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SEO Myths - Part 2

Let's look at some more SEO Myths

This article follows on from an earlier article called SEO Myths - Part 1. Given the large number of "myths" out there in SEO land, there are plenty more to talk about today.

"You can tell how well Google trusts the content of your web site by how deep Google will spider and index your web site."

While this is one possible explanation (but not supported in much of the SEO writings), I think it is more likely there is a problem on the site. I would start by checking for structural roadblocks and correcting any problems. Javascript, flash based navigation, a faulty robots.txt file or even a "noindex,nofollow" meta tag could be preventing the robot from getting to your pages. Besides, Google is much more likely to exclude you from their index or penalise you in search results if they think you are in a "shonky" neighbourhood or using spamming techniques to achieve a ranking. Also, search engines tend not to travel too deep into a site anyway, usually not more than 2 to 3 pages away from their starting point. And finally, perhaps the content is just too uninteresting for them to be bothered looking anymore.

If something isn't working, don't assume it's the most exotic explanation. Start with the basics. As a general rule - do the simple things well.

"SEO is too expensive."

I'm biased, I make my living from performing SEO services for customers, it does cost but I can't agree it's too expensive.

If you wish to increase the traffic to your website and ultimately increase your revenue, you have a number of options - SEO, PPC or Banner Advertising. SEO can produce results in all search engines not just the one you are paying under a PPC arrangement. The cost is incurred once and then benefits accrue for an extended period of time. SEO has the advantage of being able to attract interest across a broad range of keywords not the narrow set configured in a PPC setting.

SEO generated traffic is someone looking a the product or service, having already searched for the relevant keyword. So when someone arrives at your site via a search engine, the chances of a successful transaction are improved. Banner advertising is much less targetted and can be displayed in a very indiscriminant way.

If the initial outlay is a concern, why not consider undertaking the SEO program in a staged approach and don't forget, even small changes to a website can have a positive impact on search results.

"Only work with SEO companies that give you a guarantee."

It would be nice to think we could give you a guarantee, and maybe we would if we owned the search engine or controlled their algorithm.

Here is a small set of reasons why we (MidBoh) can't and won't guarantee results:

  • Each search engine is different, using its own proprietory ranking methods that use a large range of factors to determine results
  • Every competitor implements a unique combination of SEO factors, which they can change regularly
  • Even non-competitor websites that share similar keywords have a unique set of SEO factors implemented
  • The number of websites competing for each keyword or phrase varies. New entrants, expired domains and penalised websites are all factors that change the numbers in the search pool.
  • Geographic factors - where you and your competitors are hosted in relation to the searcher

An SEO organisation that guarantees results is either using unethical practices that may produce impressive short-term results but are likely to fail in the long-term or choose to measure seemingly innocuous phrases for which results are relatively easy but will not produce meaningful traffic.

Check the fine print.

"Our HTML Programmer / Designer knows how to optimise our web site."

Not all computer skills are interchangeable. I don't know how many times I've been asked to upgrade a friend's PC or advise what sort of memory chips they need or how to write macros in Microsoft Word. I might be able to fool a few people doing these tasks, but I couldn't fool anyone who really has these appropriate skills.

SEO is just one of many computer skills. Do you want someone who knows what they're doing or someone who knows enough to be dangerous?

Here's an example. I took over a site in the Health Training industry that prior to my involvement was in frames, had no links (inbound or outbound), had a high number of validation errors and no attention had been paid to the placement of keywords. As a consequence, it had a Google PR of 0 and could not be found in Google for any keyword (from generic to very specific) in the first 200 results. No much traffic at all.

The site I took over had been "optimised" by the Designer.

Some, but not all, designers know what they are doing. Do you know enough to know the difference? Even if they can improve your traffic levels, have they maximised your potential? It's your potential revenue stream.

There are plenty more myths to debunk, which we'll get around to in a future episode as opportunity presents. Of course, if you would like to discuss what might be possible for your website, please contact us.

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