Melanie is a tech YouTuber who loves social media and is an expert on internet culture. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
It is easy to make mistakes when doing SEO for a website. I've even caught myself making stupid mistakes here and there. That being said, it's important for web developers to know what some of the bad things to do are when it comes to SEO.
Sites with no mistakes stand a better chance against the big guys. Sites that have many backlinks, but have some problems in the markup can quickly climb in the search results when the SEO boo-boos are fixed. Luckily for webmasters, most of these mistakes are extremely easy to fix and can be completely fixed within minutes.
For those with search engines regularly crawling their sites, the changes can be made search engine-side almost instantly. Those with slightly lower crawl rates will naturally have to wait longer, but the changes will have their benefits in time. I want to add that I have significantly edited this hub to reflect changes in SEO in recent years as metadata is definitely not as important as it once was.
Here are the most common SEO mistakes and how to solve them:
Mistake #1 Nothing to Read
You have either filled an entire page up with nothing but images OR you are using development methods that aren't crawler friendly, for example, a site that uses nothing but Flash. The search engine has no text (or anything) to read.
You may have a well-written and keyword-rich article that may be beautifully displayed in flash, but the search engines may not be able to read it. Therefore, you won't rank very well for your keyword rich article.
Use more plain text on your website. Just because it is called plain text doesn't mean it has to look plain. There are some very beautifully designed sites that are easily readable by search engines. You don't have to sacrifice beauty so that the search engines can crawl your site.
Mistake #2 Nondescript URLs
You might have a great page within your website with a keyword-rich description on let's say strawberry cheesecake. You go in-depth on your article about how wonderful and deliciously moist your cheesecake recipe is. Your URL, however just says www.somesortofsite.com/node61.
Search engines place importance not only on the URL, which should describe your site in some way but also on the slug which, in this case, I've called node61.
Get a URL that describes your site. If you have a website on wedding music, try to get something like weddingmusic(dot)com. If you write an article about Canon in D on your website, make sure the slug represents that somehow so that the URL for the article will be something like weddingmusic(dot)com/Canon_in_D. There are many ways to do this depending on the content management system you use. You can configure WordPress to automatically give you a descriptive slug based on the title of your article or you can also input your own slug.
Mistake #3 Metadata Obsession
You are spending too much time researching and finding the BEST information to use in your meta tags.
Don't spend too much time doing this. While there are still a few search engines who rely on metadata, it is definitely not as important as it was in the past. It was so important in the past, that I even still have an article on nothing but metadata! Now, however, metadata means much less than it did in the past. I must confess that I DO still input information into those cute little metadata fields, but I do not spend nearly as much time on that as I used to. You shouldn't either. Get some quick tags and a nice little description in there and call it a day. Basically, just set it and forget it.
Mistake #4 Missing Alt Tags
No "alt tags" on your images.
Add alt tags to each of your images. By doing this, you're giving search engines information about what's in the photo. You don't have to describe the entire picture, but at least put something descriptive there!
Everyone likes to know what's in a photo, even if they can't see it. Many people do not have the time to input alt tags for every single little icon or part of the design. It isn't really necessary to have alt tags on ALL images, just the important ones. The alt tag argument is becoming more and more controversial, but it doesn't hurt to add them and personally, I've noticed a difference since adding them.
Mistake #5 Using HTML Instead of CSS
Everything on your site is HTML. You love HTML and can't get enough of it.
If your site design is in HTML, you're committing a cardinal development sin. What year is this - 1997? Site design should be written in CSS. Why is this a problem? Search engines can have difficulty differentiating what is design and what is content if your site is written strictly in HTML.
Another difficulty faced by those whose sites don't utilize CSS is the painstaking process of making changes to a layout.
Mistake #6 No Backlinks
Your site has no backlinks.
A site's on-page SEO really helps, but off-page SEO is what's going to bring it to the top. Websites need back links. In fact, the most important part of SEO backlinks. It's important to also put your keywords in your backlinks. It's important for backlinks to be natural... or at least appear natural, so webmasters must take care in not creating too many backlinks right away.
Too many backlinks in a short span of time look fishy and sites have been penalized for this. Take it slow. Add a new backlink here and there. Taking it slow allows you a lot of space to dabble a little - to see what works and what doesn't without a major investment of time or money.
Mistake #7 Bad Keywords
You've picked a great keyword, but you have 50,387 backlinks and still don't rank for the keyword.
You've picked some bad keywords. If you've already got a ton of backlinks and you wish to stay in your niche, you'll probably bring a lot more traffic in with *ahem* slightly less competitive keywords.
Every niche has those extremely competitive keywords, but those with a little creativity and research, you can come up with some good keywords - ones that people search for often but is something for which your website can rank.
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on February 07, 2014:
Melanie, You gave some important ideas and things we (web developers) tend to make mistakes with. I changed my business site from pure HTML to CSS several years ago. But I left the URLs as short non-descriptive because that's the naming convention I used when I started my site well over ten years ago. Since the present URLs are indexed and even have organic backlinks, I hesitate to change them. However, I realize that using keywords in URLs are important and I do that with new pages that I add to my site.
Earl Noah Bernsby from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 07, 2013:
Another useful hub, melbel. This is the second in your SEO series that I have read (the other being https://melbel.hubpages.com/hub/-On-Site-SEO). I like how you lay out the essentials, without getting too technical for those poor souls among us who have no experience in this subject!
Samantha Bird on July 03, 2013:
Hi, I found this article of great use and I am happy that as my company consider SEO form the start of the project, that we have not made any of these mistakes. However, I felt the need to comment on your section about ALT tags. I agree that images should have alt tags for good SEO, it makes perfect sense in fact, but I want to complain about this point: "Many people do not have the time to input alt tags for every single little icon or part of the design. It isn't really necessary to have alt tags on ALL images, just the important ones. " This is all well and good, but you are forgetting another consideration when developing a website. :P Accessibility ...
The WCAG 2.0 Accessibility guidelines state that all images (except images of text) should have an alt tag that describes the image content e.g "black dog chasing a red ball". I know this article is in relation to SEO and not accessibility, but if images do not have alt tags assigned, then partially sited/blind web users will not be able to understand the image content with a screen reader anyway. I would say that everyone should aim to assign alt tags to ALL images where possible, even if the description is poor :)
Adventure Colorad from Denver,CO on December 05, 2012:
Thanks for the tips, I'll try to avoid these pitfalls!
Daniel from St Louis on November 02, 2012:
Links don't matter that much, you only need a few really. I've built small sites, maybe 4 or 5 pages, that scored very high for many keywords, yet I had nothing more than 2 or 3 links to the sites. Its the content that matters. Google looks for a couple of links to your site before it jumps the gun and pushes you to the net in organic search results. Its the quality of your content that matters most.
Shrikrishna Potdar from Bangalore on September 19, 2012:
Melbel again this is a very good hub on SEO. While going through this Hub I could easily co-relate with mistakes that I have made. Thanks for sharing this hub.
Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on September 18, 2012:
I learned a lot from this piece, much I didn't know but now I do. The text thing makes sense, crawlers got to have something to read and got to have keywords to be found in the search engine results. Good information! Thanks!
Rob Winters on September 18, 2012:
Very informative and easily digestible hub and info. I have also noticed that adding alt tags to images can bring some easy traffic.Definitely worth the couple of seconds it takes to pop em in.Up ,Useful & Shared.
Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on September 18, 2012:
Thanks Melbel, #2 is always the biggest challenge for me. I enjoyed reading your SEO article and will use your advice in trying to build up traffic to my hubs. Voted up!
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 18, 2012:
These are great reminders. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn to use SEO and keywords properly. I'm sure I'll always continue to learn more. Thank you!
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on September 17, 2012:
Still love this hub, Mel. It's really helpful - even after the AP and all the SEO stuff I know, I still benefited from reading this. Awesome...sauce. :P
Gamerelated from California on September 17, 2012:
These are great tips on SEO. I am new to writing and to be honest I didn't know that I would be spending so much time on SEO. I figure I would just write and write, but SEO is very important for writers these days--at least if you want to have your writing read it is.
sasta10 from Manchester, UK on August 25, 2012:
"The biggest common mistake is content.. if you suffer bad content than google will drop you to nowhere..."
You are right boosters, content is the king, without good quality content on your site, doing seo is a waste of time.
Sandeep Rai from India on August 25, 2012:
The biggest common mistake is content.. if you suffer bad content than google will drop you to nowhere...
Micheal from United Kingdom on August 02, 2012:
Good clear details on how to avoid these 7 huge yet common SEO mistakes. Voted up and useful.
arsipen on May 24, 2012:
using css despite of html attribute is only to reduce the html tags size, isn't it?
exthus on May 21, 2012:
Nice useful information here :) Voted up. Worth a read for anyone who dabbles in SEO!
wbapartner on March 06, 2012:
Nice tips. But i heard that Google bots can now read text within flash as well. I don't know how far that is true. But, one thing which still works is backlinks. However, Google has gone tougher on its perception of quality backlinks.
sunnyfish118 on February 28, 2012:
Definitely agree with you that useful content is the most important factor.
I would maybe add to the list of mistakes, paying someone else for a large quantity of backlinks. This is a very risky business that could lead to being banned from search engines.
Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on February 24, 2012:
Awesome reply...thank you so much for taking the time. That's what I love about HP...everybody shares and cares.
Actually, I checked the PR of my profile page and was shocked to see it was 3 out of 10. That was a real surprise.
Now, to improve some of my less popular hubs and, like you say, write great content!
Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on February 24, 2012:
@Sinea Pies - Sort of. You'll be creating a back link for Duncan Hines. But, you'll want back links promoting YOUR stuff. So, lets say you want to get a backlink for one of your hubs and you create a personal blog. On that blog, you talk about why you really like brownies and then you talk about your favorite recipe, then you link to your Best Brownie Recipe hub on your blog post. By doing this, you will have created a back link for your brownie recipe hub.
When Google comes to your blog and sees a link to you brownie hub, they'll think, "Oh, someone linked to this brownie recipe hub. It must be important." And thus they'll rank you higher in the search engines. That's really it in a nutshell.
These days, I put less importance in backlinking and more importance in creating awesome content. If you create awesome content, people will come across it and share it on their blogs, websites, social networks, etc... thus creating back links without any extra work on your part.
If the idea of back linking scares you, then don't do it. As a fantastic writer, you're far better off spending your time creating fantastic hubs and letting the back links come in naturally. Of course, it's never a sin to see where people have created back links and help them along! :P
Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on February 24, 2012:
Melbel, this is such a great training tool. I have a sincere question. When you talk backlinks, is that the same thing as a link embedded in the text of my content? In other words, I write a post on how to bake brownies and include a link to Duncan Hines' Brownie Recipes on their official website. Have I just added a backlink?
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on February 24, 2012:
Hello Melbel, My perception is that things change quickly in Internet world. Is this still the way we should be looking at our efforts to get pushed out? Are there new developments we should be aware of ? Well written.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 23, 2012:
Melbel, I try to add a description in the image and the video after I read one hub on hubpages. You have explained the common pitfalls very simply with a solution.
Thanks for this info.
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on February 23, 2012:
Great information Melbel, glad you shared Miss O! Voted up and useful!
Dana De Greff from Miami on February 23, 2012:
Great info, though I'm still lost on the whole "backlink" issue...gotta do some more research!
Cindy Murdoch from Texas on February 23, 2012:
I really enjoyed this hub, and I learned a lot. Thanks so much!
Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on February 23, 2012:
OK, Melbel! I say that respectfully and with admiration, since I don't know half of that vocabulary, (well maybe most). I try to write green hubs that can be re-cycled as the learning process proceeds. I'm inspired. Thank you for introducing me to this hub MissOlive. And, thank you Melbel, immensely for an introduction to SEO.
ExoticHippieQueen on February 23, 2012:
Sigh. I still am working on understanding everything you mentioned in your hub. I put tags on my hubs but don't know what alt tags are. I don't exactly understand backlinks. I have a lot to learn yet. Thanks for the info!
Joseph De Cross from New York on February 23, 2012:
My bad! Mea culpa. This hub is perfect and of grest values.
Thanks for sharing MissO.
Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on February 23, 2012:
Great hub Melbel! Excellent points! Sharing!
Vincent F from Indiana on January 10, 2012:
Good Hub, another big mistake when people start out doing seo is that they keyword stuff the article thinking it is doing them good. Great tips here.
frescoposts from Hampshire, UK on November 23, 2011:
I cannot dispute any of these. When it comes to SEO, detail is EVERYTHING
rhysclay from Sunshine Coast, Australia on November 17, 2011:
Some great points there, another thing to list not integrating social media into your website. Wont directly affect your SEO, but does have a big impact on traffic.
ukbusiness from Bristol, UK on October 27, 2011:
Still a very good article, now 2 years after its published. I am still in the process of researching for some case studies I am doing, but will start the process in the next week or two hopefully!
ambrking from Encino, California on August 22, 2011:
Thanks for the tips. I think most of us have done one or two.
GordonCampbell on August 19, 2011:
Great tips here. Although I feel it depends on the type of site when considering how much content to put on it. For example, if you are optimising for an eCommerce site you seem to get away with having less content.
Los Angeles Search Engine Optimization on August 03, 2011:
Amazing Article! Yes, SEO mistakes are very common but can you please suggest me some ways to rectify them?
sasta10 from Manchester, UK on July 29, 2011:
Great article and some good tips. Keyword rich content on your site very important. Before writing your web content you should go through keyword research process and find the correct targetted keyword which everyone will type in to the search box when looking for information. Also make sure the contents are original and not copied from the internet or other sources. Thanks.
vikassingal2002 from India on July 26, 2011:
Excellent post ....!!
Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on July 12, 2011:
Another great hub! This one is worth studying. Bookmarked, voted up and useful too.
lindsaybuffer from Tasmania, Australia on July 07, 2011:
Im an SEO freak really or is that nerd!!. I have made many mistakes along the way but the beauty of this SEO stuff is its always evolving therefore I am always learning! Thats a win win for me I love it , great post Melbel cheers :)
Daniel Christian from Los Angeles, CA on July 07, 2011:
I like your SEO posts. I myself have an SEO team in the Philippines so always love reading things from other SEO people. Agree with everything you wrote.
Krazy hub on July 06, 2011:
nice good tips..
coreyrab from Florida on June 27, 2011:
Thanks for the tips.
rickzepeda on June 26, 2011:
Great tips, I will head back to the office and work on it. Thanks.
CPA Firm SEO on June 04, 2011:
Good and informative post. Thanks a lot.
MaryBeth Walz from Maine on May 26, 2011:
I'm just in the process of creating my first website for myself and am trying to read all the advice I can find. Thanks for the great article, really nice bullet points. Especially since I see I've done pretty well. Haven't started on the back links yet though. And yes, this seems really hard!!
greencap from Pakistan on May 14, 2011:
getting back links is most important thing, but at the same time, its the most difficult task as well
Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on April 20, 2011:
Yes. A particular keyword can be a bad choice for a number of reasons including choosing one with too much competition, one with not many searches, and for those going for AdSense income choosing one with a low ppc can also be a bad choice depending on a number of other factors.
kelvin Blog on April 20, 2011:
the bad keyword you mean is the keyword that with too many competition ? i do think keyword research is an important part when doing SEO
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on April 16, 2011:
The biggest mistakes was using my last name when I started my web site well over a decade ago. It would have been better to use a domain with something meaningful to my business, like you said. But that's one thing I can't change now since starting from scratch is not an option. However, thanks to reading your Hub I found other mistakes that I can work at fixing. Thank you. I voted up and useful.
Prince Zermic on March 24, 2011:
If you have made the decision to outsource your SEO, make sure you do your homework. One thing you should not do is shop only on price. Shop on ROI for your dollar, and shop on the agencies desire to understand your business and its marketing strategy, and their ability to tie the SEO back to that.
Rosendo2 on February 23, 2011:
Nice tips it could help us a lot. thanks
Snake Eyes from Canada on February 17, 2011:
AdeelQ on February 12, 2011:
Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on January 24, 2011:
Oh, I know! The domain time one was a biggie for me. A lot of people dispute that one, but when I added more time to my domains, I shot up in the SERPs... I was pleasantly surprised to say the least!
Spoofthemonkey on January 23, 2011:
These are very common mistakes indeed. When I first started I must have broken every single one at one point.
mfournier from Wellesley Hills, MA on January 21, 2011:
Nice tips, very helpful. Thanks!
Glemoh101 on January 14, 2011:
Great hub , thank you.
Miss Lil' Atlanta from Atlanta, GA on January 13, 2011:
Great hub. I found this blog seriously helpful since I'm a newbie on hubpages.
dobo700 from Australia on January 03, 2011:
very useful to me ,thank you!
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on January 02, 2011:
I am revamping my website and you just provided the road map.
I don't fully understand the CSS verses HTML. Two of my companies that I manage use CMS - is the back end HTML or CSS - how can the owner of the website know?
multimastery on August 11, 2010:
Hi Melbel, nice hub indeed. You give a lot of great tips that can help optimize websites & hubs better. The main thing I focus on are good keywords and never-ending targeted backlinks, and of course quality content is always KING!
blackhatworld from Belize on August 09, 2010:
Came back again today for another look lol.
createdevelop from Sydney on July 29, 2010:
What a top list of information! I added to the process by linking to this hub when I wrote about SEO myself!
One thing I would disagree with though, "Site designs should be written in CSS".... I think if you take out the HTML you won't be able to read anything at all....
Graphic Design Nottingham on July 23, 2010:
Hi, Im new to the hubpages but Ive found there's some great information here. The SEO techniques explained here were done in simple terms and was easy explained. Cheers for this.
mquee from Columbia, SC on July 15, 2010:
I have much to learn in this field. Thankfully, you have spelled things out in an interesting and easy to read way. Thank you for sharing some very important information.
georgescifo from India on July 07, 2010:
useful information...We should also avoid using unwanted scripts and frames in the pages..to make it easy for the search engine spiders to crawl..
Shrikrishna meena on July 01, 2010:
excellent article... Very useful tips, you really can't imagine that how much this article is useful for me.... All the 'best seo strategies' at a single place, Great work, really appreciate your work,
Tania Wright from Dallas, TX on June 21, 2010:
This is awesome. And I agree with thisisoli about the HTML/CSS thing.
I've linked to your hub from my new one. It's great. Thanks!
thisisoli from Austin, Texas (From York, England!) on June 19, 2010:
Hey, nice article!
For mistake number 3 though, Search engines automatically parse out the HTML code and just read the text and images as they appear to the user.
However, while CSS doesn't give much in SEO value, it can vastly improve page load times, improve ease of site editing, and allow you to do some pretty nifty things!
GurinderBedi from India on June 18, 2010:
dofollower on June 16, 2010:
Backlinks are the most common many miss out on. Yes it's easy to build a site, but then marketing and promoting it is another task! It does take time, but we worth the effort in the long run. Nice article.
Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on June 11, 2010:
Wow, I have received an enormous number of comments regarding this article. I have made some major edits to this regarding meta data. Thank you for your comments and support! Keep it coming!
BPOphilippines on June 07, 2010:
I learned lots of SEO techniques by visiting OIT2P.
SEO St. Louis on June 03, 2010:
Good article. Though the only search engine that still looks at meta keywords is Yahoo (even then they're not weighed very heavily) and as far as I know there's no real keyword limit.
blackhatworld from Belize on May 26, 2010:
great post! nicely done. this is a very useful hub. it explains everything that people need to know when doing SEO.
ss sneh from the Incredible India! on May 24, 2010:
Hi!... Useful info, written in simple terms.
Meta tag spamming, title tag spamming, css design, alt tags, domain age, high page rank links, long tail keywords...all are definitely the deciding key factors in SEO and the commercial success...
Valuable content nicely explained! Keep up the good work! -- Thanks
FindYourSearch from Las Vegas, NV on May 17, 2010:
#4 especially is an important tip. You don't need to add alt tags for design elements, but anything with a subject matter (photos, illustrations, etc.), should have tags so that Google can understand it. Perhaps more importantly, alt tags allow the visually impaired to experience the content through screen readers.
Also, you won't be penalized for leaving out the meta keywords tag; they were so abused most search engines now ignore them entirely. The meta description tag is useful, but mainly for the purpose of describing your site on the search engine results page, rather than for SEO directly.
Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on May 07, 2010:
Agreed! Branding is an important part of marketing a website. While branding has little to do with SEO, it has a ton to do with web marketing!
SEO Orange County on April 29, 2010:
Favicons are the usual mistakes that I see when I review a site for a client. Without a favicon they're missing out on branding their name.
Complaicency from Wales, UK on March 10, 2010:
Great Hub. Really informative
mesaboogie on February 26, 2010:
Good tips, though the use of meta keyword restrictions is old now.
sibaja_software from Italy on February 01, 2010:
Sitebuilding and coding is easy. SEO, now that's tough. Great advice, although I have not seen that great a hit lately for 1yr domains. I have heard the same, but i have a few domains I renew a year at a time that are doing well for their keywords. Rule #6 Backlinks is definitely the big one - my opinion is that it trumps the rest, but in this highly competitve environment - each and every one of your rules should be taken into account into your SEO plan.
Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on January 07, 2010:
Vert good and relavent Post. I too have done many of these mistakes and learned the hard way. I still am not much into keywords still.
anglfire693 from Detroit, Michigan on December 10, 2009:
This is a question actually.
Hello Melbel... Your hubs have so much information! Great job! The problem for me is that I don't know what half the terminology is yet! I read your "7 Huge, Yet Common SEO Mistakes" and I am curious about the #1 topic, too much info. In there you mention keywords and also meta keywords. Are they the same thing?
You also talk about your "site" would that be the same as our hubs? I'm using the adword keyword tool and putting anything on my hubs with 10,000+ monthly searches. On some hubs it's 20+ keywords. Should I limit them all down to 10?
Sorry if I sound like such a Simple Simon when it comes to this stuff...I just came here to write and there is sooo much to learn!
Thank you so much for your help! Dana =)
kephrira from Birmingham on November 26, 2009:
I had no idea about the domain expiry thing, so thanks for the info on that.
Pro on November 24, 2009:
Wow, these were some great tips melbel. Especially the CSS one, I had no idea about that!! I do have to look out for a solution to that.
seanraj from United States of America on November 18, 2009:
Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips... will try to implement them in the future.
websites on November 11, 2009:
Lot of talk here about the number of keywords to use in the tags. In my experience it does not matter at all. I have had no keywords, and different variations from one to twenty, same search engine placement for all variations. As far as Google goes, you can delete the meta keyword tag completely. All that Google cares about is the; #1 content, #2 title, and #3 description. The only reason I keep them at all is the smaller engines do use the keywords to a very small degree, and every little bit does help.
For those sites that use twenty keywords in their meta and are placing high in organic search, I guarantee you their placement is because of content and volume of traffic, not because they have a pile of keywords in the meta.
scheng1 on November 09, 2009:
Great info, especially about the backlinking
directsaurabh on November 05, 2009:
Thanks. I would rather call it golden rules. God bless
honestkyle on November 01, 2009:
These are really great tips!
tech02 from India on October 09, 2009:
Good tips Melbel, but isn't the maximum length for meta description 160 characters? Correct me if i'm wrong.
Gary on September 29, 2009:
I don't agree with the 10 keyword limit.
Just do a search, any search. View the source of any of the top results. Some have none, some have 10-20, but most have 20 or more keywords in the meta tags. And they are the top results in your search!
GBN-Online from Illinois on September 19, 2009:
In mistake #1, you suggest that there should only be 10 keywords PER SITE. Everything i've read in the past suggest having each page keyword rich. Which is most productive for PR.?
Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on September 16, 2009:
Thank you for getting a hold of me. I will take a look at the powerpoint thing you sent me.
glass etching on September 09, 2009:
Mel, thanks for responding, your awesome! How can I contact you by email or any other form of communication?
Please email me or PM me on my profile.
glass etching on September 01, 2009:
I have heard before about the registered expiration dates. But Matt Cutts has stated that it didn't matter. Do you think that Matt Cutts doesn't know all the details and just figured that it didn't.
It does make sense that this would be important. Have you tested this?