Sunday, 23 November 2008

Safe Sex and SEO

There's a great line in the Billy Bragg classic song, Sexuality. "Safe sex doesn't mean no sex it just means use you imagination". Great advice in my opinion.

In a world where many of us hang on the every word of so called experts it's easy to lose touch with our own ability, experience, expertise and imagination. In simple terms many of us assume others know better, I know I do. We shouldn't.

There are few industries with as many self proclaimed experts as SEO. One lucky break has been known to launch an entire career and a permanent place on a pedestal. Sometimes it's just brass neck. If you keep telling people you are an expert maybe, eventually, the title will stick.

The truth of the matter is SEO is simple. You develop an understanding of your market, keyword research, you create useful content, you organise your pages so search engines can understand them and you secure links from other sites to show the search engines your content is credible.

SEO only gets complicated when you miss out one of the key ingredients above. For example, if you don't develop an understanding of your market by carrying out keyword research you may find yourself ranking for words and phrases nobody uses. See the last post for a funny story about that.

In the same way, if you don't build your site in a way the search engines can index then your pages won't appear in the search engine results pages because the search engines won't know about them. Finally, if you don't develop links to your site the search engines won't get any signals that your site is credible so they won't be inclined to serve your pages up in response to a search.

Of course it's easy to overdo any of the above. For example if you fill your pages with nonsensical content spammed to high heaven with keywords you may be giving the search engines a clue that you are up to no good. If the search engines are given a signal that your site might not be trustworthy they may not serve your pages up in response to a search. Also, if your site suddenly has thousands of links or has links from completely unrelated pages the search engine algorithms may read this as a signal your site is trying to game them.

You have a choice. You can spend your waking hours obsessing over SEO, looking for a quick fix, or you can knuckle down, accept it's going to involve a lot of hard work and get on with it.

Meantime do enjoy "playing with yourselves in hard currency hotels".

TTFN

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More in this category: General SEO