Myths about Google, by Google

Besides the last event that allowed 400 webmasters to have questions answered by people at Google, was published a slideshow of all the myths about Google and webmastering practices. This list is supplemented by information provided in previous releases.

Where these false beliefs come from? The info spreads quickly on the Web, whether true or false. There is a part of belief that comes from total inexperience of webmasters, but part also comes from a misunderstanding of the operation of the algorithm, the fact that very little is said by Google, most of what is known coming from the study of patents it registered, a mandatory communication.
Even the engine is unintentionally involved in misinformation by changing its algorithm: what it declares false may become true in future versions!

(It is a document from Google embedded into an iframe)

Here is the list of myths (I have added some extra myths not in the document but taken from the event):

  1. Myth: You must fill the keyword meta-tags.
  2. Myth: Mix of HTML and XHTML prevents verification by Webmaster Tools
  3. Myth: It is important to submit in a thousand directories and search engines. Waste of time.
  4. Myth: It is vital to re-submit your site regularly. No. Once the engineknows an URL he never forgets!
  5. Myth: Participating in AdWords, AdSense or Analytics can promote a site / or penalize it.
  6. Myth: If a keyword is important, it is important to repeat it in best places in most pages so they appear more relevant to major search engines.
  7. Myth: Using an XML sitemap may downgrade a site
  8. Myth: The PageRank is dead/or on the contrary it is all that matters. It is a true signal, but only one among 200.
  9. Myth: Once your page is at top in SERPs, do no touch anything on it.
  10. Myth: Valid HTML or XHTML code provides a better ranking.
  11. Myth: Using disallow in robots.txt will remove pages from the index. That blocks robots only.
  12. Myth: The more there are links, the better it is. No, quantities of criteria are attached to the quality of a link. Which is all that matters.
  13. Myth: All that matters is to put a website on top in the SERP (Note: this may be sufficient for webmasters)...
  14. Myth: It is better than old URL return 404 errors for the new architecture will be discovered naturally.
  15. Myth: Using "index, follow" in the meta "robots" is important.
  16. Myth: Hosting a site on a shared IP does it to lose positions.
  17. Myth: Domains with .edu or .gov extensions provide better baklinks.
  18. Myth: An older domain helps a site in results.

All that is false.

Read the whole diaporama, for links at the end.

Former myths that are now true

Although the slideshow dating from 2008 describe them as myths, some assertions false at the time are in fact become reality!

  1. True: Duplicate content penalizes a site. This was a myth, but since Panda it is now true, it there is duplicate or similar content across the page, the site is penalyzed (pandalyzed), and get an overall bad score.
  2. True: Backlinks from social networks or blogs have less value. Actually, link from Twitter are not taken into account at all. They are used, but not as backlinks, they do no transmit PR.

Please, Look at the end of the slideshow to get important links.

See also a summary of the event where Google answered to webmasters.