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Exposing SEO Myths and Misconceptions

by David Smith

  Search Engine Optimization is not a black art or a mysterious science as many supposed SEO specialist companies would have you believe. There are no shortcuts or tricks to achieving a high page ranking in the major search engines such as Google or Yahoo. While there are many websites that have used questionable methods in the past to attain a high visibility in the search engines, the use of those methods today will likely result in your site being cast into the darkest depths of search engine placement. Internet publishers, merchants, and marketers should steer clear of companies offering them instantaneous traffic or high search engine ranking overnight for a fee. If you read the small print, the majority of these comapnies do not guarantee their claims, and more than likely are only concerned with making a profit off unsuspecting and confused website owners who are desperately trying to increase their business.

Keywords Do's and Dont's

  Optimizing your website with proper, well thought out keywords in both your Meta Tags and content is not a guarantee of high search engine placement, but it won't hurt your chances. "Keyword Spamming" is just plain ignorant, and while using unrelated keywords in hopes of driving extra traffic to your website may result in a few extra hits, it will never help your site grow and maintain visitors. In fact, you may turn off potential customers or visitors when they realize they have been duped into visiting a site that has nothing to do with what they were searching for.

  As a rule of thumb, the two most important elements of a webpage when it comes to utilizing keywords are the page title, and the actual url of the webpage. For example, if you have a website named "" that specializes in collectible toys, and a page on your site is devoted to "Star Wars Figures", you definitely would want to use the keywords "Star Wars Figures" in the <title></title> tags as follows: <title>Star Wars Figures at</title>. You would also want to name the page something like this "Star_Wars_Figures.html". The use of underscores where white spaces would normally be in file naming is far better than "StarWarsFigures.html" or naming the page "page10.html". Stay away from non-descript page naming and titling conventions, also stay away from titles such as "The Biggest Selection of Star Wars Figures on The Planet", as it is unlikely somebody would search for the terms "Biggest Selection". Keep your keywords minimal and targeted. Additionally, your domain name plays a part in indexing, and having the words "collectible" or "toys" in your domain name only enhances your visibility.

  Another often overlooked area to place well thought out keywords is in the ALT attribute for images and the TITLE attribute for hyperlinks. While it is common for most webmasters to overlook utilizing these seemingly unnecessary tag attributes, they are very important, and all of the major search engine's spiders utilize them in ranking a webpage. Again, be warned not to use overloaded or unrelated keywords.

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