15 common questions about search engine optimization
15 common questions about SearchEngine OptimizationAuthor: Mike Le (07/13/2011)From time to time, I received questions from our customers about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Inthis post, I will answer a few of them to help you understand better about what could be expected whenyou apply SEO on your site.1. What keyword research tools do you use?We use both Keyword Discovery and Google Keyword Suggestion Tool.2. How many keywords do you often optimize within a SEO project?Based on both the budget and size of the project it varies. For small projects we usually optimize 20-30keywords, but in bigger projects, we optimize hundreds or thousands of different search terms.3. Do you have a set of optimization methods to get you on the 1st page of Google?We do not use fixed SEO methods. The Google algorithms frequently change, and our SEO techniquesevolve as well. We select the appropriate approach and methods by taking into account both industry andthe competition.However, there is a golden rule that we follow: Understand the search engine bots. Each search enginehas a robot that regularly comes and indexes your site, and we always learn its behavior and how it"thinks" about your website. If we know how to "please" the bots with quality and optimized web pages,we have a better opportunity to appear on search engine results. Thus, our SEO methods are alwayscompatible with search engine guidelines.4. What is the reasonable timing for SEO?Qualified SEO experts usually do not promise a fixed time frame for a keyword to rank on the 1st page ofGoogle. There are too many variables that can affect your SEO results to give any sort of timetable as towhen you will be on the first page of Google.In our experience we typically see results within 3 to 6 months. Competitive words or phrases may takeslonger
5. After I complete the SEO for my site, do I need to regularly maintain SEO for that website?There is a simple SEO fact that is not very well-documented: A site that is regularly updated usuallymoves up faster in ranking than the site that is untouched.Thus, after you complete SEO activities, your site will gradually move up the ranks. After achieving itspeak, if no more SEO updates are applied, the site will slowly move down.6. I used to apply black-hat SEO tricks for my site, and now Google removed my site from itssearch results. What should I do?First, let me emphasize again that you should avoid black-hat SEO tricks at any price. At best, your sitemay rank up quickly. But shortly after, youll find your site moves down even faster and disappear fromthe search engines. At worst, it may take a few years to return. The fact is that, sooner or later Google willdiscover the black-hat tricks and apply strict penalties to your site for using those tricks.Fixing a black-listed site is tough and the solution depends on each situation. In general, youll need toclean all the black-hat activities before, re-optimizing your content and ask Google to index your siteagain. In some cases, you may need to get another domain. My advice is to talk with CBI if this happens.7. What differentiates a great SEO expert from a novice?A great SEO expert does not focus on finding "tricks"to help your site rank up. Instead, he focuses onmaximizing the potential of your website, to achieve the best ranking it could and drives the relevanttraffic it needs.The novice SEO person will look for all kinds of SEO tricks available to move your site up in the searchengines rankings. This short-term approach will make the SEO results unstable and risky.8. Is it true that there are some websites that are easier to do SEO for than other websites?Yes. A site with rich, quality content that has not been optimized before will have a big advantage. Afterbeing optimized, such a site can be appreciated by search engine bots and its ranking and traffic canincrease quickly.Thus, online magazines, ecommerce sites with large product databases, and online communities usuallyhave good potential to run effective SEO and improve their online performance.
9. Is it harder to do SEO for a brand new site than for a site that has been around for a few years?Yes. Domain age is an important factor for search engines to rate the quality of a site. Search engine botsconsider sites with an old domain age as "more reliable".It does not mean that brand new websites have no chance of doing SEO. However it means it will takemore effort. Our website www.Jbeautybrands.com has achieved the first page rankings on Google forpopular search term"Japanese cosmetics" within just 4 months.10. My site was down for a long time last month and since then my search traffic and rankingshave dropped remarkably. Could you tell me why?Website downtime can affect search engine rankings seriously. If the search engine bots visit the site toindex while the site is down, those bots may index a series of empty, low-quality pages. After that whenthe site is back online and the bots come again to index your site, because your content changesdramatically in a short time, it will be considered a black hat SEO trick and punish your rankings.11. I have found some SEO tools that can submit my website to thousands of online directoriesand build a lot of back links to my site. It is said that a lot of back links can help my search enginerankings. Should I use those tools?No. This method used to work in the past, but is no longer effective today. Search engines now are wellaware of those tools and treat them as"black-hat" SEO. Thus it is risky to apply those tools to yourwebsite.Using SEO link-building tools to submit your site to thousands of online directories can help create a lot ofback links to your site. However, most of those directories are not relevant to your specific industry at all,thus those links are"irrelevant links" or low quality links. Those links have almost no effect on searchengines today, and in many cases, could hurt your sites ranking.Recently, I have reviewed a healthcare product website that has thousands of back links. However, mostof these links are from real estate online directories. It is easy to see why that site has very little trafficfrom search engines.Today, it is not the quantity of back links, but the quality of back links that help search engine rankings.
12. Should I use SEO tools to achieve a high search engine ranking for my website?No. Search engines do not want you to use tools to manipulate the search engine results. They work hardto ensure that the most relevant websites that match the searchers needs are ranked on top.Thus, using tools are never a good way to do SEO today. Sometimes using tools can help you achievehigh rankings in the short term, but those rankings will vanish quickly, and your site may be black-listed.13. Is Google PageRank important to search engine rankings?No. It used to be an important factor for Google to evaluate your site quality a few years ago. But today,Google page rank is no longer important. Google now uses a combination of various factors to evaluateand rank websites.14. Is it true that old domains are better than newly created domains in terms of doing SEO?Should I buy an old domain for my website to take advantage of that?Usually yes, but you would need to check the domain history carefully. If the old domain was black-listedby search engines before, then that domain is worthless.15. Is it true that a website with a domain name that contains important keywords will have ahigher possibility to rank on the 1st page of Google for those keywords?Yes, it will have a better possibility to rank higher on the search results, but there is no guarantee for a 1stpage ranking. Selecting a domain name that contains important keywords is a good strategy, as long asthe domain name is easy to remember.This post can be downloaded here: http://www.conabiz.com/downloads/INTERNET-SEO-FAQs-v1.pdf