Table of Contents
- To the Programmer / Web Developer
- To the Seeker of an SEO Company
To the Programmer / Web Developer
Remember the old days when you used to Google and you’d land on pages that said “Hello Googler”? They knew you were coming because back in those days, search engine optimization (SEO) was all about trying to trick Google into making your site seem like it was what people were looking for. In those days (when people still called the internet “the world wide web”), search engines only cared about keywords, but now the programmers behind them have gotten wiser – as have the users – and search engine optimization (SEO) has become increasingly difficult… for those with ancients. The truth is, search engine optimization (SEO) should, in theory, be relatively easy. Think about who your website is for. This is what the people behind Google, Yahoo, and Bing are thinking about. If you’re still thinking like those sites are merely databases, then your search engine optimization (seo) techniques are outdated, and the only way anyone is going to see you is by paid ads – and few people care about those unless they’re looking for them.
Search engine optimization (seo) is not about doing everything possible to bring your site to the top. Search engine optimization (SEO) is about thinking how the user thinks. Technology is slowly but surely progressing towards sorting things how users want things to be sorted – not how they are most convenient for the computer programmer. It takes a long time for a search engine to develop, and optimizing a website is no different. HOWEVER – you can still keep up with the times and EVEN BE AHEAD of this “game” of “search engine optimization” if you think about two things:
First, search engine optimization is about giving people what they want. Most people know this already, but given current failure, many people resort to pictures and pay-per-click (ppc) ads. Let me tell you right now: pay-per-clicks ads do NOT get you to the top. Google, Yahoo, and Bing (and maybe Ask.com, if you still consider them in the game) all make sure that advertisements are not a factor in organic search rankings. Hence, they should not be part of your search engine optimization (seo) strategy. Forget about them. You want the real deal: organic search rankings. Then you don’t have to pay for it. So you really want this? Read the next point.
The second thing you should think about when designing a website perfectly optimized for search engine queries is what I’ve been hinting at this whole time: the user. To put it plainly: USE CORRECT SENTENCES!! The early days of search engines showed that pages of keywords could get you to the top, but things are trickier now because search engines are looking for REAL grammar. That’s the key to search engine optimization (seo). Ever notice how websites at the top of organic search rankings not only have ton of text but are actually readable? Bingo!
I can’t tell you specifically what Google, Yahoo, and Bing may be looking for in grammar, but would I put my money on it? Well, if this article ever makes it near the top of organic search rankings for Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, or any other search engine, you might come back and reread this post. It should greatly help you for optimizing your site in this world of ever helping the user. So do the user a favor and design your site to please. Remember, websites are about conveying information that users want and are looking for. After all, isn’t this what you’re looking for in your search engine queries?
Before you go gallivanting off to optimize your site, I recommend checking out Google’s SEO criteria (just query “Google SEO criteria” in Google). It will help you better understand what is being blocked in the organic search rankings.
This post has mainly been offering advice for web developers on how to optimize their sites for search engine queries, but I hope that users will recognize that search engine algorithms aren’t perfect. It’s quite likely that there is still some loophole in the “20 factors” Google considers, and once someone figures it out, it will be exploited until the “hole” is fixed. Regardless, my advice should serve your site well into the future. The only unfortunate thing is that the internet is likely to change in the next ten to twenty years, meaning everything you learned about search engine optimization (seo) will turn out to be for naught unless you use it right away. Not only that, most businesses it seems change the entire look of their websites around every 3 years or less, depending on the company and budget. Hence, all of the search engine optimization (seo) you just did on the site will have to be redone for the next site.
*sigh* You might be feeling slightly depressed at this, but on the bright side, you get to keep your job! 😀
Given the changes in technology in the future, including the push towards 3D technology, it’s likely that search engine optimization (seo) is going to go through a major evolution in the coming years. At one point, we may get to see image analysis that checks for duplicate images! I imagine image analysis will be very slow until more advanced computational systems (fancy way of saying “faster computers”) are developed. But until then, you have simple text search engine optimization to do.
What are you waiting for?
To the Seeker of an SEO Company
Be careful of the services you seek. If anyone says they are going to do ANYTHING that is NOT on your site, DO NOT USE THEM. Search engine optimization (seo) companies out there are plentiful. It seems like everyone and their brother thinks they can optimize a website for Google. But this isn’t 1999 people, this is almost 15 years later. The internet doesn’t work on spamming people anymore. People have developed techniques for getting rid of spam.
It’s interesting to note that lists of people’s names and matching emails can be sold for thousands, even millions of dollars. Why?? Who would buy this stuff? Do you even click the ads at the bottom of your email? What about on Google? There have been lawsuits against this stuff! The word is written on the wall: people don’t like spam.
My point? Anything not being done on your site is mostly like one of two things: It’s either hot linking through another site (which Google fights with algorithms) or its tossing around the link to your website like its junk. Suppose you had a website advertising for a law office. Do you really want your law office advertised on some back-alley forum where people talk about DnD and WoW? Google doesn’t count links to your site on those pages as contributing to organic search results, and I don’t imagine other search engines will either. This is not search engine optimization (seo), these are poor spamming techniques that only tarnish your site or business’ reputation.
The perfect search engine optimization company, in my opinion, would offer one service: adding grammatically correct text with keywords, fulfilling the qualities of good search engine optimization as I highlighted in the previous section. That said, there is no reason why search engine optimization should be expensive. Of course, if you demand a ton of text, then expect the bill to go up. But a page crammed with text is not necessarily optimized for search engines. A page full of text is just annoying for the user to read.
Furthermore, let me spell this out for you: Search engine optimization for organic search rankings does not work on pay-per-click ads. If the company you are working with does this, drop them – they don’t know what they’re doing. They are wasting your money, lying to you. If you need the business and don’t care about the pay-per-click ads, then set it up yourself – don’t outsource it. YOU should be the one who decides the budget allocated to pay-per-click advertisements.
If and when you do hire someone, make sure that when they are done, the keywords that people use for querying your site (on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or the specific search engine you wish to be found on, noting you can get different results from each engine) are everywhere on your page but not a mess.
Perfect search engine optimization should be almost invisible to the carefree user. Notice I said “carefree” observer – as in someone who isn’t paying attention to the fine details of your site. People are going to notice bad grammar, tag / keyword pages, and links with repeated or pointless text. Does your site look pleasing to you and everyone you show it to? If people are only being nit-picky with the graphics, then your text may be in good shape, assuming your graphics aren’t crap. Which brings up the next piece of advice.
Your site should be “done” first
Don’t go looking for a search engine optimization company if your site isn’t even finished yet. Do you really want to show people a half-completed site? Sure, you may make it to the top of Google’s organic search rankings, but your visitors may leave laughing at or disgusted with the piece of trash you dared to post on the net. That won’t help your business or your reputation, and it may hurt future online traffic if you aren’t ready. Now, if you get your internet traffic from other means, it doesn’t matter, but why are you looking for a search engine optimization company?
Pick keywords wisely
Many companies will pick keywords for you based on what is on your site, but these aren’t always the keywords that are most queried on Google. Review this list carefully. Ask customers or potential visitors what keywords they would use to look up your site and then submit that list to your search engine optimization company of choice.
By the way, picking “hot” or popular keywords is not necessarily the way to go. Remember, you’re aiming for your crowd, and chances are picking popular keywords is going to only get your site buried in the rankings below well-established, well-optimized sites. Hence, the right keywords for your site are what your users want. Remember, good search engine optimization is about the user.
All in All…
Hopefully the advice in this article will help improve the internet by reducing spam and helping people optimize their websites. Listen people, I’m tired of trash on the internet, aren’t you? Let’s stop wasting bits and start pumping out quality stuff. 😀