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October 31, 2011

5 Common SEO Myths Explained

SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, can be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with it. Unfortunately many things you read about SEO on the internet are not always true. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around the net and they can sometimes be hard to confirm or debunk because of the ever changing techniques and the complexities of the search engines.

Some of the most common SEO myths are listed below and with it, the information to expose the truth so you can concentrate on real SEO methods to improve your site rankings and increase your traffic.

1. The More Reciprocal Links You Have on Your Site, the Better Your Ranking.

Have you ever been to site that is nothing but a long list of links? These sites are called link farms or FFA (Free for All links) and they do nothing for your site’s ranking. They are usually just filled with spam and can hurt your rankings because they are probably in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines which you can find on the Google site.

You also do not want to link to sites that are not relevant to your site. For example: if you own a site that sells jewelry, don’t link to sites about home repair or other topics that don’t relate to your site. You want to find quality sites that can complement yours such as fashion sites, make-up sites, etc. So, keep exchanging links but be selective and choose only quality, content-filled sites that complement your site.

2. You Need to Manually Submit Your Site to the Search Engines.

Submitting your website pages to the search engines will not boost your rankings, or help your site get indexed any faster. The search engines find sites by a process called web crawling done by spiders or bots. It has little to do with you filling out those long forms and submitting to the search engines. What will get you indexed faster is a quality site with relevant links, good content and the wise use of keywords.

3. Cramming Your Site Full of Keywords Means a Higher Ranking.

Have you ever seen a site that repeated the same words over so many times, it barely makes sense anymore? This is called keyword stuffing. Unfortunately, many people believe the more keywords you can stuff into your site, the better. This is sometimes done to such extremes that the content sounds ridiculous and unprofessional, thus defeating the purpose of the keywords.

For example: Jewelry ‘n More has beautiful diamond rings that don’t cost as much as most diamond rings because our diamond rings are more affordable than other diamond rings. If you are looking for diamond rings, visit our site for diamond rings because we have more diamond rings at cheaper prices than any other diamond rings.

This is really an extreme example but this type of thing does happen. The best way to use keywords is to use different combinations of relevant keywords throughout your site’s content. There is no set number of keywords that will magically make your site appear in the number one position so do not over stuff to the point of redundancy. Your web copy should be natural, professional and informative.

4. Duplicate Content Can Get You Banned.

Fortunately this is not true. Using duplicate content on your site can cause problems if it is done in a “spammy” or exaggerated way. If you mix the duplicate content with other quality and relevant content, your site will stand a better chance of a higher ranking. What happens when duplicate content is found by the search engines? Well, once the duplicate content is discovered, the search engine will base their decision (which page to add to the search results) on how long the site has been active, the page rank, the amount of incoming links and other qualifying aspects of the site. Duplicate content is a part of the internet (as we have all seen) and there is no penalty for it.

Many people also believe that using reprint articles on their site will bring them a penalty. This is not so. While you don’t want ALL your site’s content to be duplicates, using quality informative articles on your site (that happen to be published elsewhere) is not a problem for the search engines.

5. Higher Page Rank Means Higher Search Engine Ranking.

Many people mistakenly believe that if you have a high page rank, you will also have a high ranking in the search engines. This is not so. Page rank is not as important as most people believe. The search engines use other factors to determine your ranking. You need to have a high quality site with functionality, relevance, a good linking system, good information, user-friendliness and purpose. Do not rely on your page rank to raise your ranking in the search engines.

I hope this information will help you in producing a more search engine friendly site. You can do it yourself but be sure to learn the facts and find out which SEO myths are true and which ones are not.

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