There's been a variety of articles out recently that look at search engine optimization advice that people hear, believe and perhaps act on in the wrong ways. Below, a look at some of these resources covering myths, mistakes and getting things into perspective.
The SEO Myths Thread from Barry over at Search Engine Roundtable summarizes an interesting Cre8asite thread about top SEO myths, such as oldies like meta tags being super important and others such as worries over duplicate content penalties. Of course, "SEO Worries" might be a better name for the thread, since not everyone will agree that all the items listed are myths.
Search Engine Forums & Conferences - Are they Really Helpful? from Search Engine Guide is on a related topic and a good read. It covers how tips people pick up at forums and search conferences sometimes aren't weighed properly.
It's excellent advice. SEO in particular has always been a slippery area for anyone to know exactly what's "right." What's correct for one person can often come down to the particular situation their involved in. Pushing Viagra on the web? What works for you might be completely different than what's helpful to a site that sells children's toys.
That's a chief reason why at our own SES conferences, it's extremely rare that we have a panel with only one person on it. I'm always trying to have a range of viewpoints and hoping that people will take it all in and make up their own minds on on how to proceed.
Speaking of which, SEO Overkill is a session at our upcoming Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago next week that addresses some of the myths and "what to believe" problem. Sometimes, it's not that the advice is wrong. It's that people simply don't do things in moderation. That panel will look at some examples of going to extremes and why that is bad.
That leads me to Common Sense Algorithm Chasing, out today from Search Engine Guide. It talks briefly about trying to get that balance right, understanding what a search engine wants, but not going to the extreme of being an algo chaser nor the opposite of simply assuming that "common sense" alone is enough for success.