I've had a few customers request information on how to get themselves to rank hire on search engines, such as google. A fellow business associate, Dan Bower from Bower Web Solutions, is in the website development and design business and I am inserting an article from his latest newsletter about this topic and wanted to share it with you all.
Search Engine Optimization
Visitors can come to a website a number of different ways including:
Links from another site.
Typing your site in directly (perhaps because they have heard of you from traditional advertising).
Paid searches such as Google Adwords.
Organic (or free searches ) searches such as Google
In this economy, free searches have a big advantage! The technique of bringing more visitors to your website from a search engine is called Search Engine Optimization. Properly done, search engine optimization can be a very cost effective way to increase business.
If you've done some research into Search Engine Optimization, then we are sure you have come across a lot of conflicting information. There are a lot of myths about Search Engine Optimization. Some were true a few years ago, some will work for awhile but penalize you in the long run and some were never true. Some of these myths are spread by people who don't really know the truth and others are spread by SEO companies in an attempt to make search engine optimization confusing so that you hire an expensive search engine optimization organization! Regardless of where the myths come from, if you or the SEO Company you hire use common sense and do things the right way you can get good results.
Search Engine Myth's
· Google Partnership: If you are ever approached by a company claiming to have a partnership with Google, run in the opposite direction. There is no such thing as a "preferred" relationship with Google and in fact on Google's website it even states: Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google.
· Keyword Meta Tag: It used to be that the Keyword Meta Tag was given a lot of weight in the early days of Search Engine Optimization, but people abused it and now it does very little. You may still want to include your keywords here, but know that it will not do much and in fact most search engines won't even check it.
· Content Length: There is no search engine rule stating that your content needs to be a specific number of words in order to get indexed. Rather, recommended length is more to assist the reader in understanding what you do than to aid the search engines.
· Duplicate Content: Posting specific content like an article or blog entry on your site and then on another site will not get you penalized. In the search results, Google will recognize that the content is the same and only choose one of the pages to display, but it will not hurt your overall search engine ranking.
· Avoid Flash: Any text that you place in Flash will not be readable by a search engine, but this doesn't mean you have to avoid flash altogether. You can still be very successful incorporating Flash into your site through rotating pictures or a header on the page. Just don't have an all Flash site or use a Flash intro page.
· Pay-Per-Click: Some say that using Pay-Per-Click will help your organic listing while others say it will hurt. Both are false. Google has gone to great lengths to separate the two departments of organic and paid listings to a point where the two departments don't communicate or even sit at the same table for lunch. Search Engine companies who did not separate there parts of the company found their results questioned and their usage going down.
· Doorway Pages: Many companies will sell this idea of increasing your ranking by creating hundreds of one page sites loaded with keywords that link to you from various domains. This is considered spamming the search engine and is not recommended and can, in fact, even lead to black listing of your site by major search engines. This is one technique often used by unscrupulous or 'black hat' SEO companies that 'guarantee' results. Though this can give you some quick results, in the long term getting caught and blacklisting for 'link farming' can keep your website from appearing anywhere. The flipside of link farms are legitimate links-which is why we at Bower Web Solutions contractually insist on a site credit. Suppliers, professional organizations and related companies can all help your search results drastically.
· Update the Site Frequently: Updating your site often is a good idea if you have something new to say. Changing around a few words to make search engines think your changing things generally won't help your listing as search engines have gotten smarter. Regularly adding legitimate content like articles, press releases and blog entries will help though.