The 11 Deadly Sins of Search Engine Optimization

There is so much misinformation floating through the internet regarding search engine marketing and optimization that it’s important to shed some light on a few common errors and misconceptions. The following list highlights some of the most critical issues involved in determining the success or failure of a web site’s search engine optimization and marketing strategies.

1. Lack of “Search Friendly” Content.
Every week I review web sites with no real search engine indexable content. Web pages composed mostly of graphics, flash and other bells and whistle are commonly over-looked by the search engines. Search engines determine what content is of value per web page based on the text used on that page. A truly optimized
site should contain at least 200 words of keyword-dense text. There is some debate among experts on exactly how many words should be used, but generally 200 words will suffice. As a point of reference this paragraph contains about 200 words. It is equally important for text content to contain keywords that match the page titles. For example, a site selling peanut butter owned by a company called “ACME Foods” might have a title of “Acme Foods, Inc. Wholesale Food Products”. We have to consider how many people are likely to search for the term “Acme Foods, Inc. Wholesale Food Products” it is much more likely that people will search for the term “peanut butter”. Knowing this, we can say with confidence that it would be a wiser choice to title a page, “Peanut Butter, ACME Foods” and the page content should reflect this same keyword strategy.

2. Insufficient Link Popularity.
Search engines make every attempt to qualify the results which are displayed in search results. One of the ways that they do this is by tracking the number and quality of the incoming links to a web site. A site with a large number of incoming links from quality sites is given a higher ranking in search results. This is an important consideration that is sometimes over-looked by those attempting to market web sites. Services that promise to link your site to thousands of other sites are far from productive; in fact they can sometimes do more harm than good. Most search engines these days consider services like this to be spam, so called “link farming” and often give sites with these types of links a low ranking or drop them all-together from the search results. Incoming links to a site that compliment it and are relevant to the site contents are golden and can greatly boost a site’s ranking. Google’s page ranking system is a good example. A site with a page ran