Mountain View, California–The head software engineer in charge of the webspam team at search giant Google, Matt Cutts, answers a question in the latest Webmaster video regarding SEO myths. Ryan, from Michigan, wrote in to ask, “What are some of the biggest SEO Myths you see still being repeated (either at conferences, or in blogs, etc).”
Cutts leads off with the two biggest SEO myths, which are sites that purchase ads on Google automatically rank high on the SERP and that not buying ads from the search engine will increase a site’s organic rank. Cutts goes on to state that a related myth is Google makes its algorithmic changes to push companies into buying ads.
The software engineer states that people can understand how the search engine operates and makes its decisions about algorithmic changes by explaining what Google aims to provide its users, “We want to return really good search results to users, so they are happy, so they’ll keep coming back.” He goes on to emphatically state that Google does not make changes to coerce businesses into purchasing ads.
The Most Repeated SEO Myths
On the subject of ads related to ranking, Cutts says that neither buying or refraining from ad purchases will “help or hurt” a site’s organic positioning on the query results page.
Cutts warns that black hat techniques and “group think” are dangerous ways to go about optimizing and that it’s a bad idea to subscribe to the notion that a single ebook or software package will be the magic bullet to rank high in search. Cutts uses an analogy when comparing employing software to perform white hat SEO, quipping, “it sounds to me like buying a gun and trying to use it as a hammer.”
The chief webspam engineer states that it’s better to align efforts with Google’s goals rather than trying manipulate the search engine’s signals because that is working in opposition to not only the company’s algorithms, it also makes a negative impression on site visitors. In two other recent videos, Cutts stated that Google is able to separate popularity from authority, and that backlink exclusion worsens search results.