I rebuilt my web-site myself, using what I or others may call SEF = search engine friendly - techniques. These techniques came from many sources but the one I most highly praise is Brett_Tabke's 12 Months To a Successful Site in Google message.
I also followed the advice on webmasterworld. Although the advice here is sometimes confusing and convoluted with self appointed SEO "Gods," - I picked through the BS and found kernel grains of truth.
My Humble Advice:
1. Build SEF pages. (follow Brett's message on this) = [webmasterworld.com...]
2. Gain - Relevant/theme related Links: At least PR 3 or higher and theme related. There are a few companies out there that do it the hard, slow and expensive way. (He was going to charge me $1,500 for 100 them related links. Probably worth it - but I did it myself in the same style he recommended as is here on WebmasterWorld.) If you go after those easy links, it will backfire. The easy way is never the best way.
3. Go after 2, 3, 4 word keyword searches your competition doesn't care about. I am amazed at how many new keyword pages my site is being found under. Language is semantics and unique to individuals. Just when I think I have learned about everything there is to know about the keywords to find my site, I discover new ones. I love it. It's amazing.
4. Add content, add content, add content. And for God's sake make sure it is original, fresh content. The last thing the internet needs or cares about is rehashed content, free content, or old rewritten content. The content and copy writing section of webmasterworld has some great tips. Anyone in the world can get free content, slap it on a commercial website and call themselves experts in the business. = Lazy.
Hey, this approach is for lazy webmasters. Distinguish yourself and never take the easy road. If you have original content you are offering something your competition doesn't have. I operate affiliate sites and I make sure they contain 3+ times as many pages with only a 10 percent duplication of the parent content. This approach has blown away my parent sites in the rankings/hits/leads. If I no longer represented them, their business would be hit very hard.
If you can't write original content yourself, hire someone. If you are too cheap to hire someone, open a porn site with mostly pictures and shady dialogue along the lines of:
Ding-dong, "Hey Mr. Brown, can I borrow a cup of sugar?" said Miss Humptydoody.
"Weell baby, you are the one with all the sugar!" said Mr. Bigjohnson.
In other words, if you can't afford it or write it yourself, and cannot make a greater contribution to the internet other then rehashed content, you should reconsider your involvement. The easy way is never the best way.
5. And for God's sake, don't do anything that could be considered as spam in Google's eyes. Part of the reason I got hit hard the last 2 months (late Sept. to Now) were some very slight spam techniques (I had about 12 keyword pages, a duplicate site and some crosslinking).
When I figured they had caught up to me (thanks to webmasterworld) I got rid of them and followed the advice I am giving here and found on WebmasterWorld. This new update has given me better results. It is going to give me better hits and leads then I ever dreamed of through my spam techniques. It pays to play by the rules. The easy way is never the best way.
6. I see many, many, many webmaster's here that get too greedy. When you get too greedy - you start to push the edge of the envelope. Then, they post messages that state: "I got dropped from Google but golly gee whiz, I did nothing wrong because I am an innocent little altar boy of a webmaster and I always go to Church on Sundays. I never employed any spam techniques.." Yeah, right. If you get too greedy- diversify into other fields. Start over again on something else.
That's the kernel of my wisdom I have gained from Webmasterworld which I owe a ton of thanks for this recent update. And since Google didn't find most of the best links I added in the last 2-3 weeks, I expect a Christmas present better than the bottle of Old Spice my Grandma will undoubtedly give me.
"Gee Grams, just what I wanted. I'll put it next to the bottle you got me last year!"
Somebody needs to tell her the easy way is never the best way.
[edited by: Marcia at 11:49 pm (utc) on Dec. 1, 2002]
[edit reason] edited per member request [/edit]