Survey of SEO Advice
Survey of SEO Advice
Herein we provide a useful survey of SEO advice to help you pump up your pages. We present information in a 'question and answer' format to accommodate extremely short attention spans. We understand the ferocious self-consuming nature of the Internet business. Without further ado, we delve into nuances of search engine optimization techniques heretofore relegated to $39.95 eBooks on web sites consisting of interminably scrolling text peppered with yellow highlights, video testimonial snippets, and clickable PayPal icons. Read on at your own risk or pop in that DVD of highlights from The View. You'll learn pretty much the same stuff either way.
Start Simple - What does SEO stand for?
Someone somewhere shortened "Search Engine Optimization" into "SEO". We know not who and we probably wouldn't credit them anyway. Unfortunately the acronym isn't pronounceable, making it much more difficult to commit to memory. We've not heard it spoken as "SEEE-OHHHH", although we don't often hang out with folks at that level of potential nerdiness.
OK, Thanks. What does it mean?
Search Engine Optimization represents the amalgam of arts and sciences intended to increase the relative position of a web page as it appears in search results returned from an Internet search engine. The predominant search engine is Google. For better or worse, most SEO gurus purport to be SEO magicians as it pertains to Google. A few iconoclasts on the outer fringes of the Interweb claim to have mastered the vagaries of tuning your MyFavoriteKitties.com photo page to appear at the top of Ask.Com, but that's about as useful as brakes on a Toyota. Given that Google processes the vast majority of searches, the SEO dudes are smart enough to follow the cash flow.
Sounds good so far. How do I optimize my site for the search engines?
Keyword density is hot these days. Your web page must have keywords, which are real words that summarize your site. You should pick your keywords with the same loving care that you gave to naming your kitties on MyFavoritePets.com. Mess up a keyword and the Internet Police will descend on you like Congresspeople on soft money contributions. Google will ignore you. Yahoo will digitally chuckle behind your back. Without insightful well-crafted and expensive keywords, you may as well print a copy of your web page and tape it to the inside of your car trunk.
Research indicates that 6.732 keywords per 100 English words represents the optimal keyword density. We are pretty sure they shouldn't all be in a row. For example, assume that for whatever reason you have elected to publish a web site that flogs inexpensive designer watch products. Your keyword is "Rolex". You absolutely must not engage in "keyword packing" or "keyword stacking" of the word "Rolex". Do not use the word "Rolex" 6.732 times in the same sentence. That would be super awful because SEO technology is much more complicated than that. If it were that easy, then you would see thousands of web sites offering to do it for you.
To reiterate: never do this...
Should I pay someone to optimize my site?
Let us consider the proposition proffered by a nominal SEO entity:
"Hey, you! We gots this super cool algorithm thingy that will make your web site show up on Google! My brother-in-law thought it up one day when he was out of work. Send us money!"
Now imagine it with 16 different fonts and random yellow highlights for emphasis.
Sure, go ahead and send them a couple bucks, Obviously they know what they're doing. Instead of using their process on their own sites in order to make Internet Millions, they are going to ship it to you for $19.95. That makes sense. Their Mommies taught them to share.
How important is my title?
- Your title should tell Google something about the contents of your web page.
- It should precisely mirror your URL.
- It must be no more than 10 words.
- It can't have punctuation.
- It should be repeated several times in the first 250 words of your page text.
- It should be in bold face type in a font that's bigger than your other text.
- It must be a palindrome.
- It may not contain more than 3 capital "W"s in consecutive words.
- It may not mention Chuck Norris unless the page contains a fair and balanced review of Walker, Texas Ranger.
Can I purchase content or should I write it myself?
What if my page is not in the Google Top 10?
Google returns search results in groups of 10. The first page of results is referred to as the Top 10. Should you find yourself mired at position #11, consider rewriting your page in Sanskrit and submitting it to Live.Com. Reaching the top 10 is absolutely necessary in order to achieve a nonzero level of page traffic. Any self-respecting Google SEO company endeavors to pop your page into the Top 10. The Top 5 is even more desirable; we know that because 5 is a smaller number.
To illustrate our obsession over the Top 5, consider a specific example. Assume that we have googled the keyword "Pomegrnate". Obviously we misspelled the word "Pomegranate" but all-knowing Google is sufficiently bright to change our mind for us and being up the Top 10 results (out of approximately 4,750,000 hits) for the juicy little megafruity food. Unfortunately only the top 4 hits appear on the screen; the remainder don't fit (assume a 1024X768 screen resolution and the default font size in Firefox). Unless the searcher is willing to scroll the window, your appearance in the Top 10 is moot.
Are all Top 10s the same?
Thank you for asking such a contrived question. Appearing in the Top 10 search results for the keyword phrase "MyFavoriteKitties" won't generate much traffic for your precious wittle site. Unless Oprah recommends a feel-good novel titled "My Favorite Kitties" by fresh young up-and-coming author, your darling photos will languish in anonymity. There are a few Holy Grail keywords that will overflow your bank account; you already know what those might be.
Your goal should be to identify keywords that are undiscovered by anyone else in the entire blogosphere but are searched thousands of times a day by Google users (actually, keywords searched in a high volume by any search engine will work for you). Tailor your pages to those keywords, submit your URLs to Google, and kick back. Viola: passive income.
This is great stuff, but why should I care?
Huh? You do want people to visit your site, don't you? Are you one of those Internet hermits who crafts a web page for the pure existential joy? Are you one of those wierdos who writes for the simple pentasyllabic pleasure? Get with the program. If you plan to publish stuff, you're obligated to obsess over how many hits accrue on an hourly basis from broadband cafes in Beijing on Canadian holidays. Without catering to Google you got no shot. You gotta live by Google rules.
This is all well and good. Can you conclude now?
Yes. In conclusion we conclude that there is this thing called SEO.