Search Engine Scams and Optimizing Web Sites
Its Really Not a Mystery
If you have a business on the internet, no doubt at some time you have been sent mail regarding registering your domain name. Most companies providing web services such as creating a business website also register your domain name (your business in internet speak). The mail received is usually rather official looking and states that if you do not pay the domain registration fee, you will lose you special and unique website address (www.bizname.com). They usually go on about if payment is not sent, your website ranking will be lost and no one will be able to find your business again. I just got one over a month ago. The one I got requested payment be sent to an address in New York. What these shysters are doing is taking the money and really selling some sort of search engine listing.
Search Engine Optimzation (SEO) is really important to websites due to the ranking from the results when Google, Yahoo etc., send their spiders to your site. SEO deals with the design and management of websites providing tips on how to build it so when Google (for instance) searches it, it will rank it higher when Joe Blow enters key keywords that apply to your site. For instance, if you have a bike shop in London, you might have keywords like: london bike shop. If you only used "bike shop", a searcher would end up with tons of bike shops in London. So, be specific when using key words. Pretend you are on the Net and searching for what your business does or sells, what keywords would you enter in Google?
Thus, a properly designed website will have this keywords in the sites Header, the part a user does not see.
To avoid being scammed by a scammer, looks for any of these three things:
- If someone guarantees you that for the money your website will be listed in the Top 10 in Google search, walk away. It is BS. No company controls the search engines and therefore, none can make any such guarantee.
- If they say they will submit your website to search engines, again, BS. Why? Because search engines nowadays automatically crawl through the web searching all web sites. True, one can submit it the domain name to Google, but that is free.
- Lastly, ask for references and referrals from the company. If they dog you, walk away, it is a scam.
Rankings are increasingly important for small business owners as customers enter keywords to search whatever they are looking for much like a phonebook. Google is used for about 70% of all searches in the US. How Google and others rank is secret, however, experts feel that older, established websites receive a higher rank, sites are ranked higher when other sites link to them, especially if the site linking is also ranked high. Sites with lots of text keywords will rank higher for those words.
Another way to rank higher is to put your business on Google maps, list it and authenticate you are the owner, its free. Go to maps.google.com.
Repeat this process with Yahoo, MSN, Citysearch, Yelp etc. make sure you list a phone number, address, web site. These are other sites are important for Google will rank higher if it sees your biz on them also.
Web sites that rank lower is due to a lack of keywords and problems when search engines crawl it (indexing it). So, if you have a web site, think of the keywords that associate with your web site, you want specific, unique words that promotes your site. Using broad terms only produces a broad range of similar web sites.
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