If your micro business has a website (and chances are it should) then it’s likely you’ve heard a lot about SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation.
If you have, then it’s just as likely you’ve also heard some of the myths around this process too.
Because the search engines hardly ever come out and categorically say that this is true, or that is false, it’s extremely easy for myths to start. And when they do, they spread like wildfire.
Not only are new myths being created, but SEO techniques which worked back in the 90s also seem to hang around like a bad smell for 10 or 20 years adding to the confusion.
If you’re a micro business owner operating on the web you need to be careful to avoid the myths, because they can cost your business significant time and money.
Let’s highlight and dispel a few of the common ones to look out for…
1. Google partners with SEO agencies
This is one of the myths that annoys me the most as an SEO.
Agencies will often cold call business owners giving the impression that that are in some way partnered with the search engine giant. As a micro business owner you probably get these sorts of calls weekly, or even more frequently than that. Let me clarify. Google does not, under any circumstances partner, affiliate or certify any SEO agency, anywhere in the world.
Here’s what Google Says:
“Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google”
2. You can guarantee 1st page results
Another extremely widespread myth is that SEO agencies are able to guarantee your site 1st page placement in the organic search results.
Again this is completely untrue. The only real way to guarantee your site’s inclusion on the search engine results page is by paying for an advert on the sidebar. This is not SEO.
3. Meta keywords are an important ranking factor
Among business owners this is probably one of the most common SEO myths.
That the meta keywords tag is an important ranking factor and can help your website perform well in the search engines. Unfortunately even though all of the major engines have come out many times to dismiss this myth, it is still widely believed.
4. Page Rank is important
Page Rank (PR) is a score from 0 – 10 assigned to every page in the index of Google. You may have seen it as a little green bar in your web browser if you have Google’s toolbar installed. The myth around page rank is that the higher your PR, the higher your site will be featured in Google’s result pages.
This idea that there is a direct correlation between PR and ranking has been disproved time and again and Google now uses over 200 factors in it’s ranking algorithm.
5. Keyword Density is important
Keyword density is simply a calculation of the number of times a keyword (or phrase) appears on any given page, usually displayed as a percentage. There is no ideal keyword density number and there never has been, well, maybe back in the 90′s.
Each page needs to be judged on it’s own merit, with content written naturally for humans and not search engines….it’s as simple as that.
6. PPC directly impacts your SEO
I’ve never really understood where this myth came from. My best guess is that somebody noticed a drop in rankings about the time they stopped PPC and a conspiracy theory evolved. SEO’s love a conspiracy theory.
Again here’s what Google has to say:
“Advertising with Google won’t have any effect on your site’s presence in our search results”
I hope that puts a few things straight. But what SEO myths have confused you? What SEO tactics do you have your doubts about? Please tell me in the comments below.
Today’s Micro Action
Always do your own research from trusted sources before taking any SEO related information at face value. You can save yourself a huge amount of time, and money.