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    6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 5, 2008 3:20 PM by Mongoose

    A common misconception about SEO from my viewpoint

      I'm writing this just as a mere observation, but I've seen this many times as an internet advertiser. From those looking to simply promote a picture to a huge campaign, this problem seems to haunt countless websites. I'm talking about SEO, and what alot of people I've talked to perceive it as. It always comes up as a magical "cure all" to a websites presence on the web. I've heard it in a million ways but the right one. I won't sell myself to you as an expert, I still have a long ways to go, but I grasp the concept quite well of what this "SEO" thing everyone is on about. First, i'll say what it's not:

      • Not your catch-all marketing strategy
      • Not the key to push yourself above your competitors
      • Not a well-kept secret, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!
      I first hit this problem in the strangest of places: A non-profit coding website. In my spare time, I program small applications for private communities. Upon seeing that our numbers in one I frequented was drying up, those over the website were shaking and digging for a solution. Like the cold thump of a folder on a detectives desk to solve the case, someone tossed out what everyone bowed to as 'the solution' - They needed SEO. "But what is this 'SEO'?" many asked, confused at the simple acronym. No one had a logical answer, simply 'It's what we need to gain an edge'. In dismay, I fired up my brain in war mode, posting a long explaination of why simply SEO would not help them. I will reiterate: It is NOT your catch-all solution to a poorly optimized website, it's simply good practice. It's structuring your content to be as descriptive about what your website/services are about. I always tell myself when working on a website - "Likeness goes with likeness. Think about what your audience is, and what other things pair up with the subject". Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, and think about what they're going for, and your key words and phrases will begin to grow.

      Another concern i have is the fact that SEO is held so high, as if it's a secret handed down from the ancient days on a golden scroll. Many hucksters will convince business owners that SEO is their ticket to the top, but don't pay into this. I won't go and say that SEO isn't a crucial step in a well-performing website, just don't let those sell it to you as something it's not. It takes a well coordinated advertising campaign, solid networking, and hard work to elevate a website to a high position, starting with your websites content being properly structured. If you're ambitious, reaching out to other businesses and exchanging links can help build a network of supporting websites, and backing it up with plenty of external content about your business and what it's doing is can make all the difference.

      I hope this advice helps. Please comment on any concerns or questions you have.


      Max Darby
      Blitzlocal LLC
      Internet Marketing for Small Business
        • Re: A common misconception about SEO from my viewpoint
          intechspecial Ranger
          Most certainly this is sound advice, and this should not just be your viewpoint, but rather a standard.

          SEO this is done poorly could be considered "SED" or Search Engine Degeneration.

          Thanks for the informative explanation, as well as the ability to back you view with proven results.
          • Re: A common misconception about SEO from my viewpoint
            NatOnline Tracker

            I agree with you Max.


            I surprise that some web designers know nothing about SEO, when we all know the key point is a well structured website SEO friendly, then enhance the site with full SEO.

            I don't give any credit on webdesigners making site with templates, they are not artists, and not SEO friendly architects, they just want to make quick bucks.
              • Re: A common misconception about SEO from my viewpoint
                @NatOnline: I understand, They don't teach anything about optimization
                in college courses concerning website creation, rather the basic
                frameworks. Like a car, without a good engine under the hood, your
                pretty paint job is useless if you're going nowhere!

                @IntechSpecial: Search Engine Degradation may have a "positive" benefit for said scam artists, like a doctor poisoining his patients then offering a cure. Dig a hole, then sell the dirt back to them... It's very underhanded, but there are countless horror stories, which is probably the reason why some businesses hiss at the word "SEO", thus, the point of this post.
              • Re: A common misconception about SEO from my viewpoint
                Tori Scout
                Hi Mongoose, welcome to the SBOC!

                Have you had a chance to read the two articles on SEO? You can rate and review them. Take a look, would love to hear your take on them.


                  • Re: A common misconception about SEO from my viewpoint
                    @Tori: Great articles, they touch on the main point I was trying to make: Relevance. Richard touched on the main points that you should plan your site to be focused around your core group of keywords. If you're selling cakes and only cakes, having something talking about bicycles throws off everything. Keeping within the bounds of what your website is about is critical. He outlined all the different mediums to stuff your website to the brink with good content. Secondly, don't overfill. Find your 3 core points as described, and build on those. Like in my cakes example, ask yourself this: What kind of cakes do i sell? Is there anything that makes me special from other people who do the same? What will the customer benefit from when buying from me? This is getting a little into marketing on that sense, but with these three points in mind, you will start to see yourself narrowing down what you should go after in terms of keywords.

                    Back to the cake example: Naturally, you would want to go after the word Cake, but this is a bad move. I put things into analogies too much (Sorry about that! just easier to explain), and the one i have for this is. The more vague of a keyword, the more horses there are in the horse race. Sure you could bet on your inexperienced horse, and he may push ahead with the proper care, but against seasoned veterans you stand no chance. Quickly researching, i looked up "Cake" - 115 million results. Sure, you sell cake, that's a given, but what is your best seller? what is your company good at. Let's narrow it down to "velvet cake", 3 million results, a much more refined set. However, the catch-22 in this is, maybe your consumer base doesn't like velvet cake ... but maybe some do. You have to find the happy medium between 'Are they just after cake? or are they after specifics?'

                    On the second article, "Put SEO Fundamentals to work for your business", he makes very valid points about how visible your content is to search engines. I've scolded many businesses for wanting to go with an all flash layout. Sure it's aesthetical, but the content is embeded and unseen by search engine crawls. Javascript is a grey area for me, since Javascript links issues could be circumvented by using a sitemap so crawlers can still effectivly get around the website, as well as enabling users that do not have Java enabled a secondary option for navigation.

                    Thanks again, everyone, for reading my small article. It's something I've had on my chest for a while and needed to get it out.

                    Max Darby
                    Analyst, Blitzlocal LLC
                    Internet Marketing for Small Business