SEOAndy posts explore all aspects of Digital Marketing, aiming to help small businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations Grow Today.

Google Myths - Dismissed

One of the many things i've discussed over the past few months are various Search Engine Myths. So i'm writing this article with the aim to dismiss & correct several Google! myths. Why Google ? To be blunt, Google is the most popular search engine and website in the world. It draws much more attention and incorrect conclusions from its surroundings than any other website. From PageRank to penalties and how they work ... there are a LOT of myths.

1# - High PageRank, means High Search Ranking This myth is the most common myth i hear. Even some SEO's believe in this... but they are wrong! Many a webmaster or website owner has moaned that someone with a lower PageRank has ranked above them ... on Google! To understand this there is one thing you must understand first.

Taken from "what does PageRank mean to your site?" I asked Matt Cutts (”head of webspam” at Google) - My Tweet to @mattcutts And his response:  ”not at all” - Matts Tweet

PageRank is one of around 200 factors that Google uses for search ranking, and a close examination will show that the idea of PageRank simply means the quality of the links you are achieving (and nothing really more than this). 

So, don't rely on PageRank to tell you how your site is doing ... no search engine does.

2# Google will "ban" you for being linked to by a "link farm" This is completely and utterly wrong. 

Yes, Google has a policy against joining a link farm, however there are farms that automatically create links adding your site.  A Link farm is a site or service set up to artifically adjust PageRank. Although there are some farms you join you won't be penalised - because a search engine has no way of knowing if you joined your site, someone else did or it was automatic. So no you won't be banned for this or penalised, because you have no control over it.

However, if you link to the link farm (and maybe hide the link) you will be in trouble. This is where you may get a ban or another punishment.

3# - Google Doesn't index Dynamic Pages! Wrong - dynamic pages are generated on the server ...they load as static files (php or asp mainly). These files are able to be read by search engine robots! 

However a few warnings should be taken:

    Throwing google into a loop query with no end will mean you don't get indexed (generally).

    Google will not remember cookies or session ID's.

    Google cannot login to your site.

     Use of Search Engine Friendly URL's is advised (if only for users).

4# - Using the "link:" search in google shows ALL incoming links People ask why they see no backlinks when they try this, knwoing they have at least a few from other sites... the reasoning is simple in some cases (for example the site using a "nofollow" attribute), in other cases is down to Google. By this I mean that Google doesn't like showing everything it knows about your site(s), if it showed you everything it knew (your history and predicted future) you could manipulate this to gain a higher search ranking. 

Want to check a link has been spidered (another reason for it not appearing)?  Search the exact page in google and view the cache - if you see your link you know its been spidered and google has seen this page (if you don't but you view the live site and its there) either there is some cloaking happening (doubtful) or the page has yet to be spidered ... be patient. 

5# - DMOZ listing gives you a  PageRank "special bonus" Another myth! - Google uses DMOZ simply to power (some) of its search power ... for example if your listed in dmoz but your site script has no description Google turns to DMOZ for the description. I'm often told of how miracles have occured after someone has been accepted into DMOZ. However, in truth the mircale of an increase PR is non-existant. The only thing occuring is that your site is being linked by many hundreds/maybe thousands of sites which also use DMOZ. The links from these sites are seen and spidered... they do count - so many hundreds more links are seen to a site and this increases PR ... it is NOT a special bonus.

Do you have a question about a Search Engine? Do you want to know why something has happened in a search engine to your site? - Leave a Comment.

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