updated: September 6th, 2006 / Ross Johnson / 5 Comments

Do SEO experts hide their secrets?

Like most web designers/developers, I see the importance of having a site that is visibly prevalent on search engines (or should I say google?). The amount of traffic and the value of that traffic that simply by being ranked in the top five provides is un debatable. However – with everyone wanting to achieve that front page status, it started a service all of it’s own. This of course dubbed SEO / Search Engine Optimization.

In the effort of learning more about SEO – like any skill I wish to acquire, I started with educating myself. Since there are no (or few?) worth while courses on Search Engine Optimization – the internet again was my professor.

While there are a few good informative sites out there (Mr SEO and his podcast for example), I often find the overall attitude of most SEO sites seem to outright discourage the practice of SEO. Highrankings web forum for example, a well known SEO forum – is littered with responses than simply state “Create the site for your users, and the spiders will find it.” Obviously if it were as simple as create the page as you would if you didn’t care about search engines… there would be no need to optimize at all! As a result this industry/practice would not exist and your page would rank high provided it is relevant.

Obviously there are ways to optimize a site even if it is already relevant. A newly created page might be the most relevant source of information on the net for key terms – but because of Google’s “backlink” trend it won’t be visible for an extended period of time (or forever?) to most users. The solution to this problem would be SEO companies developing techniques that bring sites to the front page for key terms. Lets mention that these companies are doing more than making sure the site doesn’t *look* optimized. So the question remains, are these SEO experts simply discouraging the practice of SEO for their own benefit or is there another reason?

Maybe they are sick of the onslaught of “I want to be #1, what do I do?” questions? Maybe SEO really is as simple as finding creative ways to get backlinks with the correct anchor text?

My guess is that there are techniques out there that are being hidden – Article submission, a great way of building backlinks has come to light and is used frequently. There no doubt are other methods out there, are they simply not as popular or just not spoken about?

Here is a quick and simple list of techniques I use that I have found useful:

  • Article Submission
  • Search for your sites topic, with “add url” , “add site” , “+add site” , etc – This is a great way of finding directories and listings on topic that you can list your site on.
  • Creating topic specific page names, for example “boston-sink-repair.html”
  • Participating in on-topic forums with your site in the signature (this can bring traffic even if it doesn’t count as a backlink due to no-follow tags
  • Blog’s / RSS feeds + submissions (remember rss feeds have backlinks to your site)
  • Monitoring Keyword Density
  • Making sure your title, and description are different on every page (to avoid duplicated content)

Have any “secrets?” post em in my comments, I will reference you & your homepage and add it to my list! (hey free backlink eh?)

5 thoughts Do SEO experts hide their secrets?

  1. it comes down to this:

    – make a good, xhtml-correct page
    – have focused keywords/phrases in the title/meta tags/h1 tag
    – use the keywords occasionally in your page in header/u/b/em/a/img tags. not to excess.
    – promote your webpage, but don’t spam it. link banks are questionable, google isn’t dumb and i’ve found that some have negative results.
    – generate content and become popular. make people want to link to you.
    – use social bookmarking. not just to generate traffic and links, though, make people want to bookmark you.

    it basically boils down to making a technically solid page with good content that people like to read.

  2. I agree – and that is what a lot of SEO guys say. However – if it were that simple everyone would be #1.

    Further – lots of brochure style sites could be as relivent as any page but they are not going to have “content” that really begs to be linked too.

    For example – I did SEO for a loft development site in my local town. The site has content for information on buying one of the loft units, not something that many people are itching to link too. However before I did SEO it didn’t rank for “Ann Arbor Lofts” – even though it was one of the 3-4 Ann Arbor Loft living developments.

    For sites like blogs, articles, information, etc I agree completely. However those rules don’t always apply to all sites.

  3. Yep, you figured us out. We’re just hiding all the real secrets. Uh-huh…that must be it. 🙂


  4. I am actually quite humbled that you posted here Jill. I have read your articles and you do supply a lot of good information.

    However – as I am sure you can admit sometimes the attitude of responses on the site over-simplify the work/process involved with SEO. (ie: “Just get backlink’s with the right anchor text”)

    Through my own research I came across several ways that are very effective in building backlinks how-ever no one talks about them even though people are using them.

    I am going to write an article about it when I get more time.

    I will admit I did oversimplify and single out one forum, when I see the same responses on several… but I am naturally over dramatic 😉

    Cheers, thanks for posting and the articles you have written.

  5. Good post Ross. I agree with advices like “Create websites for users and spiders will find it”. However in this advice I would focus on writing good text on the page. For many others (like cross-links, file naming, etc.) – you need to have search engines in mind on it.

    One advice I would add is to start with good planning on what visitors are searching for and finding list of keywords that we focus on. Lets assume that we are in PC business. Are visitors looking for laptop, laptops, notebook, notebooks or maybe portable computer. When we investigate and decide – stick to it.

    Then it’s all about using them well. Not overusing them (keyword density) but rather beeing more consistant.


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