|<||Back to Index|
Search engine optimisation is a hotbed of misinformation! A lot of it is spun by disreputable SEO's whom either lack the knowledge or are out to fleece you for your hard earned cash.
Essence SEO have compiled a brief list of some of the myths, misunderstandings, and blatant lies you should perhaps be wary of if undertaking SEO, whether doing the work yourself or employing a specialist company.
Meta Tags = Rankings
Meta tags do not equal rankings. If anybody suggests that all you have to do to score high in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) is fill in the meta keywords and description tags, then at best they're ill-informed. If they're eager to part you with your hard earned money for such nuggets of misinformation then assume they're either incompetent or on the fiddle. Show them the door!
The days have long since passed since the meta keyword tag flexed its muscle with the search engines. Due to incessant spamming it is now ignored by all the major search engines, unless perhaps you choose to fill it with an overly-long list of irrelevant (or relevant) keywords, thus triggering a penalty. The description tag too has had its value depreciated to very little down the years. Include both by all means but don't expect results when these are your sole form of optimisation.
Search Engine Submissions
There are SEO companies operating that offer as an extra charge submission to X amount of search engines. Entertaining such an idea will quickly see you light of pocket with nothing to show for it in return. Firstly, you needn't submit your site at all. Just one inbound link from an already indexed, regularly crawled page will get you found. Secondly, there are only four search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN) you'll need to be indexed by as the others pull their information from either one or a combination of these. And thirdly, if you still wish to manually submit your site to any of these four, they won't charge you for the privilege. It is also worth noting that such a submission is no guarantee of indexing.
Guaranteed No. 1 Ranking
Be very wary of SEO's that offer guaranteed number one rankings or instantaneous results. More often than not you'll end up with neither. Search engine optimisation, when implemented correctly, is a gradual process. Long term rewards are what count, not short-term glory through underhand techniques that will almost certainly see your website banned.
Insider Information or 'Special Relationships'
Is there an SEO company spamming your mailbox with claims that they have inside information of how the Google algorithm works? Or is there a company claiming to share a special relationship with Google or one of the other major search engines? Send any such nonsense straight to the recycle bin, for it's all lies and yet another attempt to lighten the load on your purse-strings.
Carry out a proper keyword analysis! There are a multitude of sites out there that have carried out little or no keyword research whatsoever. You can't just guess at what your keywords should be. Use the proper tools to find what people are actually searching for. And optimise for one keyword phrase per page. Don't try and optimise for a host of search terms – it won't work!
Automated Link Requests
Imagine you've put all the hard work into the building your site. You've researched and selected your keywords, you've gained some incoming links; you're feeling proud with your achievement. Inevitably you will begin receiving link requests from other sites. Fair enough! But these requests are virtually identical, the wording painfully generic in tone, with no mention of your site or content except for your URL in the address field. The chances are they haven't even taken the time to look at your site. Always personalise any link request email you might make, that way you stand more of a chance of getting a positive response. Show the webmaster that you've actually taken the trouble to browse through their site, find out the site owner's name if at all possible. This might take a little more time, but ask yourself which one would you sooner link to? Avoid automated link requests and SEO firms that offer this type of service.
So there you have it. Just a quick taster to steer you on the right course. Bear these in mind when formulating an SEO campaign or employing the SEO services of a professional company and hopefully you will save yourself the time and money that could be better spent elsewhere!