Showing posts with label search engines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label search engines. Show all posts

10 SEO Myths

Monday, June 13, 2011

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the myths and misconceptions are abundant. Here are some of the more common Search Engine Optimization myths:

Myth #1 - SEO Is A One-Time Deal
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that requires attention and effort over an extended period of time. To do it properly, it is an ongoing process, and definitely not a one-time action. However, this doesn't mean you need to pay huge fees on an ongoing basis. Once you've started, you should learn how to keep it up.

Myth #2 - Quantity Is More Important Than Quality
When it comes to backlinks, quantity is simply not as important as quality. Attracting a huge number of backlinks is simply not as important to search engines as obtaining relevant links from related and trusted sources.Google rates your "popularity" on how many popular sites your link is on.

Myth #3 - Meta Tags Are No Longer Relevant
While meta tags are not the ultimate solution to search marketing, they still matter. Including a unique and keyword-rich title and description on each page of a website. This will help the site rank better in organic search results for those terms. Meta tags may not be as important as they once were, but they do still matter in the world of search optimization.

Myth #4 - PPC Will Help Search Ranking
There is no association between Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns and how well a website ranks in organic search results. There is simply no evidence to suggest that advertising via AdWords will help improve an organic search ranking.

Myth #5 - Submit Your Website Early And Often
Submitting your website to search engines is no longer a necessity. Search engines use spiders to follow links on a website. However, if you find a search engine's submit your site" button, by all means use it.

Myth #6 - SEO Is A Scam
Search engine optimization, when done properly, is quite effective. In fact, a website may have a difficult time ranking at all if it is not optimized adequately.

Myth #7 - SEO Is A Guarantee
As the old saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. When properly implemented, SEO can very likely improve your organic search rankings. But be leery of any search marketing company that makes guarantees. There are simply too many factors and variables for SEO success to be guaranteed, and some results from those companies may only last a short period of time - leaving you in the lurch after the very expensive honeymoon period.

Myth #8 - Build It And They Will Come
Once upon a time, before the Internet became so cluttered, you could build something new and interesting and it would attract attention without any effort. But now, with multi-millions of websites on the Internet, you must work to draw attention to your innovation. Do not assume that people will find it simply because it is cool!

Myth #9 - NoFollow Links Are A Waste Of Time
Acquiring links that are tagged as "NoFollow" are not a waste of time. A mix of both DoFollow and NoFollow links looks far more natural to the search engine algorithms than a website that has all DoFollow or all NoFollow links. Additionally, some search marketing studies suggest that not all search engines pay attention to the NoFollow attribute, and they do in fact value a NoFollow link the same way that they would value a DoFollow link.

Myth #10 - Google Is The Only Search Engine that matters
While it is true that Google is by far the largest search engine, a decent volume of web traffic can still be generated by achieving a high ranking in other search engines for competitive search terms.

SEO Crash Course

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In business, location is everything — and that includes where you are on the Internet. The way people find that online location is through search engines. So, while a pure brick-and-mortar consideration of location involves being on a good street with a highly visible sign, the online version means ranking high when someone does a search to buy what your "store" sells. Search-engine optimization, the art of improving your search rank, isn’t hard, but it’s something a lot of small businesses don’t pay attention to — either because they’re too busy, or because it sounds both technical and scary. Amit Bakshi, who oversees oDesk’s SEO efforts, puts together a very basic primer:

SEO in a nutshell
All search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, want their users to find the quality websites they are looking for. You need to make a top-notch website, in a way that both human customers and search-engine "spider-bots" can identify. These programs crawl the Web to find sites, and send back information that allows the search engineers to rank the sites through complex algorithms. So SEO is the process of establishing your site as attractive and relevant to these Web crawlers. There are three main steps or considerations: Clean up your site design, create quality content and reach out with links.

Step 1: Designed to Succeed
Your website needs to be both easy to find and easy to read. To make it easy to find, consider what your customers would search for. "The first step is to figure out which keywords you’re likely to be discovered with," Bakshi says. "The basic terms should be pretty obvious, but later you can augment that with a bit of keyword research."

If you’re a florist in Boston, the searches you want to top are variations of flower delivery in Boston. Start with the page title, that field in the code that tells search engines what the page is called. “Bob’s Blooms” won’t tell Google anything. "Boston Flower Delivery — Bob’s Blooms," or "Bob’s Blooms — Boston Florist," will be more relevant to someone trying to get a fistful of peonies to Beacon Hill. Working with your web designer and/or webmaster, make sure your site is easy for search engines — and humans — to navigate, and make sure the key terms appear prominently.

Step 2: Quality
Wins Google and its competitors spend millions of dollars on search algorithms that have just one purpose: to present the highest-quality websites to users anytime they search for something. An important aspect of rising to the top of a search is to actually be a quality website. Smart, well-written content on the topics close to your heart (and bottom line) will improve your rankings, and it’s an ongoing effort. You or a qualified marketing writer should routinely expand your site with good content on relevant subjects, such as how to preserve fresh-cut flowers in a hot Boston summer, which flowers are the best deals in Boston, season by season, or a feature on arrangements you’ve done to suit various Boston wedding venues.

Step 3: Get Out There
What search engines value most is a site that real humans value, and that appreciation is measured by inbound links. When other sites start pointing to your site, you look more authoritative and rank higher in search engines. As a Boston florist, you’d would probably want to trade links with local wedding planners and party stores, and might comment on forums and blogs about the community or industry, with a link back to your site. There’s considerable etiquette involved in link exchange (check out the resources below), but the basics are: relevance, politeness and quality comments. You can take the time to do this yourself, or delegate it to your linkbuilder.

Don’t be intimidated by SEO. There’s a lot of information online, and the basics are pretty easy to pick up. After all, knowing who your customers are and how to create an appealing storefront were part of your original business plan, right? SEO shouldn’t take over your life, but I do keep a basic SEO strategy in place.