10 SEO myths debunked

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Kevin Ryan, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch

Myth #2: SEO means optimizing only for Google

True, Google is the dominant search engine in many parts of the world, accounting for 60 to 90 percent of all search traffic; but if you think all search engine optimization is for Google, you have missed the online marketing love boat and should return to work at your mimeograph machine.

Yahoo, MSN and hundreds of special interest sites, along with vertical or category-specific search engines, are crawling and indexing your content. The art and science of SEO includes optimizing for vertical information sites, news and social groups as well.

So, what's the best SEO strategy? While being aware of technological pitfalls and linking advantages is important, stop optimizing for Google and start optimizing for your intended audience. Building search-friendly sites in a content-friendly environment is the best way to win.

Kevin Ryan is vice president, global content director at Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch



Adrienne Lewis
Adrienne Lewis January 7, 2009 at 8:35 AM

I'm very new to this site - but, I found this article really useful, and relevant even though I'm a online marketer in the UK,

mag ferraro
mag ferraro January 3, 2009 at 4:37 PM

great site!

Kevin Trye
Kevin Trye January 1, 2009 at 8:58 PM

Great article, especially if you're seeing a diminishing number of leads coming via Google. For many sites today it's a lowly 5-20% of new traffic. The rest of course comes via a mix of online/offline referrals, direct mail, email, TV, Radio, magazines ads etc.
Google is but one of many traffic sources and just one link in a long chain, if we accept that the website we've built is there to actually sell or market something and get an ROI.
Time spent on optimizing the website and processes for sales leads and high sales conversions is far more important than SEO alone which too many are fixated with.
Studies have repeatedly found that over 90% of those coming to a business website today, (by whatever channel) will click away within seconds and never return. This is the bigger problem I think...

Bruce McDermott
Bruce McDermott December 29, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I'd agree with everything but myth #1.

Just as Adam Lasnik states (in Myth #10) "We (Google) are, of course, a bit constrained in what we can disclose about the subtleties of our ranking algorithms and such...", a good SEO is continually perfecting his craft through techniques he develops over time. To openly talk about these techniques to other SEOs is counterproductive to an SEO's client base. This is a competitive business after all.

Do these "secret" SEO techniques have to be "Blackhat?" Of course not! They simply are better ways to address the goals of the clients and the requirements of ranking in the search engines.

By the way, the goals of the clients are usually misstated. Generally, they follow the same wording used in myth#1, ie, "We want more traffic." In reality, what they want is more sales, and "more traffic" has very little to do with more sales.

That's an old Google Adwords myth, commonly applicable to the spammy Adsense websites you see in the listings. (Those are the guys that equate traffic with sales by making money off of PPC clickthroughs). That has nothing to do with bringing a relevant buyer to the threshold of your client's website to sell him a product.

At any particular point in time, you would be horrified to learn, that there are only a finite number of buyers interested in buying a client's goods and services. Targeting those buyers is your job, not pushing useless traffic at a website.

Aparup Saikia
Aparup Saikia December 28, 2008 at 10:05 PM

so how should one go about SEO. I am very keen on the matter and is coming to a dead. Seeking professional help ismy last resort that i might take if i can't find any solutions myself.

Cecilia Pineda
Cecilia Pineda July 24, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Thank you for this article. It confirms my doubts about some of my colleagues' strategies and now I can reference the advice from these experts. Accessibility has been a particular point of contention since all the fanciful work in the world is for nought if some of your audience can't see it, whether on the mobile screen or on the computer screen.

David Hall
David Hall July 10, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Good, informative article! Very organized and well written.


Cris Bisch
Cris Bisch July 3, 2008 at 2:58 PM

I've needed clarification. Thanks for the insight, and tackling each concern one-by-one. I appreciate the related links too.