People think they have SEO figured out because they took a one hour webinar or read an article about how to become an SEO guru. I’m sorry friends, but you just don’t have it. There is more to it than listening to a guru. Do your research, practice, live and breathe SEO. But always refer back to the search engine itself. Google tells us what it is looking for and what it frowns upon. Don’t waste your time trying to pull one over on Google because it is just too smart for that. Tricking Google is a no no and it’s time you’ve learned a lesson.
Here are some of the quality guidelines and things that you should not do that Google has specifically outlined for you to improve your sites’ ranking on its search engine. For more detailed information from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines please go here http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769#3.
Here is a condensed version:
The first basic principle that has been said over and over is to make your site for your users and not the search engines. “Cloaking” or presenting information to your users that is different from what the search engines see is frowned upon. If your users can interpret and easily navigate your pages, so will the search engines. Keep in mind that you will need to fully optimize title tags and meta descriptions as well as other basic search engine optimization “onpage” elements for the search engines to see.
The second basic principle is to not trick Google. Trust me, it is a matter of time before you will get caught and you will pay for your trickery. Some tricks that people actually think help them are: creating domains with duplicate content, using hidden or invisible text, using hidden links, and/or throwing up a bunch of keywords that have no relevancy to your site. These tricks won’t cut it.
This should go without saying, but too many people just don’t want to listen…do not participate in link schemes! Link exchange programs or link farming is not respected by Google and it is not what it wants to see. Links should be built naturally and you shouldn’t have to build or obtain links by doing something sneaky. If you are participating in a link scheme you will likely be linking to bad neighborhoods that will hurt your position on the SERPs. If you have good content on your site and/or blog posts, people will link to you. The links will come!
Finally, do not fall for the myth that SEO is a one-time thing. Making “onpage” changes or modifications should only happen once. However, the ongoing blogging and social media optimization is what is of most importance in the long run.
About the Author: Krystle Green is the Vice President of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.