SEO Myths

SEO Myth 1: Exact Match Domain Helps Your Long-term SEO Strategy

I agree that publishing your website on the domain which name includes relevant and generic search terms can help your rankings, in a short term.

However, there is one major long-term trade-off in this approach – branding. Start-up business owners don’t always consider what’s going to happen in 10 or 20 years. As the business grows it’s getting more difficult to differentiate from other websites using exactly the same keywords in their domain name.

SEO Myth 2: PageRank Sculpting Improves PageRank Flow

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm which assigns a numerical value to each page and measures how important and popular the page is. PageRank is often explained using the ‘random surfer’ analogy – the probability that a random surfer clicking on links lands on a particular page.

PageRank flows from one page to another through its links dividing the PageRank value equally among all destination pages.


Image thanks to SEOmoz.org

Search Engine Optimisation specialists used to add a special tag rel=”nofollow” to links if they didn’t want search engines to assign the fraction of PageRank to the destination page. This is called ‘PageRank sculpting’. So if a page links to 10 other pages, each of those pages gets 1/10 of PageRank. But if 5 of those 10 pages have rel=”nofollow” then other 5 pages get 1/5 of PageRank each.

However, in 2009, Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed that Google doesn’t update the PageRank value if it comes across the rel=”nofollow” attribute. This means, that in our example, 5 pages without nofollow will still only get 1/10 of PageRank. So where’s the rest you ask? I’m afraid that only Google knows that.

SEO Myth 3: PageRank Value In Google Toolbar

PageRank value displayed in Google Toolbar should not be taken too seriously as it is not very accurate and it gets updated only every few months, according to Matt Cutts. Toolbar’s PageRank value is just an estimated representation whilst the real PageRank is a floating point number based on more 200+ factors.

SEO Myth 4: Pay-per-click Helps Rankings In Organic Search Results

No, it never did and I don’t think it ever will. The only way PPC ads can help your rankings is indirectly: user clicks on your PPC ad, likes your website, blogs about it and posts the keyword-rich link to your website contributing to the total number of inbound links. There’s absolutely no direct benefit and no conspiracy theory.

SEO Myth 5: Meta Keywords & Descriptions Help Website Rankings

They did help very long time ago. Due to ‘keyword stuffing’ all major search engines stopped using meta tags as ranking factors, including Google website itself. In fact, inserting a lot of keywords in meta tags can only result in a penalty imposed by the search engine, so watch out and don’t put the whole website in there.

SEO Myth 6: Google Can’t Read Or Understand JavaScript Links

This myth has become one of the hottest SEO discussions over the years. There are hundreds and thousands of posts and forum threads about this. The truth is that Googlebot does understand simple JavaScript snippets, e.g. URL in JavaScript links. However, Google still doesn’t like it and the chance that it doesn’t bother following the link is still much greater. Personally I think it’s unnecessary risk to use JavaScript URLs.

SEO Myth 7: Google Can’t Read Flash Files

Not true any more. Google can now discover and index text content in SWF files. They can also find and follow URLs embedded in Flash files. However, Google does say that they don’t guarantee that they’ll crawl or index all the content. And that’s where the problem still lays. So if you do happen to have the Flash based website, build alternative HTML version.

SEO Myth 8: Dynamic Urls Are Bad For The Site

Not any more. Trimming them to a much understandable format is better and saves a lot of time, however the most commonly used and avoidable parameters are “known” to Google.

SEO Myth 9: Sitelinks Appear Only For Websites With High PageRank

Sitelinks are auto generated for websites with high traffic not high PageRank. There is nothing you can do control them except to block some of the links from appearing using Webmaster Central.

SEO Myth 10: The Meta Description Snippet In Serps Is Always What You Specify In The Code

Not true. Google has changed their algorithm and they will pick up matching lines/phrases from the page content to the search query and display it on the results page.

Post By F.Gagliardi