I like Kalena Jordan. I like Jill Whalen. But a recent article in SiteProNews written by the former about the latter has me a little confused.
You have to read carefully what people say in these articles. Jordan is explaining some advice that Whalen gave in a conference tutorial and starts off with some common “Search Engine Optimization Myths.” To be sure, most of them are myths. But you have to pay attention to some of the wording on these myths:
- you must have a keyword-rich domain
- you must have keyword-rich page URLs
- heading tags are necessary (H1, H2 etc.)
First off, I don’t know anyone who says a keyword-rich domain is necessary. Obviously, it isn’t necessary. How many websites with whacked out domain names are still popular? Flickr, Bebo, MySpace … No, they’re not necessary. But they are helpful. That’s helpful. Notice the difference in spelling?
Saying keywords in your URL aren’t necessary is like saying it isn’t necessary to have a website. Sure, you can run a business without a website, but if you build a website and market it correctly then you’ll get more business. Oh, silly me!
I believe some Search Engine Optimization experts throw up a ruse to confuse people. Some of them will tell you a certain practice is necessary when it isn’t. Then someone else will come along and tell you it isn’t necessary but fail to tell you that it is helpful. Let’s be honest: Using the tools at your disposal is helpful.
So how is it helpful? Well, if you put your website up against your competition and you are equal in all other respects, I believe the website with the primary keyword in the URL will rank better. Why? Because it’s a ranking factor. It’s not the most important ranking factor. It isn’t even a very heavily weighted one. But it is a ranking factor and you should consider it. Why ignore something that can give you an edge just because it isn’t necessary?
Most of Kalena’s and Jill’s advice, however, is pretty rock solid. I wouldn’t ignore it. But take anything any Search Engine Optimization expert says with a grain of salt. Jill (ahem, Kalena) points this out clearly in her “Search Engine Optimization Company Myths” segment:
- that a #1 ranking will always lead to more traffic or sales. The good rankings need to be for keywords and phrases that people are actually searching for.
- that the company can place pages in certain positions. Not possible, unless they’re using Pay Per Click or sponsored spots.
- that your rankings will tank if you stop paying the company. Rubbish!
- that they have a “proprietary method” of Search Engine Optimization. They’re lying!
- that they have a “special relationship” with Google. Again, they’re lying. Google has no relationships with organic Search Engine Optimization companies that Jill is aware of.
- that they can increase your rankings without doing any on-page work. Run away!
These claims are all just patently ridiculous and I agree – if your Search Engine Optimization company is telling you any of these things, run away!