6.12 Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is complex: this page provides a summary of the main points, and links to more detailed sources.

There are two components to the search engines. First is the crawler (also called robot or spider) which searches all the webpages it can find under a certain search term (keyword). Second is the ranking algorithm that assesses the relevance of the webpages concerned. Some obvious points:

1. Pages must be made as friendly to the crawler as possible, so beware of deep-nested sites, of too much Javascript on the page, and frames.

2. Ranking doesn't necessarily mean traffic. A number five ranking for a search term with 5,000 searches daily will obviously bring more traffic than the top ranking for a key word attracting only two searches a day. Nonetheless, the top ten rankings results receive 89.7% of all click-through traffic; the next 10 results (normally listed on the second page of results) receive 4.3%, and the third page 2.4%. The first position takes 42% of click throughs. According to a Cornell study, 72% of searchers click on the first link of interest, whereas 25.5% read all listings on the first page and then decide which one to click. Natural results have a higher click-through rate than paid. Combining the two is often helpful.

3. The ranking algorithms are secret, probably ever-changing, and far too complicated to be reverse-engineered. Some are rumored to evaluate hundreds of factors, which means the software claiming to optimize your page for the search engines (often by looking at competitors' pages) may be of limited value.

4. Every site is different, and there is no one correct way to optimize your site. It all depends on the site itself, what you hope to achieve, and what your competitors are doing. Ideally, SEO should have been included in the business planning stages.

5. Some years ago, pages could be crafted with only the search engines in mind, but that is not now the way to go. SEO is a part of marketing, and naturally of public relations, so you need to keep the customer foremost in your mind. The big SEO companies plan a campaign by first figuring out what's special about your site, its products and services. Next they analyze the market, identifying groups of customers and their spending power. Then they think about how and why those groups would want to buy from you. Intensive competitor research, therefore, and assessing market trends.

6. SE optimization takes a great deal of time and effort, which costs good money if experienced companies are to be hired (and experience does count). It also takes time for the results to show through, usually months, sometimes a year or so (much depending on the competition). SEO companies like to stay with their clients, watching and helping rankings and traffic improve. Again that means more outlay, as the good SEO companies don't come cheap.

7. SEO has become more difficult for many sites since Google introduced their Panda (February 2011) and Penguin updates ( April 2012) updates. To rank well, Google now insist sites are authoritative and provide content not readily found elsewhere. Sites that duplicate material, employ old-fashioned HTML, overuse keywords in the page content, overdo keyword in links and alt tags, and are backlinked to sites low authority (particularly if generated for the sole purpose of increasing page rank) may be penalized. To increase 'authority', consider supporting your site with Google+, Facebook and Twitter, but note that Google will check not only the extent of your followings here, but the credentials of those followers, i.e. what 'authority' these followers themselves have. Webmasters complain that specific Google requirements are continually changing, and impossible to anticipate or even understand.

8. The advantage lies increasingly with the big companies, who can afford to employ specialists engaged full time on improving traffic and search engine rankings. SMEs cannot compete head on with that strength, but must find their own niches not worth the management time of the big boys. Again, analyze the market, and research potential competitors.

Increasing Difficulties

In many market areas your chance of creating a viable online business requires deep pockets. If what you offer is not substantially better than that of your competitors (or even if it is), it's simply not going to be noticed in the burgeoning plethora of kindred sites unless you throw a good deal of money at it, plus time and informed intelligence. The exceptions to this gloomy picture are sites that act as an online brochure:

      a. Local supermarket or retail outlet: customers will still want to check your prices and learn of your special offers, hours of opening, etc.
      b. Legal firm, where your website puts some friendly faces and their specialties on what is never seen behind the frosted glass of the high street office.
      c. Source for antedated spare parts, rare collectors' items, specialist knowledge: a useful supplement to your adverts in the trade magazine, etc.
      d. Advice center, where articles supplement the information the doctor or specialist can provide at the brief consultation.
      e.  New mining, agricultural or manufacturing ventures that need to keep investors abreast of developments.
      f.  Affiliate marketing sites, or those exploiting Google and Yahoo ads.

Marketing in these circumstances is not difficult. If you run a leisure center called 'Time Off' at Exeter in Devon, England, all you need to ensure is that those vital pieces of information appear on your website for the search engines to find. If you're in competition with several such leisure centers in the area, then you may want to undertake some per pay-per-click advertising, so that visitors searching for 'leisure center Exeter Devon' find your site first.

Using Keyword Research

If, however, you were thinking of becoming an exercise center equipment wholesaler, one supplying to gyms and keep-fit studios throughout the USA, then these questions come pressing forward. What are you selling: goods, information or both? Is there sufficient demand? Can the market absorb another wholesaler? What's your unique business proposition? How do prospects stack up in the immediate and long term?

You might start with searches for 'fitness center equipment supplies'. Google comes up with 22.8 million competing websites, surely an indication of demand? Unfortunately not. Hardly anyone searches Google with that phrase. To build a site around that keyword phrase would bring no visitors, and result in wasted time, effort and money.

How can you tell? Because the search engines keep a monthly record of searches, making results available to third party companies — those providing information (like Wordtracker) or software (keyword research programs). Search engines find it in their interests to do this, as customer searches become more productive, with or without the pay per click dimension. Importantly, small changes in keywords bring enormous differences. Using the Market Samurai keyword program, for example, we find the phrase 'fitness exercise machines' gets over 12,000 searches per day on Google, and 'gym equipment' gets 18,000 per day. Astonishingly, however, the last phrase has a competition of 1,1200,000 sites (i.e. the 'gym equipment' appears in the title of the pages counted) and to obtain a number one ranking would require shelling out a sobering $4.72 per click in Google AdWords. Clearly not for the faint-hearted.

What's being said? That it's essential to do your market research — in depth, using the sophisticated tools and services now available. Repeatedly. Every night sees thousands of would-be entrepreneurs casting around for Internet business opportunities, and to build a site on a few hours' desultory use of the search engines is a madness. To make a success of a venture you need to understand your future business thoroughly, and in ecommerce you need also to understand how that operates on the Internet. Twenty years ago, in our particular example, you went round talking to gym owners and equipment suppliers, you took the trade periodicals, and you were probably a keep-fit fanatic yourself. Months went into your research, with dozens of costed scenarios and funding interviews, and the conclusion was often that it couldn't be done, at least not by you. Today is no different. Internet research may be quicker, and entry costs lower, but you certainly do need to figure out all the angles before planning a website.

Commercial keyword software will often generate a useful but incomplete set of keywords, certainly insufficient when 80% of traffic can come from 'long-tail' keywords (i.e. 'American civil war history books' rather than 'history books'). You may want to:

1. Extract top 10-50 keywords from your market sector.
2. Search Bing and Google for each term.
3. Extract keywords from top 30 pages for each term.
4. Filter by size and list.
5. Assemble in order of popularity.
6. Continue as far as needed.

Estimating and Analyzing Traffic

Continuing with our fitness center equipment supplies example, we find 'exercise equipment' has 40,110 searches/day, and pay- per-click charges to secure a number one ranking on Google are estimated at $3.37. But this keyword phrase probably includes home exercise machines. You'd do better with 'gym equipment', the second keyword phrase, which has 18,082 searches/day and a cost per click of a $4.72. The AWT heading (a Market Samuri term) shows the number of daily clicks a number one ranked Google Ad might be expected to receive: here 206. So your daily ad spend would be $972.32 (206 x $4.72). If your conversion rate was 2%, you would make 4.12 sales/day for a customer acquisition cost of $236.

That acquisition cost rules out selling the home exercise bicycle, but if you're looking to supply a whole gyms' worth of equipment at a time, then that $236/day could be money very well spent. But you clearly do need a very slick selling operation: superb website, squeeze page to collect email addresses, an excellent sales force, telephone follow-up for site visits by technical staff, etc. Already, as you can see, the marketing spend of $85,000/year is guiding you to the sort of service you'll be offering: one of all-in gym construction and equipment supply. Would that be profitable in an economic downturn, where you'd be in competition with established operations? The bank manager would need some convincing, but Market Samuri does allow you to check out the competition.

What do we find? Your competition for 'gym equipment' in fact sells individual machines, which couldn't possibly bear a $236 customer acquisition cost. They sell through the natural engines, which you might also do if you aimed to build the business slowly, keeping the marketing costs to a minimum until you acquired the requisite experience and a decent client base. But look at the competition in the top table (SEOC: number of competing global webpages, or SEOTC: number of competing global webpages that mention the keywords in the title). Since Market Samuri suggests that only an SEOTC of 100,000 or less gives you a sporting chance (and that is optimistic), the only candidate is 'fitness exercise machines'. Even then you're going to find it difficult. Used Gym Equipment offers a free fitness room designer, for example.

The competition is reduced if you add a location, though not necessarily by very much. 'Gym equipment Albuquerque' has 29,000 competing sites on Google, but the figure for 'gym equipment New York' is still 357,000. What more can you do with keyword research? You can dig a little deeper into keywords. Starting now with 'gym equipment', you run the keyword research module again, this time ticking the Google Search Keywords box.

After setting searches/day to a minimum of 100, and ranking the results by increasing SEOTC, you note several keyword phrases that might make attractive targets — workout equipment, home gym fitness equipment, used exercise equipment, best exercise equipment, commercial gym equipment, used gym equipment, and several more outside this screen snapshot. To continue with your original plan, you'd have a look at the competition for 'commercial gym equipment'.

The SEOT for commercial gym equipment is 249, showing that the top ranked site would get this number of visitors a day. A site ranked at number five would only get a fraction of this traffic — say 10% — but that might be good enough if you were looking to sell one integrated service a week. More importantly, the keyword search is beginning to show what people are actually looking for. In place of your integrated service, you might consider setting up in the used equipment market, for example, or abdominal exercise equipment, where help sheets in choosing equipment and getting the best from it would be an obvious way of expanding the authority of the site and getting backlinks.

AdWord ppc prices will give you an idea of the popularity of certain keywords: merchants will not be paying good money to Google unless they were making a profit on these keywords.


What about free Internet tools? Spacky is a monthly keyword search volume tool. SEMRush is an advanced keywords and competitors' research tool. These will help to some extent, but to do much of this work, and in depth, we suggest you check out professional products. A good list of keyword tools can be found on Mr. Ploppy (which will lead you to other lists).

Building Links

Backlinks are links that start on a page of another site and point to a page on your site. There is general agreement that the more backlinks your pages obtain, the better ranked those pages will be. However, as noted previously, many other factors are probably involved, and certainly the links have to be relevant, and, if possible, supported by common keywords.

Link Strategies

If your content is outstanding you will acquire backlinks naturally, without any promotion on your part: probably the best way, as the search engines are more than able to spot reciprocal links and draw the obvious conclusions. What you should avoid is:

1. Purchasing links (penalized).
2. Linking to link farms (penalized).
3. Linking to other sites you own (won't count as a true backlink).
4. Backlinks from blacklisted sites (illegal or adult content will probably harm your rankings).
5. Reciprocal links (not penalized but not worth the effort).
6. Links from sites created purely to increase rankings (penalized, especially if created by 'black hat' software).
7. Links from sites selling malware or password 'cracking' software: penalized.

Sites you should try to get links from are: prestigious sites, government, institution and university sites, sites with a common interest, and directories. Posting in forums, blogs and article directories, once a popular, indeed essential approach, is now under some suspicion: make the postings genuinely helpful.

Link Promotion

Most sites will have to actively seek backlinks. Common strategies:

1. Get listed in Wikipedia or search directories like DMOZ and Yahoo.

2. Search for quality sites that are relevant (i.e. complementary but not competitive). You'll find the free backlink builder helpful, or you may wish to use/purchase special software to dig a little deeper. Then visit the sites, and email the editor or webmaster with a link request, explaining briefly why your site will help their visitors. Avoid reciprocal links if you can, though most sites will demand one.

3. Contribute forum postings, remembering not to over-promote your site, and abide by the forum regulations (some do not allow links, and some forums are not indexed by the search engines).

4. Add a link to well-researched articles you write: obviously requires more effort: see below for article directories. Software exists to speed up submission.

5. Maintain blogs with RSS feeds: trackbacks will promote your site: make sure you talk about other, related sites, not just your take on the situation.

6. Add comments to blog pages. Comment Kahuna will help you find relevant blogs.

7. Press release: expensive and only useful if you have genuine news to impart.

8. Use pay-for-click search engines to speed up the process of getting known.

9. Place an advert on Craigslist.

10. Use a commercial service: e.g. BuildWebPages, Alliance Link and SEO Book.

11. Offer free services or giveaway programs.

12. Review products on Amazon.

13. Advertise your site on specialist magazines, local Chamber of Commerce, state government listings and libraries.

14. Use social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Digg.

15. Answer queries on Yahoo Answers or Google Groups.

16. Write a Wikipedia entry (if you're particularly knowledgeable) or get listed on an existing entry.

17. Consider alternative traffic sources: Amish Shah has a list.

18. Extended seo strategies are essential: identify who your target audience is, what your message to them is, and how that message is relevant.

19. Employ redirects when pages are renamed or eliminated to maintain visitor interest ('juice') and use internal links to bring 'juice' to interest-poor pages.

20. Host your site in the country where its content is most relevant.

21. Learn from your top competitors and affiliates. Use site:yourcompetitor.com in search engines Report rule breakers. Check keywords they are using. Regularly monitor pages indexed, page rank and no. of links using quantcast, alexa, or compete. Wayback gives historic figures.

22. A full record of changes and results is essential: you can't methodically improve what you can't measure. Even small changes can improve rankings: e.g. adding content and/or categories, changing URLs, modifying site structure, changing CMS, partnerships with other sites, adding deep links, changing site navigation, changing redirects, etc. Such changes can take 4-5 days to show and be overlooked without a proper record. (Major changes to site, however, may cause a 60-90 day traffic dip).

23 You can ask for a reconsideration (Bing or Google Webmaster Tools) if your site has been penalized, but you must acknowledge the problems and put them right. Be professional and don't ask why. The result is not usually a response, but the previous rankings/indexing may be reinstated.

Automating the Task: Software

You can't fully automate the task of building backlinks, but there are programs that help enormously. Many come with tried-and-tested strategies, training videos, member forums and communities. Search the Internet with 'link building software', etc.

Page Optimization

Pages need to be optimized to rank well in the search engines. Common strategies:

Domain Name
Since Google in particular favors sites that have been around a while, you may want to purchase an aged (i.e. secondhand) domain. Try godaddy.com, pool.com, afternic.com, flippa.com, bido.com, dnreserve.com, ebay.com, or do an Internet search. The more popular domains will cost you, but may be cheaper way of increasing traffic than employing an outside SEO company. Alternatively, you can buy direct as domains expire: Market Samuri describes a strategy employing backordering services.

Key points in buying an aged domain:

1. Ensure the domain name matches the keywords you are targeting, at least in some way.
2. Age. Use the lookup tool on domainTools.com to check the creation date of the domain.
3. History. Check that the domain hasn't been associated with illegal or adult sites. Use the WayBackMachine tool on archive.org.
4. Popularity. Use alexa.com and compete.com to get a rough idea of traffic.
5. PageRank. Either install the Google toolbar on your browser, or do an Internet search for alternative page rank programs. To ensure the page rank hasn't been 'forwarded' (i.e. inflated), type info:www.domainname.com into Google.
6. Backlinks. Type link:www.domainname.com into Google or Yahoo. Investigated the links shown: you want links from respected and popular sites (particular TV and newspapers).
7. Indexed Pages. Type site:www.domainname.com into Google and Yahoo.
8. DMOZ / Yahoo! Directory Listings. A big plus: Google respects sites listed here and will boost your ranking.
9. Trademark Terms. You probably won't be able to use a domain name that copies or incorporates a trademark. Check in trade directories, national and local, and keep checking (as new companies appear overnight). For the US use uspto.gov.
10. Google is rumoured to be penalizing domain names that exactly or nearly exactly match keywords: think beyond 'beating the search engines'.

Page Title
Incorporate keyword phrase, put it at beginning, keep title under 65 characters (including spaces). Target longer phrases if necessary. Try Brand-Name:Product-Category-Product.html. Focus on customer searches and conversion.
Page Description
Work hard on these, and on page titles, as pulling power on search engine listings greatly affects your traffic.
Show your keyword(s) in a H1 or H2 heading. You can craft these often ugly displays with CSS.
Keyword Density
Be sensible in optimizing pages for the search engines. You can't work your keyword(s) too many times into pages of natural English, and overuse of keyword ('keyword stuffing') now brings penalties.
Many think that Google, in its search for authority, employs software to check that syntax and terminology are appropriate: doctors, for example, use a specialized vocabulary and those words should appear in any extended article.
Not used by Google (except on Facebook), but include them because search engines often use an excerpt from your meta description in the SERPs, and the description they provide for the page can influence its click-through rate
Open Directory Project / DMOZ
Important if you want your site to carry authority with other search engines. Submit after careful consideration, or become an editor.
Constructing pages optimized for particular search engines, script directing the search engine to the page in question. Be very careful, as search engines do not like the practice, and script mistakes will get you dropped or banned.
Cascading Style Sheets
CSS are recognized by the search engines, but can display in strange ways. Avoid the CSS tricks listed here.
Doorway Pages
These are not hidden pages visible only to each particular search engine, but multiple visible pages where each has been optimized for a popular search engine. Initially tolerated, but now disliked or banned, particularly when generated in their hundreds by special software. You can use a robots.txt file to direct the search engines, but it's probably better to avoid them altogether.
Site Hosting
Don't use free hosting servers, and don't host with companies that allow adult or illegal content. Check their terms and conditions. It may also pay not to use the most popular, cheap hosting services (which, unfortunately, are now promoted by the 'independent' hosting directories). Consult professional seo forums. Employ a local server and domain for a particular country — not a US server, because the search engines will only then index the US content.
Use robots.txt in directory to restrict crawlers, prevent duplicate content being indexed, etc. Duplicate content is (probably) more often filtered out than penalized, but to be on the safe side add <link rel=�canonical� href=http://www.othersite.com� /> to prevent search engines from counting content of other site as relevant (just informs crawlers, not — as an .htaccess file — visitors as well.) Redirects (on Unix sites) are small text files that read: RewriteEngine on RewriteBase / 301 moved permanently, 302 moved temporarily, 404 error, etc. An Internet search will locate helpful articles.


Additional Information and Advice

1. New sites, sites completely redesigned and of low page rank take longer to show effects, sometimes weeks. Wait a month for changes to show up.
2. Use site traffic data supplied by the hosting company, but also consider Google analytics, Yahoo! Analytics, Woopra, clicky, PiWik,� SiteCatalyst, IBM coremetrics, IBM NetInsight, Webtrends, Bing.
3. Dashboards can represent the key features clearly. Urltrends is a monitoring dashboard. SEMRush helps estimate cpc. Covario measures lots of things.
4. SEOmoz and other services have good tracking features, allowing view of visitors through site.
5. Focus on pages/keywords converting well. Google Analytics (website profile>goals) can be configured to show conversion goals and funnels.
6. Link baiting (visit one page & then attracted to others) works if other pages are good.
7. Decide on your ROI and measure it.
8. To investigate backlinks consider one or more of these: Google analytics, Bing , SearchStatus Firefox plugin, Opensite Explorer and Majestic, Cemper, Thumbshots ranking tool, AdGooroo, Covario, Rank Checker, Sycara, Stone Temple Consulting and WebCEO.
9. Visibility to se is measured by Covario, Sycara, and Conductor searchlight.
10. Crawl errors (pages moved and so not listed) can be found with Google or Bing webmaster tools or SEO Browser.
11. Track your progress in the blogosphere by creating posts with Feedburner. Also useful are Google Reader and Bloglines
12. Check the robot spidering of your site with Analog, Awstats, Sawmill, Visitors, Webanalyzer, W3Perl, and PiWik.
13. Traffic may be estimated (not too accurately) with Alexa, Compete and Quantcast. Or more accurately with Google Trends.
14. To help se with duplicate content, designate one page (most popular) as canonical and prevent the indexing of others.
15. The Panda and Penguin updates, typically unexplained, may be serving to push sites into using pay-per-click services more than any supposed 'site authority' claims, and a similar window-dressing may underlie the increasing emphasis on the often trivializing social media sites—they widen the advertising base of the search engines and provide more information for data collection services, government and commercial.

Keeping Up to Date

Market trends are always shifting, and the search engines periodically change their algorithms, either to reflect those changes, or improve their search effectiveness. That means, unfortunately, that seo is a never-ending business, and one that prevents you resting on your laurels for too long. How often should you update and improve your website pages?

The short answer is to be sensible. If yours is a simple mum and pop site selling the one product, you can probably leave the site unchanged for months or years, only tweaking pages when search engine positions and sales begin to fall off. If, at the other extreme, you're the major player in a competitive market, with new pages continually being added to the thousands already existing, your webmaster (or probably masters) will be continually monitoring performance, making adjustments, and testing the changes. Most sites lie somewhere between the two.

That said, any site still infringing the new Panda and/or Penguin rules should make changes immediately, to avoid penalties that Google may not be happy to remove later.

SEO Sites and Blogs
The search engines keep much to themselves, but these posts and articles will alert you to new trends worth following up.
1. Search engine optimization. Free Google guide.
2. Top 25 SEO Blogs. Handy listing: blogs and subscription sites.
3. TopRank BIGLIST of Online Marketing Blogs. Extensive list: includes social media marketing.
4. Alchemist Media's The Alchemy of Search. Jessie Stricchiola's musings on the search industry.
5. Ramblings about SEO. Eric Enge's thoughts on SEO and ppc, plus interviews with industry insiders
6. SEOmozBlog. Daily articles on the search industry.
7. Stephan Spencer's Scatterings. With detailed looks at specific aspects.
8. Cre8pc. K.K. Berg on usability, website development, and the search markets.
9. Andy Beal's journal of the search engine space and SEO events.
10. Search Engine Journal. Loren Baker's posts and guest writers about SEO and ppc.
11. Small Business SEM Matt McGee's blog on search marketing for small businesses.
12. Philipp Lenssen's journal of Google events.
13. Dave Naylor's SEO Blog covering a wide range of online marketing issues.
14. StuntDubl. Todd Malicoat's SEO tips and tricks journal
15. Search Engine Roundtable. Barry Schwartz's roundup of all things search-related.
16. SEO Book. Aaron Wall's accompaniment to his book.
17. SEO Scoop. Donna Fontenot's personal take on SEO.

Search Engine Blogs

1. Bing Search Blog.
2. Google Webmaster Central Blog.
3. Yahoo! Search Blog.
4. Matt Cutts's blog. (Head of Google's webspan team.)


1. Cre8asite Forums. Open community of SEOs, usability professionals and web developers.
2. Digital Point Forums. Shawn Hogan's busy forum on all web matters.
3. High Rankings Forums. Run by Jill Whalen and other SEO experts.
4. Search Engine Roundtable Forums. Associated with Barry Schwartz's se roundtable blog.
5. Search Engine Watch Forums. Popular with seo and ppc practioners.
6. WebmasterWorld. Brett Tabke's popular forums.
7. WebProWorld Forums. Very diverse community.

Social Networks

SEO authors on Facebook

1. Eric Enge.
2. Rand Fishkin.
3. Stephan Spencer.
4. Jessie Stricchiola.

SEO authors on Twitter

1. Eric Enge.
2. Rand Fishkin.
3. Stephan Spencer.
4. Jessie Stricchiola.

Free Tools
Busy webmasters will use specialized software (described below) but you'll find these free sites well worth starting with:
1. Market Leap. Three free tools: link popularity, search engine saturation, and keyword verification for up to 5 sites concurrently.
2. SpyderMate. Crawls complete website and reports: average page depth, google page rank, Alexa rank, targeted keywords, backlinks, government/educational backlinks, competing sites, domain age and expiry date. Can be run on two sites for comparison purposes.
3. Easy SEO Scripts. Searches one or more sites for Alexa and Google page rankings, search engine rankings, etc., and includes free tools like HTML encryption.
4. Spacky. Monthly keyword search volume tool.
5.Tools I Seek Short listing of the more useful free tools.
6. SEMRush. Advanced keywords and competitors research tool.
7. Free Keyword Tools. SEO Book's useful listing.
8. Wolf Howl. Michael Gray Graywolf's SEO Blog: includes free tool recommendations.
9. Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Spiders websites' links, images, CSS, scripts, and apps from an SEO perspective.

Professional Software
If you're doing a lot of this work, and want everything under one roof, then professional software is the way to go. Many of these programs have free trials and/or how-to videos.
1. Website Auditor. Compares your pages against the competition's:
2. All in One Submission. Analyzes website pages and automates submission.
3. SEO Suite. Many programs. Standard edition analyzes website pages and automates submission.
4. Web2Mayhem. Multistep program and necessary tools.
5. IBP Search Engine Submission & Optimization Software: Usual optimization tools plus submission worldwide.
6. Webposition Gold. Was the market leader but fell afoul of Google terms of use in 2009.
7. Market Samuri. Now excellent again, with free how-to videos and continual upgrades.
8. Scribe Tool. Tweaks your copy for seo advantage.


1. Why do web pages need to be optimized for search engines? When would search engine optimization not be useful or practicable?
2. Explain how keyword research software could be useful.
3. What are the key points in purchasing an aged domain?
4. What are the ten areas in which web pages can be optimized for the search engines?
5. How much time and money would you put into seo? Give a costed example.

Sources and Further Reading

1. Bruce Clay. Internet business consultants with excellent advice on optimization, marketing and Internet strategy.
2. High Rankings Advisor. Many useful articles on search engine optimization and submission.
3. Search Engine Positioning. Simple guide emphasizing the key points.
4. Market Position. Promotes Webposition Gold software but also provides articles on advanced topics and popular newsletter.
5. SearchEngine Journal. Much useful information on search engines and their ranking systems.
6. Search Engine Ratings and Reviews. Listing of the latest search engine rating studies.
7. Traffick. Guide to search engines, portals and browsers: extensive listings.
8. Web Search. Very full articles, tips and resources on all aspects of website promotion.
9. Search Engine Optimization Tools. List 136 seo tools, many free.
10. SearchEngine Colossus. Not a guide, but an extensive listing of search engines in 156 countries: for search and site submission.
11. SearchEngine Showdown. Guide to searching with (not submitting to) search engines and directories (to ensure you understand your visitors' search policies).
12. Google Algorithm Updates and Changes 1998-2012 by Lyuben Georgiev. ShoutMeLoud. November 2012.
13. SEO: 2012 & Beyond by Andy Williams. October 2012.
14. 50 SEO Ideas by Jason McDonald. Internet Group 2012.

15. The Art of SEO: Second Edition by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola, Rand Fishkin and Editor Mary Treseler. O'Reilly 2012.