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Search Engine Optimization Doesn t Mean Google Optimization

Search engine optimization, high quality web content, keywords and reciprocal links - is there really any easy way to have a clear idea of just what it takes today to achieve a high ranking position in the major search engine result lists?

The truth is that there is no single guaranteed way of making sure your website hits the top spot, but there are a number of things that can be done to give your site the best possible chance. It has to be said, however, that a great deal depends on the market within which your site is based. If you're within a very competitive market, such as insurance or finance, then it is highly likely that you will find it extremely difficult to approach anywhere near the first few pages of the search results.

One of the most important aspects of achieving a high ranking position is to try to identify a niche market if possible. This doesn't mean to say that you have to abandon the market within you are operating, but to try to consider alternate angles, or particular ways in which your business can approach the market from a different perspective. Try to identify ways in which your company or website stands out from many others, and put effort into maximising this advantage.

One of the first points to make as far as website promotion is concerned is the all important search engine optimization, or SEO. But what does it mean to optimize your website for the search engines, and why is it so necessary to pander to these goliaths of the online world?

The answer is simple. In the early days of the internet there were relatively few websites, and in order to find what you needed you either knew the address already, or you used one of the popular search directories. These were usually handpicked websites representing the best sites within their fields, and categorized for easy reference.

However, as the internet has grown, currently offering billions of websites, directories can now only present a very small proportion of the content that's available, and so search engines have taken over as the major way in which people find information. It's a little like having a small library with a simple catalogue system, or an enormous national library with a helpful librarian who knows everything. Being at the top of the recommended sites means more visitors, and consequently, more sales.

Since 99% of people who carry out a search online never look past the first page of results, that means that if you're not in the top 10, you're going to have to share any sales or enquiries with millions of other websites that didn't make it.

But in practical terms what does search engine optimization really mean? There is a great deal of misunderstanding as far as this term is concerned, and much advice offered as far as how to trick or fool search engines into maximising the visibility of your site. Be warned - trying to trick the search engines will almost certainly result in your website falling down the results rather than climbing, or even being blacklisted entirely - not a good move.

One of the critical things to consider is that the content of your website must be relevant and informative. Google's latent semantic indexing or LSI is extremely smart at being able to tell the difference between American football and British football, whilst at the same time knowing that soccer and football may well be the same thing. Its algorithm is extremely complicated and clever, and any attempt to fool it is likely to cause harm, unless you are extremely adept at using language effectively.

Ultimately it is important to use language in your web pages which sounds entirely natural, and is of course still very informative. But at the same time it should use as much subject related language as possible. This is a fine balance, and many people fall one way or the other, either not including enough keyword relevant content on their sites, or stuffing web pages with too many similar or identical phrases. Remember, search engine optimization in terms of good quality content for your website doesn't mean keyword stuffing, but appropriate keyword placement.

But don't forget the meta tags as well. Google ignores the keyword meta tag because so many websites have overloaded these with an enormous number of only vaguely related keywords, but the title tags, author tags, content and description tags are all very important and will help to maximise your visibility and relevance within the search results pages.

Mind you, it's still worth including the keywords meta tag, after all, Google does. Why? Because Google is not the only search engine, and since 30% of US searches go through Yahoo, and since Yahoo does refer to the keywords meta tag, it's worth maximising your chances across more than one search engine. That's a point worth reiterating - that search engine optimization doesn't mean optimizing your website for Google, but for the major search engines, which will involve a range of tactics and methods from using article services to semantic language, meta tags to plain old high quality content.
About Author Justin Arnold :

Justin Arnold is a full-time freelance writer and SEO expert, who has written many thousands of articles for a large number of companies and organizations around the world. For information on his article writing and SEO services, please visit <a href=""><a href="" target="_blank"></a> </a> or for more information on other writing services available, visit <a href=""><a href="" target="_blank"></a> </a>.

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Article Added on Monday, July 27, 2009
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