Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
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Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a web site for specific keyword phrases to encourage a better position in web search engines. Many users do not design their websites with Search Engines in mind. Websites that are properly designed and optimized have a high probability of gaining top rankings in search results. Search Engine Optimization is also called "Organic" or "Pure Search" because the results displayed are based on the relevance and popularity of the site. No money is paid to the search engines for placement or clicks.
- No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google or any search engine.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only a couple ways to submit your website to Google.
- Be careful if a company is secretive or won't clearly explain what they intend to do.
Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or "throwaway" domains, your site could be removed entirely from a search engineindex. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you.
- You should never have to link to an SEO.
Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of "free-for-all" links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don't affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines -- at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.
- Some SEOs may try to sell you the ability to type keywords directly into the browser address bar.
Most such proposals require users to install extra software, and very few users do so. Evaluate such proposals with extreme care and be skeptical about the self-reported number of users who have downloaded the required applications.
- Choose wisely.
While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO. While Google doesn't comment on specific companies, we've encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.
- Be sure to understand where the money goes.
While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they "control" other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn't work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you're considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.
- Talk to many SEOs, and ask other SEOs if they'd recommend the firm you're considering.
References are a good start, but they don't tell the whole story. You should ask how long a company has been in business and how many full time individuals it employs. If you feel pressured or uneasy, go with your gut feeling and play it safe: hold off until you find a firm that you can trust. Ethical SEO firms report deceptive sites that violate Google's spam guidelines.
Data Feed Upload
Some search engines allow merchants to send data about products so the search engines can bulk load their search index. Google's product "Froogle" allows merchants to send data extracts of their online store inventory prices, product name, sku number, descriptions, pictures, etc.
As a result, we’ve developed a custom module to integrate our shopping cart solution with Froogle. The interface automates the manual and arderous process of compiling products and prices into Froogle's proprietary format by hand. To find out how our team of web professionals can build a shopping cart and integrate our custom Froogle Interface to increase sales contact us.
Take the next step
To learn more about how we can assist your organization with your next search Engine Optimization project please contact us for a free consultation.
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