The Myth of "Guaranteed #1 Ranking" in Search Engine Marketing

Written by Dale Goetsch

Continued from page 1

Whilerepparttar search engine marketing person cannot guarantee you a position, what they can do is to apply years of experience to tell you what has worked inrepparttar 128140 past, and to help you make it work today. In many ways, "organic" search engine optimization is really a matter of editing web pages or whole sites to make them repparttar 128141 most search engine friendly they can be. Making sure that a given page has justrepparttar 128142 right combination of keywords, title, links, and so on, is really at its base simply a matter of making that pagerepparttar 128143 best web page it can possibly be. The page that will rankrepparttar 128144 best inrepparttar 128145 search engines is alsorepparttar 128146 page that will makerepparttar 128147 most sense torepparttar 128148 human visitor. Rather than relying on tricks to try to makerepparttar 128149 page rank high, it is a matter of just makingrepparttar 128150 pagerepparttar 128151 most focused and on-message that it can be. The bad news is that this doesn't guarantee which position inrepparttar 128152 search engine rankings that page will occupy on a given day. The good news is thatrepparttar 128153 page will always rank well.

The search engines change their algorithms from time to time. If today's rule, for example, is that justrepparttar 128154 right combination of text inrepparttar 128155 title tag will make or break a site, and you know this is true, then all you have to do is to tweakrepparttar 128156 title tag to fit within that rule, and you will automatically rank very high. Today.

Suppose that tomorrow, however, that rule is changed. Suppose that nowrepparttar 128157 most important factor thatrepparttar 128158 search engines use to rank a site isrepparttar 128159 content of repparttar 128160 META Description tag. Allrepparttar 128161 work you went to yesterday to fixrepparttar 128162 title is now useless. All of your attention is now focused on fixing that description tag.

Clearly, over timerepparttar 128163 focus ofrepparttar 128164 search engines will vary. The best way to deal with this is to not deal with it! This means that rather than tweaking a site one way today and another way tomorrow,repparttar 128165 best way to approach optimizing a page or a whole site is to not try to beatrepparttar 128166 system. Instead of trying to "psych-out"repparttar 128167 search engines, why not add value torepparttar 128168 site? A "common sense" approach to search engine optimization, looking for long term results, isrepparttar 128169 way to go. When you try to help a site rank better by making itrepparttar 128170 best it can be, everybody wins.

Dale Goetsch is the Technical Consultant for Search Innovation Marketing (, a Search Engine Promotion company serving small businesses and non-profits. He has over twelve years experience in software development. Along with programming in Perl, JavaScript, ASP and VB, he is a technical writer and editor, with an emphasis on making technical subjects accessible to non-technical readers.

Search Engine Options: Getting Your Site Listed by the Search Engines

Written by Debra Bellmaine

Continued from page 1

Links From Other Sites. Inrepparttar good old days (a year or two ago), it was sufficient to add keywords in a few places on your web pages, submit them torepparttar 128139 search engines and voila, top listings. However, withrepparttar 128140 explosive growth ofrepparttar 128141 World Wide Web in recent years,repparttar 128142 search engines have become much more smarter in figuring out which search results would best satisfy a particular query. One criterion that is currently very important isrepparttar 128143 number of other websites that have links to yours. Fromrepparttar 128144 perspective of a search engine, lots of links coming into your site make your site more important, and therefore more likely to providerepparttar 128145 information needed byrepparttar 128146 searcher. Why would another website want to link to yours? The best reason is that your website content is so outstanding that other sites will link to yours as a service to their visitors. But, this is not as easy as it sounds, since there are so many sites out there, many with dozens (sometimes hundreds) of pages of useful information.

A commonly used method of increasing links to your site is to offer to swap links with another site. This is known as a "link exchange." It takes a bit of work, but is generallyrepparttar 128147 quickest route to improved search engine listings.

Search Engine Submission. After allrepparttar 128148 above has been completed, it is time to for your web pages to be submitted torepparttar 128149 search engines. Although there are numerous submission firms that claim to be able to submit your site to "thousands" of search engines, there are only a few engines that actually matter, such as Yahoo, Google, MSN Search and AOL (not an exhaustive list). After working hard to get your website designed, built and you wait. It generally takes 6 - 10 weeks after submission forrepparttar 128150 results to start to be seen. And it is vital to understand that your position inrepparttar 128151 search engine listings is dynamic. There are other websites also using these techniques to improve their position, and there is absolutely no way to guarantee a particular position inrepparttar 128152 listings, or how long your site will stay at that position. Even so,repparttar 128153 difference these steps can make for your site's visibility makes it a worthwhile investment.

Pay-Per-Click Listings

If you want immediate placement onrepparttar 128154 search engines, plus a better measure of control over your listing's position, you should consider pay-per-click, or sponsored, listings. If you do a search on any major search engine you will see listings atrepparttar 128155 top or alongrepparttar 128156 side ofrepparttar 128157 page that haverepparttar 128158 notation "sponsored listing." They may also be set apart with a colored background, which isrepparttar 128159 case on Google.

These listings are really paid advertisements. The way they work is a bidding system. You,repparttar 128160 advertiser, bid onrepparttar 128161 search terms for which you want your listings to be displayed. The amount of your bid indicates how much you're willing to pay for a click on your link. You only pay when your listing is displayed for a particular keyword andrepparttar 128162 searcher clicks on your listing to visit your site. The highest bidder getsrepparttar 128163 first listing onrepparttar 128164 results page,repparttar 128165 second highest bidder getsrepparttar 128166 next highest listing, and so on. Bids can be as low as 10 cents, and go as high as 10 dollars or more for a really hot keyword, such as "mortgage." Quite often you can bid on very effective keywords for 25 to 50 cents.

There are advantages torepparttar 128167 pay-per-click system. The most obvious is that in just a day or two your website can be displayed atrepparttar 128168 top ofrepparttar 128169 search engine listings. If you've invested a lot in getting your site up and running you may not want to wait 2 months for your customers to be able to find you. Also, sponsored listings are targeted to those who are really searching forrepparttar 128170 information available on your site, unlike "banner ads," which you have no doubt seen on many sites. (A banner ad is more like a billboard. The advertiser pays to have it displayed regardless of whether viewers actually click on it.)

The big downside to pay-per-click listings is that you may have lots of idle visitors who are just surfing aroundrepparttar 128171 Net and don't intend to buy. If they click on your listing, you pay, regardless of whether or not they become your customer. The business owner (you) must decide what you are willing to spend for customer acquisition.

In Conclusion

I hope that this discussion has been helpful to you. If you are investing in a website or search engine positioning, you need to understand at leastrepparttar 128172 basics ofrepparttar 128173 game, and that is what I have hoped to achieve. It's not as complicated as it sounds ...althoughrepparttar 128174 unfamiliar terminology inrepparttar 128175 field of computers andrepparttar 128176 Internet often make it seem so. Never be concerned about seeming ignorant to your web designer or other Internet service providers. Before meeting you they probably had even less understanding of your field!

Debra Bellmaine is President of Bellmaine Associates (, a web design & development firm providing website solutions for small and medium-size businesses. She is a software professional with broad experience creating custom business applications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, as well as various certifications, including Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform.

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