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December 16, 2009

The 10 Biggest SEO Myths Exposed

Cutting Rank: Improper Domain Name Redirects
Cutting Rank: Improper Domain Name Redirects

Cutting Rank: Improper Domain Name Redirects

Let’s face it, compiling a list of this type is always subjective. Trying to figure out what to include and what to leave off can have you second-guessing yourself, more than a few times.

But in the end, being only human, you do the best you can, and let the readers judge for themselves. Anyway, I present to you my listing of “The 10 Biggest SEO Myths Exposed.”

1. Search Engine Optimization will put you on the first page of Google.

This is without question the biggest SEO myth floating around the Internet today. Here’s the truth: SEO is a tool – nothing more. And any tool is only as good as the person using it. That’s why some people have success with SEO, and others don’t.

Can SEO help get your website on Google’s first page? If the person doing the optimizing is competent, sure, it can help. But it’s far from guaranteed.

Here’s why: There are far too many variables that are involved in the ranking of a website – not the least of which are the age of the domain, relevancy and quantity of quantity of content, number and quality of inbound links, competition, and of course Google’s ever-changing algorithms.

2. Getting on the first page of Google will guarantee your success.

This is false. Let me tell you something: Getting on the first page of Google guarantees absolutely nothing!

Every single day, thousands of websites fail and go out of business. Some of those websites were on the first page of Google’s search results. So being on the first page of Google guarantees nothing.

Don’t get me wrong. While being on the first page of Google’s search results can definitely be an advantage, there are far too many variables involved that determine whether or not a website will be successful – not the least of which is the competency of the people behind the website.

They’re the one’s who really determine a website’s success or failure, not Google.

3. If you get a lot of traffic, you’ll make a lot of sales.

Another popular myth – but just that – a myth. It’s not how much traffic you get to your website that matters. It’s the quality of traffic and what you do with it that matters.

There are websites that get thousands of visitors every single day, that are not making a profit. Why? Because either their traffic is garbage, and/or they don’t know to convert their traffic into profits.

Conversely, there are websites that get only get two or three hundred visitors a day that are doing quite well. How are these websites able to do so much with so little?

Three reasons: 1. Their traffic is quality, targeted traffic. 2. They’ve figured out how to maximize the amount of traffic they get. 3. They’re working with a healthy profit margin.

If you’re not getting a lot of traffic, you’d better be making a lot of profit for each sale. Remember, traffic is wasted if you don’t have the ability to convert it into profits.

4. When your website tumbles in the search rankings, it’s because Google is penalizing you.

While this may be true in some instances, it’s not true in all instances. Here’s the truth: Google is only interested in one thing… Delivering the best and most relevant search results that it possibly can. Its continued world dominance depends on it.

And all things being equal, if your website delivers more relevant results than other websites in its category, then your website will rank ahead of those other websites. Now are there exceptions? Absolutely. Does Google get it wrong sometimes? Sure they do. No system is perfect.

But despite any conspiracy theories you may have heard about how your website is ranked, there’s really nothing conspiratorial about it.

5. All websites on the first page of Google are successful.

That’s the prevailing theory of course, but it’s far from true. The fact of the matter is some categories are more popular and profitable than others. Some categories simply don’t generate as much traffic as you might think.

That’s reflected in the price of pay-per-click advertising. Advertisers pay sky-high prices for some keywords, and mere pennies for others.

In addition, many businesses operate on extremely slim profit margins. That means they have to make an extraordinary number of sales to be successful. And if they aren’t getting the traffic, it’s difficult to generate the amount of income that they need to be successful.

6. Registering your domains for multiple years will help your search engine ranking.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all, if it was discovered that a domain registrar started this particular myth. But that’s all it is – a myth. While I was doing research for this article, I couldn’t find any evidence that registering a domain for multiple years has any impact on rankings at all – none.

That being said, registering your domain for multiple years certainly can’t hurt either.

7. Inactive or parked domains that are several years old have an advantage over newer domains.

This is false. A domain that’s 10 years old, which is inactive or parked does not have a significant advantage over a brand new domain that is active.

Why? Because inactive domains, regardless of age, don’t accrue links or trust. And inbound links and trustworthiness are significant determining factors when it comes to rankings.

8. Any link is a good link.

Nothing could be further from the truth. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: ALL LINKS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL.

If you’re under the mistaken impression that exchanging links with any and everybody is helping you – think again. While exchanging links may seem like a good idea, it always isn’t.

For example, if you own a hosting website, how does it possibly benefit you to exchange links with a butcher, baker or candlestick maker? Answer: It doesn’t.

The link has to be relevant to your website’s overall theme, otherwise, it will do you no good. Also, reciprocal links and links from article directories just aren’t as valuable anymore, as links from quality, relevant websites.

Because of rampant misuse, reciprocal links and links from article directories have been degraded over the years. And Google just doesn’t place as much value on those types of links as it once did.

Google places much more value on links from quality, relevant websites. So those are the types of links that you should spend your time trying to obtain.

9. If you build it, they will come.

Just because you build a great looking website doesn’t mean that people are going to be so impressed, they’re going to virally push your website to the top of the search engines. It doesn’t work that way. You have to get the word out.

Building your website is only the first step. You have to advertise your website to the world. In addition, you have to make sure that your website is properly optimized for the search engines. You also need to make sure that your website has plenty of fresh, quality, relevant content to keep visitors coming back again and again.

If you build it, they will come – but only if they know about you.

10. Submitting your website to the search engines will help you get indexed faster.

This is one myth that simply will not die. It has been written about in article after article after article that submitting to the search engines WILL NOT help your website get indexed faster.

What WILL help your website get indexed faster is getting linked to by a website that has already been indexed by the search engines – preferably a website that’s popular. For example, forums, blogs, article directories, etc.

Why is the popularity of the website so important? Because popular websites get spidered much more frequently – giving your website the opportunity to get indexed much more quickly.

About the author:

David Jackson is the owner of http://reviews-by-customers.com – directory of reliable online services! If you would like The Secret to Non-Stop, FREE Targeted Traffic, read this: http://tinyurl.com/yfj6rxk

11 Responses to “The 10 Biggest SEO Myths Exposed

    avatar Ashwani says:

    Is reciprocal link is use full for website? Can you please send me suggestion at Ashwani@miraclestudios.in

    Hi David,

    On #6, Matt Cutts or someone else at Google answered that question categorically saying that registering for multiple years a domain did not help a bit. I guess it pretty much settles this one.

    On a different note, have you looked at http://www.seotoaster.com ? we’ve released this free and open source SEO CMS just a few weeks ago at PubCon. They’re a few users that we’ve showcased already, I’d be interested to have your opinion about a systemic approach to SEO.

    avatar hotel seo says:

    Interesting thing I discovered recently about link pyramids. Do you utilize them for your SEO efforts?

    avatar Toronto SEO says:

    Great list David – very true.

    MC

    avatar World-Estate says:

    8. Any link is a good link.
    Only quality link and close to site contend are usefull.
    6. Registering your domains for multiple years will help your search engine ranking.
    Yes this mith is for all internet around comming many earns.
    Only one thing that if You gave 2 indetical web sites, that are close with linking in, and PR and on one keyword – domain age can help to get up from Your competitor.
    This is tested :)

    avatar Bill Platt says:

    David,

    I feel vindicated. I have been telling people this stuff for years… and yet, the myths persist.

    Usually when I tell it, it goes in one ear and out the other.

    It seems that people sometimes just DON’T WANT TO KNOW the truth…

    Great article!!

    Bill Platt

    avatar Benn says:

    Your post gives useful information about prevailing myths in SEO. This has increased my knowledge about SEO. Thanks for sharing info.
    EverBright Smiles

    avatar Richmond Hill SEO says:

    Finally SEO exposed properly!

    avatar SEO Toronto says:

    A good list of SEO benefits and thats why peoples with websites are going to have best SEO programs.

    avatar Mike chrest says:

    love some of these , lots of this misinformation is what SEOS sell. I personally sell a wholistic aproach to marketing online which includes strong call to action, good user experience , multiple sources of traffic, and clear goals

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