Need SEO Help For A Small Business? – How To Succeed (And How To Fail)


The following are articles I wrote over 10 years ago and added to an ebook. The advice is sound, any hyperlinks may not be.

If this page generates interest, I may update it.

How To Succeed At SEO.

Here are a few tips to bump your site in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS.)

What is good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?

Good SEO is faking to search engine algorithms that your web page is naturally popular and on-topic, while presenting to human visitors one that looks such.

1. Insert keywords in HTML.

Just don’t overdo it. Search engine algorithms have to be told what your page is primarily about. Keywords are just code. Put once in the page name, once in the META title, once in the META description and once in a H2 tag and then sprinkile sparingly in the text. The text should read normally to a human. Maybe put an image-name with the keyword in as well.

If you underoptimise you can always bump your pages up by getting more backlinks. If you overoptimise and get penalised you have the problem of stripping that code out of 20,000 pages.

2. Use the TLDs of the country you want to rank in.

If you want to rank for a UK audience, promote a domain. You can also, instead, host your site on a server in the country you want to rank in. That works too.

Just make sure the IP address of your site resolves to being located in that country.

3. Keyword in domain name.

Can be effective. Can be penalised if it’s an exact match. The site’s got to be about the keyword, as far as search engine algorithms are concerned. BUT: you’ve got a boring-looking domain name and you can only focus on one sub-niche.

Means more expense and admin if you buy a lot of names. Not necessary if your site has a good backlinks.

4. Backlinks.

Get backlinks to different pages on your site. A FEW with keywords in the anchor text are good. Mix it up;choose quality over quantity. Get links from where you will get paying customers. You DON’T want 10,000 links, garnered in a short space of time and all with the same anchor text. Avoid suspicious patterns.

Aim for lots of different links from different sources over a long period of time with a SMALL proportion of them having keyword anchor text.

The older you site is and the more backlinks it already has the more you can get away with.

5. 500+ words at least per page.

Search engines want content, not HTML.

6. Unique content.

You can still rank with duplicate content but you need to have better quality backlinks than your competitors to do so.

It’s easier if you just have unique content.

TIP: Drop links on sites where CUSTOMERS are likely to be looking.

TIP: Use a backlink checker on your competitor’s websites and try to get links from good-looking, kosher websites and NOT link directories or blog networks.

How NOT To Succeed At SEO

[SARCASM ALERT!] Here are a few tips to help a truly grrrreat site become even better.

1. The Latest Grey-hat Wheeze.

Link farms, scraping, fake directories; whatever it is, get in there! If a newbie webmaster forum is buzzing about it, that’s the time to take it up. Put it on your main breadwinner, and wait for the hits to come in.

2. Over Optimisation.

Give the search engines what they want. Make damn sure they know what the page is about. Seven word image names, ten word ALT tags, hidden text, three H1 tags, that’ll tell the b*stards. Top of Google’s first page for you. Your clients swoon at your mAd skILLz. Respec’!

3. No Optimisation.

Google is run by Gods with brains the size of watermelons. Their algorithm is sentient. Whatever tricks you try won’t work. So don’t try any. And when your site gets booted in the next update anyway, defend their right to do so, piously.

4. Content Generators.

Life’s short. So much work, so many sci-fi downloads to watch. Automate your content generation. Software is there to make life easier. Slap together RSS feeds, auto-generated text, free articles and Wikipedia pulls. Monetise with Adsense. Repeat for 300,000 pages. Is it time for that Pot Noodle? It’s _always_ time!

5. Reciprocal links.

Google loves links, and it’s too hard to get them unasked for. So ask! Send out 5000 emails cadging links to your .info domain. Don’t bother proof-reading it, they’ll only skim it. When they agree to a swop, you’ll be too busy to reciprocate. That’ll be a one-way link, then, ha ha!

Those sweeties at Google don’t mind reciprocal links. Lots of famous sites interlink, so yours should be OK too. WebDevDood on said so.

6. Low original-to-duplicate content ratio.

People don’t read. Original content is too expensive to make. The Google algorithm ain’t all that. 200 words surrounded by the same header, footer and sidebars in a 20,000 page site will keep them coming back again and again. Have a pop tart.

7. CMS with same TITLE and no META description on each page.

There are so few pages on the internet these days that you can use any open-source CMS as-is. Just set up your forum, slap on the Adsense, let your visitors witter away, sit back and wait for the search engine lurrrve! You bad boy, have another Red Bull, you deserve it!

8. Because _they_ weren’t penalised, you won’t be.

So many webmasters say their site has X or Y, and Google didn’t mind, but funnily enough, _you_ got busted for it. Their content, backlinks, and site structure must be the same as yours, then, eh? Spooky!

9. Huge number of new links, in a short time, to a new domain.

DevWebDood says that if can get a million backlinks in a short space of time and not be penalised, then so can you. Just set up a travel or hotel site, join the Co-op and LinkVault, do a blog spam and watch your site race up the SERPs.

So what if it’s nowhere to be found next month? Better the fleeting taste of victory, than never having tried at all!

10. Got banned? Give ’em Hell about it!

Write a long email to Google. State how great your site is, how they’re hurting your business, and how _you’re_ doing _them_ a favour by letting them list it. Admit no fault, it shows weakness.

Then get on as many forums as you can complaining about how the SERPs suck, how ->insert famous site here<- is doing just what you did, and _they’re_ still in.

Google will be so hurt and ashamed, they’ll let you back in, and dial back that nasty update. You told _them_, all right!

JUST TO BE CLEAR: The above section is sarcasm!