Three SEO Myths Debunked

1. Natural search is dead. There is nothing that could be farther from the truth. Natural search engine optimization is still thriving. It is more difficult today than it was five or six years ago, but the core of search results are still free. Natural Search Engine Optimization being dead is a popular myth because of the standardization of methodology that is now used. Each of the major search engines has released guidelines for Webmasters that detail the dos and don'ts of Web site optimization. Since more of the online world is aware of successful optimization techniques, they do not work as well. In other words, there is more competition from knowledgeable optimizers armed with the same toolsets.

Natural search optimization is not dead, but is certainly harder. Successful Web sites with strong natural traffic know that optimization is a continual process. The best and most relevant Web sites should work their way to the top of the search result pages. These Web sites have fresh, valuable, keyword-rich content, good linking, internal optimization, value propositions for visitors, and good user experiences. Knowing all the pieces of the puzzle does not always mean it can be quickly put together. Natural SEO requires an ongoing commitment that can pay off through qualified and free traffic.



2. Paid inclusion is dead. A few years ago, almost every major search engine had a paid inclusion option. This was a service to guarantee that Web pages were included in a search engine's database for a fee. Through consolidation of some of the engines and the emergence of a few new ones, paid inclusion now only means Yahoo Search Submit and Yahoo Search Submit Pro. While it is not a session topic at search engine conferences anymore, paid inclusion can still be a powerful tool for online marketers that want to tag urls, optimize content, remove code bloat and have more reporting abilities from Yahoo.

3. Meta tags are a waste of time. The first search engines had to find ways to organize and rank the Web sites they found. They weighed heavily on meta tags and keyword frequency. Meta tags are parts of HTML coding that are not displayed by Web browsers (ie. Internet Explorer, FireFox, Mozilla). If used properly, they are a great way to tell a search engine more about a Web page. However, they have been abused in the past by spammers. Today's search engine algorithms are much more advanced. Meta tags' values have been lessened but not forgotten.

The only two meta tags that are relevant for SEO are "description" and "keyword." The first is still used by a few search engines as the text that describes the Web page in the search results. The description tag provides the opportunity to sell the Web page to the searcher in a sentence or two. The keywords tag is probably one of the least important optimization points on a Web page. Least important does not mean not important. It is also a great way for content publishers to focus in on and organize the important keywords on a Web page.

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