Search Engine Optimization - Do-It-Yourself or Hiring Someone

Written by John Buchanan

Anyone who has had a website for any length of time has already come torepparttar realization that to succeed, you need traffic, and to get traffic, unless you have some pretty deep pockets for more traditional forms of advertising, search engines arerepparttar 128054 most effective form of obtaining that traffic.

The next realization that comes is that simply being listed is not enough. To get traffic fromrepparttar 128055 search engines, you must come up at or nearrepparttar 128056 top ofrepparttar 128057 results for those searches that relate to your site.

Some call it search engine optimization, others search engine placement, and others search engine promotion. Regardless ofrepparttar 128058 name, it is all reallyrepparttar 128059 same thing. It isrepparttar 128060 art of getting traffic fromrepparttar 128061 engines.

Search engine optimization is a big business, and understandably so, butrepparttar 128062 question is, "Is it worth paying a firm to promote your site or is it truly something you can do yourself?"

Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer to this question as it is going to differ from person to person. In some cases, it can be well worthrepparttar 128063 money to hire an outside firm for your optimization needs, in other cases, you may be better off doing it yourself.

First let me answer a few questions and dispel a few myths that some ofrepparttar 128064 less reputable firms like to promote.

Q - Can I dorepparttar 128065 optimization myself? A - Yes, and in many cases be extremely successful.

Q - Is search engine optimization hard? A - Yes and no. As with any new skill, there is a learning curve involved, but unless you are in an extremely competitive area, just having an understanding of howrepparttar 128066 search engines work and rank pages, can be enough for you to design some good ranking pages.

Q - Do I need to have any expensive software or programming skills? A - No. Anything and everything can be done by hand. All you need to be able to dorepparttar 128067 optimization yourself is a basic understanding of HTML.

Q - Don't I just need to put my keywords inrepparttar 128068 Title and Meta tags? A - Unfortunately, while this was true a couple of years ago, it is a bit more complicated than this now. Meta tags, play an extremely small role in optimization in todays search engines.

Now that we have a few ofrepparttar 128069 most common questions out ofrepparttar 128070 way, let's take a deeper look at which option may be right for you.

First let's start with hiring an optimization firm and look atrepparttar 128071 pro's and con's involved.


- Optimization firms will already be trained in getting your site torepparttar 128072 top ofrepparttar 128073 engines. - The will know what is required and you will often see results fairly quickly andrepparttar 128074 results will often be better than if you were doingrepparttar 128075 optimization yourself. - You will haverepparttar 128076 free time to devote to other aspects of your business. Con's

- Optimization firms can range from moderately expensive to extremely expensive depending on your target market andrepparttar 128077 number of search terms you want to target. This could mean you may initially spend anywhere from $1,000 up to $5,000-$10,000 to hire a good firm and then a maintenance fee of near that amount monthly to maintainrepparttar 128078 rankings. - As with all firms, some will be top-notch, and some will be less than stellar. You could easily end up paying a few thousand dollars with little or no results ever seen. - No one will ever haverepparttar 128079 same enthusiasm for your site's success as you do. Many ofrepparttar 128080 less reputable companies will often use tactics that will work inrepparttar 128081 short-term, but may have some very negative long-term effects. - Many optimization firms will create a new site that funnels traffic to your current site. The firm generally owns this site, which means, that you are trapped into paying this firm for your traffic. If you stop paying them, you stop receivingrepparttar 128082 traffic.

Keyword Density - More Than Meets the Eye

Written by Ralph Tegtmeier

One ofrepparttar standard elements of web page optimization is Keyword Density: up until very recentlyrepparttar 128053 ratio of keywords to rest of body text was generally deemed to be one ofrepparttar 128054 most important factors employed by search engines to determine a web site's ranking.

However, this basically linear approach is gradually changing now: as mathematical linguistics and automatic content recognition technology progresses,repparttar 128055 major search engines are shifting their focus towards "theme" biased algorithms that do not rely on analysis of individual web pages anymore but, rather, will evaluate whole web sites to determine their topical focus or "theme" and its relevance in relation to users' search requests.

This is not to say that keyword density is losing in importance, quiterepparttar 128056 contrary. However, it is turning into a lot more complex technology than a simple computation of word frequency per web page can handle.

Context analysis is now being determined by a number of auxiliary linguistic disciplines and technology, for example: * semantic text analysis * textlexical database technology * distribution analysis of lexical components (such as nouns, adjectives, verbs) * evaluation of distance between semantic elements * AI and data mining technology based pattern recognition; * term vector database technology etc.

All these are now contributing torepparttar 128057 increasing sophistication ofrepparttar 128058 relevance determination process. If you feel this is beginning to sound too much like rocket science for comfort, you may not be very far fromrepparttar 128059 truth: it seems thatrepparttar 128060 future of search engine optimization will be determined by whatrepparttar 128061 industry is fond to termrepparttar 128062 "word gurus".

A sound knowledge of fundamental linguist methodology plus more than a mere smattering of statistical calculus will most probably be paramount to achieve successful search engine rankings inrepparttar 128063 foreseeable future. Merely repeatingrepparttar 128064 well worn mantra "content is king!", as some ofrepparttar 128065 lesser qualified SEO professionals and very many amateurs are currently doing, may admittedly have a welcome sedative effect by creating a feeling of fuzzy warmth and comfort. But to all practical purposes it is tantamount to whistling inrepparttar 128066 dark and fails miserably in doing justice torepparttar 128067 overall complexity ofrepparttar 128068 process involved.

It should be noted that we are talking presence AND future here: many ofrepparttar 128069 classical techniques of search engine optimization are still working more or less successfully, but there is little doubt that they are rapidly losing their cutting edge and will probably be as obsolete in a few months' time as spamdexing or invisible text - both optimization techniques well worth their while throughoutrepparttar 128070 90s - have become today.

So where does keyword density come into this equation? And how is it determined anyway?

There'srepparttar 128071 rub:repparttar 128072 term "keyword density" is by no means as objective and clear-cut as many people (some SEO experts included) will have it! The reason for this isrepparttar 128073 inherent structure of hypertext markup language (HTM) code: as text content elements are embedded in clear text command tags governing display and layout, it is not easy to determine what should or should not be factored into any keyword density calculus.

The matter is complicated further byrepparttar 128074 fact thatrepparttar 128075 meta tags inside a HTML page's header may contain keywords and description content: should these be added torepparttar 128076 total word count or not? Seeing that some search engines will ignore meta tags altogether (e.g. Lycos, Excite and Fast/Alltheweb), whereas others are still considering them (at least partially), it gets even more confusing. What may qualify for a keyword density of 2% under one frame of reference (e.g. including meta tags, graphics ALT tags, comment tags, etc.) may easily be reduced to 1% or less under another.

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