Saturday, July 19, 2008

The First Two Myths

Over the past five years of designing and optimizing web sites, I have been asked a lot of questions about whether this or that piece of information about Web design or search engine optimization is true. Most of these questions are related to search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization has two basic elements: 1.) create a Web site that has content of value to the Web site visitors and, 2.) good quality inbound links. The search engines index a web site based on the content and will rank the web site based on the number and quality of inbound links.

There are a great number of myths about Search Engine Optimization. One of the most common myths is that you need to submit your Web site frequently to the search engines in order to get to the top of the search engine results pages (high rankings). Although there was a time, at least 7 or more years ago, when this was true, search engine submission became outdated and virtually worthless when Google came along and changed the rules for achieving high rankings.

Today, none of the major search engines, Google, Yahoo and MSN, will accept repeated submissions. Submitting your Web site over and over again to any of these top-tier search engines will do absolutely nothing to raise the rankings of your Web site. Companies that sell Search Engine Submission services should only submit Web sites to the hundreds or possibly thousands of tiny third-tier search engines that very few people use.

There are also a few myths about Web design. One myth is: "If you build it, they will come." It truly is not enough to simply build a Web site, especially an e-commerce Web site and sit back expecting the orders or inquiries to start coming in. First, your new web site needs to be found by the search engines. In order to be found, your web site either needs to be submitted to the search engines ONCE, or the search engines will find your web site on their own much faster IF there is a link to your web site from another existing web site.

Following hyperlinks throughout the Internet is how search engines find new Web sites and new Web pages within existing Web sites.

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