You may have heard the phrase “A week is a long time in politics!” attributed to Harold Wilson back in 1964, long before search engines had even been thought of. By today’s standards that would be “A minute is a long time online!”
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the most misguided title for an activity.
If you look at the title of this article you will see that it is about search results not the engines that produce those results, we believe that a more accurate representation of what people mean when saying SEO would be to call it SRO (Search Result Optimisation). It is important to have an understanding of what these search engines like and don’t like and vital to this understanding is knowing what activity could get your website removed from their indexing.
Above all and the most important thing to keep in mind is ‘who’ are you aiming your website at? If you are building your website and all of its content for search engines then your site will without doubt be successful for a very short period of time. If on the other hand you concentrate your efforts on your customers and the content that would interest them you will be very much on the right lines and that will, in the long-term, prove to be a much more successful tactic.
The do’s and don’ts of repetition
The days of stuffing of keywords into content just to win positions on Google are gone, along with a lot of the other old methods of fooling the search engines. As bad as it sounds, every time you add an extra word or repeat a bit of content or replicate your geographic location, you are trying to fool the search engines into believing that your website should be well ranked. If you don’t have a lot of experience dealing with search engines then I would say have a go by all means but you will need to plan what you are doing and also decide how you are going to measure the results. Google Analytics is a brilliant free tool for measuring your website, offering you statistics and sources of traffic.
Those of you who are familiar with the 80/20 rule, search results optimisation falls neatly into the Pareto principle. 80% of the work is research and 20% is actually making the changes required. The important thing to remember here is your customers. Take some time and think about what your potential customers would be searching for, or the sort of questions that they may ask and make sure that your website is delivering.
Search engines have developed and will continue to do so, what you need to keep in mind is that the likes of Google have to make money, if their search results are not good then people are less likely to spend with them. By the same token, if they can refine their search results to almost pin sharp precision then you know that you are reaching your target markets with relevant content.