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December 29, 2011
Best of TZM 2011: 7 SEO Myths That Just Won't Die
 
There is a lot of misinformation that propagates through the Internet when it comes to SEO. Even many SEO practitioners believe that certain outdated strategies will help their websites rank higher in the search engines, mainly because they never perform tests to learn what really works and what doesn’t.
 
While the search engines don’t provide us with their secret ranking formulas, some website techniques performed in the name of SEO can easily be tested to see if they are a ranking signal in Google. With that in mind, here are seven website strategies often thought to be part of Google’s ranking algorithm that my years of experience and tests have proven to be completely ineffective.    

1. Linking to Google: Think Google will like you better if you link to them? Think again! They don’t care in the least if you link to them. Doing so will provide zero benefit to your site when it comes to their ranking algorithm.

2. Meta Keywords: No SEO myth-busting article would be complete without yet again explaining that the keywords you put into a meta keywords tag will have no bearing on where your site ranks for those words.

3. Submitting to Search Engines: Submitting pages of your site to Google’s “add URL” page has never been a true SEO strategy. Google finds pages by following links. Why we still see supposed SEO companies offering to “submit your site to Google” (or any other engine) is beyond me!

4. Title Attributes in Links: Not to be confused with the “Title Tag” (which is an extremely important piece of the SEO puzzle), keywords within a link title attribute (for example: More Info) are totally ignored by search engines and always have been. Use them if you like, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they’ll help your site rank in the search engines.

5. Keyword Domain Redirection: Many people believe the key to SEO success is to have a domain that uses their exact keywords within it. While Google (unfortunately) does give these more credence than they should, redirecting one of these to your main domain won’t provide you with the benefit you seek. Once a domain is redirected, it basically doesn’t exist in the eyes of the search engines. 

6. Ads as Links: Google AdWords, banner ads, and many other types of Internet advertising do not create links that increase link popularity. Unless otherwise stated, most online ads are created with JavaScript or other types of links that are typically not followed or indexed by search engines. In general, the search engines aren’t interested in links that have been paid for, since they’re not a true “vote” for the given site

7. Fresh Content: It’s an important marketing strategy to provide lots of up-to-date content on your website so that people will continue to visit. However, making small changes to existing content won’t count as being “fresh,” so don’t waste your time with silly strategies such as that.
 
There are many more silly SEO strategies that for whatever reason refuse to die, but these are the most common. If you ever read SEO articles or receive information from an SEO company that touts this misinformation, first check the date, as they could just be old. But if they’ve been written in the twenty-first century, then be sure to tell them that 1995 called and wants their SEO strategies back!

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As an SEO Consultant, Jill Whalen has been providing her no-nonsense, practical SEO advice since 1995. If you learned from this article be sure to sign up for Jill's popular High Rankings Advisor SEO Newsletter to keep up with the latest information in the ever-changing world of SEO. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen, "Like" her at Facebook, and "Circle" her on Google+.

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