Here are the top 10 SEO myths being perpetuated by lousy SEO “experts”:
1) Beware of duplicate content. Fact is, most people don’t have to worry about duplicate content. If you are setting up mirror sites with the exact same information on it on every single page, then you have to worry about duplicate content. If you are copying articles or paragraphs from a blog and commenting on it on your blog, then you don’t need to worry. If you are using articles from an article directory, you don’t need to worry. If you borrow photos, videos, music files or other graphics from web sites and use them on your own, it isn’t duplicate content. You might have to worry about copyright laws in some cases, but you don’t have worry about duplicate content. Just don’t worry; be happy.
2) Meta tags don’t matter any more. Yes, they do. Google doesn’t care about them, but other search engines do. Ask.com and MSN are two examples. Use meta tags. They matter.
3) Google is the most important search engine. No it isn’t. It’s the biggest. It’s got the lion’s share of searches. But it’s not the most important. A lot of people still use Yahoo and MSN. Most new searchers don’t make a huge number of searchers like the veterans do. Most newbies make one or two searches a day and they tend to use the default on their browser, which, more often than not, is Yahoo! or MSN. If they are AOL subscribers, they use AOL. Depending on your product or service, one of those search engines could be more important to you.
4) Keyword density is the most important aspect of SEO. No it isn’t. It’s not even close. Keywords aren’t even necessary a lot of times. You’re better off just talking to your customers and telling them what you do. Your keyword strategy should be secondary. And you should certainly NOT waste any time trying to make sure your keyword density is at the perfect ratio. That’s just a bunch of nonsense.
5) You’re spamming the search engine. Will you just stop it already? Just because you put the same word in your headline twice doesn’t mean you’re spamming the search engine. And the proper word is “keyword stuffing” and it doesn’t mean you put too many keywords in your title. Keyword stuffing is the act of placing your keyword all over the page so that readers can’t read it but the search engine can because it’s the same color as the page background. Are you doing that? If not, then your not stuffing.
6) Too many web sites on one server. Most people are nowhere near being in danger of this. If you have hundreds of web sites on the same server then Google might penalize you for that, but if you have 10 or 20 web sites on the same server then Google doesn’t care. Unless you have a lot of money, or time, or both, on your hands, then you’ll probably never have enough web sites to worry about it any way.
7) Flash is cool. OK, Flash is not cool. It’s a big pain in the rumplestiltskin. Search engines don’t even read flash, unless you include some fancy alt tag telling the search engine what it is. Why bother? It doesn’t make your site any cooler just becauses you employed some fancy outdated program that wasn’t all that great when it was introduced during the neolithic age. Flash is a tool for techies. Your small business web site doesn’t need it.
8) You can build a profitable web site fast using private label rights articles. Hah! This one makes me laugh. PLR is so outdated. I can’t believe people are still selling PLR articles. Search engines came up with its duplicate content policy because of these stupid PLR articles. Now, budding entrepreneurs are buying them up like hotcakes and putting them up on their web sites to attract the same traffic that others have been attracting for 10 years just so they can get a click on some AdSense ad. Those people didn’t click five years ago and they’re not going to click today. AdSense isn’t dead, but PLR is.
9) Content is king. This is related to the previous argument. You can’t just put up anything on your web site and expect to make money. It’s got to be unique content. It’s got to be YOUR content. Something that people will want to read. Don’t just get a bunch of articles from an article directory and put them on a web site expect people to flock to it to buy your neon glow-in-the-dark thingamajiggy that you didn’t even have the money to buy a patent for and that most people wouldn’t buy at Wal-Mart.
10) You need to hire someone to write your web site for you. Wrong. Most people can write their web sites themselves. They just need to learn some useful techniques. You SEO advisor is telling you this because he wants your business. We want your business too but we’re not going to lie to you to get it. You can write your web site. You just need to educate yourself. If you don’t want to write your web site or you don’t have the time, then hire someone who knows good English. Don’t hire some guy in Singapore for 5 cents an hour hoping you’ll get good web copy. Hire a professional who knows what he’s doing and make him earn his money.
If you’re SEO advisor is telling you any of these things, ditch him. If you build a web business on myth then you deserve the same fate as Zeus. No one prays to him any more, do they?