Search Engine Optimization - Good, Bad Or Both?

Don’t Just Use SEO Without Relevant References

For any entrepreneur who is serious about making money in this day and age, the Internet is a powerful, and some would argue indispensable, tool. A web presence enables you to reach customers wherever you want – and for companies with a mail order aspect this has been proven to drive orders up by allowing them to sell far and wide. In order to increase your web presence, there are many tools available. Some of these tools are more effective than others, but one which has proven to be immensely popular is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. SEO has become one of the ultimate buzzwords in Internet marketing – and is seen as being immensely desirable for the purposes of increasing presence.

Search engines are seen as being hugely important in increasing your web presence. Many people who are looking for something specific will, without even thinking, turn to the search engines, and most usually Google. By entering their required search term, they will turn up relevant results in the search engine and pick from the list that they see. Because people tend to read a page from top to bottom, having the result which ranks first in Google for a specific search term is considered very lucrative. Search Engine Optimization works by making a web page more “attractive” to the robots which search the Internet for relevant results. It does this by reading the keywords which people are searching for and judging by their volume on the page how apposite the site is for the searcher.

So far, so good, then. To create a page that will bring in the attention of someone who is looking for, say, tickets for a Justin Timberlake concert, the SEO user will make as many references as possible in the text of their web page to “justin timberlake tickets”, “justin timberlake concert”, “justin timberlake concert tickets”, and a range of other phrases which can include the venues at which Justin will be appearing, as well as eyecatching words like “cheap”, “cut price”, “front row” and so forth. Then when the potential customer searches for “cheap justin timberlake tickets Chicago” or a similar search term, the site with the most relevant references will appear high in the Google search results.

So what is the drawback to SEO, if it is bringing in traffic? The answer is that people know SEO works, and can occasionally be very indiscriminate in their use of search terms. Look at the two sentences that follow:

“I have found a fail-safe way to get cheap front row tickets for Justin Timberlake in Chicago – read on for more info!”

“Cheap Justin Timberlake tickets Chicago I have found Justin Timberlake concert tickets front row – CLICK HERE!!!”

The first sentence holds more promise for the questing Timberlake fan, as it reads like something a sentient person might write. The latter is stuffed with search terms and reads like gibberish – but at least initially will get into the search engines at a higher level due to its SEO volume. More and more people, conscious of the power of SEO, are using nothing but optimization to drive traffic, and it is becoming problematic for the person looking to find relevant information. Search engines are, however, developing to forestall this problem – but it is not, as yet, an exact science, and poor SEO is still slipping through the net.

First Published: Oct 5, 2009