SEO Techniques that Don’t work

Posted on February 17th, 2010 by Jason Shindler

By Jason Shindler

As a Web site development firm, we get a lot of questions about search engines. People always want to know what will get them top listings in search engines. They often have ideas on how to do it, and unfortunately, some are just wrong. Here are some popular myths:

Myth #1: Hidden Text helps Search Engine Rankings

This one involves placing text in a box that doesn’t show up for regular users but would appear for a search engine. People also suggest putting text in the same color as the background of the Web site (white text on a white background, for example). This technique was popular in the late 90’s, but all major search engines are savvy enough to detect and either ignore text like this, or ban a specific Web site from its listings. This is well documented by many commentators, but the best source of all is Google.

Myth #2: Meta Tags Are the Key to Good Search Engine Placement

Meta Tags are codes that are put on each page of a Web site that help describe the Web site to search engines. Two Meta Tags that are popular are the keywords tag and the description tag.  People think that if you put these on every page and stuff them with lots of keywords, you search engine rankings will rise. The fact is that the “keywords” meta tag is ignored by Google, and the “description” meta tag is only used for display purposes, and not for ranking purposes.  Other search engines use these tags in a minor way, but other factors are much more important in determining whether your Web site shows up on page 1 of a search query.

Those are the myths about SEO we hear about most often. What myths have you heard?

2 thoughts on “SEO Techniques that Don’t work

  1. Vanessa,
    Thank you for writing: Maybe I should add this to my list of myths! There was a time where search engines couldn’t handle Web sites that had unusual characters in the URLs. For example: would be indexed without difficulty would not be indexed or would be less likely to be indexed.

    The 2nd example was a URL that a Web site that is run by a database would generate. Today, that is not the case for two reasons. First, search engines have matured and can now index pages with these characters. Second, database Web sites can now rewrite the URL so that even a database Web site can have a URL that is more like:

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