Search Engine Optimization – An Hour a Day (2nd Edition)
Jennifer Grappone & Gradiva Couzin, 2008
We’ve recommended some websites below but it can be hard to get a solid introduction to SEO reading articles. You find that beginning level information gets mixed with more advanced information. This book gives an excellent foundation. In fact the Potent SEO program owes much to this book. If you are interested in getting into some more depth with SEO start here.
Check out their website as well: http://www.yourseoplan.com/blog/
Other Useful Websites
What to watch out for when buying SEO
You might not actually want to SEO your site yourself, which is fine. Plenty of people offer SEO services these days. How can you tell if you are going to get ripped off?
Watch out for the following:
A No #1 Guarantee
There are two potential problems with this guarantee. How can they guarantee the actions of a third party (Google)?
In addition it is pretty easy to choose a couple of keywords and get to number #1. However is anyone searching for it and is it worth anything to your business? For instance “rusty orange sculpture” may be easy to get good rankings for but it is unlikely to be worth millions.
Likewise be very wary anyone guaranteeing #1 position with a PPC Campaign. Unless there is an unlimited bucket of money it is impossible to guarantee this for valuable keywords given the high level of competition and activity by many online advertisers. If you are worried about this read more about Potent PPC.
Small Price and Tiny Time
Effective SEO is an involved and sometimes tedious process. A low price and time can indicate that the so called SEO is really a bunch of out-of-date tricks which could even hurt your site’s Google ranking.
Sometimes people claim to have discovered a trick which guarantees that you can get top place on Google. The trick may even work for a short time but in the long run they’ll leave you worse off.
Why? At the risk of being repetitive, Google is #1 because it helps searchers find what they are looking for better than anyone else. The SEO trick misleads Google into showing web pages that searchers are not really interested in. To maintain their profits Google moves quickly to neutralise the trick and usually penalises sites that try to use it.
These are some common tricks which are useless and will end up hurting you:
- Meta-tags. Adding meta-tags is a common example of SEO which is worthless. Make sure you don’t pay money for it.
- Cloaking. A technique where a different website is shown to Google than the one visitors see.
- Duplicate Content. Using the same content across different pages or even websites.
- Keyword stuffing. Excessive use of keywords in pages and titles.
- Submission to thousands of search engines. Since only a few matter this doesn’t really help you.
- Links to/from large number of unrelated sites. Many of these sites are engaged in questionable SEO tactics and having your website associated with them may ultimately drag you down.
If the SEO expert is ultra-secretive you run the risk of running foul of some of the above tricks. There should be no reason why they can’t give you the general outlines of how they do what they do.
It’s risky for you when a company does it’s SEO work on their own domains which link to your site. If you ever decide to discontinue or change your service you’ll lose all your rankings. Make sure that any changes are actually going to be applied to your own site.