Website Design & SEO

Web Design and Search Engine Optimization myths on the internet

Why are there so many Web Design and Search Engine Optimization myths on the internet? The following article exposes some of the most common SEO myths affecting web design and looks at the reasons why they have become widely accepted as the truth by many web designers and Webmasters.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex and diverse topic that’s both never constant and constantly changing. There are hundreds of myths about SEO, some were once true but no longer apply (outdated information), while others were simply never true, to begin with (disinformation).

A large number of different opinions and tactics used by both Web Designers and SEO Consultants (which can be completely contrasting) has also helped to create myths. Combine this with a large number of web forums and blogs that allow people to share their views, and you have the perfect environment for not only creating myths but for them to spread like a viral epidemic. Here are some of the most common myths explained.

Myth Name: Build it and they will come
Myth Description: The belief that a website will receive large quantities of targeted traffic as soon as it goes online.

Truth: The biggest myth I still come across most days is the aptly named “build it and they will come myth”. The cause of the myth is a combination of outdated information, a non-realistic, over-optimistic site owner or a lack of understanding of the web. Back in the old days of the internet, you could “build a site and they would come”, just by submitting to the main search engines of the day (to a degree). This was largely due to the lack of websites around at the time, meaning top positions were that much easier to secure.

Nowadays a site must be advertised just like any business. A good analogy is your site is a shop and a search engine is a high-street. The only problem is your shop is not on the high-street, so some kind of sign is required to inform passers-by where you are and what you do.

Myth Name: Search Engine Submission Myths
Myth Description: The belief that a website needs to submit every page to the search engines. The belief that regular or monthly submissions will result in better search engine rankings. The belief that a website needs to keep on submitting to search engines or they will forget about the site. The belief that if a website submits to thousands of search engines its traffic levels will go through the roof.

Truth: While some of these myths used to have a bit of truth to them, nowadays search engine submission is not required at all. The myths have been caused mainly by companies who provide submission services. This is because it’s financially in their interest for people to believe the myths are true.

It doesn’t hurt to submit to the major search engines but indexing can be achieved simply by getting links to a site (as long as the page where the link is on is known to the search engines).

There is also no point at all submitting to thousands of search engines. There are only a handful of search engines that people actually use. Many of the other search engines have been created to obtain the submitter’s email address which is then added to email lists (which spammers will pay money for).

Myth Name: Meta Tag Optimisation
Myth Description: The belief that search engine optimisation is just about Meta tags.

Truth: Meta tags used to be very important to rankings until search engines became more complex. While some Meta tags are still important to the description and title tags which most search engines will display on their results (so they can influence click-through rates drastically). Most tags like the keyword tag are obsolete.

I believe the cause of this myth is twofold. One, because it’s outdated information (to a degree) and two, because people want to believe there’s a secret magic formula that only SEO’s know about. That way a lack of rankings is not their fault, plus it keeps the conspiracy theorists happy.

Myth Name: Ethical Search Engine Optimisation
Myth Description: The belief that there are two types of SEO, black hat and white hat (the old good versus evil).

Truth: Quite simple this one but nearly always overlooked. Any attempt to alter the search engines results and obtain more traffic is against most search engines guidelines. While there are tactics that may get you banned and others that may not or are not widely known about (yet), all of them are trying to influence the results and therefore are against the guidelines. SEO is neither black nor white, but many shades of grey. Just try to know what you’re doing and more importantly the associated risks.

Myth Name: Google’s PageRank (PR) is the most important aspect of a sites ability to rank
Myth Description: Self-explanatory this one, the belief that PR is a god-like entity we must all worship in order to obtain rankings.

Truth: It is widely believed by expert SEO’s and even been stated by Google Guy (a Google employee) that the PR we see on the toolbar is out of date as soon as we get to see it. Google update PR constantly but only update the toolbar PR now and then. PR is also only one part of a complex ranking system. How big a percentage it plays in rankings, only Google knows.

One thing for sure, it doesn’t matter how good your PR is on the toolbar, it’s not going to get you any more traffic from Yahoo or MSN (you heard it here first).

There are many more web design myths about SEO, most of which can be spotted if you read between the lines and think about whether it would make sense for a search engine. One of the most important parts of SEO is finding a reliable source of information. If you want to learn more, a good place to start is one of the numerous SEO Forums on the web.

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seo for dummies

Search Engine Optimization For Dummies

The methods employed to increase your search engine rankings may seem like rocket science to you, so you have probably avoided dealing with this issue. I am here to tell you – the time has come to face your website and tweak it using the below tips about search engine optimization for dummies! A high search engine ranking for your website is so essential that if you have the slightest desire to actually succeed in your business, there is no way you can continue to avoid this issue.

At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. That’s what search engine optimization is about.

You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings. Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on your homepage.

The title bar is the colored bar at the top of the page. Look at the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase search engine rankings, the words on your homepage’s title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.

Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself. However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.

The next item to put under your microscope is your website content. Search engines generally list sites that contain
quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords
– the words that potential customers will be typing into search engines to find your site.

Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is essential. However, the search engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.

To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case, ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in order to increase your search engine rankings.

Next, we come to what is called meta tags. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. Many people believe that meta tags are the key to high search engine rankings, but in reality, they only have a limited effect. Still, it’s worth adding them in the event that a search engine will use meta tags in their ranking formula.

To find out if your page is set up with meta tags, you must access the code. To do this, click the “view” button on the browser menu bar, and select “source.” This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page. If there are meta tags, they usually appear near the top of the window. For example, a meta tag would read: meta name=”keywords” content=. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your search engine rankings, but any little boost helps.

Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of search engine rankings. Almost all search engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page. You can easily acquire backlinks from online business directory websites or reach out to key authority sites in your niche and ask for a backlink/guest post.

If you type in “free link popularity check” in a popular search engine, the search engine will then show you what sites are linked to your site. In the case that there aren’t many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites that are linked up have low search engine rankings, consider launching a link popularity campaign. Essentially, this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that they exchange links with your site. Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boosts your search engine ranking, but it also directs more quality traffic to your website.

Search engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a search engine optimization company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can’t boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your search engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.