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    SEO less technical, more about reputation

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    niks

    Posts : 12
    Join date : 2011-01-31

    SEO less technical, more about reputation

    Post by niks on Fri May 20, 2011 4:48 am

    SEO is about meeting the computer halfway: Google wants to understand the web, and it’s up to you to make sure your information is what Google needs, and that it’s located where Google needs to find it.

    As search engines get smarter and better able to understand written text, SEO is actually becoming less technical and arcane, and more concerned with producing better text. So forget the cheap tricks of the past – doing SEO right in 2011 means working for a good reputation, the honest way.

    Build links – organically. Google keeps its exact search-engine formula a closely guarded secret, and changes it regularly. But it has been consistent about one thing since its origins as a dorm-room computer science project: It respects links. The more people link to your website, and the more reputable those people are, the more likely Google is to boost your search ranking.

    There are actually two distinct sides to SEO: Modifications you can perform on your website, and things you can do without altering it. A prime example? Asking relevant businesses to link to your site.

    “People call it SEO, but it’s really public relations,” says Ari Shomair, the principal at Offleash Media, a digital-media firm and a lecturer at the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business.

    Reaching out and convincing germane partners to link to your site can help establish your business as an authority in Google’s eyes, he says.

    Similarly, business owners can make sure their sites are submitted to local search engines such as Yelp. (For ideas, check to see which sites list nearby competitors.) This is another route to boosting credibility with search engines.

    But be careful. Search engines are especially vigilant about worthless links. Rogue SEO operators frequently construct networks of bogus links, which can damage your site’s reputation when they unravel.

    Get the technical matters out of the way first. SEO doesn’t have to be a high-tech endeavour, but your site needs to be built on a firm foundation if it wants to get noticed by search engines. A few things need to be in order: Your site should make good use of both page titles. It should contain a hidden description (called a “description tag”) that search engines can use to brief readers on what your site contains. Your URLs – the website address at the top of the screen – should contain words that describe your page, rather than abstract letters and numbers. And making extensive use of Flash isn’t the best idea.

    These are all factors that depend on the system you’ve used to build your site. If you’ve set up your site correctly, these elements should look after themselves. Many modern website building tools – called content management systems – do a good job of setting pages up this way out of the box. (WordPress, a free blogging tool, is a good example.) If you’ve hand-built your site – or contracted it to someone else – the odds aren’t as good. Since this is foundational work, the best time to address it is when you’re looking at building a new website for your business.

    SEO is a writing task. Once the technical foundations are in place, much of the art of getting noticed by Google comes down to writing. Making sure you have top-quality text is one of the best ways to boost your organic results.

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