July 29, 2007

Top 10 Myths About Search Engine Optimization

1. I don’t need to know about SEO – My web site and web master ensure I have a strong presence on the Internet that will bring more business

2. SEO works like magic

Not so. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is just like any other job in life. If you do a good job and put in the hard work, you will get results. When you search for something on the Internet, you expect the search engine to read your mind and provide what you are looking for on the very first line. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you want people to find you that way, make sure your website is the best it can be. Make your web site and your web presence the most informative place to learn about what you do or provide. Make sure you can answer the questions a potential customer would ask? Who are you? What do you do? When and where do you do it. How can I get it? People ask questions on search engines. Provide answers.

3. If I pay to be submitted to the search engines, I’ll see more traffic to my web site

Not so. URL submission pages came about in the 90’s. They should stay there. There are still companies that charge a fee for submissions to the top search engines on a regular basis. URL’s can be indexed within hours by participating in a blog or other Web 2.0 social site.

4. Paid services for key word optimization will increase Search Engine Optimization

These days the phrase, “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO is all the buzz. Most paid services focus on the keywords in a website and offer monthly keyword optimization strategies. Regrettably this is only a strategy and not reality. Search engines don’t work using keywords alone. Any business that relies solely on key word strategy for the internet will fail. Using incorrect, inappropriate, repetitive or too many or keywords can negatively impact your presence on the www resulting in being banned or lowering your business’s search engine ranking.

5. Regular submissions of my URL will increase my web presence

Wrong again. Any service that claims to submit your site to search engines on a regular basis may get you banned as the search engines may interpret the submission as spam.

6. Linking is all there is.

Links are important, as search engines will consider a site that is highly linked to be more important than one that is not. However, just creating links to satisfy this objective does not solve the problem. Simple back linking on each page does not really count as a legitimate link. You don’t need thousands of links to be relevant. If your content changes and you know how to get a search engine to spider you, then you can be relevant with only one link.

7. As a Canadian based business, if someone searches my company/organization name, I’ll come up on the first page when being searched or Googled.

Not necessarily so. Search engines can’t find you if they don’t know where you are based. Especially if you don’t have a URL ending in “.ca”. Google is very good at figuring out where you are, but can’t read minds – yet! Unfortunately, most websites forget to make it clear where they are located. Pretend you are in grade school again. Put your name and address on everything and consider a URL ending in “ca”.

8. Optimizing means I have to create a whole new website

Not so. Presentation is everything to a potential customer – whether they already know your product or service or not. What tags say makes your site attractive to the search engines. Expanding your presence on the Internet is about making your business more appealing to search engines. Even bad websites can be popular.

9. Multiple websites will make my business more popular

Don’t mirror your site or have multiple domain names that point to identical sites. Choose one site and point all domains to one place. Search engines will de-list multiple sites and see them as spam.

10. Blogs and other social sites are for kids.

Sorry, wrong again. The major news networks now use blogs. YouTube was featured in the last U.S. Democratic debates. Whether your customer base is young or old, you need to be actively participating in the new Web 2.0 – today’s interactive internet. Even if you don’t want to promote yourself to a specific demographic, you want to be seen by the search engines. Search engines comb the top 10 social sites every few minutes. You need to be there.

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