Web Site Search Engine Optimization

Last Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law was asking about how to get a web site to get better search engine rankings. Apparently, someone she knows started a web site and talked about it with her. No way she would’ve brought it up otherwise as she and my father-in-law are semi-Luddites. They have a computer for the basics and playing bridge online, nothing more.
She and Paul looked at me asking how did I get my site to rank well. Honestly, I don’t think about search engines when I work on my site or create blog entries. I told them that my site has been around since the mid-’90s and that getting decent search rankings took a long time. I started blogging in 2000, about three to four years before it went mainstream. This site stays fresh as I try to update it about four to five times a week.
That’s it. No magic formula. No studying articles, studying blog entries revealing search engine secrets or anything else. Just keep trucking and updating. Of course, if I try to start a new web site, it’ll be difficult for it to achieve half the results of this one because it will never have what this has: Longevity.
It’s frustrating to land on many sites obviously trying hard to optimize their sites for search engines by using keywords everywhere… repeating key words… putting “navigation” at the bottom with at least four rows of links and keywords. As soon as see this, I leave the site. It isn’t illegal to do this, but I don’t want to associate with someone or a business that does such tactics.
What do you think?

1 thought on “Web Site Search Engine Optimization”

  1. I agree with you that content should be written for the user first, and that any search engine optimization that takes place should be within this context.

    There are specific things one can do to improve your ranking without compromising readability, like using Semantic HTML (h1, h2, h3 etc.) to structure your documents, and ensuring that your title and headings use the keywords you’re optimizing for, without stuffing. Also with SEO content is king, so placing your navigation code at the end of your HTML ensures that the most important stuff (your content) appears at the top of the body section of your web page.

    There are several worthwhile articles on this subject in the Search Marketing section of Sitepoint.com

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