SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s an industry created just for obtaining higher ranking on the Search Engine’s search pages. Since Google is the number one search engine, SEO’s are mostly patterned to get a higher ranking on Google searches. This should give you enough information to know what SEO is, but there’s a whole industry out there devoted to doing just that. Imagine that thousands of companies out there are making a living optimizing web sites to rank higher in search engine results or claim to be designing web sites specifically for that purpose. These companies charge upward of thousands of dollars to do this. You want to see how good they are in doing what they say? Checkout their Google page rank and you’ll find out!
I find it difficult to believe anyone would forego a good website design for the sole purpose of page rank. Paying attention to SEO as an aspect of web design is fine but concentrating on it to design websites for specific purpose of search engines ranking is foolish in my book. Search Engines operate on key words and links. You can pick an obscure key word and place on top of that search page. So what? Very few or none will search for that key word. True web design is all about usability, functionality, beauty and delivering of a powerful message. Oh yes, you need to add the meta tags, key words and get listed on Search Engines. Then you must concentrate on building links over time. Am I missing something here? So what’s all the hoopla about SEO? Is it just another fandom industry?
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Google makes no secret of how they index or assign page ranks to web sites. All the information is available on Google Webmaster Central and help section. They have provided many pages telling everyone how to do it. You can search on Google and find all of that in a short time. So why on earth all these companies out there are charging so much money to do that? Well, maybe a lot of webmasters don’t want to be bothered to learn and do it themselves.
In a nutshell, Search Engines really look for two things in ranking a website and they both take time to develop. Quality links and quality content. Google’s Webmaster Guideline’s Quality Guidelines tell exactly what you should do. One thing you should not do is design your website for the sole purpose of Google rank. First and foremost, your website should be functional, beautiful and deliver your message, then select appropriate keywords for your particular industry or market, using meta tags, then acquire quality links to your site. These take time and can not be rushed although a lot of the so called SEO companies will tell you how fast they can get you to the top of a search page using various schemes, don’t believe it. Search engines are often on the lookout for these schemes and they change policies once they find them to eliminate the scheme. Don’t believe me? Checkout the Google page rank of any company you want to use before you actually use them, then read Google’s guidelines.