6 SEO Myths Debunked By Google

by Jesus Ramirez · 48 comments

This is a guest post by Jesus Ramirez from MarketingUnfolded.com.

Having trouble with SEO?

Don’t feel too bad.

I used to struggle with it as much as you did if not more.

Of course that was way before I wrote The Ultimate WordPress SEO Guide For Internet Marketers.

A few years back I spent countless of hours scavenging the internet trying to find information on SEO.

I literally found thousands of articles on ranking high in search results.

I learned everything I possibly could on the subject (talk about information overload!).

It was with time that I realized that many of the things I had learned were no longer effective or were never effective.

I spent countless of hours optimizing my keyword meta tags, creating low quality articles for my website, and for article marketing sites.

All with the hope to crack within the first page of Google.

Unfortunately for me, then I did not know about Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam team, who answers SEO related questions from viewers in a Google sponsored Youtube channel.

In his videos, Matt addresses all types of questions about SEO and has definitely debunked a lot of SEO myths that have plagued the SEO world for a long time.

If I had known what the following videos explain, I would have saved tons of time, and would have ranked higher much quicker!

Here’s the list of the top 6 SEO myths debunked by Google:

seo myths

1. Domain Age:

Myth: Most SEO experts agree that the age of your domain makes a big different in your websites ranking. The older it is, the most trust worthy it is, and the higher it will rank.

Fact:  While Google does look at the age of your domain, it makes a very minimal impact in your website’s ranking.

Matt Cutts advices that the quality of content in a website and the quality of links pointing to it are far more important than the age of your domain, as always good quality content is far more important than domain age.

Video –> http://youtu.be/Y1_1NQWQJ2Q

2. Tags Clouds:

Myth: Blogs should use meta tag clouds as much as possible for SEO boosts.

Fact:  I was guilty of this one, I had a big ugly tag cloud on my site that looked horrible.

After some time I removed it because of pure aesthetics, but as it turns out tag clouds have no positive impact on SEO at all and can actually hurt your search rankings if overused.

Really large lists of tag clouds can be confused as “keyword stuffing, especially since tag clouds are a bunch of arbitrary words mixed together.

The risk of dilating your pagerank also increases dramatically when overusing tag clouds.

Video –> http://youtu.be/bYPX_ZmhLqg

3. Keyword Meta Tags

Myth: You should add Meta Keywords to all your websites pages to increase the ranking on your website.

Fact: This is something that took dozens of hours of my life when I started.

I keep reading everywhere the importance of good keywords and how adding the right keywords to your meta-tags could help you rank higher in search engines.

But in actuality Google recommends that your spend ZERO time adding keywords to your meta tags!

Google does not even look at them.

Instead you should spend your time in optimizing your title meta tag and your description meta tag since they are used heavily in search queries.

Video –> http://youtu.be/_euoDRk1qN0

4. Frequent Updates

Myth:  To rank high in Google, you need to post frequent updates to your website.

Fact: When it comes to SEO, updating your content more regularly doesn’t give you any added benefits.

However your human users do benefit from new fresh content, and you should try to update as much as possible but only to keep your readers interested and engaged.

Video –> http://youtu.be/d6-KA20QqL8

5. Article Marketing

Myth: Article Marketing is a great strategy for building backlinks.

Fact: This one is a tricky one.

While I have used this technique in the past and saw some positive results, it seems that this is no longer a good strategy.

Ever since the new Panda update Google has dropped the authority of many popular article marketing directories.

It seems that article marketing is no longer a good way to build backlinks to your website, especially since most article directories offer poor quality content which Google frowns upon.

Also, this technique can create duplicate content, with the same anchor links pointing back to your site; something that Matt Cutts believes will be detrimental to your SEO efforts.

It’s better to focus on creating valuable easy to read content and using social media marketing to help your content receive natural backlinks.

This links are far more beneficial for ranking high on search engines than the ones you receive from article marketing.

Video –> http://youtu.be/x5xP-pTmlpY

6. Keyword domains

Myth: To rank high your website needs to have a keyword specific domain.

Fact: This is another tricky one.

While it is not necessary to have a keyword specific domain to rank high, in search engines, you do get benefits from having them.

It all depends on what you are trying to do.

For most people having a domain that is brandable, like Twitter, Zinga, and Yahoo is a far more beneficial option.

Even though they do not contain keywords in them.

As Matt Cutts explains, Google is considering changing their algorithm to lower the weight on how much a keyword in the domain affects a search query.

If this does happen and your domains weight has less impact on the total score of your ranking then you will be left with an un-brandable domain that might not be beneficial to you at all.

Video –> http://youtu.be/rAWFv43qubI


Sometimes our impatience leads us to take shortcuts and follow the wrong advice.

Those short cuts, or plugins, or “tricks” to rank high on search engines will do nothing more than to waste your valuable time.

To rank high on search engines you first should do your due diligence in your “on-page SEO” efforts (Check out this ultimate on-site SEO guide for WordPress users).

Spend time creating truly valuable content, which your users will love, share, and link to.

Once you’ve done this, you can then start thinking about social media marketing, and guest blogging to help  you get some backlinks.

I’m sure you’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s worth mentioning one more time, the best SEO strategy is and will always be creating good quality content.

Top 10 Search Terms:

• seo myths

About Jesus Ramirez

Jesus Ramirez is the creator of Marketing Unfolded a marketing resource for internet marketers. Connect with Jesus on Google+ and Facebook.

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Jacob Stoops January 20, 2012 at 12:42 am

Great article Jesus! Many good points. Regarding point #1 around domain age, I think you are absolutely correct in that domain age alone doesn’t drive rankings – that would be relevance, trust, and authority. So that is where it gets a little hairy as search engines tend to trust older domains more so than younger ones, which in my mind gives them an inherent ranking advantage, as they’ve likely had more time to build up their site’s content, inbound link portfolio, and therefore relevance. So although domain age doesn’t really drive rankings by itself, it is safe to say that older sites tend to have a bit of an advantage.

Shawn McConnell February 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I think the meta description is the best place to have your matching keywords. I’m spending some time this weekend optimizing one of my sites using the search results as a guide.

stella March 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

We’ve been misled to believe so many things in internet marketing. SEO isn’t rocket science. The best approach is to build a blog that Google ,it gets a little hairy as search engines tend to trust older domains more so than younger ones, which in my mind gives them an inherent ranking advantage, as they’ve likely had more time to build up their site’s content,

Nanm April 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I would like to say on #5 that it is good only when you submit your site into the most quality article directories with unique content every time.

Jet June 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Thank you very much for your article, but I think that myth is more than 6. For example, I would have thought that the title page h1,h2,h3 for effective promotion should make reference to the requested keys. Although it is assumed that title in any case can not be done following links.

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