Search engine optimization practitioners debate about everything.
One SEO expert says guest blogging is dead, while dozens of others disagree, and claim they have evidence to prove otherwise.
Another SEO person will tell you a website's design has very little influence on its search rankings, while another professional will strongly disagree.
And then there are the people who know very little about SEO, yet they rattle off myths so confidently that they've been able to make a pretty decent living selling junk.
Those are the people who make it hard for the good folks to do their job.
Here are some of the myths I hear far too often.
1. Nofollow Links Have Zero Value
Wouldn't it seem odd to you if a website has 1,000 inbound links and none of them were nofollow links?
It would definitely appear very odd to Google and it would raise a red flag. Nofollow links have lots of value, and this Moz article, The Hidden Power of Nofollow Links, explains why.
2. Bounce Rates in Google Analytics Affect Your Search Engine Rankings
When business owners poke around in their Google Analytics and see that they have high bounce rates, they panic.
Shady SEO practitioners capitalize on that panic and tell them they have to lower their bounce rates or it will start to affect their website's search engine rankings.
The truth is: bounce rates have no impact on search engine results, search rankings, indexing or crawling.
3. Building a Spin-Off Microsite Will Help Your Primary Site's SEO
No. No, it will not. This strategy is as old as SEO itself. Building microsites designed to create inbound links from one website to another is Black Hat SEO.
Google will most likely know that all of the websites are owned by one person. Carlton Smith, author of the SEO Service eBook, says in the book "The smarter strategy would be to silo content on the primary site in a user-friendly way."
4. Keyword Stuffing Increases Search Engine Rankings
Stuffing your content with the keywords you are targeting in search engines won't do you any good. Keyword density used to make a difference in search engine rankings, but that has not been the case in a long time.
It is important to use your keywords naturally in the title tag, body and meta description so your content does not look like spam.
5. Google Really Hates SEO
While Google really hates manipulative Black Hat SEO, this myth is just ridiculous. How do I know?
Well, Google provides newbies with a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide to keep them from heading down the Black Hat road.
Google even provides tips for hiring a good SEO practitioner in addition to information on how to report an SEO company if you feel you have been deceived.
6. XML Sitemaps Help Boost Search Engine Rankings
According to Google's SEO Starter Guide, an XML sitemap just makes it easier for Google to discover the pages on your website.
The guide states "it is also one way (though not guaranteed) to tell Google which version of a URL you'd prefer as the canonical one."
There is no mention that XML sitemaps help boost search rankings.
7. You Need to Rank #1 to Be Successful With SEO
You probably receive tons of emails promising to get you ranked #1 in Google in less than 30 days.
Even if that company can do that for you, does that mean you will achieve your goal - whatever that is? Not necessarily.
How are you defining success? What tools do you have in place to measure your true ROI? Did you capture leads? Did you make sales?
Another myth busting article completed. Do I think my effort was worthwhile? Maybe. Year after year, experienced marketers remind marketing newbies and business owners to avoid common SEO pitfalls.
And year after year, we hear the same myths repeated over and over again.