SEO truths and myths

Posted Saturday Saturday, February 12, 2011 by Ian Pettman

There is a lot of talk about SEO. Some of it is good, some of it is bad. Some people seek to cloud SEO in a mist of inpenatratable jargon. Then there are some people and organisations that try to paint a simple picture. A bit like most things in life, some people are naturally helpful, some make a song and dance about eveything.

For a site to be successful in a commercial sense, it needs to be credible. The basics: spelling and grammar need to be correct. The aesthetics: pages need to have a standard consistent layout that is pleasing to the eye. There needs to be a solid feel about the site. Remember up till now your visitors probably have not even heard of you. There needs to be information that makes your company look like the bona fide reputable merchant it is or is trying to be. Actually there is a legal requirement for certain information. Postal address, company registration, even a privacy statement if your site has a contact page (and it should).

The web robots also know as spiders that "crawl" your site to decide on its ranking need to find what they want too.

Many SEO companies will "guarantee page 1 ranking".  Please understand this may be an empty promise. Page rank is not everything. For example, we have a page: which contains "agf kjj bk lkj" (without the spaces). There are no inbound links to it, no SEO for it. (That is why I have not printed the URL in plain text here.)  It's just an unusual collection of letters. So type or copy the letters in to your browser search (less the spaces) and you will find our single page. It may be the only page that Google finds.  Simply, page 1 ranking is not everything. It has to be page 1 for a term people are likely to search for. On the other hand, page 1 ranking for a term the people search on regularly when they want your product is gold dust.

So how do we get Page rank? It takes work, time and effort, then more time and effort. It may be your own work. It may be an SEO company's work, working for you. Whichever route you take, you need to measure your or their performance. Here are some FREE SEO tools to get you started in measuring what you or your SEO company achieve.  It typically takes a week or two on an active site to ensure new content is indexed (searchable). You should see results within a month from analytics. Once it starts moving, a little PPC campaign may help.

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