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General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

Optimizing for Specific Search Engines

 1:36 am on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone!

I got a flyer across my desk today from a SEO company that 'guaranteed' TOP rankings in all major search engines. Now, I've read plenty about folks who 'guarantee' rankings. My question is this.

They said that they charged $75 per page to optimize 'generally' and $100 per page to optimize pages for specific search engines.

Are they just blowing smoke? A lot of folks I've read say that if you do good keyword research, write appropriate titles, descriptions, have solid "content-rich" pages and use search engine friendly code (<h1>, keyword text in links, etc.) that you should rank well in most/all search engines without having to make "SE-specific pages".

What are your thoughts?

Also - if some search engines do have some "quirks" that "may" require special optimization, is there a good resource to see some guidelines for optimizing for specific SE's.




 3:01 am on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

They said that they charged $75 per page to optimize 'generally' and $100 per page to optimize pages for specific search engines.

Being an SEO - if you are looking for help improving your search engine visibility it would be far better to seek out a firm or consultant and get a specific quote on your specific site for your specific markets.

Anyone can generate "general traffic" and optimize to a specific search engine with modest skills, however, in most instances this does not help you at all.

A company's flyer quoting price per page without looking at your industry competitiveness, your markets searching habits, not to mention your sites current (or future) content, information, products or services - is doomed to fail.

"SEO Costs" and "Time" are inseparable. The faster you want or need results the more cost is associated. This means that in many cases, if not done properly you will not see any results for a long period of time

The number of web pages optimized may allow more targeted keywords (niche markets) to be considered however, in less capable SEO company's (generally ones that mass market) I have often found that they optimize Meta Tags only and this is the jest of their skills and "optimization of your main page and then duplicating this across all other pages". This type of service will not do anything at all but make you $75 - 100 dollars per page poorer.

Recommend your best course - use this forum and members advice and (past threads and search function) to improve your knowledge on the subject. If "time" does not permit you to optimize for yourself, at least you will be able to develop an appreciation for work quality.

Mass marketed SEO services particularly ones that generalize on deliverables are best to be avoided.


 3:57 am on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks Fathom,

I wasn't actually looking for their services. The office building we are in had the letters sent to them and they thought we would be interested because we are an interactive development agnecy. I was really interested in whether there is any merit to "optimizing for specific search engines" or whether a well-thoughtout "best practices" approach is really all one needs to do well in the SE's that some companies "claim" to optimize for. Hope that makes sense! I'm tired. :)

Thanks again!


 4:31 am on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Although market depend (dictating niche market search engine perferences) DMOZ.org submission and Google are generally the key to high visibility.

Most of the top search engine use dmoz as secondary results as a way to develop a choice of quality sites for their users. In most instances if you are doing well in Google it is because of DMOZ and the remainding search engines follow suit (not always - but as a general rule "DMOZ is the mother of all search engines").

So a well-thoughtout "best practices" approach is far better than anything else.


 10:30 am on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't see how they can optimize the same page for different SEs without needing to use some form of IP delivery.

For what I'd consider a fairly well optimized page, I'm not seeing a huge difference in the results fromGoogle, Fast, Teoma and Inktomi; so I'd also go with the well thought-out "best practices" approach.


 10:50 am on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

We always build a site around Googles requirements, but sometimes throw up an Inktomi friendly page for paid spidering.

Its not so much a different optimisation, more of an attempt to get some good Inktomi rankings for a mixed set of phrases on the same page.

I guess that means it looks a little bit more spammy than the other pages.


 10:56 am on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here's where the catch is:

TOP rankings in all major search engines.

Top ranking for what term? One you pick? I doubt it. There isn't a page on my site (or any site in any search engine index) that I can't make come up in the #1 spot for some term. The trick is to make it show up for the right term.

As the late, great Douglas Adams said: The answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42. It's the asking the right question that's tricky.



 12:34 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone!

Let me ask this another way:

If I were only submitting 2 pages - 1 to Altavista and 1 to Inktomi (just as examples), is there anything I should do for the one page that is specific to that particular search engine.

I guess what I'm asking is what do these guys actually "do" differently when they "say" they optimize for specific search engines. It shoulds to me like they are just making a bunch of doorway pages and saying some are built to rank well and are submitted to one search engine and the another is build for and submitted to a different search engine.

Now...I KNOW that's not best practices and I wouldn't go for that. I was just wondering if there was any merit to having to do different things.

FATHOM - Thanks for the input about DMOZ!


 1:57 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, first of all, if you want it optimized for Alta Vista and another for Inktomi, it's going to cost you not $100, but $200. And, then, what they'll do can vary, depending upon what the engine is and their actual knowledge of the engine itself. Different engines are very different (in fact, for INK, being #1 in a pure INK search does you some good, but it doesn't mean you'll get hits off it even if it is for a popular term - INK tends to be backfill on the engines it's currently on so you've got L$ or something else ahead of you. The only folks searching with Pure INK results are us webmasters and SEO folks.)

I, personally, am always skeptical of someone who promises #1 rankings. A guy who frequents (well frequentED, actually, he's too broke now to hang at the bar much anymore) was very successful at SEO for about a year. He was promising #1 rankings and commanding top dollar for his services ($150 per #1 ranking per term per engine, or something along those lines) and he was raking in a grand or more a week. Then, one day about 6 months ago, the poor sot had all - and I mean ALL - of his accounts banned or penalized by Google, INK, and Lycos - all in the same week. Now, he's got hundreds of accounts (and even more pages) banned or PR0'd from search engines. Demands for refunds; no new clients because none of his portfolio showed in SERPS anywhere; threats of lawsuits for loss of business. It was ugly.

I've yet to see a company that guaratee's number one results that doesn't use something that could eventually get you banned. You're mainly looking for someone who is going to promise you a discernable increase in traffic and/or an increase in visit to sale ratios. You're also going to have better luck, I'd guess, with a company that has to look at your site and research the market and competition already on the web and give you a price that is scaled to the work that will be involved. If you're selling "Xyzzy Traps" [google.com] you should expect it to be pretty cheap to get #1 rankings across the board with a single page. Lord help the wallet of the poor sap who is actually trying to sell a widget [google.com].



 2:48 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

While AV and INK have different algorithms, you can create and optimize a webpage or website in a way that will allow for rankings across a number of search engines.


 3:36 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

* if there was any merit to having to do different things.*

Keywords for Inktomi, links for Google, themes for Teoma.
But, that's what I'd call a wellthought-out "best practices" approach anyway!

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