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Search Engine Optimisation; Knowledge A Prerequisite

Aug 5, 2008
Put simply the search engine optimisation process attempts to increase the traffic to a website from search engines. Currently the industry is booming, with those who have the correct skills and knowledge are reaping the benefits of extensive research. To achieve greater traffic the ultimate objective is to increase the rankings of a website in search engine results. Understandably by being at the top of the rankings, a website will be more likely to attract visitors and hence, custom.

One of the major considerations when undertaking search engine optimisation are the keywords that are included on web pages; only through careful deliberation should these be decided upon. These keywords are either words or phrases that are likely to be entered by search engine users when looking for products or services. Selecting keywords however can be difficult, while you want to target competitive phrases, if the phrases are too competitive; chances are that success will not be forthcoming. An example would be a company that sold MP3 players; a possible keyword would be 'MP3 players' although competition for this term would be extremely high, a more advisable strategy would be to target more specific terms such as '1 Gb Mp3 players' or 'Blue MP3 players'. By using these terms competition will be considerably less and rankings will be more achievable. Using a number of keywords is also advisable to target multiple phrases.

These keywords should be included in the content of the website but additionally should be contained in the off-page information. Elements such as Meta information are vitally important in the world of optimisation as they are the first information to be read by search engine spiders. These tags need to be unique and also relevant to the information contained on the site. All pages on a site need tags to ensure that search engines are supplied with the relevant information. Uniqueness cannot be overestimated; search engines place great importance on content and tags, when creating content then it must be remembered at all times that it should be bespoke, copying from other websites is a big mistake as ultimately this will lead to penalties.

The fear of incurring penalties is a major concern in the world of optimisation. Largely these can be avoided by following methods that in the industry are termed 'white hat' or 'ethical'. There are however some unscrupulous operators who pursue 'black hat' methods; these are methods that actively work towards deceiving the search engines into ranking a site higher. Such methods are cloaking; the practise of presenting different information to human and automated visitors; keyword spamming; the process of overusing the key terms and link farming; using a number of websites to link to each other and improve rankings.

These methods, while they can provide initial success ultimately are not a worthy course of action to follow. Both search engines and competitors will look for these methods and will report a website for using them. Once the methods have been picked up, penalties such as complete removal from the rankings can and will come into effect. Pursuing white hat techniques is far more advisable although ultimately they will take longer. Search engine optimisation is however a long game, it is not a process that can be pursued quickly if long lasting success is required.

This article has only reached the tip of the iceberg in terms of search engine optimisation methods and techniques. As previously stated the industry as a whole is growing rapidly and this is due to the fact that the knowledge possessed by SEO specialists is in high demand. Naturally companies want to pursue high rankings as it will bring increased business, with the right SEO specialist on board this is a real and attainable possibility.
About the Author
Internet marketing expert Thomas Pretty looks into search engine optmisation methods and why specialist knowledge is a fundamental element in rankings success.
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