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SEO First? All Else Second?
Is Search Engine Optimization Most Important?
Web_Student




msg:3276165
 6:55 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering about Search Engine Optimization.

Sure, most webmasters want their own site high in search results, but I'm just wondering about the micro-economics here, specifically the concept of opportunity cost.

So, more experienced gurus, please; your comments, opinions, thoughts and input are welcome. If a webmaster focuses all attention on search engine rankings, what will that same webmaster lose in terms of the rest of the website development effort?

 

bill




msg:3276262
 9:00 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Content is king. Concentrating on building up a good resource will often result in good rankings. Many are shifting to focus on that rather than tweaking KW densities, meta tags and obtaining unrelated/off-topic links.

interweb




msg:3276448
 12:11 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I too am relatively new to this whole SEO world, but from my recent reading and learning i am coming to a very basic and simple conclusion.

There are so many articles floating around the web about SEO techniques, tips, tricks and what ever. Covering standards compliant coding, good brand development, good page structure and layout, great topical content, correct use of Keyword and description tags and link building, but out of all of these there is only really one area that is not included in the bread and butter of making a good website, which is link build (although this may come with time if you content is good anyway).

If your making a great, useful site (which should be the aim anyway) then obviously your content is going to be spot on and topical. In doing so your keyword density will naturally be of a good standard to make the topic of the content clear to the likes of search engines.

If your making a great site naturally you will endevour to use standards compliant coding and good page layout. Using logical and meaningful link text to navigate around the site. You'll also use the title and keyword tags correctly, without the need to think too much about it.

I think what i'm trying to get at is if the site is well thought about, then a relatively high page ranking will naturally come, with the only real extra effort coming in the area of link building, which as mentioned before may come with time anyway if your content is good enough.

Pierquinto




msg:3278492
 5:35 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

If a webmaster focuses all attention on search engine rankings, what will that same webmaster lose in terms of the rest of the website development effort?

Nothings, if he will use only correct methods...

Web_Student




msg:3279783
 7:52 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay, correct methods.

Where do I learn to discern correct from incorrect methods?

farrell




msg:3288241
 11:36 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

The "Search Engine Watch" website has some reasonable basic answers to that question in the form of articles written by Danny Sullivan, a bit out of date but mostly still quite pertinent.

I used to obsess too much about my search engine rankings. You can waste an awful lot of time. Now I mainly concentrate on building good, relevant content. The inbound links and hence the improved search engine ranking will gradually come if your site is good.

sunny_kat




msg:3288269
 12:12 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Firstly the most important fact is designing and developing a search engine friendly website.

As no search engine would prefer ranking a non search engine friendly website.

wolfadeus




msg:3288460
 3:10 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you want to prioritise certain aspects of SEO, just stick with some basic rules:
- Make the website accessible through a text-based navigation
- Use standard HTML tags for formatting (eg H1, H2..)
- Use alt-texts for images
- If you use graphics, do it in a meaningful manner
- interlink sites in a meaningful was
- use, but don't overuse keywords
- get a natural blend of anchor texts for incoming links
- write for the user, not the SE

The rest is alchemy, in my opinion. Sticking with these rules will not result in a trade-off at writing content.

Web_Student




msg:3288686
 5:53 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bingo; fulcrum point identified.

use, but don't overuse keywords

Can I get a few pointers to other threads where this is discussed?

Is there a forum for this purpose? (Is this the forum for it?)

I really need to get a handle on this concept.

bill




msg:3289290
 4:41 am on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is there a forum for this purpose?

Our Keyword Discussion [webmasterworld.com] forum would probably be the best place for such topics.

AndyNSDS




msg:3296797
 9:21 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

With the topic of SEO I feel that it is so diverse that its probably best to leave that to "the professionals". There are many individuals and companies out there that eat, breath, and sleep SEO which from what I gather is what you need to do to stay on top of the game. I would never be on the floor of the NYSE waving my hands and screaming "BUY 40 SHARES OF CORN!" but would much rather have a broker do it for me.

I agree with a lot of these posts that if you develop rich content for your site and make attempts for your site to be "SEO Friendly" by following the SEO tips you read you should do fine. You'll never be on the front page of a search engine however unless you spend every waking moment configuring, adjusting, watching trends, and becoming a SEO guru by trade. Thats why I go back to letting the professionals do it for me. The investment pays for itself and some pros will even offer a guarantee in some shape or form.

cameraman




msg:3296827
 9:55 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I understand what you're saying, and definitely from one perspective I'm a good example of why professionals get paid to do what they do, but on the other hand, I rose from spot 138 to spot 67 by following handy tips learned right here, and I ain't finished yet (I'm getting increasingly fed up, but far, far from finished).
Further:
  • Before I was a professional at anything, I was a novice
  • When I was a novice at anything, I didn't become an expert at it by paying others to do it for me.
  • I can't speak for anyone else, but I am here to teach what I can to others and learn what I can from others.
  • The OPs moniker is Web_Student
  • Not only professionals, but expert professionals frequent this site and have a wealth of information and insightful speculation that they don't mind sharing
  • I wouldn't be at all surprised if several of those eat-and-breathe SEO gurus stop by as part of their trend watching

I don't think I can agree with "You'll never be on the front page of a search engine however unless you spend every waking moment..." More than one of the sites on page 1 for my #1 search phrase don't seem to have much going on, a couple don't even have a single meta tag.

willybfriendly




msg:3296856
 10:27 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Content is king

I used to think this too. I think the truth is, "Traffic is King"

Generating content without a plan to generate traffic means a lot of work spent for naught. Content "may" be a source of sustainable traffic. then again, it may just be taking space on a disc drive on some server somewhere.

WBF

tbear




msg:3297715
 6:46 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Personally, I feel that the visitor is KING.
I guess the search engines think that too, so.........
.....go figure.

JerryOdom




msg:3297730
 6:54 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

After a while you start doing the optimization as you build. I build with both the user and the se's in mind.

arieng




msg:3297823
 8:18 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Personally, I feel that the visitor is KING."

Right on tbear, I think you've hit it square. Content is king because that's what keeps the users coming, but great content isn't always a shoo-in to high rankings. Sometimes, users prefer inferior content in favor or some other site attraction.

If you can identify what motivates a specific group of searchers and provide it for them (whether its 'good content' or not) the SEs will more often than not get you that traffic.

brucec




msg:3298854
 6:07 am on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with JerryOdom. You need to build your sites for the user and SE Spiders.

At this point I don't even think of SEO anymore. I build my sites with rich content and no search engine/keyword spamming and the rest falls into place.

Bruce

dragsterboy




msg:3315505
 8:25 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

content wise the SEO has client oriented and spider oriented text that a person should identify. They go together and you have to do all these things at the same time. Otherwise you run the risk of having good content SEs spiders and a bad one for clients or vice versa.

pageoneresults




msg:3315548
 9:37 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Personally, I feel that the visitor is KING.

That's the bottom line, the visitor. So, its...

Visitor first. All else second.

In the beginning, we've all found ourselves focusing on "just SEO". After a while, once you become familiar with markup languages, you realize that if you follow the guidelines for developing websites for your users, you've covered everything else to do with organic search. There isn't much more you can do there, so its time to move on to other revenue generating activities. ;)

mack




msg:3317574
 11:39 am on Apr 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

At the end of the day the person who is goign top use your content is a user, if you do not design with the user in mind they they will leave and go else where. Think of the user first then move onto SEO.

If you rank great, but your site provides a poor user experience yor conversion will suffer, even if you rank not quite so well, but offer a good user experience the return may be far greater.

Mack.

jtara




msg:3318446
 10:10 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would never be on the floor of the NYSE waving my hands and screaming "BUY 40 SHARES OF CORN!"

(Off-topic) Nor would anybody, as corn is traded on the CBOT, not the NYSE. (Unless some company is corny enough to adopt the symbol CORN...)

John_Blake




msg:3329719
 1:08 pm on May 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Content is king

I used to think this too. I think the truth is, "Traffic is King"

Generating content without a plan to generate traffic means a lot of work spent for naught. Content "may" be a source of sustainable traffic. then again, it may just be taking space on a disc drive on some server somewhere.

WBF

In my humble opinion, both *content* and *traffic* reign, and they are interconnected.

[edited by: John_Blake at 1:09 pm (utc) on May 3, 2007]

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