In my industry (inbound marketing), the term search engine optimization is getting very over used and perhaps even a little boring. But, that doesn't change the fact that it is still an extremely important component of successful Internet (inbound) marketing. The easier you can make it for the major search engines to find a given web site, the better. If you're trying to build a steady and increasing traffic flow, better position on the major search engines can only help the cause.
Search engine optimization explained: As I have explained in some previous blog posts, search engine optimization is the process used to make a web page "search engine friendly". This process has many elements but they all (usually) breakdown into 2 areas:
- On Page Optimization
- Off Page Optimization
The details of which I will discuss and and outline in upcoming blog posts, however, this particular blog post is specific to search engine optimization in general. The concept of:
- Common Sense
One thing I have learned in my many years of helping clients gain better search engine position is this... when in doubt, use your common sense. What I mean is this:
Search engines have one main function and they take it very seriously. That function is to find the best web sites, with the best content and information in relation to the keyword or keyphrase used. Over the years there have been many SEO professionals and companies that have tried to "beat the system" and apply shortcuts, tricks or "creative techniques". Even if these techniques sound cutting edge or make sense at the time, you always need to ask if the major search engines would approve and evaluate this method in a positive light.
Search Engine Optimization Conversation: I had a conversation today with a self proclaimed search engine optimization expert and after I had a chance to absorb the details of that conversation, I decided to write this blog article.
It seems that this SEO professional has a background in programming and has spent a lot of time developing software that has the ability to create thousands of pages of content automatically. My first reaction and thoughts were:
- This is a great idea.
- Since content development is something I am always preaching, this might be a great resource.
- The more pages under a given domain, the better.
- 5000 unique pages would take months or years under the traditional methods.
- What an opportunity to reflect many keywords and keyphrases.
- What a time saver.
After I had some time to process this long conversation, some other considerations took hold:
- Could this be considered a "black hat" technique?
- Would the search engine approve of this "shortcut"?
- Does this pass the "common sense" checklist I normally use in these situations?
- Is the cost worth the risk?
- Will the time (and money) invested in this process ultimately be wasted?
My conclusion is simple. If it doesn't make sense, and appears to be a shortcut technique, it will be seen for what it is by the king of all search technologies... Google! There have been countless methods of shortcuts and advantages created over the years and I can tell you from first hand experiences that they all get discovered and some times worse, a site gets black listed. In this case, it doesn't make much sense to me to fast forward the content development phase of site development. Google always wants to see original, well thought out content so they can then provide high quality search results to the Google user. As each blog article should be hand written and original, I apply the same rules to the pages of a web site. This common sense rule seems to be broken in this case.
I think that even though many site owners are not search engine optimization experts, they can always apply this rule of common sense. If you are interviewing an SEO (inbound marketing) professional and you are asking about methods and techniques, you must always evaluate these by asking yourself it they make sense in the eyes of Google, Yahoo or MSN.