Search Engine Optimization is complex but possibleRemember the commercial about coke that talked about how the recipe for coke was split into two and then lost? The ad ended by assuring people that the precious list was securely locked up in a safe. Google and other search engines treat their ranking algorithms the same way coke treats its recipe. Obviously if a competitor got the coke recipe it would be devastating for the company, but it would be even worse for a search engine’s algorithm to be discovered. Not only could copycats steal their hard work, but spammers and hackers could discover new ways to invade our lives.

Ranking algorithms are important not only to search engines, but also to professional website developers who are interested in obtaining higher search result rankings. Because algorithms are complicated, “it is well known that the Google algorithm takes into account more than 100 factors in ranking a web page“, optimizing your site for search engine spiders can be a complicated process. Add to this the constantly changing nature of technology and the internet and you’ve probably got a pretty good idea why there are lots and lots of search engine optimization (SEO) ideas floating around.

The number one technique to avoid is keyword meta tags. These have been so abused by spammers over the last couple years that they are worthless now. Since they are not visible to a visitor on your site it won’t seem to make a whole lot of difference, but “search engines rely almost solely on user visible text…in order to determine its ranking.” Adding a few relevant keywords in order to help the spiders get a grasp on the subject of your page is the best way to optimize.

Swapping links with another site to improve your page ranking is another older web optimizing trick. Unfortunately, it is a waste of your time, since search engines can easily detect swapped links and discount them. However, if you swap links with another site that is relevant and helpful to your visitors, it will help your site in the long run. “Of course, if you can get these relevant sites to link to you without linking back, this is better still.”

Web developers do recommend using a descriptive title meta tag because it is visible and will be useful to visitors who are wondering what your site is about. Do not ever stuff keywords onto your page even if they are the same color as the background and thus invisible to the casual visitor. Search engines will consider your site to be spam if you use any sort of keyword stuffing method. Many article sites recommend keeping your keywords below five percent of the total word count, so you really don’t need that many keywords to get your subject across.

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!