Friday, June 22, 2007

Common SEO Myths

Many people believe, but it is not true:

1. You should not have any outgoing links because they dissipate your SEO power. Just like water pressure or electricity, any outgoing link will function as a "leak" and release the pressure. This is a completely false understanding of how the search engines work yet many people totally believe that they are "wasting power" by having outgoing links on their site.

2. You should have as few pages as possible on your site. Again, many believe that just like electricity or water power, the bigger the area covered, the less pressure or power is concentrated on the key spots. So your best pages will do better if you don't divide your SEO power across many pages. While largely untrue, there is some truth (I believe) that sites cannot just keep getting larger without diminishing the power of some key pages)

3. The google PageRank that we see on the google toolbar is an important measure of a page's power and the value of an outgoing link. In fact, the visible pagerank is a highly distorted cartoon which can be wildly inaccurate. I believe (and would welcome comments) that this is inaccurate in that:
- it is reflecting the number of incoming links but NOT the quality or relevance which is at least as important as the number of links
- the value of an outgoing link from a page is a reflection of it's relevance to the target page, quality, and the number of outgoing links on a page. If all else were equal, the links on a page with 10 outgoing links is ten times more valuable than a link on a page with one outgoing link. I have seen hundreds of people pay for links from the same page which means that the relative of power of those links is the original power of the page, minus some dampening effect, and then divided by the total number of links on the page.
- it is always several months out of date

PS - While not a myth since the pun is good, most people don't know that when the concept of pagerank was being developed, Larry Page decided to name the concept after himself. I've often wondered if Sergei Brin wanted it to be called BrinRank.

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