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Search Engine Optimization – cont’d
SEO Urban Legends
There are quite a few SEO myths out there. Here are my favorites:
The Keywords META Tag Matters. Mostly wrong. Only
Inktomi pays any attention to the keywords meta tag. You should
do something basic, but don’t bother putting in keywords that
aren’t supported by your page content.
Search Engines can read Flash, images and video.
Sorry, and Ford isn’t selling a flying car yet, either. Search
engines can read one thing: Text. Anything else, while perfectly
legitimate as a design tool, will not help your ranking. And relying
too heavily on Flash or images may reduce your site’s visibility.
Google is one partial exception — they can read some links
in Flash, but still have very limited ability to read Flash content.
Mirroring my site in multiple locations will improve ranking.
Actually, just the opposite. Duplication of content will generally
have no effect or, worse, reduce your ranking in major search engines.
Most search engines now have rules against this form of ‘spam’
and may reduce your ranking or ban your site altogether.
‘Doorway’ pages improve ranking. Pages
that have lots of keywords but then quickly redirect to the main
site will not help you in major search engines, such as Google.
And, if someone catches you and reports you to Google or the other
search engine, you may be banned altogether. A ‘landing’
or ‘bridge’ page, though, that’s designed to be
as useful for users as for search engines, and does not redirect
the user, can help by providing keyword-rich content that’s
Firms promising to get me #1 rankings in 10,000 search
engines for $99.95 can help. I alternate between tooth-grinding
and hysterical laughter when I see these ads. First, there aren’t
10,000 search engines. Actually, there are probably 10-20 you should
really worry about. Getting listed in the other thousand or so is
largely a waste of time. Second, no one can guarantee any ranking
in any search engine for a specific keyword. Period. And finally,
the price is less than half the cost to get an express submission
in a single directory (Yahoo). Chances are anyone trying to get
you to spend the $99.95 is operating a ‘link farm’ where
they list dozens, or hundreds, of sites. While they won’t
hurt your ranking, they won’t help, either. To learn more
about how to choose an SEO firm, check out Google’s article:
Firms charging me more money and guaranteeing a #1 ranking
on Google can help. This is the latest SEO scam. I can
get you a number one ranking on Google, too, as long as I get to
pick the keyword or can get you ranked under a fairly unique company
name. But no one, and I mean no one can guarantee a #1 rank under
a specific keyword. Even Google says so.
Forget the myths — if an offer seems too good to be true,
it is. The truth is that search engines are now almost savvy enough
to read your pages like a human being would, so anything that will
drive away a typical site visitor will also probably reduce your
ranking. Things that will increase your search engine ranking include:
- Well-written content
- Good, clean HTML code
- Useful, relevant TITLE tags
- Useful, relevant DESCRIPTION tags
- Relevant, appropriate links from other web sites
There are some basic steps that, well executed, will do more to
increase your page rank than an ocean of snake oil.
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