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SEO for Dummies

Updated on May 20, 2009

SEO for Dummies

The last years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has lived an incredible growth. What once was just overlooked by most webmasters, is now almost a 'science'. Ranking well in search engines may be the difference between a successful online project, and a total failure.

When something grows so rapidly, with 'gurus' selling ebooks, hundreds of websites dedicated entirely to SEO for dummies, techniques, etcetera, there's always space for misinformation and gossip, that, when repeated by lots of people, becomes 'almost' undeniable 'truth'.

Let's see six of the most common myths that this 'race' to the top of the search engines has.

1. Put a lot of good content, then leave your site alone

This is a common misconception, search engines are constantly updating their databases and moving sites up and down the ranking, so you should never stop adding new content to your site. Even if it's once a month, even if it's just a PLR article, adding content makes search engines know that your site is 'alive' and kicking.

Adding new content not always improve your ranking, but it does make the search engines crawl you more often, and of course, the more content you have, the more pages and keywords you can be found for.

2. Header <H1> Tag

It's almost common knowledge: H1 headers and other header tags will make you rank higher. The fact is, nobody can really assure this. Lots of people believe it's just another myth, it won't hurt, but it won't help you as much as advertised by 'gurus' and 'knowledgeable' SEO experts.

3. Number of words

You can read in several places that give SEO advise that you should never write articles that are too short, everything below 250-300 words won't rank well against longer articles. This has never been proven, if you make a short unique article with good keyword density, it will rank as well as a longer one with similar keyword density and that's a fact.

You can find a lot of websites that split their articles in 6-8 parts and make their users navigate through them. Those articles, which in reality conform as much pages as parts that article has been splitted in, rank very well.

4. Pay-per-click ads promoting your website will make you improve (or the opposite) your ranking.

It stands to common sense that the big G and the other search engines (almost all have some kind of advertising program) would not hurt your ranking when you are actually paying them for ads. That does not mean running ads will help your ranking also, that has never been proven either. The most possible answer, it just does not affect your site.

5. You should send you site's URL to the search engines

Wrong, that won't help your ranking at all, and nowadays, it won't even help you get indexed faster. You should not lose time with it.

6. Google sitemap will make Google like you more.

The reality is, you do not always need a Google sitemap, unless the design of your site is not friendly to search engine's crawlers. It will not hurt to have one, but it will not improve your ranking, so SEO-wise, it's unimportant.

There's endless SEO myths, these are just some of them. The reality is, you must test lots of stuff, and what works today, do not necesarily has to work tomorrow, search engines are 'live' organisms, you will have to adapt, or fall to the bottom of the rankings.

I hope I'm able to update this SEO for dummies in near future. Meanwhile I'm off to writing my next hub. Damn! 100 hubs in 30 days is really fun and yeah, it's tough too.


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    • Fluffymetal profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      I bookmarked this Hub. Thanks for the info.


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