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60 Website optimization myths you need to forget

There have long been various myths, by which starting site owners or optimizers live by. Unfortunately, some of the myths are quite persistant to perishing (like the meta tags one), so it may be worth it to dispel some of them right here.

SEO myths

  • I can build the site and they will come.
  • I simply need to tell my friends about it to promote it.
  • I know how the site should be and look like.

SEO learning

  • I won't study SEO - too complicated.
  • I can SEO my site after reading That article.
  • You can learn SEO fast.

SEO is easy

  • Manipulating meta tags is a quick way to get high rankings
  • There may be guaranteed (Google top 10) results in search engine optimization
  • It is possible to get a new site ranked high quick on general (competitive) keyphrases.

Linking

  • I can link to any site safely.
  • Any links will do - the more, the merrier.
  • Link exchange programs (reciprocal linking) with any websites still worth it.

SEO is the #1 thing

  • SEO is the only important aspect of the website.
  • Large amount of traffic is the only thing to be concerned about.
  • PageRank is the only thing that matters about a site (page).

Content

  • Keyword density is important.
  • There is a duplicate content penalty.
  • Keyword spamming (stuffing) is the key to SEO success.

SEO software

  • SEO software is essential to high search engine rankings.
  • Using software to get links is the most efficient way to do this.
  • Automated directory submission works.

SEO service providers

  • All SEO service providers are frauds.
  • It is possible to SEO a site for $99.
  • It is impossible to hire a SEO for a small business website.

Ranking methods

  • Search engine rank websites.
  • The goal of SEO is to rank for a fixed amount of keyphrases.
  • Using Google Sitemaps will let your site rank higher.

Efficient SEO

  • Bulk submission of junk-articles is The way to build traffic and links.
  • I can stop working on my site once it starts getting search engine traffic.
  • I can scrape content from other websites and get traffic, links and sell whatever I want.

Other SEO

  • Submitting your site to the search engines (including Google) will help you get more traffic.
  • If a site isn't in DMOZ, it won't be successful.
  • There's a constant battle between SEOs and the search engines.
  • Update:

  • SEO is either tricks or unnecessary if you are filled with integrity and are popular (Submitted by Bill)
  • SEO is about buying and selling links, and is no different from prostitution (and another one by Bill Slawski)

Usability

  1. My site doesn't need usability
  2. Usability is something I can't afford
  3. Usability won't help my business
  4. Usability goes against design, SEO and other site aspects
  5. You can simply improve your site according to "Top 10 web design mistakes" and have a perfect website
  6. Usability was made from thin air
  7. We can just strictly follow all usability guidelines at once
  8. We don't need any user testing
  9. Shopping carts don't need usability
  10. When site visitors say so, that's exactly how they'd act on the site
  11. Site surveys are 100% reliable
  12. If something doesn't work, it is sufficient to include it in the FAQ/Help section
  13. Usability increases costs and time, associated with the project
  14. We don't have time for usability
  15. Site visitors know how to use your site
  16. Sites made of Flash are user and search engine friendly
  17. Site visual appeal (design) is the most important aspect
  18. It is acceptable to force users to register for them to access free material
  19. Multiple fields are necessary
  20. It is OK to have all fields are required for large forms
  21. International users never mind using dollar as currency over their national one

Copywriting

  1. Copywriting means writing anything and then inserting the keywords
  2. Copywriting is just writing text, why hire a professional?
  3. I can write mesmerising copy, even if I don't like the product
  4. I can learn to write excellent copy fast
  5. A $2/hr copywriter can produce unique, quality content
  6. $2 per article is all I need to get unique, quality content
  7. I don't need to format the site copy. Humans can read text, so what's the problem?

Discussion

Post your myth or a comment in the comments below or send it to yuri @ improvetheweb.com.

Alternatively, you can discuss SEO myths at the Cre8asite Forums.

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