Search engine optimization (SEO) is no doubt an inexact science which is continually evolving and developing, and as such, there are bound to be so called “myths” that pop up along the way which some people want you to believe (or don’t know better themselves). Here is a list of five common myths surrounding the topic of SEO

Myth Number 1- Keyword Density

In the early days of SEO, this was a very popular element of SEO, primarily because it used to work. If your page had 500 words, then you had to aim for a specific keyword density in order to “con” the search engines. This is no longer the case (thank goodness!) as the big players such as Google, etc have all caught onto the idea and are quickly spot these sorts of tricks. This is good news though, because you now have the freedom to write in whatever style you wish, whether it be creative, sales-based or formal.

Myth Number 2 – Submit Your Website To As Many Search Engines As Possible!

Although this was more prominent a few years back, there are still hundreds of service providers offering to “submit your site to over 300 search engines”. The reality is that the market share is dominated by three major search engines, namely Google, Yahoo and Bing. These are the only search engines worth submitting your website to, as their results influence everyone else’s. Don’t waste your time with search engine submission

Myth Number 3 – Google Pagerank Is the Alpha and Omega

A relatively new addition to the SEO world is Google’s Pagerank, which is supposed to be a measure of how popular your website is (at least in their eyes). Whilst Pagerank is important, it is not the be all and end all in terms of where you rank in the search engines. I have seen many lower PR sites outrank higher PR sites in Google’s own results. As a rule of thumb, check your Pagerank quarterly and aim to increase it over time – Don’t obsess over that little green bar!

Myth Number 4 - Meta Tags Will Increase Your Rankings

Whilst meta tags are important in how the search engines portray your website, they do not affect your position (at least not by any measurable amount). Use your meta tags as they are supposed to be used (and be sure to write a good description to attract visitors to your site), but don’t expect them to push you to the number one position on Google.

Myth Number 5 – SEO Is a Once-Off Job

As much as I would love to believe this one (ignorance is bliss...), I’m afraid it is simply not true. In order to attain a well optimized website, you need to continually add quality, original and fresh content to the site and always work on increasing your number of backlinks (links from other sites pointing towards yours). The key to SEO is consistency, which ultimately implies that it is indeed an ongoing task. Fortunately, there are ways and means to automate or at least batch, most of the necessary upkeep.

Something to always keep in mind is this – The search engines’ job is to serve the user with the best quality result for any search. Therefore your task as an optimizer is to provide a good user experience – full stop. Myths about SEO will always bubble to the top – focus on the main goal and you’ll steer clear of all the over-analysis and “jabber” that goes on.

If you're new to SEO would like to learn more about the topic, feel free to sign up for my free SEO course @