Senior Product Manager Duane Forrester from Bing recently contributed in a Webmaster World forum discussion to say the following regarding the Meta Keyword tag.
I'll make this statement: meta keywords is a signal. One of roughly a thousand we analyze. Getting it right is a nice perk for us, but won't rock your world. Abusing meta keywords can hurt you.
How MSN typical is that?
The entire search community is trying to fix the spam while Bing seeks to perpetuate it further. This is NOT 1997 anymore. Even at "one of a thousand signals" it's a ridiculous statement and signal. So in this page I can say in a proper Meta Keyword Tag that the post is about red tomatoes ( have a look for yourselves =P ) and Bing will actually consider this stupidity which is hidden from normal users? Really dumb guys!
This from the folks who took 4 years to realize that we use no WWW in our urls.... The forced redirect was literally ignored by Bing for 4 full years and whose own design staff has to use a ton of IE hacks to display their OWN damn pages. So Microsoft just handed all the motivation the spammers need to begin adding a thousand keywords stuffed in the head of their pages and cause us unsurpassed frustration trying to explain to clients that the Meta Keyword tag is NOT going to help them rank... Unbelievable!
Easy SEO, this is a term as similar as black and white.
More to the point, you saw this title and thought I was going to give you some easy trick to make your shop rank so you can be rich. Not so, this is rather a rant, some things that just need said. You can benefit from the content of this post if you are determined to succeed in your ecommerce business, and you have some common sense. If so, please read on...
First lets tackle something no one seems to know. What is SEO?
SEO is a very mechanical, analytical and hands on discipline. SEO is a part of marketing (SEM), but is not marketing, rather SEO is just as the acronym suggests... Search engine optimization.
SEO itself is a method/practice of making your website better accessible to the search engines, mechanically sound, optimizing page structure, content and elements, website architecture, flow and navigation and server side scripting as well.
Rank itself is the goal, but making both your content and website easily understood and navigated by the search engines is the process. The things we do are generally based on 3 things. Things we know. Things we see proper research to prove. And things we believe to be true and are testing.
None of these things we do is anything automated or really easy. This is definitely hard work. The hard work involved comes in a few forms. For example building great content regularly is hard work, building quality inbound links is hard work... But most of all, reading enough so that you have a clue and can participate in the decisions for your SEO campaign is also hard work.
So that leaves basically 2 sets of website owners... Those who do, and those who don't.
Those who do seek to optimize their own websites are very vulnerable, for many reasons. They often set out and read on the internet about the SEO they need, implement it blindly as fact without support or merit and then fail to measure the results. These individuals then proceed to propagate this disease by sharing their ill founded and unsupported techniques with others just as vulnerable. For these folks I have some advise.
- Know your sources. I could put up a website tomorrow offering a 5 minute solution to all of your SEO needs for $200 and sell these lies to the masses with ease. Just because I say something, does not make it true. I could get away with this because most have their heads wrapped around easy and fail to search out any supporting documentation or support for anything that looks to make SEO easy.
- SEO cannot be automated. Even if every search algorithm factor was laid out for you in a to do list, you could not automate your SEO. Every website is different, the only way to properly succeed in your SEO campaign is to read, understand, test and measure the results. Anything less is just a reckless waste of time.
- Common sense. If I tell you your website will rank if you make it all yellow, do you believe me? At the end of the day, your success will be determined on your ability to make good decisions. Now if you haven't taken the time to seek out the reading and education you need for these decisions, then at least use common sense.
Those who do not, are equally at risk, just in a different manner. There are many reasons website owners seek out a professional to provide their SEO, unfortunately most of these reasons are what make them destined to fail. If you think that paying someone for SEO will answer all of your goals without you lifting a finger, you are mistaken. If you think you will require no knowledge of the techniques because you are paying someone, you are also mistaken.
Website owners blindly paying for SEO they do not understand are running around with a big bulls eye on their foreheads. You are not only vulnerable, but the cost can be both failure and cash! So I have some advise for those that do not as well...
- Do not pay someone for SEO if you haven't checked them out. Do they use a gmail email address? Do you think that is professional? Is their own site well constructed, easy to navigate and ranking? Can you call them on the phone and have a discussion?
- Ask questions. If your paid SEO cannot/will not answer your questions regarding technique, services etc... Then they are likely jerking you around. Ask questions, do some reading and then ask better questions.
- Why are you paying me? You may think this is in contrast to #2, but I assure you it is not. If your SEO tells you you need more content, you do some research and are still confused, then perhaps you should just do what they say. You are paying them for their professional services, correct?
- Cost. If you are paying a low amount of money for an SEO who has said they will do everything and you need to do nothing, you are getting screwed. This type of service in my opinion is not only impossible, but would be very expensive (in the thousands of dollars a month). The reason this is veritably impossible is that this SEO person needs your input and niche specific expertise to create and execute a successful SEO campaign for you. No person, SEO or pretending professional can know every product, niche and service well enough to proceed without your involvement.
- If they guarantee you rank, they are lying. SEOs do not work for Google, Bing or any other search engine. There is no way for any legitimate SEO to make you a guarantee of rank. It's just frankly a snake oiled lie to get in your pockets.
Easy SEO Summary
- There is NO easy SEO.
- SEO cannot be automated.
- SEO is hard work.
- SEO requires common sense and research.
- There is no plugin, module or magic dust that will make you rank.
- If you make changes without analysis, you have failed.
- No one can provide comprehensive SEO services without your involvement.
- Rank guarantees are outright lies.
- Use your head, check people out.
So this means, those of you seeking out the quick get rich SEO trick are pissing up a rope... The very rope that will be used to hang your website out to dry.