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Search Engines regularly update their algorithms in order to present the most relevant results to their visitors and with each change, SEO professionals grow a few more gray hairs. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the updates, especially since search engines, such as Google keep their ranking methods secret.

In a recent video, Matt Cutts, a senior engineer from Google said that every time someone does a search, Google asks over 200 questions of each page before it presents the results. Of course, the searcher is not aware of this, as it only takes a second or two to get the results.

Since the exact algorithms are not known, there has been much speculation as to what the search engines want.

Myth # 1: Keyword Density Plays a Major Role in Search Engine Ranking

One of the things many SEO experts focus on is keyword density, i.e., how many times a keyword appears on a page. It is a misconception that there is a magic number which will secure a top position for a particular keyword. Cutts dispels this myth by explaining how Google looks at keywords.

When a search engine sees a keyword mentioned for the first time, it gives it some weight. If it appears again, the SE takes notice and says, ‘ok this page is about that particular subject’. But if you keep mentioning the keyword over and over, the benefits are really incremental. In fact, repeat it too much and you are in danger of keyword stuffing or spamming and this could hurt your ranking.

The trick here is to include the keywords, but make sure the copy flows naturally and doesn’t sound awkward or artificial. There is no hard or fast rule for keyword density … it varies by area/subject and by what other sites rank for it.

Myth # 2: Using Article Marketing for Link Building

A very popular way of building backlinks has been publishing articles with the website URL link at the bottom of the article. Some believe that if an article gets published on many websites, the links from the resource box count each time. Cutts, however, warns against this belief. He says that lots of people produce low quality articles, which are stuffed with keywords and get them published on article directories and low quality websites. Since those sites generally have a low PR rank and have duplicate content, this is not a good way to build links. Instead, Cutts suggests publishing great original content and letting people link to it naturally.

Myth #3: Meta Keywords are Used by Google

Many people still believe that Google uses Meta keywords in their ranking. Cutts has confirmed that Google no longer uses meta keywords. It does, however, use Meta description and title.

Myth # 4: AdWords Customers Get Special Treatment in Google Organic Search Results

Another common misconception among webmasters has been that if you run AdWord campaigns, this will improve your organic search results. The truth is they are two separate things and one does not affect the other. If you do experience better organic ranking after running Google AdWords, it may be that there is more traffic flowing to your website as a result of the advertising campaign and more people are linking to your content or talking about it on Social Media. However, Google does not rank your website better simply because you are using their paid AdWords service.

Myth # 5: Google is Only Interested in Quantity of Backlinks

When it became common knowledge that Google ranked websites higher if they had more incoming links, many webmasters focused on getting as many backlinks as they could. Many link farms were created and the quantity of backlinks became the main aim of many people. However, Google has put a stop to that and announced that yes backlinks are important in rankings, however, they need to be from high quality websites and they must be relevant. If you have a website about shoes, getting a link from a website that sells cars is virtually useless. So it is far more important to focus on quality than quantity.

Whether you are a SEO professional or a site owner wanting to rank higher in search engines, it’s important to remember two things have remained constant over the years. Search engines favor websites that have:

1. Relevant and original content that is regularly updated
2. Quality backlinks pointing to the website

So if you focus on these key points, you should be fine going forward. Don’t sweat the small stuff such as keyword density. Instead, provide useful information for your readers and the rest will fall into place.


Ivana Katz makes it easy for you to get your business online very quickly. If you’re looking for a professional and affordable website designer, visit www.web4business.com.au and download a free website plan.

7 Responses to “5 Top Search Engine Optimization Myths You Should Not Buy Into

    Sorry to say but I am not satisfied with your thought regarding Myth # 4: AdWords Customers Get Special Treatment in Google Organic Search Results.

    Earlier I also believe that both are different but from past one year I myself noticed that if I am using Adwords for a website than organic result also improve for that website.

    November 29, 2012

    While I agree with the overarching principles stated here, there are still MANY sites that break these rules and get good ranks. The fact is that there are very few absolutes that make or break your SEO strategies. Good SEO companies are trying to follow the rules while old, spam infested websites still get good results (sometimes). We just have to keep plying the game while Google makes up its mind and do whatever works in each particular niche.

    November 29, 2012

    Thanks for your note Barta Media Group. I agree that sometimes spammy websites do make it to the top of search engines, but I believe Google do their best to remove those sites. Most of the search engine indexing and ranking is done automatically and whilst there may be some manual input, the enormous task of managing something like that, it is virtually impossible for things not to slip through. I know SEO experts get frustrated with the algorithm changes Google and other SE make, but I honestly believe they do it to make sure the user experience is the best.

    November 29, 2012

    I am not sure I understand myth number 3. And if you like cream based-sweets, download our new app!
    everything is “à base de crème .
    Enjoy! Thanks you for your answer.

    December 1, 2012

    Ivana Katz you are spot on when you say “but I honestly believe they do it to make sure the user experience is the best” because past couple years, there have been millions of websites created just to provide low quality back links (example: free for all web directories, free to publish low quality spun articles etc.) And also, there has been giants like Bing and Yahoo saying “why let Google have all the glory?” thus they have been gaining small (but huge numbers when we are talking about internet) search market share. Thus Google must shake all those unethical search engine optimizers off the organic results, or else, people get frustrated with all the organic results, thus, bad user experience for Google, and if people don’t search Google, then the cash cow (their search engine) doesn’t let out the milk$$$.

    December 1, 2012

    You are right RankYa SEO Services. Google is a business and they need to make money. So they have to keep improving the customer experience. It may give webmasters and SEO companies a few headaches, but ultimately it comes down to giving the customer what they need.

    December 2, 2012

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