Search Engine Optimization ("SEO" - getting sites to the top of the
editorial search engine listings) and Search Engine Marketing ("SEM"-
placing advertising on search engines) has from the inception of internet
search engines been one of the most effective online marketing techniques.
As such it is normally a main focus of the marketing programs Aderit
executes. See our case studies for examples.
A huge portion of website visits begin with making a search in a search
engine. Users input some words describing what they are looking for
and the search engine responds with a list of sites it calculates are
most relevant for those words.
By analogy, keywords are to search engines as subscribers are to magazines.
If one advertises in magazines, one picks magazines that have many subscribers
who are likely to be interested in what one sells. If one wishes to
be present in web searches, one picks keywords that are frequently used
by searchers who are likely to be interested in what one sells.
When people use search engines to find out about products and services,
the words they use in their searches are often surprisingly different
from the words the managers of those businesses would use themselves,
or even expect others to use.
As an example, a dentist once asked us why almost nobody found his
site in search engines short of using specific names (name of the practice,
name of the dentist). It turned out that nowhere on the site was the
word "dentist" to be found. It was always "dental" or "dentistry". But
people don't enter "town name dentistry" into search engines, they enter
"town name dentist". His site could not be found in the most common
and obviously appropriate web search.
For a complicated business, the missing terms become ever more complicated.
And it's not just about including terms on the site, but how those
terms are used on the site. If one knew what terms were most frequently
used in the web searches conducted by prospective customers, then one
can adjust the site so that search engines conclude that the site is
important for those terms.
Unfortunately, the world of SEO and SEM is full of dubious business
practices. We won't name names, but we would advise any business owner
to be suspicious of any of the following offers and practices:
- Submission Services
Getting top rankings in the search engines has nothing to do with repeatedly
submitting sites to thousands of search engines. (It does, however,
have a lot to do with submitting to directories.) Submitting a site
to "thousands" of search engines over and over is, at best, a waste
- Meta Tags
Meta tags were a nice idea one upon a time when the internet was a genteel
place for academics. Now that the internet has been commercialized,
they became ineffective. Their influence on search results is presently
- Hidden Text
There are various ways to hide text on a webpage. Hiding text may work
for some sites for some time, but we feel it is a death wish marketing
approach. Sooner or later the search engines will figure out you are
tricking them, and revenge will be theirs.
- "Doorway Pages"
"Doorway pages" are pages specifically designed to trick the search
engines to get search rankings but serving no other purpose and not
otherwise public. The important issue here is about tricking. Designing
pages that are user-oriented gateways to your site can be a useful technique
for serving users better so they spend more time on your site and are
more likely to convert.
Cloaking is a technique for serving one page to the search engines and
another to regular users.
- Browser-Based Keywords
Some firms have assembled tiny user bases where users can input their
search terms directly into their browser's address bar and have advertisers'
ads show up. For this service, these firms want large fees.
For additional useful advice on this subject see: