Monday, 20 April 2009

Or is it just another get rich quick scam?


Why is there an interest in search engine optimisation? Is it the cure for all the world's business maladies? Or is it just another get rich quick scam? Is SEO an open book?

SEO is no longer the cryptic crossword puzzle for those who indulged in Internet geekdom but the get rich technique for the opportunist would-be-businessman or charlatan. Some companies charge ridiculously large amounts of money for a lot of their optimisation services. These same businesses then try to explain their rates by attempting to convince prospective clients that by paying ‘extra’ they get a better deal in the long term. This technique reminds me of double glazing salesmen, who all say that by spending more with ‘x’ you get a better deal than with ‘y’, when in reality they all get their materials and manufacturing equipment from the same suppliers. Any astute businessman or businesswoman can intelligently work out that the reason for their inflated prices are due to a combination of greed and over staffing.

Search Engine Optimization appears to be becoming a big business in an age when the rest of the worlds’ business community is tightening its belt. The expression ‘Ambulance Chasers’ comes to mind. I will accept that good SEO requires hours and hours of hard work, involving research and then analysis and scrutiny but what is the acceptable cost? Is this task worth solicitors’ rates?

Possibly the best thing to do is find an optimisation company that recommend processes that make your site better and relevant to the market you are aiming at. Find one that will offer you a decent service for a fair price without taking short cuts. It might be advisable to avoid going for quick fixes and companies that offer promises of number one rankings. Avoid companies that use ‘Black Hat’ techniques. These techniques are used for possible short term gain, which could get your business de-listed or penalised in search engines. Keyword stuffing should be avoided, your text must be contextual and not just a random list of ‘good’ words. Google and other search engines have matured and have become more intelligent, ranking websites on their merit and content. There once was a time when a strategy like ‘reciprocal linking exchange’ was used to get good rankings but now content has become king – and that is the way it should be.

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