Top 8 Google Ranking Algorithm Myths That Will Surprise You

Google Myths

The Internet is a crazy thing.  It makes the world a much smaller place, merely by allowing just about anybody to find just about anything at just about any time.  And whenever the words “find” and “Internet” are used together, “Google” always comes up.  Finding things on the internet ends up being an easy task, just “Google it,” as people say.  The difficulty in this scenario is the being found part.

“Being found” basically means being found on “Google.”  These days I get less clients asking for Web development services, and more clients that want help with increasing the Google ranking of their pre-existing site!  There are millions of ideas out there on how to improve your site’s Google rankings, many of them myths.  The sad part is, many of the myths are so widely known that people begin to believe them.  Because of this, I’ve decided to offer a list of the top 8 Google Ranking myths!  Enjoy!:

MYTH #1:  Incoming links have a major effect on your site’s Google ranking.

First and foremost, do NOT waste your hard earned cash on link building campaigns, text link ads, and other garbage that so-called link building SEO services may provide.  Contrary to popular belief, most incoming links DO NOT help your site rank any higher.  This is a tactic that USED to work long ago, but Google has cleaned up it’s act after a few Google Bombs.

The Reality:

Incoming links used be the basis of Google’s algorithm, but the fact is, spammers have figured out how to “fake” incoming links.  To overcome this, Google has significantly reduced the effect of incoming links to any given site, and they have also enhanced their incoming link algorithm to look at all attributes of the links themselves.

MYTH #2:  Pagerank significantly impacts your site’s ranking.

Pagerank used to be the prime measurement of search engine success for webmasters everywhere.  “Increase your pagerank, and your traffic will increase!”  …that was the spirit.  The main idea was that the more incoming links a site had, the higher it’s Pagerank would be.  These days, it barely does anything at all.

The Reality:

While Google’s Pagerank algorithm used to play a huge role in how high a given site would rank, the algorithm was easily manipulated by spammers, and Google had to once again think outside of the box.  Now, Pagerank merely plays a minor role in how high a given site ranks.

MYTH #3:  Using a keyword on your page a certain number of times will help you rank for that keyword.

This has been a myth for quite some time.  “Keyword stuffing” or the process of filling your page with the words “insurance fraud” repeatedly, should, in theory, help your site rank for the keywords “insurance fraud.”  In actuality, this is not the case.

The Reality:

Google will actually downgrade a site that they think is being stuffed with keywords, mainly because that is a sign of spam sites that are oftentimes automatically generated.  I had stuffed one of my sites with a barrage of keywords in the footer, it was ranking decently for some keywords, this lasted about a year.  One day I decided to remove the footer garbage, and BAM!  Within a few weeks my traffic had almost doubled.

MYTH #4:  Meta tags have anything to do with how high your site ranks on Google.

Good website design practices tell you to fill out all the proper meta tags, especially keywords and descriptions.  Many people still believe that doing so will help you rank for those keywords and descriptions.

The Reality:

Although this may be the case for some search engines, “some” search engines probably wont be used by the majority of the population.  It looks like Google’s algorithm has nothing to do with meta tags on a page.  A number of my sites are built from a custom CMS framework that I had put together, but the problem was, I threw it together too quickly and didn’t build functionality for dynamic meta tags!  Instead, the same meta tags (keyword AND description) were repeated throughout each page for any given site.  Guess what…A couple of these sites have been sitting at the #1 spot on Google for years now!  There IS however, a way that having proper meta tags CAN help you in rank higher in Google.

MYTH #5:  Google will penalize you for having duplicate content on your site.

This is the one that will piss people off.

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One Response to Top 8 Google Ranking Algorithm Myths That Will Surprise You

  1. […] (what seems like a lifetime ago), I wrote an article about Google Ranking Myths that left some people confused:  “If incoming links and/or pagerank don’t really help […]

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