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SEOs: Part 3 - SEO No - No's

What NOT to do . . . Ever!
While I would love to go into a long and detailed dissertation on how to be found on the Internet I have been duly cautioned not to give away the farm - Mama will spank 'cause it is not good for business. Besides, what is true and relevant right, now this moment, can change in a heartbeat to be a big No-No and grounds for blacklisting.

While we are on the subject, if you think for an instant that the top five search engines cannot block your sorry fanny out in the cold with a few key-strokes you are sorely mis-informed! While most people would rather buy a load of swill than be given the truth, please, PLEASE read the rest of this page and digest it and save yourself a world of hurt.

Hey! Check this out...

Oh I know you've heard that at least once! Y'know, that hot tip from a friend who's buddy's cousin is an internet geek/guru living in the crawl-space of that college back east... "Number 1 rankings, m'boy! I guarantee it!" It fakes out the machine (everyone knows a computer is an infinitely stupid machine! - well, THAT at least IS true). Yeah. Sure. What you might not know is that human editors follow up behind the machine. They are NOT stupid. You WILL get caught and suffer the consequences of seeking the quick buck the easy way.

Big Bad #1:

Doorway pages, Gateways or Bridge pages
OK, I speak English and even I do not know what the Hell this means... So I went to a reliable source, the SEO consultants web page, to dig up their definition:
[excerpt from http://www.seoconsultants.com/articles/1007/doorway-gateway-pages.htm]
"There are a variety of programs that are marketed that will automatically create these doorways, gateways or bridge pages for you. You enter specific information into predefined form fields relative to the page that you want to optimize, and the program generates a page that is optimized for the selected search engine and keyword sets. These pages are referred to as machine generated pages.

Unfortunately, this technique has been abused over the years by many consumers and SEO/SEM consultants alike. We've seen websites that had 5 or 6 pages of core content and then hundreds of gateway pages that were developed to target just about every keyword set the site was optimized for. Typically, only a few of those pages may have ranked well, the rest were ineffective. Hence, the billions of web pages indexed as indicated in the next paragraph.

Today, this technique is frowned upon by the major search engines and directories. When you see numbers pertaining to billions of web pages being indexed, you can be assured that a large percentage of those are gateway, doorway or bridge pages. The search engine spiders or robots are more intelligent then they were a few years ago.

These machine generated pages are being dropped from the search engine indexes on a regular basis, or they are buried so far down in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages), that they would never be found. At times, the entire domain that the pages reside on may receive a ranking penalty and/or be banned from the search engines index."

We have encountered, recently, several instances of SEO companies that offered to improve OUR rankings. They asked for access to our site via ftp to "upload approximately 250 pages" that would absolutely increase our rankings and put us in the #1 position. Um, we declined the offer. You may be interested to know that the last one was offering this service for Only $2000.00! What a bargain....

Big Bad #2: Link Farming

Be wary of SEO companies that insist that placing reciprocal linking to a host of link page gateways on your site. If the site you are linked to has no content or original work and exists only for the purpose of link proliferation you could find your site in trouble. Also, recent study indicates that if your "reciprocal" partners do not, in fact, use your site in their linking structure your own site's rankings can be damaged.

Here is something along these lines that, so far, today, is acceptable if a bit spendy; start a private, closed network. You can do this with your technology partners or related web sites. Put all of your links on a links or resources page. Each of your sites will benefit from the conveyed spidering and rankings of the whole. You should, however, be Very careful of whom you take into your network.

Little Bad: KeyWord Comment tags
You are not supposed to do this - but admittedly even WE used to do it. At the time of this writing we no longer do it. The gyst of it is this: you put your KeyWord string into a comment placed at either the end of your <HEAD></HEAD> tag segment or as the first line after your open of the <BODY> tag. The idea is to fool the spider into reading the string as content - which is why you are not allowed to do this. If the term Fool, Fake-out, confuse or otherwise deceive comes into the statement of 'How It Works ,' then you're in dangerous waters if you get caught. My advice? Do not go there in the first place. My own little addition to this, the fifteenth iteration of the Neo•Paradigms web presence, is the addition of the KeyWord string as actual content at the top of the page. Unsightly? Perhaps, but it accomplishes the very same thing as a loaded comment and will keep my bacon out of the pan. How about yours? Do you want to risk the consequences?

There are innumerable ways to drop your web site into the grinder. Some are search engine specific, some are universal. Your best course of action is to take the time to actually read the submission requirements of each of the search engines that you would like to be included in. They offer all the guidelines that you need and will provide you with a lengthy listing of methods by which you may ensure Search Engine Death for your web site should you fail to heed their warnings.

A final word or two

If you are not writing your own web site make sure the agent who is knows enough not to land you in big trouble. If you decide to go with an SEO consultant, be it Neo•Paradigms or any other, take the time to find out if there have been any complaints lodged against the company through the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission - all three, not just one. You may wish to select an agent from the SEO consultants web page (see our Links page) which, at this time, let's us out the running but that's ok. The purpose of this discussion is not to drum up business (clearly!) but to help you understand a few very basic guidelines to avoid disaster by.

May Fortune - and the Rest of the Web - find you.

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