Friday, June 26, 2009

The Truth About Search Engine Optimization

Nobody wants to appear on the 5th page of Google results.  We all want to be #1 for every keyword that relates to our website. It doesn't matter if you are competing with millions of other websites, you want to be on top. Enter Search Engine Optimization! 
Search engine optimization (SEO) is how you improve your website rankings for selected keywords. But SEO is an imperfect science, at best. Search engine companies don't release their ranking algorithms so it's impossible to guarantee success. Any SEO company that "guarantees" results is either selling search engine advertising (instead of true SEO) or is engaged in false advertising.
There are a variety of tactics which work to help achieve this goal. The most cost effective and successful is to increase the total number of inbound links to your website using the target keywords as hyperlinked text.  However, the links have to come from websites other than your own.
The easiest way to accomplishing this is through link exchange programs and article marketing.
Link exchanges are simple link swaps - they link to you, you link to them and everyone wins. The problem is many don't link back so you need to monitor them.
Another great way to get lots of inbound keyword links is to get onto every social network that exists. That doesn't mean you need to be active, just create an account and create your links. It's free and you know precisely what keywords you are using.
Article marketing requires more work. You need to write original articles and then release them online. Ezines and websites in need of content will pick up your articles and republish them, including all your keyword links!
Also, since you are already writing articles, you might as well start a blog too. Blogging is great for SEO. Search engines love content; they live on it. Blogs let you create keyword rich content. If you're lucky (and you write something worth reading!) then you might even pick up an audience.
Therefore, don't fall for all the SEO hype. Most SEO companies are really just selling Google advertising, which you can buy on your own! You can handle all your own SEO with a blog, article marketing and link exchanges.
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