SEO myth: “noindex” tag means Google is not indexing the page

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Until a few years ago, webmasters could use the “noindex” instruction to request that Google does not index a page. Usually this instruction was given through a metatag called “robots” in the <head> part of a page.

Google would not index a page where it found the tag “noindex”. This meant Google was not adding to its index any link between the words in the page and the page itself (as happens in a book index). Without indexing, the user was not able to find the page with a query to the search engine.

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SEO myth: keyword density

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One of the more fascinating examples of smoke and mirrors in SEO is the idea of a formula to decide how often a keyword or phrase should be repeated within a page to increase the page’s relevancy to that word or phrase.

Documentation about information retrieval (the discipline that explain how search engines work) shows that the formulas used by search engines to calculate the relevancy between keywords and documents are far more complex than those invented by SEOs.

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SEO myth: rank tracking tools give real and correct website position in the search engines

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Many years ago, search engine results were pretty much static. For a specific query, the SERPs were almost the same for every user. Going forward, search engines became more sophisticated and now the results for a specific query vary, taking many factors in to considerations.

One of these factors is the location from which the user is making the query: two people in two different places might receive different search results for the same query. Other factors taken in to consideration by the search engines include what the user searched before and what the user actually clicked before. Nowadays, the SERPs are very different and are personalized based on the user.

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