The process of SEO has changed, and quickly. Buying keyword-rich domains, writing a few
articles and tweaking the titles will no longer net a top position on the search engine results
What is important to understand about search engine optimization (SEO) is that there is no constant — no absolutes. But with a little education, there are myths that
you can spot from a mile away and, more importantly, avoid wasting valuable time and resources.
The first and perhaps
most damaging myth is that of guaranteed success. Keep this
in mind when considering enlisting SEO help. SEO is a moving
target and even some long-standing, “guaranteed” methods
of SEO success have been proven ineffective.
Keyword Meta Tags: After many years of mystery
shrouding the issue of keyword meta tags, rest assured that
Google does not use this data to determine your search results
position. While you might want to use keyword meta
tags as a reference guide to keep track of the terms you are
optimizing individual pages for, don’t rely on them to capture
that elusive first place ranking. On a side note, Yahoo!
apparently continues to use keyword meta tags, although
the verdict is still out on Bing. Keeping the meta keyword
tag might offer some insurance, just in case some engines
factor the tag into their algorithms.
Meta Descriptions: Jump in your time machine to 2007
or earlier and you will find virtually every SEO talking about
the proper length of the meta description. At the time, the
meta description displayed on the SERPs was always the few
lines of text specified by the site owner, but no longer.
Google’s algorithm now picks up matching lines/phrases in
the page content related to the search query and displays selective
parts of the content on the SERPs snippets. Be sure to
do your keyword research when preparing new content.
Keyword Density: At some point in the evolution of
SEO, someone noticed that following a specific keyword density
helped in optimizing content. As you might imagine,
every SEO from Maryland to Marakesh picked up on that.
While there probably was truth to the idea at the time (because
search engine spiders can detect patterns) it holds little
merit today. Ensuring the content page being optimized
includes keywords is important — the actual percentage
(keyword density) matters more to myth seekers than real
Dynamic URLs: The big three search engines have made
major strides in how they manage dynamic URLs. The result
is that duplicate content (once the scourge of large websites)
is much less of a concern today.
The most commonly used and avoidable parameters (e.g.
session IDs, product attributes) are “known” by search engines,
so no extra effort is required to convert them to an
SEO-friendly format. Including the canonical link tag
(http://bit.ly/1yZ5bW) can “tell” search engines to index the
preferred URL, not the long, dynamic version.
Flash: While search engines (Google in particular) are
getting better at indexing content contained within Flash,
there’s still a long way to go. It used to be that having an all-Flash website would result in a poor SERPs performance,
but the reality was and is that using Flash gives you fewer options for SEO compared to a content rich page. But
that doesn’t mean it is “bad” SEO. You can focus on other
SEO factors, such as building high authority links, and get
equally good results.
Remember that SEO is constantly changing. Knowing
what’s true and what’s not will ensure that your prospects find
your site when you want them to. Happy SEO’ing!
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