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Search Engine Optimization
'One Site, One Vote' Rule
Google awards a lot less weight to a link to your site if that link
is on a page with lots of other links. That's why so-called 'link
farming' doesn't work. Ideally, you want a link to your site from a
page that includes relevant content and not that many other outgoing
Step 5. Submit your site. Many search engines, Google
included, allow you to submit your site for free. Generally you can
submit your home page and let the search engine crawl the rest of
your site. Some directories and engines offer paid 'express'
services, and some, like Teoma, require that you pay for URL
submission. Which engines you choose depends on your budget and
Step 6. Review, Revise, and Keep Going. Think you're done?
Wrong -- search engine optimization is an ongoing project. At least
once per month, review your rankings, site traffic reports and link
popularity and tweak your site as necessary. The tools you need to
measure results are:
Site traffic reports. Any web hosting company should provide you
with a web site traffic report, and almost all of the reporting
tools in use today provide a 'referrals from search engines'
section. Take a look at this section for a good measure of
Link counts. Use the link: command on Google (see above) to
determine your link popularity.
Your keyword list. Search on the relevant search engines to see
if your ranking has improved.
Your brain. You have to interpret what you see, and decide
whether changes are warranted. There's no hard and fast rule for
this, and no magic formula. Sorry about that...
now you'll get instant results, right? Well, not quite...
A Word About Expectations
Search engine optimization can take time. Even Google only refreshes
its entire index once a month, so don't expect instant results.
If your first registration run doesn't generate increased rankings
within a month or two, don't panic. Look at your site traffic and
search on the keywords you chose. Make sure that the search engine
you're checking actually includes your site, too -- most likely the
bots just haven't gotten around to 'crawling' your site.
Still stumped? Find a professional. Sure, we cost money. But you may
have missed something about your site that's preventing a good
keyword rank, and a second set of eyes can help.
A Solid Marketing Strategy
Obviously, Search Engine Optimization is a big job. But nothing can
send more traffic to your site, for lower per-click cost. If you
follow the basic steps, and keep at it, you will definitely get
results. What's really, really important is to make sure you don't
award too much weight to one step (such as link popularity) at the
expense of the others. A well-rounded campaign will provide solid,
What about pay per click?
Pay-per-click services, such as Overture and Google Adwords, are
very different animals. If you've done your keyword analysis
you're halfway there, but there are other tasks. I've not talked
about them in this article because, well, they need an article
of their own. Check back soon...
About the Author
Ian Lurie is an Internet marketer in Seattle, WA. He started his web
design and marketing firm,
in 1995. Portent offers complete Internet marketing support,
including search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, and web
design and development. Recent projects include SEO and production
for www.princesslodges.com, SEO, marketing strategy, design and
production for www.dessy.com, and, on the more whimsical side,
frida.filmateria.com. Ian has a law degree from UCLA and has
successfully avoided practicing law for almost ten years.
Thank you to Elisabeth Archambault, who contributed insights to this
article based on her experiences as owner of
BuckWorks Online Shopping Directory.
Her article on
Building Reciprocal Links
is a useful introduction to the topic of building link popularity.
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