09 October 2006

Search Engine Optimization 101

Search engine optimisation is a massive area for Internet marketing, usually if your website can not be found on the search engines your website is likely to receive little or no visitors at all. Search engine optimisation is an extremely competitive market, where nearly any webmaster will do anything to try and get that top ranking. This article discusses the big don'ts of search engine optimisation practices:

1. Do not submit to Free for All (FFA) websites
2. Keep keyword density low
3. Do not optimise pages for a wide number of keywords
4. Duplicate website content
5. Hidden text
6. Infamous "click here" links
7. Automated link exchange networks

*Don't submit to Free for All (FFA) websites*
Many websites promise to provide a top 10 ranking for your website, in which this will actually have a negative effective to your position on the search engine ranking pages (SERPs) on the big three - Google, Yahoo and MSN. These are websites which promise you thousands of links to your website, and may get you to install some code on your website to display links. This method of search engine Optimisation is inadvisable and is strongly suggested that you stay away from these websites, it may also ban your website from the search engines if you signup.

*Keep the keyword density low Most webmasters are aware that keyword density plays a big part in search engine optimisation and usually over optimise their website. Search engines like websites which contain natural flowing text and the correct keyword density, rather than indexing a webpage that consists ofkeywords concatenated together with commas. Google prefers a lowerkeyword density than it's competitors, usually between 3% and 5%, where
as Yahoo prefers approximately a 7% keyword density on a webpage. Use the tools at Ranks.nl to help calculate the density of keywords on your website.

*Don't optimise pages for a wide number of keywords. Keep the pages on your website concise with a particular keyword or keyphrase. If your website is concise with a particular keyword then this will help increase your search engine ranking position within the big three. This should also be the same for outgoing links on your website, try and categories links on your website
into specific categories. If your website contains varied keywords throughout, then the search engines will be confused on what to optimise your website for.

*Duplicate website content. You should not use duplicate content on your website, these pages will most likely not get indexed, or they will have no value within the search engines. Your website may also be flagged up as SPAM, and in some extremely cases could even be banned from the big three. A website which is banned from the search engines is worth nothing.

*Hidden text. This will most certainly get your website banned from the search engines. Hidden text is an unethical method of search engine optimisation and is strongly frowned-upon by the big three. Just take your time and write good quality text for your website - you will be
rewarded in the long run!

*Infamous "click here" links. The internal linking structure of a website plays a big part in search engine optimisation. Keywords which are used within internal links also increase your position within the search engine ranking pages. Many webmasters use the infamous "click here" links when usually referring to something within their text, this is a poor way of optimising a website for the search engines. Instead, you should rephrase your sentence to
include a link which contains keywords related to the webpage you are linking to; this is an easy and effective way for increasing search engine ranking positions.

*Automated link exchange networks. Many of these websites promise to provide thousands of incoming reciprocal links to your website through simply signing up to their service. This method of search engine optimisation is usually frowned-upon, as the links you will be receiving may have no quality value and will usually flag up your website within the search engines. I have seen many websites which signup and have got their website banned.
Link exchange networks which provide natural link exchange methods, such as Swift Media UK, are an advantage to your website, as you will receive one way text links to your website over a period of time through no effort at all.
Andy Mac Donald

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