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Search Engine Optimization : SEO BOOK.

Chapter 17


Ten Myths and Mistakes

Myths: It's all about Meta Tags and Submissions
This is the most persavive and harmful myth of all, one held by many Web designers and developers. All you need to do is code your pages with the right meta tags - the KEYWORDS and DESCRIPTION tags and things like the REVISIT-AFTER and classification meta tags - and then submit your site to the search engines. Web designers who tell their clients that they are search engine experts, then follow nothing more than this procedure. Most Meta tags are not particularly important or are not used by the search engines at all. Without keywords in the page content, the search engines wont index what you need them to index. And submitting to search engines doesn't mean they will index your pages.

Myth: Web Designers And developers Understand Search Engines
Most Web development companies these days tell their clients that they know now to handle the search engines, and even that they know how to handle the search engines and even that they are experts. In most cases, it's true and more than it's true that I'm an expert in neurosurgery. This makes it very hard for business owners when they hire a Web development team, of course though perhaps this book will help.

Myth: Multiple Submissions Improve Your Search Position
As fas as the major search engines go multiple submissions, even automated submissions don't help. For instance the Open directory Project when resubmitted, they don't accept submissions anyway, and al entries have to be reviewed by a human editor. Submitting to the search engines - requesting that they index your pages - often doesn't get your page indexed anyway. Far more important is a link campaign to get plenty of links to your site. Multiple submission to smaller engines may help. But it wont help with the major systems.

Mistakes: You don't know Your Keywords
This is a major problem - the vast majority of web sites are created without the site owners or developers realy knowing what keywords are important. The keywords have been guessed at all. Don't guess at your keywords. Do a proper keyword analysis.

Mistakes: Too Many Pages with Databases Parameters and Session IDs
This is surprisingly common problem. Many sites built by big companies with large development teams, are created these days in such a manner that the search engines wont read them. Search engines don't like database parameters or session IDs in a URL. A large chain of electronics stores' Web site currently has fewer than 10 pages indexed by Google, More of those ads are Adobe Acrobat files or pop-up ads or links to dynamic pages that wont appear when a searcher clicks a link in the search results.

Mistake: Building The Site and Then Bringing in the SEO Expert
Most companies approach search engine optimization as an afterthought. They build their Website, and then think it as the right time to get people to site. That's like staring a road building without knowing where it needs to go; if your are not careful, you will get a halfway realize that there is in another direction. In particular you should not start building a website without an understanding of search engines. Most major web sites these days are built by teams of developers who have little understanding of search engine issues. These sites are launched and then someone decides to hire a search engine consultant. And the Search Engine consultant discover al sorts of unnecessary problems. God business for the consultant, expensive fixes for the site owner. Web developers usually don't enjoy working with search marketing experts. They think that al the search engine experts want to do is make the site ugly or remove the dynamism.


Myth:$25 Can Get your Site a #1 Position
There is a lot of background noise in the search engine business, companies claiming to be able to get site your thousands of search engines and rank well, for a moth $25 or a $50 or $75 or whatever. The truth is that it's more complicated than that. They often don't get into the major search engines at all, and even if they get included in the index, they don't rank well. Search engine is sometimes very easy - but other times it's complicated, time consuming and tedious. Most of the offers you will see streaming into your inbox in spam email messages, or displayed in banner ads on the web are not going to work.

Myth: Bad links to your sites will hurt its position
Another common myth is that getting links to your site from "Bad neighborhoods" will hurt your search engine position. This isn't exactly so. It wont help but it wont hurt. If bad links did hurt your site, you could assassinate your competition by linking to their sites from every lousy link farm and FFA you could find. So the search engies cant use such links to downgrade your site.

Msitakes: Your Pages Are "Empty"
This one is a huge problem for many companies: the pages have nothing much for the search engines to index. In some cases the pages have little or no text that a search engine can read because the words on the page are embedded into images. In other cases, all the words may be real text, but there are very few words… and what word there are not the right keywords. Search engines like need content. And to a search engine, content means text that it can read and index. And whenever you provide text to a search engine, it should be the text that does the most for you, text that will help you be found in the search results. And the more content, the better.

Myth : Pay Per Click Is Where It's At
Pay Per click can be a very important part of a Web site's marketing strategy. It's reliable., predictable and relatively easy to work with. But it's not the only thing you should be doing. Many companies cannot use PPC because the clicks are too expensive for their particular business model. The growth in pay per click has been partly caused the lack of search engine optimization knowledge. Companies build a site without thinking about the search engines, and then don't hire professional expertise to help them get search engine traffic, so they fall back on PPC. Many companies are now spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on PPC; they could complement their PPC campaigns with natural search engine traffic for a small fraction of that cost. The wonderful thing about PPC advertising and SEO is that the two work hand in hand. Want to know if a word is important enough to optimize for? Get a hundred clicks from yo9ur favorite search engine through PPC and look at the conversion rates and ROI. Want ot expand your PPC keyword list? Look at the words that people are already using to find you as a baseline, and grow your list from these words. Many companies are using PPC profitably; just don't assume it's the only way to go.




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