Saturday, January 22, 2011

Engines Change So Fast

Few things are as important to online businesses as reliable Search Engine Optimization. Get listed high on top search engines and you can just about bet on getting a big boost in sales.

Businesses often spend big bucks on SEO experts, advice, and systems that are touted to deliver your site into the promised land of high rankings. The bad news is -- most of this advice is outdated, untested, or just plain wrong.

Here's why. Search engines are extremely complicated and constantly changing. What worked last year may be completely wrong today. What worked yesterday may be outdated by this afternoon. SEO advisors who get their information from discussion groups (as many do) are often repeating untested guesses, theories, and rumors. Sometimes they misinterpret what search engine changes really mean for real websites.

Keeping up with search engines has become a full-time job, not just for one person, but for a full team of seasoned pros. It takes that many trained people to pour through the hundreds of pages of new findings, and TEST new methodologies.

I stress the word TEST because that's really the only way you can know an optimization or marketing strategy is going to work. My team constantly tests new strategies in real life situations to see how search engines will respond.

In general, it's good to learn how at least some of the Net's most important search engine features (like Google's vital PageRank system) work. You should also learn how to use meta tags and Overture to get your site listed quickly and in a way that will bring you more visitors and sales.

If you really want better ranking for your site, you are well advised to get the help of a qualified SEO professional. Choose a firm that specializes in SEO or SEM. You'll know which ones are the most successful because THEIR sites are ranked high in search engines.

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