Facts on Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization = SEO
Search Engine = SE

The fight to top search engines' results is never ending. There are often rumors or articles of sites that have been "black-listed" temporarily/ permanently from the SE's (search engines) because you cheated or use technical tricks to out-wit the SE's. The rumored reaction of SE's is easy to understand because they completely used techniques that create irrelevant and manipulated search results. And even if search engines do not discover your scams right away, your competitors could report your site.

Keyword Density and Keyword Stuffing Techniques:
Sometimes SEO experts advice can go too far and push their clients' sites to top positions which resort to questionable practices, like keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing will lead you to black-listed status because you actually use the keyword in question throughout the text and image tags suspiciously often. Also running a 10% keyword density per page can hardly make sense to your clients, so keep keywords down to around 5% in your descriptions.

Keyword density in the title, headings and the first paragraphs matters more than the bottom paragraphs... but that doesn't mean you stuff these top areas. Try a Keyword Density tool to check if your keyword density is in the acceptable limits, especially in the title, headings and the first paragraphs. If you have a high density percentage for a frequently used keyword, then consider replacing some of the occurrences of the keyword with synonyms.

Doorway Pages, Ghost Text and Ghost Keywords:
Before Google introduced it's PageRank... doorway pages were a common (but annoying) practice and were not considered an illegal way to greater optimization. A doorway page is a page that is made to get higher positions in search engines and to trick users to come to the site. Although keywords are still very important, today keywords alone have less effect in determining the position of a site in search results, so doorway pages do not get so much traffic to a site but if you use them, don't ask why Google punished you.

Very similar to doorway pages was a scam called Ghost text or Ghost Keywords (hidden text; hidden keywords). This is text which is colored like the background it sits on and is invisible to humans but is included in the source code of the page. This technique was created to try to fool search engines that the page is keyword-rich or contains the keywords the SE is looking for. Doorway pages, ghost text and ghost keywords can't qualify as optimization techniques and will land you on the list.

Duplicated Content:
It is a basic SEO rule that content is king... but not duplicate content. Duplicate content means text that is the same as the text on a different page on the SAME site (or on a mirrored-site, or on a site that is heavily linked to the site in question and it can be presumed that the two sites are the same) – i.e. when you copy and paste the same paragraphs from one page on your site to another, then you might expect to see your site's rank drop. It does not hurt to check from time if your site has duplicate content with another site, because somebody might be illegally copying your content without your knowledge. http://www.copyscape.com will help you find your stolen content, if stolen.

Link Farms:
Links are another major SEO tool and like the other tools it can be misused. While backlinks (people linking back to you) is important but getting tons of backlinks from a link farm or a blacklisted site is begging your site to be penalized. Long story short, stay away from link farms and especially spam your link.

I don't need to go into how bad it is for you to spam out your links... do I? Just a gentle reminder... ANYTHING SPAM is bad. Period.

Using keywords in links, anchor links, domain names, folder names, picture name, graphic names and file names does boost your search engine rankings but again, the line between topping the search results and being kicked out of them is a thin line. For example, if you are optimizing for the keyword “car” you might choose a domain name like http://www.car-suv-pickup-crossover-automobile.com, which is packed with keywords but you need to remember it is difficult for your clients to remember, and second if the content does not match the domain name... you will never top the search results.

Although file and folder names are not as important as domain names, you can include “car” and it's synonyms in them and in the anchor text of the links. While you have no control over the inbound link, you do have control of the links within your site. So make them 'profitable'. Choose your keyword links wisely.

It makes no difference if your site is intentionally over-optimized to cheat the SE's or under-optimization. No matter what your motives are... try your best not overstep the line.

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