Pre-historic SEO: The Myths and Legends

There are a number of lingering seo myths about the mechanisms of search engines. In this blog, we deal with a few extinct and endangered concepts.

SEO Myths No. 1: Meta Tags & Meta Keywords

Meta Tags and Meta Keywords - SEO Myths

Legend has it that, in prehistoric SEO times, Meta Tags were the single most important part of the optimisation process. However, many people don’t realise that their effectiveness has been reduced over time – in no small part, due to abuse.

Perhaps, the most spam-damaged Meta Tag category would be Meta Keywords.

The philosophy behind Meta Keywords has always been to list key words and phrases. Ones that you would expect your site to rank well for. And wait for users to type those terms into search engines. Header Tags have experienced a similar downturn in fortunes.

Meta Tags that still do serve a significant, modern-day purpose include:

  • Title Tag
  • Meta Description
  • Meta Robots Tag

Further Reading: A Guide To On-Page SEO


SEO Myths No. 2: Submission Forms

Altavista in the 90s

Once upon a time, the earth was roamed by a species of great beasts known as submission forms.

Up until the late 1990s, search engines used submission forms as a major part of the optimisation process. Website owners would tag their webpages with keyword information and then submit their sites to the engines. The search companies, originally, employed staff to manually rank pages. This process evolved as the first automated bots were implemented, programmed to crawl and to automatically consider websites.

Unfortunately, the submission form system was—much like Meta Keywords—extremely prone to spam. Gradually, it has been phased out, in favour of purely crawl-based engines.

The closest useful equivalent, today, would be the process of link-building. Earning links, from related sites, exposes your content to search engines in a natural, organic manner.

Further reading: Link Building, The Basics


SEO Myths No. 3: Keyword Density

Keyword stuffing

Image courtesy of

At one point in history, it was common for content marketers to pack their written copy with keywords. This was in the hope of achieving increased online exposure.

SEO professionals should now be aware that these methods have become outdated.

Most major search engines now use a mathematical formula to divide the number of keyword instances by the number of words on a page. For modern day content writing, you should still use keywords. But ensure you do so intelligibly, with user-friendliness being a primary concern. Your content should be relevant and useful to people, and of the highest quality you can muster. Be informed by keywords, not driven by them.

In contemporary SEO the value of multiple keywords is outweighed by the value of earning one good editorial link from a human being that likes what they see. Major search engines now penalise non-organic SEO practices.

Further Reading: Search Engines, The Basics


Takeaway Points:

  • Meta Keywords are no longer needed, but Meta Descriptions do help increase your SERP click-thru rate
  • Search Engine submission forms are dead. Increase keyword ranking through organically earned backlinks
  • Content should be written with the user in mind, and your content should be the most useful and best you can produce.

Heading into our 25th business year, we at BFI are committed to moving with the times. We don’t plan on going the way of the dinosaurs! If you are looking for an SEO agency that keeps on top of all the latest trends and is aware of those that will result in penalties from the search engines, contact our team of experts today.