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Home > Blog > Technical > Logging some common SEO myths
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Logging some common SEO myths

James Miodonski


In a former life, I was responsible for the day-to-day running of a group of large forestry websites.  As such, I had a fairly active presence on various online forums around the web relating to trees, timber and all things forestry.  One of these hangouts is a place called ArbTalk, where I still occasionally drop by to see what’s happening.

While browsing it a wee while ago, I spotted a thread with some questions, pointers and general SEO myths, so thought I’d chip in, and share the details here.


Just in case you can't see the wood for the trees.

Originally posted by chrisgilltreesurgery

“The more traffic you get through your website from different IP addresses helps you get up on Google…”

James’ reply

Not true I’m afraid – links from different websites, and subsequently IP’s, around the web – ideally within your theme or topic – definitely do help, but traffic alone doesn’t.

Originally posted by Alinicoll

“Remember that it`s important to spend some time on a site and view a few pages. Google counts a one page view as a bounce and therefore lowers the ranking…”

James’ reply

Again, this is a bit of a myth – Google does class a single page view as a ‘bounce’, however it doesn’t make any difference in terms of where a page is ranked. They don’t use any analytics data to influence search rankings – from the mouth of their own Matt Cutts:

Originally posted by nailer  

“Reciprocal links are best avoided…”

James’ reply

Hmmm, as a general rule of thumb – ‘probably’ but Google is only looking to discredit links that it deems to be ‘unnatural’.

Let’s look at a couple of scenarios where reciprocal links are both natural and perfectly fine.

Joe Bloggs owns a tree surgery site and a firewood site. Why would he not want to include a link to each from the other site he owns?

Andy Bloggs owns the web design company that built Joe’s sites – he’s included a wee link in the footer of each saying “Website Designed by Andy Bloggs”. Because he’s so happy with them, Joe then adds a small blog post on each of his sites along the lines of “Thanks to Andy Bloggs for my new sites – I think they’re great”.

All perfectly natural, and something that people actually would do. Nothing to worry about.

Where people run into problems is by swapping links with all & sundry, just to get the link. Think about it – why would say, a Mexican restaurant in Brisbane legitimately link to an Arb site in Dundee?

That’s the sort of linking that Google might punish a site for, and should be avoided at all costs.

Originally posted by nailer

“Clicks to your site can also do more harm than good if it’s a very short one-page visit…”

James’ reply

Not true – clicks won’t do your website any harm whatsoever.

Originally posted by Pedroski

“Because Macs are all arty farty…”

James’ reply

This, I can confirm to be true.  ;0)

Originally posted by allston

“I have quite a good local web designer. He mentioned to be careful on getting involved in link schemes to improve ranking…”

James’ reply

He’s advising you well, to a point – see above. It all depends on the link scheme.

Originally posted by allston

“He also said to be cautious of reciprocal links as Google may discount them or even penalise both websites involved…”

James’ reply

Links are good, used properly they count as votes from one site to another – don’t be afraid of asking for and getting links to your site.”

See above – it’s all about relevance and whether it’s something that would actually, naturally happen if people weren’t trying to scam the search engines.

Originally posted by allston

“The best approach of all to improve rankings is quality content, he said always remember Google is only interested in giving the best search results to the person making the search…”

James’ reply

Your web guy knows what he’s talking about – this is the single best bit of advice I’ve seen on this thread. By providing something that is of real value, use or interest to people on your website it will naturally gather links as people share it with others. This in turn will naturally bring in more traffic as the word spreads, and subsequently attract more links. The more links you gather, the higher up the rankings your site will go, thus attracting even more traffic.

That’s the way to do it!

Originally posted by Mark Bolam

“, Kelkoo and people like that are nearly always top because they pay the dollar.

Top six are usually not tree cutters, they are other co’s offering to find tree cutters in the specified area…”

James’ reply

Depends what you class as ‘nearly always top’. Anyone can be ‘top’ by paying for AdWords – but it can turn into an expensive game.

A lot of the time, the big sites (like the ones Mark’s mentioned – Yell etc) rank well is because they:

A) Are old – old sites tend to be more trustworthy in Google’s eyes

B) Are big – look at Wikipedia – they’re not paying anyone yet how many times does a Wikipedia page top the rankings? Big sites are more likely to have an answer to something, and thus tend to get served up quite often by search engines

C) Have a ‘lot’ of backlinks pointing to them. I’ve just done a very quick check, and alone has in the region of 750,000 other webpages linking back to it.

I hope this goes some way towards dispelling some of the (many) myths about SEO, but if there’s something you’d like to know – please get in touch.


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