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Old 10-10-2004   #1
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Arrow Search Engine Marketing 101

For those of you who are new to the forums, welcome to SearchEngineWatch Forums. We’re glad to have you here with us

Learning Search Engine Marketing takes lots of commitment and a lot of time researching what’s new since our industry moves very rapidly. For those who want a fast jump start in our industry but don’t know where to go, I hope the posts of this thread will point you in the right direction.

What I will post are only my observations and recommendations as a person who has been near the Internet industry for over 10 years. Just remember a few things:
1) The Golden Rule of SEO: DON’T OVER OPTIMIZE, BE NATURAL.
2) Don’t SPAM or use techniques that the risks are high enough that you might loose it all one day – perhaps overnight.
3) Think what is best for your users first, the search engines will adapt.
4) Stay up to date, search engines change, users change, businesses can change for the better or worse if not up to date.
As my friend Brett Tabke once said to me, “read, read, read until your eyes hurt” and you will be able to design and execute a great SEM strategy to gaining traffic from the search engines.

First, start yourself with good basic knowledge, here are a few places to learn the basics. Rather than giving you a complete list of resources pages, except for Danny Sullivan’s Intro to Search Optimization article which is IMO the best because it takes you buy the hand step by step when you have no clue what this is all about, I recommend you to check SEOConsultant.com’s SEO Resources, Associations and Organizations page. Pay good attention to the submission tips and the PPC engines. This also includes Danny's Search Engine Report Articles Archive and SEOConsultants' Search Engine Optimzation and Search Engine Marketing Articles Archive.

Then, here are some recommended forums (listed in no particular order):

http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/
http://www.highrankings.com/forum/
http://www.webmasterworld.com/
http://forums.digitalpoint.com/
http://forums.seochat.com/
http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/
http://forums.spider-food.net/

Want to make it easy for you, just go to Barry Schwartz’(RustyBrick) Search Engine Roundtable and let him and associate editor Benjamin Pfeiffer (Phoenix) take you by the hand to the best posts of their forums watch list. Nick is also doing a good job with Threadwatch.org.

Then subscribe and read these websites:

http://searchenginewatch.com/
http://www.webpronews.com/
http://www.highrankings.com/articles.htm
http://www.spider-food.net/

Pay special attention to these guides:

Hypertext Markup Language - 2.0 - Document Structure by the W3C.org
Adding a touch of style by Dave Raggett from the W3C.org
26 steps to 15k a Day by Brett Tabke
Search Engine Theme Pyramids by Search Engine World
SEO Checklist By André le Roux (except #8, explained why here)

Just in case, follow every single word of these important rules from the search engines:

http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html ( and related links on left nav)
http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearc...basics-18.html
http://search.msn.com/webmasters/guidelines.aspx

Then, get a little more advanced by reading reading some outstanding search engine marketing books from our industry. I speacially recommend Aaron Wall’s SEO Book for lot’s of ground coverage in the SEO topics and Mike Grehan’s Search Engine Marketing: The essential best practice guide for a more in depth expert look at our industry and search engines. I know there are many other great books, I just seem to like these two as recommended reading for someone wanting to really get into SEO.

For Link Building, I recommend the following:

Link Building 101 - This really has it all.

When you get more advanced, you will need to stay up to date with research papers like these (but might be too advanced for you now, take your time):

Keyword Density Analysis Nonsense
Keywords Co-occurrence and Semantic Connectivity
On-Topic Analysis
Block-level Link Analysis

I also recommend you go to a Search Engine Strategies Conference at least once a year if you can afford it. Lots of contacts and great new info gets let loose every year. If you want to choose only one, I'd go with San Jose.

Please keep in mind that Search Engine Marketing is not only about SEO and PPC, be creative and go out and find something not every one is doing, for example:

Geographically Targeting with SEO
Marketing Tactics with Shopping Search Engines
How should I go about SEO for an eBay store?
Don’t forget expanding to other languages, opportunities are endless here: Multilingual Search Markets & Non-US Engines . . . and much much more, just don’t be afraid to let your creativity take wings.

One (almost) final link, I recommend you to read and subscribe to this thread “Threats and Opportunities of Search Engine Marketing” as it will get updated more in the future.

I’m sure there are many things missing on my post and anyone is welcome to add on to the list. More important, I sincerely request other more advanced or expert members of SEW Forums to help achieve the goals of this thread:
1) Helping those who don’t know where to start, but need simple direction before jumping to SEM 201 first.
2) Improving The Reputation Of The SEM Industry by pointing them in the right direction.
Buena Suerte!

Nacho

Last edited by Nacho : 05-02-2005 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Added more useful resources
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Old 10-10-2004   #2
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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Nacho again.
Sorry! But a well intended thought - that's a good resource there.
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Old 10-10-2004   #3
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Dont Worry Brian

I hit him with a big green kiss for this one!

A real time saver for directing the "how to rank" questions to, great work Nacho!

(and thanks for mentioning Threadwatch ;-)

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Old 10-10-2004   #4
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Might be the post of the week, month? Real time saver, 3rd person to hit 4 green bars.
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Old 10-10-2004   #5
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>The Golden Rule of SEO: DON’T OVER OPTIMIZE, BE NATURAL.

I agree with the rest, but after 10 years over-optimization IS natural for me.
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Old 10-10-2004   #6
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rcjordan,

good point, maybe we should clarify what is over optimization?
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Old 10-10-2004   #7
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>clarify

Not sure we can, case in point:
Over a year ago I built my own static page CMS using gossamer-threads great old perl L2 directory script. I've been using/modifying the script for years and chose it because it thinks like I do (or vice versa ...even Alex wouldn't recognize my script now). Being modestly fluent at on-page seo, I spent time doing every little thing (all pure white stuff, really!) we're supposed to do --all alt tags filled in, breadcrumbs, solid nav menus, the works. The problem was that we naturally tend to forget ~or lazily skip~ all sorts of seo opportunities when we build a site. This system didn't forget or skip much, and it produced a fine piece of spammy-feeling work.

Last edited by rcjordan : 10-10-2004 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 10-10-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcjordan
>clarify

Not sure we can, case in point: Over a year ago I built my own static page CMS system using gossamer-threads great old perl directory script. I've been using/modifying the script for years and chose it because it thinks like I do (or vice versa ...even Alex wouldn't recognize my script now). Being modestly fluent at on-page seo, I spent time doing every little thing (all pure white stuff, really!) we're supposed to do --all alt tags filled in, breadcrumbs, solid nav menus, the works. The problem was that we naturally tend to forget ~or lazily skip~ all sorts of seo opportunities when we build a site. This system didn't forget or skip much, and it produced a fine piece of spammy-feeling work.
Who would agree that this is over optimization. I personally would not.
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Old 10-10-2004   #9
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Trust me, it would get hauled before the white forums as keyword-stuffing in a heartbeat.

<added>
But the litmus test is that it'll pass editor review if submitted on a spam report --that's really the only threshold I watch.
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Old 10-10-2004   #10
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>who would agree that this is over optimization

Google, but not so much that they'd do anything about it I suspect..

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Old 10-10-2004   #11
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Posting at the same time? - this place is beggining to rock and roll...

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Old 10-10-2004   #12
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>but not so much that they'd do anything about it I suspect..

Bingo! There's the optimum point.
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Old 10-10-2004   #13
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A personal method of adding naturalisation is in the linkage: not simply getting a wide-spread of links, and not simply varying the anchor text, but - get this - sometimes writing anchor text for human users!
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Old 10-10-2004   #14
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>adding naturalisation is in the linkage

True, but have you ever seen anyone (naturally) link to, say, a resort or destination with anything other than the resort or destination name? The number who do are statistically insignificant, imho.
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Old 10-10-2004   #15
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Indeed - I guess I'm thinking especially of the post-Florida fall-out, when there was a lot of discussion of it having been an "over-optimisation filter". Links, titles, headers, all sharing the same exact text, for example, as regarded as over-optimisation in the discussions.
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Old 10-10-2004   #16
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>post-Florida fall-out, when there was a lot of discussion of it having been an "over-optimisation filter"

I didn't subscribe to the over-opt filter (qualifier: in my categories) because I didn't wobble much at all during the Florida episode.
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Old 10-10-2004   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcjordan
>post-Florida fall-out, when there was a lot of discussion of it having been an "over-optimisation filter"

I didn't subscribe to the over-opt filter (qualifier: in my categories) because I didn't wobble much at all during the Florida episode.
I second that... OOP, I was never a fan of it.
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Old 10-11-2004   #18
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Indeed, but what that whole discussion did raise is what "over-optimisation" could be construed as - not to mention how easy it might be to spot if looked for.
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Old 10-12-2004   #19
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Wow!

This post is really great; anytime you can benefit from someone's tried-and-true experience like this you really have to thank your lucky stars!

The only thing I would want to add/ask is: what if you want someone else to do the work? This marketing stuff is not my thing, but I'd be more than happy to pay a hefty sum to someone to do it for my business and our customers (I work for a web hosting provider and lots of our clients clamor for SEO/SEM services).

How about adding some links to good listing reseller/referral programs and/or service providers?
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Old 10-12-2004   #20
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Hello inexpensivedomains, and welcome to SearchEngineWatch Forums. You will most likely recieve a Private Message (PM) from many of the members here about your request. However, one of the links on my original post points to www.seoconsultants.com wich has one of the largest lists of companies to help you. You may also go to SEMPO.org and find many resources to help you with your search engine marketing objectives.

Buena Suerte!
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