Well we all are creative artists in how we work with clients on organic SEO tactics. Many of the times what we feel is right and wrong for SEO can be debated. This got me wondering about a few of the recent posts on WPW (my most visited SEO forum) lately. Their have been a few threads that I feel have been a bit “misleading” as what is ABSOLUTELY necessary for websites to rank. Here are a few I have recently noticed from WPW and other forums:

Bold Versus Strong Debate – It doesn’t matter which you use. You will rank fine with both.

ALT’s – If you left them all blank, other factors would still be enough to get you to the top. Now I don’t recommend doing this, you should accurately describe what your images are. If you SPAM in here you can do damage, but that is not what this list is for.

Code to Content Ratio – Not sure how this myth started, but Google and other search engines will find the content on your website regardless of your “ratio”.

Clean Code – I think this one has been “sort-of put to bed, but I just want to be clear again. You don’t need to adhere to W3 standards to rank. Of course if you working with a designer and putting together a new website and they are choosing not to design a “clean” website I would ask them. You designer should be worrying about this, not your SEO.

Comment Tags – Completely worthless fro SEO. Don’t need to use them. if you do use them, just be sensible about it. Like the ALT’s, you spam in here you will eventually get caught.

Title and Meta Tags – OK very simply put you the description and title tag helps you rank. The keyword tag is unnecessary to rank for SEO. Now if you want to use it go ahead, feel free. I use them when clients have internal search engines. It is a great tool for relevancy when using internal search. Of course the big boy SE’s barely consider them and like other items above, if you spamming in them you will get hurt in the end. One thing to note here, if you are using title and description tags make sure they are very unique to each other. Most of the SE’s use the description and title tag now to spot duplication.

Magic Back Link Goals – Their is no magic or goal number when acquiring backlinks. This is not a quantitative game. it is a quality game. Just concentrate on getting high relevant websites linking to you with the keywords you wan tot rank for. You can use rank tracking tools like Linkio which will help you with organic traffic and boosting your website rankings. You don’t need so many per month. Just let it happen naturally. If your the best at what you do it will happen over time.

Keyword Density – This is simply not important. Their is no magic percentage. Just write copy fro end visitors. Naturally if you writing copy about DVD players, you going to use it here and there in the copy without even thinking about it. Once again here you can spam and have keyword insertions in an unnatural way. Eventually you will get caught. Just relax and write.

I am sure I am forgeting some, but I just wrote this of the top of my head.

Now I am not looking to list what SEO factors we need to implement on client websites. Just the ones that that we could use, but are not absolutely necessary to rank. Sure it would be nice to create a semantically correct website when doing SEO, but it sure as shit is not necessary to rank. And if your SEO gets you rankings and sales without doing everything in W3 standards, then more power to him.

Please feel free to list some of the other ones you feel you can do without, while still getting great rankings and sales.

In a related topic Oilman goes further and talks about why SEO is not “bullshit” and “stupid easy”.