The rules of SEO have been around for many years now. And thanks to the wonders of the Internet, training on concepts that worked years ago can still be found with quick searches, leading website owners to believe they will still work in today’s environment. The fact is SEO rules change every month. And if you continue to use tools and rely on them to bring you the same results month after month, you may get an unpleasant surprise. While some tools will simply stop working, others may actually get your site banned because of their questionable techniques.

Are you still using some of these techniques? Lets take a look at 7 SEO myths that people still widely use, yet may not be delivering the results you are hoping for.

1. You can improve your search engine ranking by having a higher keyword density.

Listing your keyword over and over again on a page (commonly called keyword stuffing) will not increase your ranking. In fact, in Google’s eyes, it may even reduce your ranking, or in some cases get your site banned altogether. Its much better to choose your keyword or phrase and use it in normal conversation as you write out the content on the page.

2. Using your keywords in your meta tags will boost your search engine rankings.

Google used to look at what keywords you used in your meta tags; but spammers got a hold of this technique as well. Because it was an easy place to “keyword stuff” without it showing to your visitors, it was thought to be a great place to focus in on what you hoped to rank for. Now Google pretty much passes by your meta tags and uses other characteristics to rank instead.

3. Every page on your website should concentrate on just one keyword.

Instead of worrying about keywords, concentrate on your content instead – your keywords will naturally come. For instance, if you are talking about portrait photography and are offering tips for looking your best, you’ll undoubtedly mention the concept of “portrait photography” throughout the post. Google spiders look at every word that exists on a page, and can even put together concepts of when words match up – like image, portrait, picture and photograph.

4. Search engine optimization is a one-time event.

While you should never put a majority of your time on SEO strategies, keep in mind that things change over time. If you are using a site from 5 years ago that was using keyword stuffing, its time to change. Its just as important to delete old strategies as it is to insert new ones. And if you are using a blog like WordPress, you’ll have all the tools you need to help you rank efficiently with each post you create.

5. Trading links with other sites helps your rankings.

At one point in time, Google would rank a site higher if it had a large amount of incoming and outgoing links. If you were “connected” you must be a better site, was the thought process. Yet that too quickly became abused. Spammers would buy links and put together link farms where sites would quickly gain access to thousands of links at a time. Times have changed. Instead of buying these links and using “phony” links that don’t provide any benefit, use links sparingly and for items that really matter. Google can tell a good site from a bad one. It can tell if you are connecting and directing people to sites that are relevant to your content. Quality is the only thing you should focus on today.

6. Your home page will be the highest ranked page on your site.

You home page isn’t the catch all page it once was. Especially by using sites like WordPress, you may end up with hundreds or even thousands of pages on your site. Google knows content as a whole is much more important than what is happening on your home page. So it spiders everything, and will quickly recognize and rank pages accordingly.

7. All search engines use the same parameters when ranking pages.

We tend to put all of our emphasis on Google; it is the biggest so its only natural to do so. Google uses proprietary information to rank every page on the Internet, and will use around 200 parameters in order to calculate its ranking. Bing, Yahoo, and all the other search engines use their own ranking system, though in many cases it does somewhat resemble what Google is doing. While its important to focus on Google – they are the biggest – its equally important to know where your traffic is coming from. If they love Yahoo, for instance, concentrate on your results in Yahoo and adjust accordingly.

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