Search Engine Optimization – What You’ll Need To Know

January 17, 2010 by  
Filed under SEO Tips

As we move into the second decade of the third millennium, it is made all the more obvious to us all that moving with the times is essential, no matter how difficult we may find it from time to time. At the start of this millennium, marketing your business via the Internet was a very simple thing. Get a website up and find as many different places to put a link as you imaginably could. This has changed in the last couple of years, and now the big deal is SEO – Search Engine Optimization. What is SEO? Well, it’s a little bit complicated, but the important elements you need to know are as follows.

Google and other search engines read every site that they can find and rank them on the basis of how appropriate they are for people’s search terms. Therefore, to make your site turn up in people’s search results you have to think about what they’ll be searching for, and what kind of terms will be used by people who might want to use your business. If you have a business that sells knitting supplies, then you will want to make sure that people who search for “best knitting supplies”, “cheap knitting supplies” and “knitting supplies [your city here]” are shown a link to your site.

Therefore you need to make sure these terms are in your website text, and you need to do it while keeping the text readable. It is not as easy as it looks, but – when you get the hang of it – it really works.

The Seven Deadly Sins of SEO: #4 “Linking To Bad Sites”

January 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Seo For Advanced

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘falling in with a bad crowd’? Well, if you link to websites that search engines consider ‘bad’, that’s the search engine optimization equivalent of falling in with a bad crowd. While your website may not be intrinsically ‘bad’ in itself, if you promote (by linking) sites that violate the terms and conditions of major search engines, you’ll be tarred with the same brush. While it’s unlikely your site will be completely blacklisted, you may see a sharp fall in rankings position – or even be removed from the search rankings altogether.

This, of course, begs the question: how do I know what a ‘bad’ site is? After all, if someone links to you, you’re probably going to want to do the decent thing and return the favor That’s what so much of website building, networking and promotion is all about – right? So how can you be sure you’re not destroying your own search engine chances by linking to a poor site that search engines consider bad?

It’s tricky, but the basic answer is to use your gut. How does the website look? Does it look professionally designed, properly maintained? Is the content unique, or does it all sound familiar, or is the English terribly written?

On a more technical basis, you can check the PageRank of the site, and also its standings with Alexa. This should give a good understanding of the website in question’s general standing, and whether or not it’s the kind of crowd you want to be associating with. Also familiarize yourself with the Google terms of service, and scan the site for any obvious violations. If it passes, feel free to post a link back.