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Search Engine Optimization and Other Scary Things

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by Francisco Aloy

Being a relative newcomer to the Web I decided to foray into
Search Engine Optimization to gain first hand experience and any
insights I could. My assumption was that it would have a basis
built on rational thinking and logical facts.

I pre-supposed a certain degree of agreement and transparency
from many of the established sources and opinion makers. My
starting viewpoint supported by my association of Search Engine
Optimization and the Web as natural extensions of common sense,
logical thinking.

In hindsight, I must confess I'm not more knowledgeable about the
subject than when I first started. I found very few opinions and
practices based on fact. What I did find - and it came as an
unexpected revelation - was general confusion and disagreement.

I found secret potion SEO, lurking-in-the-shadows SEO, ignorance
as dogma SEO, Voodoo SEO, witch doctor SEO, magical chicken bones
SEO, the 10 blind men and the elephant SEO, fancy and hearsay as
SEO!
In the minority, I found but a handful of opinions based on
cold hard facts and logic. How in the world can Search Engine
Optimization mean all those things?

OK, perhaps I did overdo the above paragraph, but the point I'm
making is this: With the infinite number of opinions, incorrect
assumptions and dead wrong practices; how do you know what to
believe? Imagine you're a small business looking for SE
optimization; how would you go about it?

The Search Engines, of course, won't reveal more than general
guidelines for optimization; other than that, they don't say
much. I realize they do things in that manner because they can't
explain much about their inner workings. If folks had the skinny
on the formulas and algorithms, nothing short of SE pandemonium
would ensue.

I'm sure you've seen the ads that guarantee a dominant position
for your choice of keywords. How can that be so? I think some
keyword phrases are so competitive, very few have the resources
it would take to acquire dominance. The cost of many of the
keywords and phrases are completely out of reach for most small
home based businesses.

Furthermore, I'm sure you've heard about websites getting banned
after hiring a SEO expert. I had this experience:

I remember reading about a well known SEO business and I wrote
them an email inquiring about why they didn't appear in the
search results dealing with their subject matter: search engine
optimization or search engine ranking. I received a short and
cryptic reply that didn't say much.

As time went by, I came onto an article that stated the
particular SEO outfit had been banned by the SE's during that
time frame. That explains the nature of the return email;
meaning: I don't want to talk about it!

The paragraph above implies that if they'll do it to their own
website, they'll do it to yours! Look before you leap should more
than suffice as the motto for your business decision.

I think SEO experts that are on the level won't guarantee you
dominance for ANY keyword phrase. Think about your competition
and see if it's feasible. For example, would you have the
resources to dominate for the word "business?" I did a search on
Google and came up with 695,000,000 results!

Before you make a decision and commit time and money, check out
any offer. Phone past customers and ask them about their
experiences; would they hire the same expert again? Ask for
quantifiable results and look for a positive track record; I
imagine SEO experts are not a dime a dozen. Investigate and get
answers to all your questions before you put money on the table.

(C)2005 Francisco Aloy

=============================================


About the Author

Francisco Aloy is the Editor of The
Newbie Business Guide. Constructive
and clear information to start your
Internet Business. For more articles
by Mr. Aloy, visit:
http://www.newbie-business-guide.com

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