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Yesterday's Strategy Will Not Work For Tomorrow

By Logan Billy Jefferson

If you want to be found in the search engines, it is important that you add search engine optimization to your action list. In a nutshell, search engine optimization--or SEO for short--is the process of making your webpages search engine friendly.

However, this basically linear approach is gradually changing now: as mathematical linguistics and automatic content recognition technology progresses, the major search engines are shifting their focus towards "theme" biased algorithms that do not rely on analysis of individual web pages anymore but, rather, will evaluate whole web sites to determine their topical focus or "theme" and its relevance in relation to users' search requests.

If you're like most other CEOs, the term "search engine optimization" will mean very little. Either that or it means expense! But it doesn't have to be that way...if you feel like you're standing in a dark room handing money to strangers to get you in the search engines, then this article is for you.

The next realization that comes is that simply being listed is not enough. To get traffic from the search engines, you must come up at or near the top of the results for those searches that relate to your site.

So where did this nasty reputation come from and why has it been allowed to propogate? Well, it's mainly care of the hundreds of cowboys out there who decide one day they are online marketing experts, announce themselves as SEO's and set up a backyard biz, deciding (naively) that the fastest way to achieve high rankings is to break the rules, "crack" the search engine algorithms and undermine the search indexes by generating pages and pages of search engine spam. They do this by creating doorway pages designed for search engine spiders rather than humans, complete with hidden text, hidden links, cloaking and lots of other "tricks" they come across as they surf the Internet.

The first thing you need to do is identify the keyword phrases that are important and relevant to your web site. For instance, how would you describe your company, products and services? More importantly, how would your visitors describe your company, products and services? Although the answer may seem like a no-brainer, it really isn't, because you need to think outside of the box. You need to get into your visitor's head and think like your visitor. What search terms would they use to find your web site?

This is not to say that keyword density is losing in importance, quite the contrary. However, it is turning into a lot more complex technology than a simple computation of word frequency per web page can handle. All these are now contributing to the increasing sophistication of the relevance determination process. If you feel this is beginning to sound too much like rocket science for comfort, you may not be very far from the truth: it seems that the future of search engine optimization will be determined by what the industry is fond to term the "word gurus".


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