb.
The above article prompted a reply article by Rand at SEMmoz. In some cases he elaborates and in others disputes including:
How Significantly Does Personalization Affect Rankings?
Do We Need to Update Our Homepages Every Day to Maintain Rankings?
How is Google Treating “Reciprocal” Links?
Keyword Density is Not Used – How Many Times Do We Have to Say It?
Do Hyphens in Domain Names Really Suck for SEO?
Does Click-Through Rate Matter?
Do H1 Tags Help with Rankings?
Can Linking to Other Sites Help You Perform Better?
PageRank is a Good Predictor of Rankings?
Then Stephan Spencer posted more myths in “36 MORE SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To” including:
SEO should be owned and managed by IT (See “The most crucial ingredients for search marketing success? Fast implementation and Perseverance!” for a case story about one of our customers who essentially fired their IT department for lack of performance).
SEO is a standalone activity.
First you get your site launched and then you add all the SEO goodness. (See 6 SEO steps for a website redesign for tasks that should be considered as you BEGIN THINKING about a site redesign).
SEO is free.
I can hire someone with a year’s SEO experience and they can manage the work as part of their job.
Number of top 30 rankings for your site is a good metric for success.
Google cannot detect artificial link schemes such as three-way links, viralinks, link wheels, blog link networks, etc.
SEO is about rankings, not conversion.
Is Most of SEO Just A Boondoggle?
In the article Jill talks about useless SEO tactics that many SEO’s advise clients to pay for, such as:
“Fixing” Meta keywords tags
Submitting URLs to search engines
Creating XML sitemaps
Insisting on H1 tags
Rewriting URLs because they don’t have keywords in them
8 SEO Myths Debunked by Jill Whalen including:
You need to optimize for just one keyword phrase per page.
Google or other organizations can certified SEO companies or declare them the Best/Top SEO in the world.
Do XML sitemaps improve rankings?
Our article about XML sitemaps: Do they improve rankings? When to use and when NOT to use XML sitemaps.
Which myths do these senior SEO’s agree on?
Below is a list of the myths were there is more or less agreement between two or more senior SEO’s. However again, some of the above myths that are disputed at least in part by other SEO’s so it’s worth reading the above articles:
Having an XML Sitemap will boost your Google rankings. (Not for regular HTML pages, possibly for other Digital Assets).
There’s no need to link to all your pages for the spiders to see them. Just list all URLs in the XML Sitemap. (Getting a regular HTML page indexed by listing it in an XML site map does not help rankings much).
Meta tags will boost your rankings. (Keyword tags do not help in Google at all. They can help with misspellings in other engines. However there is value in well crafted Meta Description Tags which may be included, at least in part, in search engine listings).
H1 tags are a crucial element for SEO. (They don’t make much difference).
Submitting URLs to search engines is useless!
Click-Through Rate Improves rankings? (If it were we’d all be hiring overseas drones to click on our client’s sites)
Keyword Density is Not Used. (There is no magic formula).
Our SEO firm is endorsed/approved by Google.
First you get your site launched and then you add all the SEO goodness. (Think SEO when you start thinking redesign)
SEO is a standalone activity / one-time activity / SEO is Free
SEO is about rankings, not conversions.