SEO Tips – Don’t fall for an SEO scam

And now for some SEO tips…
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimisation” or “search engine optimiser”.

A decent website design will include SEO as part of the building process. This is NOT a service you should expect to pay extra for when you first build your website.

However, if you have an existing website that is not ranking well, you may consider paying someone to improve the Google search rankings. You may decide to hire an SEO expert.

Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation.

Google search results pages includes organic search results and often paid advertisement (denoted by the heading “Sponsored Links”) as well.
Before beginning your search for an SEO, it’s a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work.
We recommend starting with reading about Google Webmaster Guidelines and Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes and serves the web.

Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe?
  • How do you measure your success?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How can I expect to communicate with you?
  • Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?
  • While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways.

Here are some things to consider:

  • One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects.  These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client’s behalf.
    However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.
  • Another illicit practice is to place “doorway” pages loaded with keywords on the client’s site somewhere.  The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO’s other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.
  • Be very, very wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.

Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.

You should never have to link to an SEO.

Choose wisely.

(Source Google Webmaster Tools)

SEO Tips. What Can You Do to Improve Your Own SEO?

Some simple general SEO tips for optimisation of your web site are as follows:

SEO Tips #1: Text is MOST important on your site. The more words you use to identify and highlight your service, product and position,the more likely you are to rank higher on the page during searches. Similar to the Golden Rule of Real Estate (ie: location,location, location), text, text, text is vital as far as SEO is concerned. So DON’T skimp on words!
Say as much as you can about your business, using key words that may lead a person to your site.
For example, if your business is selling tents, then you would probably need to enter some points highlighting certain aspects, such as quality fabrics, nylon vs canvas,metal or nylon zips, lightweight and compact. Whether the tent fabric is breathable or more durable or non-flammable etc. How to set up your tent,how easy tent setup is and selecting a site, also where NOT to set up your tent and camping safety tips.

SEO Tips #2: Avoid anyone who suggests “smoke and mirrors” , “hidden background programming” and “directory sites”. These will often REDUCE your Google ranking, as will having multiple domains all on the same site!

SEO Tips #3: Choose who you do business with wisely, as optimisation “scams” are increasing. So be wary of random emails offering these type of services.

SEO Tips #4: If your site used old school “back links”, it’s time to clean up your link profile as Google Penguin will penalise it. Cleaning up a penalised or non ranking website’s link portfolio is vital for the site to rank again.
Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings.

When Google’s Penguin update was rolled online forums and discussion boards were filled with webmasters sharing how the algorithm update has affected their websites.

The update was much bigger than reported, with websites being either completely destroyed by Penguin or boosted up the SERPs (search engine result pages).

Here is what happened with this update:

  • The Penguin algorithm became more sensitive to spam. Two main groups were hit the hardest:
    • older websites whose backlink profiles were never cleaned; and
      websites with links using the same anchor texts over and over again, therefore increasing anchor text density.
    • Some websites lost as much as 70% of their traffic, and rankings dropped by as much as 20%. More reports of websites dropping from the SERPs came in as the weekend came to a close.
  • Older websites with established and quality link profiles were not hit by the update.
  • Newer websites displayed the extreme effects of the update – those with steady months of quality link building shot up the SERPs quickly after the update, while those building on just a handful of keywords and those sites without established link profiles disappeared from the SERPs.

The latest Penguin update just goes to show how serious Google is at zeroing in on spam and low-quality links. If you haven’t cleaned up your link profile yet, or if you’ve already been hit by Penguin, it’s time to look at those links and start removing bad ones that can hurt your rankings and traffic.

SEO Tips #5: It’s really not that hard.

  • Create an honest site
  • Use plenty or text
  • Ignore scammers
  • Don’t try to fool Google – you won’t win 🙂