Free Search Engine Listings – The Truth – Chris Cardell
Search Engine Optimisation -or SEO, is a multi million pound industry in the UK alone. There’s no shortage of ‘experts’ eager to take your cash to assist in the task of getting you high up in the Free listings on Google and the other search engines.
These experts have a couple of key things in common. First, they virtually all refuse to be paid on results, or at least results that are worth achieving (I once offered one of the world’s ‘best’ SEO companies $50,000 if they could get me a number one listing for the keyword ‘Marketing.’ They politely declined.)
The other thing they have in common is that they want you to think that getting high up on the search engines is complex. The more complicated it is, the less likely you are to do it yourself and the more likely you are to hire them for this online rocket science.
Actually, I would not rule out bringing in outside help for your Search Engine Optimisation, particularly link building. But it’s not complex. Or to be more specific, most of it is straightforward and where it can be complex (in dealing with Google changing its algorithm) there’s a limit to what you can do to beat the system long term.
So here are the key principles of Search Engine Optimisation.
1 Your page title is very important. Google sorts by pages, not websites. The title of your page should be the main keyword or keywords for that page.
2 The content of your page has become increasingly less important. Filling the page with keywords will only make a difference in un-competitive markets.
3 The key factor is incoming links (other websites with a good reputation linking to you).
4 Two way, reciprocal links may well be devalued by Google (but they won’t do you any harm).
5 The words that are used to link to your site are very important. They need to relate to your main keywords.
6 Google gives every page on the web a score out of 10. This is called page rank. Use the Google toolbar to discover your page rank and the page rank of sites linking to you.
7 New websites may not rank as well as well established sites.
8 Small sites may not rank as well as larger sites.
9 The first step is to make sure that Google can easily find all of your pages. Include a site map that’s linked to from your home page.
10 WARNING Even if you’re doing well on the free listings, never become dependent on them for new customers. The smartest people on this planet work at Google and one of their jobs is to spend Google’s billions improving the search engine so that it becomes increasingly difficult for you and I to artificially create good listings. Focus on doing well on the search engines – but think of any customers it brings you as a bonus.