Search Engine Optimization – FAQ

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

At its core, Search Engine Optimization is the art of manipulating the pages within a website using a variety of techniques so they achieve higher organic rankings in the respective Search Engines.  However, this alone will not guarantee success.  Other ranking factors include authoritative inbound links that build a sites domain and page authority along with many new factors that are constantly changing.

Why do I need Search Engine Optimization?

In today’s highly competitive markets, business Web sites that aren’t optimized for the keyword phrases that are relative to their business, have little chance of being found by their potential customers.  The goal of most business Web sites is to achieve one or more of the following:

  1. Sell Products
  2. Sell Services
  3. Build Brand
  4. Establish Credibility

Search Engine Optimization can make your site visible to your potential customers and help you achieve these goals.  Search engine optimization = Marketing your Business.

Can I optimize and submit my site?

SEO has grown increasingly complex. However, with a lot of time, effort and research, you can learn optimization.  However, with the time and effort you must expend, it would be more logical to let a professional search engine marketer complete this work. A poor job of optimization is hard to undo, won’t yield any results and could cause site ranking penalties.

Can I submit my site for free?

Submitting your site to the search engines is free.   However, it should be done using a correctly formatted XML Sitemap. This requires your site to be authenticated by the search engines.

I found a company that guaranteed my site top placement in the search engines. They are also going to submit my site to 40,000 search engines for 29.95.  Should I trust them? 

Short answer.  No.  The Web is plagued by unscrupulous SEO firms that will say anything to get your money.  The truth is, no one can guarantee you a specific position in a non pay per click search engine. Period.  Also, There are only 2 search engines that will drive the majority of the traffic to your site.  They are powered by 2 databases at this time.

Below are some eye-opening articles about Search Engine Position “Guarantees”.

What are Keyword phrases and why are they important?

Keyword phrases are the terms or words that the user enters into the search engine to help them find what they are looking for on the Web. Searchers usually enter specific terms to narrow down their search results.  It’s important to know what keyword phrases your potential customers are searching for so your site can be optimized for those phrases.

What is a “search engine friendly” Web design?

A search engine friendly design is a Web site designed with search engine marketing in mind from the inception.  There are no barriers such as HTML frames, flash or dynamically generated pages that have obfuscated query strings to stop the spiders/robots.  The design may also include elements that the search engines specifically look for and will help increase your keyword phrase relevancy when optimized properly.

How much does it cost to buy ads that display on the search engines?

Cost to participate in paid ads using Google AdWords or Bing Ads which provide sponsor results in many search engines and participating sites is based on several factors.  You must determine the number of phrases you wish to promote, the cost of the particular keyword you wish to promote, the position you wish to maintain,.the frequency of the clicks plus the amount you are willing to spend on a monthly basis. We can typically work within any reasonable budget you set.  Keep in mind a starting number would be no lower than $500.00.  This would give you  $16.00 a day budget. How long this lasts per day is based on your cost per click witch varies by industry and competition for the phrases.  Note.  with the high cost of clicks in just about every market, this won’t last long.  

What is PageRank and why is it important?

PageRank is specific to the Google search engine. PageRank is part of a complex algorithm so we’ll just touch on the basics here.  Essentially, Google looks at all the sites that are linked to you.  If those sites are high ranking, high traffic, high relevancy sites you will, in turn, get a higher page rank. If you link to lower page ranking sites at the other end of the spectrum, in turn, your page ranking could be lower and your position will, therefore, be lower in the rankings.  This is only one of many measurements and tests Google performs on your site, many of which are closely guarded secrets of Google.
Note: This term is depreciated and is sometimes used loosely among SEO companies. Essentially it means page score.

What is Search Engine Spamming?

Search engine spamming is the act of deceiving or trying to deceive a search engine into giving your page a higher listing in the search engine results page. Some spamming or unethical techniques used are:  invisible text on the page, site mirroring, gateway pages, link farming, tag-based spam such as keyword loading, IP cloaking & IP delivery, redirects.
Off-site factors include having links from sites that are known spamming sites, Linking from “Bad Neighborhoods, Blog Spam and Article spam.
Anyone caught using these techniques can have their sites removed from the database or heavily penalized.

What is the difference between a search engine and a directory?

True search engines such as Google and Bing use “spiders” or “bots” that crawl the web collecting information from Web sites. The bot is a program that is initiated by a particular search engine. The information is then written back to the search engine database.  There is no human intervention involved.
A directory, on the other hand, is a human-compiled list of sites that are categorized, typically in alphabetical order.  Some top directories charge a fee for inclusion like

What is “Organic” Marketing or “Organic” Positioning?

Organic marketing is the ability to achieve natural positions in the search engine results pages.  Natural or organic positions are links that are found by the search engine spider and included in the database index. The actual positioning of the organic listing is calculated by the search engines algorithm.  These are free listings (not sponsor pay per click links).  Organic listings are the most coveted links due to several reasons. You don’t have to pay for each click (it’s free) and trends show that these links may be clicked first before the sponsor (PPC) links.

What is a “Meta” Search Engine?

A “Meta” search engine is not a true search engine in the traditional sense.  It compiles results from other existing search engines and returns those results.  Examples of Meta search engines would be Metacrawler, Dogpile, and Mamma.  MetaCrawler and Dogpile return pages of sponsor results before organic results are seen.  However, Mamma limits it sponsor results and returns the best results of the Meta Search Engines.