The first search engine was created in 1990, meaning as far as technology goes, it has been around a long time. A lot of advancements have been made since the first tech-savvy SEO operators found the early ways to manipulate their positions in search engine results. Because of this, most of the SEO myths are based on hacks that used to be true, but have long since been compensated for by increasingly intelligent search engine algorithms. Don’t get caught by these red-flagged and outdated SEO myths:
Myth #1: Keyword Stuffing
This myth gets top billing because in many circles it’s still considered a valid and popular SEO method. The theory behind this false SEO ‘hack’ is that search engines count keyword frequency, therefore filling your ‘content’ with repeated and rearranged keywords is a great way to give search engines an inflated sense of your ‘relevance’ to the phrases in question.
This is what keyword stuffing looks like:
“Radical Blooms New York is the Best Florist in the New York Area. They are Florists in New York who make Beautiful Floral Arrangements and are the Best In New York.”
Where is the line drawn?
Obviously, you need the freedom to talk about your business and use SEO helpful keywords, but do so in the practical flow of informing intelligent customers about your product and location. The protective algorithms are currently set to watch for density and repeated keywords, and deny reward to those who are blatantly trying to game the system.
A Good Example
“Radical Blooms was the first Florist in the New York Area to make beautiful floral arrangements for Krista’s Wedding Cakes. Many brides have said they are the best florists in New York.”
Myth #2: Manipulative Linking
Whether or not you have heard the term off-page SEO, this is what manipulative linking is trying to take advantage of. When a site outside your domain links to yours, it lends it legitimacy and potentially raises your rank in the search results. However, early SEO ‘wizards’ already spammed this mechanic in every way it can be spammed, forcing SEO algorithms to get smarter, detect, and blacklist sites that use these tactics.
Known Manipulative Linking Methods Include:
- Link Directories – inexpensive pages full of links to participating sites.
- Link Trading – two pages that link to each other, creating an easily recognizable link-loop
- Link Networks – fake networks of bot-sites create artificial content and links, pretending to be real sites providing real link-recommendations
- Paid Links – paying to join a linking directory, trading scheme, or network
Myth #3: HTML Cloaking
Many people who don’t want to get caught for keyword stuffing their visible content will fill their HTML code with keywords they want the search engine crawlers to find and respond to. Like the meta tags of yore, this was also spammed to death and eventually compensated for. They have also have methods to account for the opposite technique: trying to hide messages to your viewers in images that won’t be ‘read’ by the SEO bots. There are, of course, many instances in which earnest use of these tactics will not be penalized, and are usually permitted if the techniques are used to enhance user experience rather than manipulate search engine results.
There are probably a few other outdated myths floating out there, so be careful. The next time you hear about some totally awesome SEO hack, do a little research first. In fact, one of the best perks of working with a professional SEO marketing team is the assurance that your website will always be on the cutting edge of SEO best practices. For more information and news about how to get the best SEO for your local business, contact us today!