This is part four of my "Search Engine Optimization Demystified" article! If you missed out on Part 1, 2 and 3 of the series, you should read them here, here and here before reading the following article!
SEO Myth#8 – My websites would get good rankings in Google ONLY IF I buy a dedicated IP for each of them: Feel free to waste your money if you wish to ( a dedicated IP costs anything between $1-$2 per month, and if you have 100 websites, each with a different dedicated IP, you would have a monthly headache of $100-$200 for no good reason at all), but keep in mind that the website with sub-domains I was talking about at SEO Myth#2 (see "Search Engine Optimization Demystified-Part 1 in case you missed it) in my previous article doesn’t have a dedicated IP at all and yet, the main site, as well as the sub-domains and the add-on domains under it enjoy decent search engine positions!
In my opinion, dedicated IPs and dedicated servers have got to do more with email delivery than search engine rankings. If, for example, you plan to send newsletters directly from your server AND make sure they are delivered, I highly suggest that you get a dedicated IP and a Virtual Dedicated or Dedicated server if you can afford it! However, if you are buying dedicated IPs merely in the hope of gaining higher rankings in Google, you may be throwing your cash down the drain without even knowing it! ;)
There are primarily two things that can influence your website’s SERPs:
b) Backlinks (If your backlinks come from sites based on different IP zones, they are valued much more than the links coming from sites on the same server; so you see, the IP of the backlink site matters more for SERPs than the IP of YOUR site)
If you don’t build content AND backlinks for your website, you would get screwed for sure! Both content and backlinks are equally important for search engine rankings! For example, no matter how many high pagerank incoming links your site may have, if it doesn’t contain good content, visitors won’t think twice before hitting the back button. As more and more people hit the back button, your site’s bounce rate would increase and you would start losing you Google rankings! If you want to monitor your website’s bounce rate, you should install the free Google Analytics tracking code! Here is some, non-Google insight on "bounce rate".
Similarly, if your site has a lot of good content but very few incoming links, it would rank poorly in Google!
Oh, and before I forget, if you are switching hosts or changing your site’s IP address, here is some information on what to do to maintain your Google rankings! Personally I have never done that stuff even after changing about 8-9 web hosts, and my sites’ rankings in Google don’t seem to have been affected. Still, I thought it my duty to pass on this information to you. If you are someone who loses sleep over Google and SEO, I hope this piece of information helps you get better sleep at night! ;)
Proving me wrong: It is pretty easy and I won’t waste a lot of your cash either! Take two websites. Have a dedicated IP assigned to one of them and keep the other on a shared IP. Do the same amount of SEO work for both websites for a period of about 4-5 months. At the end of this exercise, you can check where you stand! As always, you may post your results in the comments section of my blog!
SEO Myth#9 – I know how to fool Google: I suggest you spend your time and focus on building content and backlinks rather than thinking about fooling Google! Google is too smart to be fooled for long; if anything, you might end up fooling yourself in the process! ;)
SEO Myth#10 – The more links I build the better: Not all backlinks are created equal. Backlinks from authority websites are given greater weight by Google than those from ordinary, low pagerank websites. When it comes to backlink building, it is about quality and NOT quantity. It is any day better to have 25 incoming links from high pagerank sites than 1,000 links from low pagerank or spammy sites! It is even better to have 15 backlinks from 15 different IPs than 25 links from same IP zone. A link from the main page of Ning.com carries way more weight than one from one of its subdomain sites! ;)
SEO Myth#11 – Meta tag spamming is the surefire way to SEO success: If you strictly care about Google, tags such as meta description and meta keywords are completely useless! As a matter of fact, Google extracts "meta description" and "meta keywords" from the "page content". It cares little about what junk you put in your webpage’s head tags, for it knows that such tags can be manipulated, and in fact, HAS been already manipulated by black hat SEOs in the past! It was essentially the objective of weeding out those black hat, spammy sites from their search index that prompted Google to make this dramatic change in their algorithm.
I am not saying this, Google says this! So there is really no question of proving me wrong in this case! :D For proof, I would like you to revisit Google’s technical details page, where it explicitly states the way it treats the "meta description tag" of a webpage:
"Hypertext-Matching Analysis: Our search engine also analyzes page content. However, instead of simply scanning for page-based text (which can be manipulated by site publishers through meta-tags), our technology analyzes the full content of a page and factors in fonts, subdivisions and the precise location of each word. We also analyze the content of neighboring web pages to ensure the results returned are the most relevant to a user’s query."
Nowadays, I hardly use the "meta keywords" tag at all. The only time I bother about it is when it comes to blog publishing. It has nothing to do with Google; it is just that the "related posts plugin" I use on my blog to display the related posts to my visitors relies a lot on such "keyword data" in order to show the necessary information!
While meta description tags don’t seem to work for Google, they may surely have several other uses. To give you an example, if you run your own in-house search engine script to let your visitors search through your website and get what they want quick, you might want to exploit the "meta description" tag of your webpage to its full potential, since most such search engine scripts rely on this tag to display the description of a webpage in the search results (as of now, only a few prominent search engine scripts support the "Google style extraction" method of extracting information from a webpage, and even then, some of them simply don’t work as intended)!
So far as search engines, especially Google, is concerned, right now only the title tag is useful (but who can guarantee Google would not make it redundant as well in the course of time? ;) ).
You may have your own reasons to resort to keyword spamming or meta tag spamming, but if you are doing it solely with the hope of getting a top 10 position in Google, I don’t think you would go a long way!
I would like to add that black hat seo methods, if used smartly, can still work! But unless you have a lot of time and money to spend on them, it is best to start making money with white-hat SEO!
Now, if you liked this article, would you mind posting a nice comment below? ;)