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For an industry that relies on as much data as the SEO market does, there is never much certainty that the popular optimization tactic being preached at the moment is a legitimate strategy. We rarely have the definitive answers from the source needed to keep all the confusion down, and new myths seem to spring up overnight.

To counter the constant flow of SEO myths, Google’s distinguished engineer Matt Cutts used one of his recent Webmaster Help videos to debunk many of the misconceptions surrounding the world’s most popular search engine.

This isn’t the first time Cutts has used his regular video message to debunk SEO myths, but this time he focuses on a specific type of myth that has become increasingly widespread as Google seems to keep narrowing their guidelines and offering greater space to ads.

Cutts starts by tackling the myth “if you buy ads you’ll rank higher in Google” and the opposing legend that not buying ads is the key to high rankings. In Matt Cutts’ perspective, these fables are tied to the notion that Google makes all of their decisions in an effort to force webmasters to buy more ads.

The problem with that idea is that it doesn’t actually reflect how Google thinks about their operations. The fact is, webmasters are rarely the main priority for the search engine to begin with. Instead, according to Cutts, Google’s rationale behind all changes is simply that they want to return the best search results possible to keep users happy and keep them coming back.

Of course, no one is denying that Google would like users to see ads and generate revenue, but that is never the prime motivation for changes like algorithm updates.

On a similar note, Matt uses the second half of the video to discuss the offers he sees for software packages that clam to help users make money and magically fix their SEO – for a small fee, of course.

Just as you can’t buy your way to high rankings with ads the chances of a random purchased software package making you money is almost zero. Matt lays out another scenario: “If someone had a foolproof way to make money online, they would probably use that way to make money rather than packaging it up in an ebook and selling it to people.”

In the end, most of the myths are born out of a misunderstanding of Google’s goals. Too many SEO professionals think of their job strictly in terms of increasing visibility and rankings, or upping their ROI. But the search engines are just looking for the best content possible. You can spend your time trying to game and cheat to get to the top, or you can align yourself with the search engine and try to provide users something of value. According to Cutts, that should be enough to fix many of the problems less honest SEOs tend to run into.

You can watch the full video below:

Internet commenters aren’t quite known for their excellent grammar or insightful conversation. While there are plenty who contribute and expand on content with helpful information in the comments, there are also more than a few who struggle with language or actively try to troll other users with garbled borderline nonsense.

For most users, these types of commenters are a simple annoyance at most. But, for those who spend long hours crafting grammatically correct and easily-readable content, the less readable comments can cause some worry. While quality content is most important for users, content creators also aim for high legibility because it can affect rankings.

It is no secret that nonsensical or poorly written content doesn’t tend to perform well on search engines, but what about those comments that aren’t so carefully put together? Can comments with bad grammar or readability hurt your content’s rankings? According to Matt Cutts, Google’s most popular spokesperson, the answer is not really.

“I wouldn’t worry about the grammar in your comments. As long as the grammar on your own page is fine … there are people on the Internet and they write things and it doesn’t always make sense,” Cutts said in a recent Webmaster Chat video. “You can see nonsense comments on YouTube and other large properties and that doesn’t mean that YouTube video will be able to rank.”

The primary exception to this rule is spam comments. While nonsense comments or poorly written comments aren’t much of a problem for you, spam comments should still be removed to protect your SEO and generally improve user experience and site quality.

“Just make sure that your own content is high-quality. You might want to make sure that people aren’t leaving spam comments, if you’ve got a bot, then they might leave bad grammar,” Cutts said. “But if it’s a real person and they are leaving a comment and the grammar is not slightly perfect, that usually reflects more on them than it does on your sites, so I wouldn’t stress out about that.”

So breathe easy content creators of the internet; so long as you keep putting effort into making great content, you should be safe from any trouble with Google.