The SEO Shopping Check List
By Lelit Barrios, Hubport Group
November 23, 2007
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services has become a burgeoning industry in the recent years, and it` s steadily growing even more every day. There are now over a million SEO Service Providers all over the world and if you `re looking, how would you know if you` re getting the real deal? It` s not going to be easy. Major considerations have to be addressed if only to ensure that your investment would not go to waste. Once the decision to engage in SEO services is made, the big and undeniably the most important question pops- up, which one should you choose from among the throng? There are as many qualified SEO companies out there as there are ambiguous ones, if not more. Deciding on a potential SEO partner is crucial. It would help to know what questions you ought to be asking the candidates. The following is a list of feelers to resolve the issue of whether or not the SEO company you` re eyeing on is worthy of your trust.
Would you exhibit anything to search engines that our web visitors would not see? Certain search engine optimization strategists employ a common tactic called "cloaking". This is a technology that commissions your website to identify when a visitor is actually a
spider. It then feeds the spider with earmarked content specifically designed to rank highly in search engines. This strategy violates the Terms of Service (TOS) of all major search engines. Thus causing the removal of your site from the engine`s list. Effective but it` s not a risk worth taking. Would you create special pages which would`nt be built into the navigation of our site?
These special pages are called "doorway pages" which basically goes by the principle of cloaking. Highly- defined pages are created in your server that would target what spiders are specifically looking for. This would result to the best possible ranking for your site but it would also mean putting the website at risk of penalization because its another violation to the TOS.
Is your link- building methodology automated? If so, do you target reciprocal links? Link popularity plays a major role in rankings and one approach to link building is the automated reciprocal linking scheme. Emails are sent to as many recipients as possible in the hopes of forging link exchanges. An outbound link from your site is counted as a "vote" for the site which it links. The peril in this particular tactic lies on the integrity of the sites you link to. if that site gets penalized, your site runs the risk of being penalized in turn. A good SEO provider would focus on assembling quality inbound links to your website and adding the kind of content that makes it worthy of non- reciprocal links from other sites. Would you require changes to our sites present content?
A legitimate search engine company would know that the answer to this question is definitely yes. Undoubtedly, there will be inevitable changes to the website like title tags, meta tags, and alt tags. All these are largely visible to the user and would most likely boost your search engine ranking through increasing the relevance of what is in your website and what users type on the search engine queries. Keep in mind that spiders are mostly interested in what is in your website that matches with what people are typing into search engines.
Pulling- off tactics in copiously unseen areas of a site to specifically target the search engine spiders attention is not only a violation of the TOS, search engines may identify that these elements may not actually reflect the sites real content. Your SEO provider must be certain that your site precisely address search queries within seen pages and this could only mean changes to your site` s content.
Would you be employing the "shoehorn" approach to optimization? The "shoehorn" approach is characterized by injecting key phrases into existing pages in your website rather than adding new pages to house new content. While this may bring in high rankings, it would not necessarily convert visits to actual revenue. Say, your SEO services provider optimizes your about us page for the products that you sell. Potential buyer visits looking for a price range of the products you` re selling but lands on your company history page instead. He then bounces off to your competitors site where the exact information he requires is right on the page he lands on.
The addition of new pages to your site is an effective optimization approach for the purpose of including quality informational search engine optimization phrases.
For closing. the questions have been asked, your choices are now down to those who gave the most satisfactory answers. As expected, these providers will put their best foot forward so dont rush, take the time to read the fine print. Know what exactly the involvement they require from you, and study their proposed moves closely. Be reminded of your SEO Shopping list and face it head on..