Myths about Search Engine Optimization which Can Harm Your Business

Search engine optimization is often misunderstood and approached in completely the wrong manner by novice online marketers. Those hoping for quick results in return for little effort are also likely to fall foul to the many myths and misconceptions about SEO.


In this guide, we will take a deeper look into the more common myths and misunderstandings regarding SEO so that you can ensure that your marketing campaign comes to fruition.



SEO Myths

Keyword Density


Perhaps the most common SEO myth of all is keyword density, although it is mercifully starting to fade into history as more and more marketers come to realize that paying attention to keyword density will do nothing other than hurt their businesses. Keyword density inevitably leads to keyword stuffing. If you have ever seen a webpage which just looks like poor quality spam, it is likely that it is littered with the repetitive use of certain key words and phrases. Such content offers nothing of value to the reader and will actually have the opposite effect on the search engines to what the marketer intends.



Website Submission


In the first years of the Internet, submitting your website, along with related keywords and other information about it, was an important part of the SEO process. Once the website had been submitted to the search engines, a crawler would be sent to index it and add the content to the database. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, this system ended up being heavily abused by spammers, and as a result, it no longer has any effect on your standing with the search engines. Nonetheless, there are still submission pages for the major search engines, but these are nothing more than leftovers which no longer provide anything of use.



Meta Keyword Tags


While other HTML tags, such as the titles and meta description tags are still essential in SEO, the meta keywords tag is now completely obsolete. You'll still come across the meta keywords tag in HTML, and it was once used for providing keywords related to the content of the webpage it applied to. Unsurprisingly, spammers abused this enormously, and the search engines quickly stopped paying any attention to the content of meta keyword tags. While using the keywords tag won't do your website any harm, it holds no weight as a ranking factor, so there is no point wasting time with it.



Link Farming


Link farming is one of the most prolific forms of online spam. While links to your website elsewhere on the Web are an important part of SEO, it is quality that counts more than quantity. The most useful links come from relevant and authoritative websites, but aggressively building up the number of backlinks to your site will eventually hurt your search engine rankings. Link farms, also known as link schemes, are basically low quality directories or networks which exist solely to artificially inflate the popularity of websites. Link farming usually involves paying for backlinks, a practice which is against Google's Webmaster Guidelines.





SEO should go hand-in-hand with delivering useful and quality content to your visitors, and for this reason, all of the major search engines demand that you display the same content to both your visitors and the search engines. Displaying different content to each party is a practice known as cloaking, and the search engines are getting better and better at penalizing or even de-indexing websites using cloaking methods. The most common cloaking method involves using doorway pages containing information written exclusively for the search engines which immediately redirect human visitors to a different page.



Low-Value Content


There are a great many websites, particularly those run by affiliate marketers, which consist of poor quality content written primarily for driving traffic without giving much thought to the needs and desires of potential visitors. Thin content includes that which provides little or nothing of value to human readers. It may be duplicate or rewritten content, or worse still, 'spun' using article spinning software. Too many novice marketers still seem to think that quantity should take precedence over quality. The infamous Google Panda update in 2011 heavily penalized such content, and the poor quality article directories and e-zines suffered greatly.