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Do's and Don'ts of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Do's and Don'ts of SEO

Ranking high on search engines is one of the keys to any online marketing plan. But where do you start? Here's a list of Do's and Don'ts to guide you:


  1. Keywords and Phrases are Key. Choose several different keywords and phrases that best describe your website.
  2. Content is King. Search engine spiders love content, and usually do not rate pages with small amounts of content (200-300 words). Aim for 400+ words where possible, ensuring that your keywords are added throughout.
  3. Meta Tags Point the Way. One of the first things that search engine spiders read are your meta tags: page title, keywords, and description, as well as info for the spiders. Use your keywords here, and be as concise and as descriptive as possible.
  4. HTML Tags Increase Keyword Effectiveness. Make sure that your keywords are somehow contained in HTML tags throughout your pages. Header tags, bolded keywords, keywords that are linked, and ALT tags (for images) increase the relevance of your keywords and boost rankings.
  5. Tell the World! When you have completed your site design, submit your URL to high-level directories like Google, Yahoo!, and the Open Directory Project.


  1. Spamming Spiders is Bad. Just as you don't like e-mail spam, search engine spiders don't like reading through pages with no content except your keywords.
  2. Don't Try to Pull Fast Ones. Redirect pages, hidden links, doorway pages, link pages, duplicated pages, and other schemes meant to attract spiders usually do the opposite. Google's spiders are especially savvy.
  3. Link Exchanges Don't Work. While it is true that the number of sites linking to you increases your ranking, the quality of those sites is important. Just as you would trust your doctor's word about something over the guy who's trying to mug you, search engine spiders always consider the source and rank accordingly.
  4. Don't Use Automated Submissions. Using software like Web Position Gold that automatically submits your name to search engines or repeatedly contacts search engines usually do you more bad than good.

Search Engine Optimization is complex business, especially when companies like Google don't spell out exactly how they calculate rank. But these tips will get you on the right track. Take the time to incorporate them into your design and marketing approach, and do some more research. And remember, search engine spiders are like judges: take care of your site visitors properly and the judges will take notice.

Start your research at Google for more tips: