If you want to be found in the search engines, it is important that you add search engine optimization to your action list. In a nutshell, search engine optimization–or SEO for short–is the process of making your webpages search engine friendly.
This realization hit me between the eyes recently when I read a comment in a search engine forum from an SEO who claimed he used his ethical SEO methods as a Unique Selling Point. Look what we’ve been reduced to – differentiating ourselves from the masses because we DON’T break the rules. What other industry could boast such a thing? Apart from the used car industry, I can’t really think of any.
Anyone who has had a website for any length of time has already come to the realization that to succeed, you need traffic, and to get traffic, unless you have some pretty deep pockets for more traditional forms of advertising, search engines are the most effective form of obtaining that traffic.
This is an article written by a business owner for other business owners and CEOs. It explains Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) in layperson’s terms. It won’t make you an expert, but it will give you some insight into what you’re spending your money on, what you should be spending your money on, and just as importantly, what you shouldn’t.
So where did this nasty reputation come from and why has it been allowed to propogate? Well, it’s mainly care of the hundreds of cowboys out there who decide one day they are online marketing experts, announce themselves as SEO’s and set up a backyard biz, deciding (naively) that the fastest way to achieve high rankings is to break the rules, “crack” the search engine algorithms and undermine the search indexes by generating pages and pages of search engine spam. They do this by creating doorway pages designed for search engine spiders rather than humans, complete with hidden text, hidden links, cloaking and lots of other “tricks” they come across as they surf the Internet.
Search engines need copy to know what your web site’s theme is and how your site should be indexed in their directory. If your home page consists solely of a Flash movie or an image map, there will be nothing for the search engines to index. Flash is cool, but it is not so cool when your web site doesn’t come up in search engine results.
A sound knowledge of fundamental linguist methodology plus more than a mere smattering of statistical calculus will most probably be paramount to achieve successful search engine rankings in the foreseeable future. Merely repeating the well worn mantra “content is king!”, as some of the lesser qualified SEO professionals and very many amateurs are currently doing, may admittedly have a welcome sedative effect by creating a feeling of fuzzy warmth and comfort. But to all practical purposes it is tantamount to whistling in the dark and fails miserably in doing justice to the overall complexity of the process involved.