Over the past few years, a number of myths and misconceptions have emerged about how search engines operate and crawl websites. For SEO beginners, this causes confusion and frustration about what’s required to perform effectively. I’ve done my best to explain the real story behind these myths. If you are looking for SEO tips for beginners, you’ve come to the right place. Read on…
1. Search Engine Submission
During the late 1990’s, search engines had submission forms that were part of the optimization process. Site owners would tag their site and pages with keyword information, and submit to search engines. After the submission was received, a bot would crawl and include those resources in their index.
Unfortunately, this process did not scale very well, the submissions were spammed often and the practice eventually gave way to purely crawl-based engines. Since 2001, search “submissions” is virtually useless. All popular engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing), publicly note they rarely use “submission” URL’s and that the best practice is to earn links from other sites. To be clear, you can still sometimes find submission pages; however, they are essentially useless. It would be unlikely to earn “link juice” using this “submission” process.
2. Meta Tags
At one time, similiar to search engine submission, meta tags were an important part of the SEO process. You would include the keywords you want your site to rank for, but as you can image this process was quickly spammed to death. This process is now eventually dropped by virtually all search engines as an important ranking signal. Other tags, like the title tag and meta description tag are a critical piece of successful SEO. Lastly, the meta bot tag is an important tool for controlling spider access. But SEO is not “all about meta tags”, anymore.
3. Keyword Density (stuffing)
Engines bots are quite smart. More recently, Google’s Panda upgrade included sophisticated machine learning algorithms to combat spammy links and low value data at a scale never witnessed before online. That said, a persistent myth is SEO revolves around the concept that keyword density – is used by the search engine for relevancy and ranking calculations. Keyword stuffing is not effective. Ignore it and use keywords intelligently and with usability in mind. The value from an extra 10 instances of your keyword on the page is far less than earning one good editorial link from a source that doesn’t think you’re a search spammer.
3.5 Paid Search Helps Bolster Organic Results
It’s time for the most common SEO conspiracy theory: spending on PPC advertising improves your organic rankings. In all my experience, tests and case studies this has never been proven nor has it ever been a probable explanation for effects in organic results. Google, Yahoo and Bing all have very effective walls in their organizations to prevent precisely this type of crossover.That being said, we have seen anecdotal evidence that bidding on keywords already organically ranked can help increase your organic click thru rate.