Web Design and Search Engine Optimization at Don Johnson Design, LLC.

Search Engine Optimization


What is Search Engine Optimization?

What is Search Engine Optimization? Well, in a nutshell, Search Engine Optimization is the ability to modify, tweak, change, adjust, (or any other term you can think of) a website in order to grab the attention of the all mighty search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN) and to rank high in a search for a particular keyword. With so much competition out there, Search Engine Positioning is absolutely critical to any company's online advertising. Search Engine Optimization has been around for a while, but it is now more important and unfortunately more difficult than ever.

When the gods of the internet got together and talked, they determined that the best way to organize the massive amount of content provided to them from billions of websites was to create a keyword based system that depended upon the relevancy of content. This meeting must have resulted in several high fives and huge grins on the faces on the gods. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. If there is a massive amount of content on the Internet and the only way to organize the content is by creating gigantic database filled Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN), then by nature those who held the keys to unlocking the gateway to information would become rich beyond their wildest dreams.

The kudos must be passed around to the geniuses who created the mega Search Engines. I certainly am not smart enough to have performed the complicated mathematical equations required to pull off such a feat. Believe it or not, it is all based upon a mathematical formula. I am, however, in a quest to figure out the best way to represent myself and my clientele out in a world where it is not dog eat dog, its man eats man. I have actually witnessed it for myself; a whole man, devoured right before my eyes. Very scary stuff, if I do say so myself.

Now, back to explaining how SEO works. Oh, by the way, it is called many things (Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Positioning, Search Engine Ranking, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Placement, Internet Marketing, Internet Sales and Marketing), but for now lets just call it SEO. SEO works by designing a website that is rich in keywords pertaining to a specific industry; this is called Keyword Density, and placing special code into the site that Search Engines like to read.

Believe it or not, Search Engines read a website differently than you or I. They have automated computer programs called robots or spiders (named because they crawl the web) that go from website to website using the links on a page to navigate where to proceed. The spider reads the page in code form, which is the reason why web designers have been trying to trick the spider for years. The spider does not think logically, it merely reads the information and reports back to the lair (the data based Search Engine). Therefore, any keyword duplication, code modification, or other sneaky techniques can sometimes lead to a website receiving a higher ranking than it deserves. The gods (Search Engines) know that this occurs; they consider these techniques SPAM, and continuously fight back by punishing those who willfully deceive the spiders. You see, with some companies it is just one big game of Gotcha. They are willing to risk their reputations and more importantly your good rankings on the premise that they will not get caught.

How do I know this? Well, I am willing to admit that I was once a spammer. Although, in my defense, at the time I did not know that what I was doing was considered SPAM. Fortunately, I have been shown the light, and a better way to get the job done. Be honest, be precise, and be consistent.

There is no secret formula for success when it comes to SEO. It is very hard work and can sometimes lead to the pulling out of one's hair. This is the reason why I refer to the Search Engines as gods. They have all the power and we must literally submit to them in order to be seen. Not only must we submit to them on a regular basis, we must also conform to their standards. They operate under the premise that the Internet is a tool for research and research only. In a way, they are correct.

Even when you are looking to buy something from an e-commerce website, you do research to make sure that you can't find a better deal somewhere else. One could spend hours online each day merely checking the prices of a specific automobile, purse, or high definition television. The more that a Search Engine views you as a valuable resource for those thirsty for knowledge in a specific area, the higher your website will be ranked. The idea of the Search Engines having an opinion of your website is kind of scary. It's almost like trying to make a good first impression on someone whom you feel is important.

There are many ways to make a good impression on Search Engines. The first is to have great keyword rich content that will appeal to a given search term. Secondly, you must place emphasis on what you want the spider to see when it visits your site. This is accomplished by using header tags and bold text. Next, you must make sure that the spider has a clear path to your content. Having a ton of JavaScript or Cascading Style Sheets on your site is ok, but make sure that they do not cause any interference to the spider. Also, you must make good use of your Meta Tags. The Meta Tags are located at the top of your code. They are there specifically for Search Engines as a means to briefly inform the spider of what you feel are the most relevant terms on your site and to give you the opportunity to give a brief description of what you website contains. Some Search Engines (Yahoo, MSN) make use of Meta Tags more than others (Google), therefore, it's important to provide as much information as possible without over doing it. Finally, you must have a good link program. This is especially important to the mother of the gods (Google). Having good link popularity can really boost your Search Engine Ranking. However, I must warn you about links. It is not the quantity of links that point to your website that matters; it is the quality of the links.

In order to obtain higher Search Engine Rankings your site must be considered an expert. This means that other sites in your field who are also considered experts link to you. This concept is called Relative Links. One quality well placed Relative Link is worth more in the eyes of the gods, than hundreds of other links from random sites that have nothing to do with your content. This is by far the most difficult aspect of SEO to achieve. Quality Relative Links take time to produce. Do not fall into the trap of joining a link farm (a website with hundreds of links that requires you to link back to them). They can actually hurt your Search Engine Ranking, by causing the Search Engine to believe you are spamming it with hundreds of links in a meager attempt to increase your ranking.

Search Engine Optimization
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

All Metals & Forge Website Created by Don Johnson Design Featured in Forging Magizine

Forging Magazine, the primary trade magazine for forging companies recently featured an article reviewing one of Don Johnson Designís clients, All Metals & Forge, LLC, and their new web site. More...

Internet Marketing

Search Engine Optimization SEO Certified
Don Johnson is a Certified Analyst with Bruce Clay, Inc.