This is one of my favorite discussion points on blogs and forums because you will get tons of different answers. I would have to say most of the wrong answers are coming from people that just started out in SEO though. I will go over my top favorite myths and give an answer to each of them.
Submitting Your Site to Search Engines
This myth that still goes around and people believe is that you need to submit your site to search engines. It’s no longer true that this is required or even helps. Basically now search engines just follow links around the internet to find new sites. The more links you have going to your site the better chance the search engines will find it.
So don’t fall victim to this and never pay someone to submit your site to 1,000s of search engines. It’s a waste of time and money.
Pagerank Is Everything
The answer is yes and no for this one, but mostly no. There is a myth that basically says that pagerank determines how you get ranked in the search engines. While this is somewhat true because Googles algorithm does account for pagerank its still not a major factor in ranking.
The main yes to this myth though is for sites that only monetize through paid links. Pagerank is an easy method of checking how popular a site is, so having a higher pagerank you can sell links for more money.
But pagerank is not that important and I would never focus on optimizing a site by trying to increase the pagerank. Unless of course your site is only focused on selling links.
Too Many Links Too Fast Can Hurt
Again this is a yes and no answer. But I would always stick to telling people no it cant hurt. The main question usually comes up when someone wants to run a link building campaign and is worried about getting too many links too fast. Now its possible to get your site penalized from doing this but it takes a HUGE number of links in a short time to do this. Most of everyone reading this will never have to worry about this because most don’t even know how to create that many links. This is called Google Bowling if you never heard that term.
It used to be that meta tags were weighted heavily on for search engine rankings. That is no longer the truth and now people believe meta tags are dead. That is the myth I want to dispel because its not entirely true. The meta description tag is still very much used by Google and should be used appropriately, meaning there should be a unique meta description for every page on your site.
More Links Equals Better Rankings
Another yes and no. To put it plain and simple the myth isn’t a myth if you are referring to relevant links. If you are talking just random links then this is a myth because you can get a ton of irrelevant links and they wont do much of anything for your site.
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Matt Cutts recently made it very clear that big G does not take into account the keyword meta tag. I avoid it anyway since it tells people exactly what keywords you are trying to rank for.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin
bogart (30 September, 2009)
I look at it this way, let's use the keywords meta tag as an example: does it do any harm? Absolutely not. There might be something out there that still uses it, and even though it might not provide any significant help, it won't do any harm, and it's not a big inconvenience to have a keywords meta tag anyway.
The same goes for search engine submissions: while it might not do a ton of good, it could help, it won't hurt, and it only takes a matter of seconds.
And as for the PageRank note - a lot of people think it's important. So, why not exploit that?
Sell advertising on your site using your PR as another reason for why people should want to advertise with you.
If they think it's helpful, who cares? It's just more cash in your pocket.
You have got everything you wrote spot on. Google doesn't use the keyword meta tag simply because before webmasters stuffed it with loads of keywords to achieve higher rankings. The best thing to do to get ranked for your keywords is to use it on your page in a natural way and get loads of links to your site that are from related sites and use keyword rich anchor text.