Frequently Asked Questions
Common acronyms associated with search engine talk.
ROI: Return On Investment
SEM: Search Engine Marketing
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
SERP: Search Engine Results Page
SES: Search Engine Strategies
Q: What's the difference between optimization and marketing?
A: I'll give the short version here to keep reading to a minimum.
SEO: Coding a page to take advantage of what is known to be helpful in the eyes of search engines. Proper SEO is all about making every page an independantly optimized page. Your website is not seen by engines as "one page". It is seen as many pages and each page that makes up a website has the potential to rank somewhere in the SERPs on its own.
SEM (or internet marketing): Using techniques such as link building, blogging and participating in social media sites are part of marketing. It also includes using PPC services from the leading search engines. The marketing aspect of a website has very little to do with what is on the website itself.
Q: What does search engine friendly mean?
A: A common misconception about the term "search engine friendly" is that people believe it means their website will automatically rank well in the search engines. This is not necessarily true.
The term "search engine friendly" simply means the code that makes up the website has been formatted in such a way that search engines can easily "crawl" the sites content for indexing purposes.
Q: How much does it cost to make my website rank high?
A: This is not the same for every website. There are many factors involved in determining the cost. Some of the questions to be answered are:
- how many other websites will you be competing against?
- where do you currently rank?
- how many key phrases will be optimized?
- who will be keeping the website updated?
- will the site need to be redesigned to acheive high placement?
There are more factors involved, but the list above gives you an idea of the types of questions that will need to be answered to prepare a quote.
Q: Should I be concerned about the PR of my website?
A: First, PageRank™ is only measured by Google and is not universal to all search engines. There have been hundreds, probably thousands, of discussions about PR on SEO forums around the world. There are two general schools of thought.
1) PR does not really matter. It does not affect your placement in the SERPs and is used primarily to benchmark the value of trading/buying links.
2) The higher the PR, the more authoritative the website. As a result of being authoritative, the site ranks higher.
The above is a -very- condensed and watered down version of the two sides and by no means represents the extent of the two ideas.
Here's my take on PR... Routinely work on your website to keep it fresh and build links... the PR will follow. PR is not something, in my opinion, that should be worried about. Do I want high PR for my site? Absolutely. But it's more about bragging rights than placement in the SERPs.
Q: I have good links on my site, why am I not ranking well?
A: Linking to other quality, or authoritative, sites can actually help your ranking, but do not carry as much weight as inbound links. Inbound links are one-way links from other sites to your site. Inbound links carry more weight with search engines because, in theory, if someone else is linking to your site and you are not linking back, you must have something of value to offer the public.
A proper balance of outbound and inbound links is essential to SEO. The key to effective linking is link relevance.
Q: I have hundreds, or thousands, of backlinks to my website. Why am I still getting out ranked?
A: Simply having hundreds, or thousands, of inbound links does not ensure high ranking. It is more important that your inbound links be from quality websites that are relevant to your field of work.
Q: What's the big deal about "social networking" type sites?
A: This isn't really an SEO question, but it's a great question. Social networking sites like LinkedIn and FaceBook aren't necessarily for SEO, they're for building networks between people you know and the people your friends know. Some people will simply not work with someone unless they know them or are referred to them by a friend. Social network sites can increase the chance of getting referral work exponentially. By the way, if you're reading this and belong to Google+, FaceBook, LinkedIn, or Twitter feel free to add me to your network. Yes, that is a shameless plug to get in your network ;)