Porn Sites, PageRank & Popularity

Porn sites debunking SEO myths. Say what? Today, we take a look at a video by Matt Cutts explaining just that:

Is PageRank determined by popularity? Yes and no. Your site’s popularity is a factor in your PageRank but it’s not the only one. Among many other things, PageRank also includes reputation. Matt explains how even though porn sites are highly popular, they are often not linked by reputable sources like CNN and The New York Times. This explains why .gov and .edu sites (other reputable sources that aren’t as popular) have a higher PageRank than lower quality sites that aren’t reputable (porn sites).

Are porn sites (and other low quality sites) penalized by Google? The video shows that the porn industry isn’t necessary targeted as a whole to be penalized but there might be some other explanations. The question also brings up a good point, since porn sites often feature many link exchanges, ads and affiliate links to other low quality sites. As a whole, Google frowns on this.

What does Google consider trustworthy?Reputation, trust, and authority are all words in Google’s vocabulary in ranking high quality sites. Google trust includes PageRank although Matt claims that it’s not really an algorithm, but more of a way how Google determines the usefulness and relevancy of a page. In other words, Google looks at pages in the eyes of an average visitor and judges the page on whether it’s delivering what it’s promising and in what manner.

What do you think and does this video help clear up the often misconceived notion that PageRank is solely based on popularity?

5 Common SEO Myths

seo mythsOld SEO myths never seem to really die and it doesn’t help that new ones are being created. Let’s take a look at 5 common myths about search engine optimization:

1) SEO is a set it and forget it processAre we done yet? Many online marketing services have a completion end date or end goal – web design project, PPC campaigns etc. But what about SEO? An effective SEO campaign is an on going process that never really ends. It helps to think of web copywriting and content creation as a regular process, like a more traditional marketing campaign that changes with the seasons and consumer trends.

2) More keywords will get you a higher ranking – More is NOT always better and this is exactly the case when it comes to optimizing content. You can’t just throw in random keywords because you want to cover as many areas related to your business as possible. Keyword stuffing isn’t going to impress people or search engines – not to mention that it’s a dead giveaway that your site is spammy page that’s not helpful.

3) Search engine rankings can be guaranteed – Have you ever had an SEO company guarantee you #1 positions? Talk about shady… As frustrating as it may be, there’s no such thing as a 100% guarantee when it comes to SEO. Rather than focusing on the top spot, a reputable SEO company will give you a detailed plan about how to achieve top rankings within a realistic time frame using white hat methods.

4) Once you reach the top, you’ll stay there – Search engine algorithms are changing all the time and you can bet that your other businesses are making changes to keep up. Success is possible but staying in the top ranks is a constant and time consuming process. Related to Myth #1, we recommend a consistent SEO plan so that you can stay in the top rankings once you’re there. If you stop your efforts after reaching the top, it will be a waste because your rankings could easily slide and your competitors will surely be thankful!

5) Linking Out to Other Sites Will Help Your Rankings: I’ve heard this more than a handful of times so it must be a common misconception! Some people believe that linking out to well-known sites and brands will help their rankings. Not sure where this idea came from but it’s definitely not true. Incoming links from relevant and trustworthy sites will give your site the link juice that you’re looking for, not the other way around.

Do you have any other myths about organic optimization that you’d like to share or debunk?