Top Ten Search Engine Optimization Myths
- Creating a web site means people will find it.
Think of a search engine like you would a phone book directory
- with a twist. For $100 anyone can get a telephone business listing
in their area. However, if you want to have a high visibility ad
such as "MARBURY & MADISON: JUSTICE FOR ALL," you
need to do something extra with your site. With phone book directories,
you simply buy your way to the front. However, with search engines,
you have to spend some time and effort to correctly optimize your
web site. Optimization does NOT include simply editing meta tags.
That technique worked back when Clinton was president. Today, you
must try other techniques.
Submitting my site to search engines is enough.
No it isn't. Sure, your web designer probably submitted your site
to Google, Yahoo!, or MSN ...
but where is it ranked? Are you in the critical top ten results
or are you number 134 for "florida lawyer"? In fact, if
your web site has been on the Internet for more than two or three
years, most search engines have already included your web site in
their directory. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps to achieve
high results and make sure your web site is ranked in the top ten
for your keyword phrases.
- All search engines are equal.
The top three search engines are Google, Google, and Google. Either
through their web site or affiliated web sites (Yahoo! and AOL),
Google serves over 80% of ALL search engine results. Note that a
distinction should be made between search engine portals and the
database companies that provide search engine results. Some of the
popular search engine portals and directories include MSN, Ask Jeeves,
Yahoo!, AOL, Netscape, Hotbot, Lycos, Excite, etc. However, nearly
all of these portals share search engines results provided through
third parties that own the databases and search engine technology,
such as Google, Open Directory, Inktomi, Overture, FAST, and Teoma.
Search engine portals and directories mix and match databases to
produce their own unique set of results. In any event, all of these
secondary search engines total for the other 20% of results.
- You can optimize for all search engines.
There is no holy grail. However, there is Google. Since Google serves
nearly all of the search engine results, if you optimize for Google
you will be essentially optimizing for nearly all of the results.
Techniques that work well for Google generally will work well with
other search engines, too. Note that the number of results served
by Google will probably decrease in the near future, once Yahoo!
begins using the Inktomi database of search engine results.
- I don't need a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist.
I can grill a mean sirloin, but nothing beats the fresh taste of
a 12-ounce Outback Special with a Bloomin’ Onion. On your
own you can probably achieve decent search engine results for a
few keyword phrases. But remember: your competitors are trying to
do the same thing, with many of the same words. A SEO specialist
knows the little quirks and tricks that can make a big difference
and give you the edge. If you pay them a one-time fee of $2500 to
$5000 to correctly optimize your web site, and that optimization
leads to a new client each month, is that not worth the price?
- Quick fixes like jump pages, cloaking or hiding content will increase
While unethical tactics do not hurt anyone like a weapon of mass
destruction (WMD), search engines view these techniques just the
same. Each search engine company has its own team of inspectors
that regularly ban web sites that use these spam techniques. Use
these techniques at your own peril. They may help you in the short
term, but eventually you will be caught and your site banned.
- Software can automatically optimize my web site.
your cruise control on your Honda Accord drive you to Atlanta? You
will need to hand code each page of your web site to achieve optimal
results. You will need to edit the meta title tag, meta description
tag, meta keyword tag, and include those same keyword phrases several
times in the body text of that web page.
- Link popularity is key - at all costs.
We encourage clients to create reciprocal links with related companies;
we do not recommend creating spam links to artificially boost your
web sites rating. Further, you should never link your site to spam
sites, or sites that contain thousands of web sites in a database.
- A good SEO specialist will guarantee top three results.
No firm can do this - if they're honest. If a SEO firm guarantees
a top listing, then they are trying to sell you advertising. Every
search engine has a set number of listings and areas of the web
site page that they reserved for advertisers. If you want to buy
advertising, then buy advertising. Simply visit Overture.com, Looksmart.com,
or Google.com and sign up for their advertising programs. SEO entails
editing your web pages code, text, and altering the design to achieve
high rankings without the need for advertising.
- I should submit my site to 1000+ Search Engines.
We're sure you've received an email claiming to submit your web
site to all search engines. However, can you even name 500 web sites
off the top of your head, let alone 1,000 search engines? These
companies simply register your web site using an automated computer
program. This does not achieve desired results and can actually
hurt your web site’s ranking as the search engine may reject
your listing as spam. Further, there's no need to submit your web
site to 1,000 plus search engines as almost all web traffic comes
from a handful of search engines (80% from google.com).
About The Author
Peter Boyd, Esq. at PaperStreet Web Design. Located in Miami, Fl, PaperStreet Web Design has extensive experience developing, redesigning and optimizing law-related web sites. Our expertise can save you
time and money while increasing your firm's business
traffic. Why have a web site if no one can
If you have any questions about search engine placement or need your
web site optimized for search engines, feel free to contact Peter
Boyd at PaperStreet Web Design, firstname.lastname@example.org
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.
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