5 SEO Myths Busted

In SEO, there are just as many myths and misconceptions that can damage your rankings as there are effective techniques that can propel your site to the top of the search engines. Because the search engines’ algorithms are kept secret from the general public, it’s common for misconceptions to flourish. One inaccurate blog post, forum post, or article is enough to spread a damaging SEO myth. Below are 5 of the most common myths in the industry and the truth behind them.

1. Toolbar Pagerank is Important

Toolbar Pagerank is the Pagerank that appears in the Google Toolbar. Note that Toolbar Pagerank is not the same as a site’s internal Pagerank that Google uses in its algorithm. In the early days of SEO, the higher your Toolbar Pagerank was, the more valuable the search engines considered your site. Therefore, when webmasters built links, they only sought links from sites that had a Toolbar Pagerank of 4 or higher. Many people continue to follow this link-building strategy, even though it’s been proven that the Toolbar Pagerank no longer plays a role in a site’s rankings.

2. The META Keywords tag affects your ranking

The META keywords tag will not help your rankings. It won’t do your site any harm, either, but creating them is just a waste of valuable time. Google publicly announced years ago that they were no longer using the META keywords tag to rank websites. Don’t confuse the META keywords tag with the META description tag, however. While the latter isn’t used to determine rankings, it is used as a snippet for your site in the search results, so it can help to increase your site’s click-through rates.

3. You have to submit your site to the search engines on a regular basis

Many unethical SEO firms mislead their clients by charging them to submit their sites to search engines multiple times. In reality, once your site is launched, you only need to submit it to the search engines once and doing so is free. There’s no need to pay an SEO company a hefty fee to do it for you! In fact, you don’t have to do it at all because the search engines will find and index your site on their own, as long as it gets a few links and visitors.

4. Nofollow Backlinks are Worthless

Backlinks from sites that use the “nofollow” tag are widely considered to be worthless, but many SEO professionals are starting to believe that the search engines consider nofollow links in their algorithms to some extent. Many authoritative sites, such as Wikipedia and Digg, use nofollow links. And links from those sites are still highly regarded. Furthermore, regardless of whether a link is nofollow, it will still refer visitors to your site. Even traffic you attract via nofollow links is valuable because those visitors may eventually become your customers.

5. You Shouldn’t link to others sites on your site because it’ll decrease your rankings.

Many webmasters try to keep outgoing links on their sites to a minimum because they believe that linking out will cause their own sites’ rankings to decrease. The truth is that linking out to other sites will not decrease your rankings. In fact, if you do it right, linking out to other sites could even improve your rankings. Google, the world’s most popular search engine, aims to highly rank sites that offer the best possible user experience. And linking out to relevant, useful content on other websites improves your site’s user experience. On the other hand, Google considers it unnatural for sites to have no outgoing links whatsoever. The only outgoing links that may hurt your site’s rankings are links that point to spammy, irrelevant, or malicious sites.

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