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If you have a website, you know that search engine optimization is critical, but there is a lot of misinformation out there that blurs the facts and makes it difficult to properly structure your SEO campaign. Here are a few of the most popular myths surrounding SEO.

Misconceptions About SEO

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Search Engine Submissions

Search engine optimization used to require web masters to tag their sites with meta keyword information that needed to be submitted to different search engines. Search engine bots would then crawl sites to gather information for their index. That was back when SEO was simple. Times have changed and search engines can find a website on their own now. Paying for search engine submissions is no different than burning your money with a lighter.

Meta Tags

Meta tags used to be an important part of the SEO process. Keywords were included liberally in the content to improve site ranking. Unfortunately, the process was dramatically spammed, forcing major search engines to drop meta tags as a key tool for page ranking. Meta tags no longer serve as the central focus of search engines.

Keyword Stuffing

An SEO myth that refuses to go away is that keyword density rules the day. The density calculation is derived by comparing the ratio of the number of total words on a page to the number of target keywords also contained within that page. It’s a common misconception that keyword density is a relevant metric in ranking. This misunderstanding leads people to litter or stuff keywords onto a web page to convince search engines of the page’s relevance. However, the keyword stuffing technique has proven to be very ineffective as search engine’s algorithms like Google Panda can easily see through this technique.

Directory Backlinks

Building quality backlinks is an important practice in search engine optimization, but the practice can also cause websites to plummet in rankings if it is not executed correctly. Due to Google Penguin, long gone are the days of submitting mass quantities of links to directories.

Backlinks, sometimes referred to as inbound links, refer to the links that point from one website to another. The number of backlinks pointing to a web page may be indicative of its importance and popularity. Google gives credit for the number of quality backlinks on a page. Emphasis should be given to the “quality” of backlinks and not merely to the quantity.