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There's No 'Trick' To A Search Engine Friendly Website

by Tim Whiston


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Summary : Having worked online as a Web marketer since 2005, I've seen just about every trick and gimmick imaginable for improving a page's standing in the search engines. Naturally most of these suggested tactics are unethical, and therefore end up contributing to the creation of new strictures within the search algorithms.

Having worked online as a Web marketer since 2005, I’ve seen just about every trick and gimmick imaginable for improving a page’s standing in the search engines. Naturally most of these suggested tactics are unethical, and therefore end up contributing to the creation of new strictures within the search algorithms.

The ironic thing is, you really don’t need any trickery to get the search engines to like you. All this black hat nonsense is just a big waste of time and it ends up causing more problems than it solves.

The pattern works as follows:

Every couple of months a new set of childish tactics is hailed as the next big thing for faking out the search algorithms and getting a page to the top of the rankings. Thousands of marketers who either don’t know any better or just aren’t capable of quality Web development climb on the bandwagon and for a couple of months all participants enjoy improved search engine position.

Invariably, the minds behind the Web’s leading search engines catch on to the hoodwinking, adjust their algorithms and level severe penalties against Webmasters caught using the most recent black hat techniques. Sometimes this will result in a domain being chucked completely out of the search index.

This is especially tragic when otherwise honest site owners have been given bad advice from so-called SEO experts. Generally speaking, there is no process for appeal once your site has been banned from Google or otherwise flagged as a black hat operation.

The good news is you need not worry about this sort of trouble if you simply resolve to steer clear of all suspect SEO strategies. Be sure to do your research and check in with the Web’s more reputable search marketing authorities before executing a new technique.

It’s really not hard to spot a black hat trick. Your gut will tell you if the method is questionable, and again if it’s above the radar you’ll certainly find info about it on any number of honest marketing blogs.

To help you avoid some of the guesswork, I’m going to give you some standard advice on what makes a good, search engine friendly piece of Web property. These rules of thumb haven’t changed since 2003 and it’s unlikely they’ll stop working any time in the future.

First, you need to understand that search engines are looking for exactly the same thing on a page that a human user is looking for: quality! Keep this in mind as you build your pages and set up your blogs and you can’t go wrong.

The most important onsite element for good SEO is your title tag. This needs to include one to three solid keyword phrases. Your title is not only crucial to feeding the search spiders, it’s also the heading that will be displayed when your site appears in the search results.

Next is your META description tag. There is some controversy as to whether the major engines still look at this tag, but I’m telling you right now Google does. Not only will a good application of your main keywords help your ranking, you should know the META description is the text that shows up beneath your title in the results listings.

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