SEO Alchemy

If you’re a website owner you’ve probably received a number of annoying spam emails purporting to magically increase traffic, pagerank and penis size using the magic of SEO (search engine optimization). I’m here to tell you that most, if not almost all claims in this regard are bullshit. Period.

SEO has fast become the new digital alchemy, the holy grail of website owners and open season for charlatans and cheats disguised as ‘consultants’. Much like exercise and diet lead to weight loss and good health (yup…that’s all there is to it), a good website with unique content, constant updates and informative enough for others to link to your information leads to a healthy page rank (the number, from 0 to 10, that Google scores your site based on their various criteria) and results page position. Search engines have their own secret sauce recipes, contained within algorithms. These calculations are the secret to search engine success as they contain the specifications each search engine deems important and those deemed unimportant, in some cases, even detrimental.

The more high quality and unique content on your site the more it contributes to a high pagerank and position in search engine results (pagerank does not necessarily ensure your site appears in the top of search results). The more garbage, irrelevent backlinks and plagiarized content appearing on your site, the more it contributes to a low score and less traffic sometimes dropping from search results altogether. But be aware that there are hundreds of criteria used by each search engine’s algorithms to understand and rate your site. Which is where those claiming to have the ability to push your site to the very top of search engine results pages fail dismally.

If Google and other search engines could be easily manipulated they would be worthless and the value of each would drop overnight. So Google and others create their algorithms and guard their contents from those that would try to cheat the system. The specifications and functions of the secret sauces are modified and upgraded to ensure search results can’t be fixed and high pageranks and search result positions are based on quality not falsehoods and fakery.

So what does this mean for you, the struggling website owner trying to make his/her mark on Google? Ignore the idiots trying to make SEO sound mysterious and complicated while trying to pick your pocket. Here’s the only secrets you need to know:

  • Offer relevant and timely content – if your website contains information people are searching for then your site will get more traffic. It’s that simple. Really.
  • Internal linking – ensure your pages contain relevant links to other pages within your website. CMS users (WordPress, Joomla etc.) may want to incorporate ‘related stories’ plugins to facilitate internal linking automatically.
  • Optimize your pages – ensure that your web pages contain the information that search engines look for like short, descriptive titles (no more than 60 characters), a concise description (no more than 160 characters) and accurate keywords (Google doesn’t use keywords anymore but other search engines do so take the time to add a few).
  • Include a sitemap – use the variety of freebie sitemap generators to create a sitemap which is easily read and indexed by search engines. It makes their job a bit easier and they may learn to love you for it.
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools – create a free account and use the available utilities to help search engines find and index your site.
  • Backlinks are good – Links on quality websites pointing back to your site help to prove the value of your content. If other sites think your website contains quality content and link to it, search engines take this into consideration when rating. The better the linking site, the more value it has to your site. Links from bad websites may be detrimental to your site so avoid links from
  • Don’t steal – Search engines don’t like plagiarism and penalize those that copy content from other websites. If your content is fresh, relevant and original your site will do well.
  • Update your website often – If you don’t add fresh content on a regular basis you may see your standing fall so try to add something new or update old content whenever you can.
  • Google recently announced that they will penalize overly optimized websites (thanks for this in part go to those SEO consultant dickheads that tried to play the system) so don’t go nuts. Stick to the basic rules above and you’ll do fine.

    And there you have it. Even though there are many, many variables within each search engine’s algorithm recipe you can increase your site’s visibility yourself by following the simple rules above. It may not increase the size of your penis but it will help your website standing without padding the pockets of predatory SEO a-holes.

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