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Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) Myths & Facts

Myth: By using proper search engine optimization techniques you can always get your site to show up on top of the search engine results.

Fact: The truth is that there is no guarantee where your website will show up in search results. Sometimes websites that are optimized from the moment of inception come up way behind websites that do not implement any search engine optimization at all. A website that is properly search engine optimized does greatly increase the chances of showing up high in the ranking, but it is by no means a guarantee.

Myth: Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click advertising are the same thing.

Fact: Search Engine Optimization is the process in which you build a website or webpage that adheres to specific criteria that search engine algorithms find favorable in an attempt to increase your ranking on a search engine's results page. Pay Per Click on the other hand is the process of purchasing keywords based on a bid system. You actually pay every time someone clicks on your link. Pay Per Click will help increase traffic and is effective in getting you to the top of the search engines however it can be very expensive. Competitive keywords like "breast implants" can cost you $10.00 every time someone clicks on the link.

Myth: Web pages must be constructed using CSS based layouts as opposed to using deprecated table/cell based layouts.

Fact: Although it is better to create your web pages using a CSS based layout, it is not completely necessary. CSS based layouts help your pages load faster, increase browser compatibility, and make the code to content ratio more favorable. Since these are only a couple of the variables search engine algorithms use to rank a site, it is very possible to use the other proven SEO techniques and still get a good ranking.

Myth: Search Engine Optimization is accomplished by "fooling" or "tricking" the search engines.

Fact: Search Engines are very smart and can tell if you are trying to "fool" or "trick" them. In the old days you could saturate areas of a webpage with keywords using a font color that matches the background color or you could create keyword saturated divs and either give them a low z-index or make them hidden. Now these tricks not only don't work, but they also work against you and will cause your site to be penalized. My best advice is to take the time and build your site correctly using good content and solid coding.

Myth: I only need to worry about search engine optimizing my site for Google and Yahoo.

Fact: Google and Yahoo do go control the lion's share of the internet, however other search engines like excite, lycos, msn, dogpyle and ask.com are still being used. It's a good idea to make your site friendly to all search engines instead of concentrating on just one or two.

Myth: There is no difference between a search engine optimized static webpage and a search engine optimized dynamic webpage.

Fact: Static websites tend to be more favorable for search engine because of the way a search engine indexes pages. When a web crawler crawls a dynamic page, it does not carry with it any variables to initiate what the content of that page will be thus the page is without content. This is the main reason why shopping cart applications like Oscommerce are not very search engine friendly.

Myth: When you SEO a website you should try and make your keyword density as high as possible.

Fact: Keyword density should be kept between 3% to 10%. If you have a keyword density that exceeds 10% then you risk some search engines penalizing you for keyword saturation.

Myth: Flash websites are not good for search engine optimization because search engines cannot index the content.

Fact: Although it's true that search engines cannot open flash documents and index the content within them, they can however index include .txt documents. It is best to use flash as an element of a website as opposed to using it to create an entire site if you are concerned with Search Engine Optimization.

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