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SEO Facts and Myths


Top Ten SEO Myths

1) Myth: Most sites are optimized while they are being built.

Explanation: A small percentage of designers and developers actually optimize pages for the search engines while they are building. Most search engine optimization is done after the fact, if at all. As much as 60% of all sites are not properly optimized to rank high in the search engines, so anything you do to optimize your site puts it ahead of your competitors who don't.

2) Myth: Simply putting keywords in the keyword meta tag will get the page listed under that keyword.

Explanation: Most major search engines do not even spider the keyword meta tag and those that do, if the keyword is not also in the copy of the same page, it's considered spam which could lower your rankings, not raise it.

3) Myth: Automated queries to a search engine can get your site penalized or banned.

Explanation: Search engines cannot tell a program generated query from a manual query. If they could, search engine optimizers and marketers would be out of business.

4) Myth: The more times you repeat the keyword in the page, the higher it will rank.

Explanation: This is a little tricky since each algorithm uses different factors for ranking. A keyword density of 3 to 6% is recommended for tweaking the page for higher placement (depending on the individual search engine). Combined with other optimization efforts and tweaks, the proper keyword density will get listed higher. A keyword density that is too high will get listed lower or penalized.

5) Myth: Hidden links or text in a page can get your page ranked higher.

Explanation: Keyword stuffing and hidden links in the page can get your site penalized or banned if detected. It is considered spamming by some engines. Most people think it's not worth the risk.

6) Myth: The more reciprocal links to other sites you have, the higher your Google page rank goes.

Explanation: Outbound links to related and unrelated sites are factored into page rank. Reciprocated links count higher than unreciprocated links. The more quality inbound links to your site, the higher the PR, but nobody knows exactly how Google factors their PR and their algorithm is constantly adjusted. A gazillion links to and from unrelated sites could drop your PR and if your site is found linking to obvious FFA or link farms, your site could be penalized as being 'guilty by association'.

7) Myth: You don't need to update your site to keep your rankings.

Explanation: By routine maintenance (removing outdated material, fixing broken links, queries, etc.) and updating your pages regularly, you are signaling the bots and crawlers to come back and re-crawl your site for changes to their listings. To maintain high standings, you need to keep at it and tweak the pages for better results if necessary. If neglected, your standings could easily slip out of the top rankings as new competing sites get indexed and optimized.

8) Myth: You don't need a robots.txt file and sitemap for your site.

Explanation: The first thing bots look for is a robots.txt file to tell them if they are allowed to index the domain and what areas are excluded from crawling. If a sitemap is provided, they will follow every link on it--otherwise parts of your site or pages may not be completely indexed. Put them in the root directory of your domain and link to the sitemap from your main page. It's good spider food for every site.

9) Myth: Search engines cannot index pages with Flash and using Flash in your page will lower it's ranking.

Explanation: This is a big myth. Search engines cannot index a Flash movie itself, but, if you specify Flash text (in the HTML) used in the movie, the text in the movie along with the rest of the page HTML will be indexed. Flash does nothing to keep the page from being properly indexed, nor does it keep your page from being crawled. Search engines don't like pages that re-direct, including Flash pages that do it automatically. It's the auto-redirect, not the Flash file that keeps a splash page from being ranked.

10) Myth: You can get higher rankings on any keyword without changing the code or content of the pages in your site.

Explanation: Not likely for long. Any elevated results will be temporary. If you want to steadily improve your ranking, you must make changes to your site that help the search engines spider it. You might temporarily raise your ranking by running regular queries and reports on search engines for your keywords but steady results are dependent on your willingness to optimize and tweak the code and content of your pages. A simple thing like fixing broken links can contribute to elevating your listings. It's one of the most overlooked search engine tweaks. Search engines will not continue to spider a site when it runs into a number of broken links.


Post a Comment About This Article


Previous posts:

Sam Minster -- Sunday, February 6 2005, 09:09 am -- How do you specify Flash text (in the HTML) used in the movie?


webmaster -- Saturday, February 12 2005, 06:50 am -- See this page for more information: or view the source code of any page that has flash, copy and paste everything between the and tags of the flash file. It\'s different for each file depending on the version of flash the movie is made with so you will have to edit the code for your movie if you don\'t have flash. HTH

webmaster -- Saturday, February 12 2005, 06:52 am -- sorry... everything between the object and embed tags. IE uses the object tag to display the flash file and NS uses the embed tags. HTH


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