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Mid Year SEO Checkup - Lessons Learned 2002

11:45 am on Jun 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Mid Year SEO Checkup.

This business has been so fluid the last couple of years, that you have to be a full time webmasterworld member just to keep up.

What we've learned the last year:

1- Becareful with the Dollars.

We have seen several occasions where directories or search engines have switch service models. Not just prices, but actual major changes in their products and offerings. So it is always wise to double check your facts and ask questions.

Can the money I spend on a listing today, pay for itself in X amount of time? What if the service changes in 30 days? Am I out money?

2- Forced Diversification.

Last years PR0 reign that penalized many sites sent home the clear impression that we must diversifiy our promotion expenditures and resources. There are many other search engines out there, but most take some time to master. That is time well spent. It isn't just a good idea, it's mandatory. We can't afford to put all our eggs in the same basket.

3- Stuff changes.

The old adage is that the only constant is change. It is so very true with the search engines. We've watched many major changes in the last year: NorthernLight going private - Excite folding as an indpendent se - WiseNut and Teoma out of the blue - Fasts steady ascention to web prominence - changes at AOL - and Google getting into the ad game.

Those are just the bigger highlights. So much so, that we have to ask ourself, just what is going to change this month, this week, before the end of the day?

2:20 pm on June 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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0- Full time Webmasterworld member just to keep up.

Yes, but the last half year taught me that you do not need to lurk around many other forums any more to keep up and its fun.

1- Be careful with the Dollars.

Yes I'm tending to spend more $'s on professional industry sector/association directory listings than on the traditional Yahoo/Look/Ink type.
Old fashion referals and high Google-PR links from these sites are helping.

2- Forced Diversification.

Would wish to agree and am doing my best, but Google still (over)rules.
I'm considering more diversification withing Google.
That is:

- Reply to more related discussions in Google groups?
- Become a specialist/question asker/annotator in Google answers?
- Make a new glossary for Google glossary?
- Start rethinking to which communities I should link to for my "hubby-ness" when Google categorisation/theme/subject grouping is ready?
- Get more listings through more language/country tld's.
- Are my external incoming links topic sensitive enough once topic sensitive pagerank will arrive (if ever).

3- Stuff changes.

Well, stuff's consolidating and for the rest we are learning to advertise.

My guess for the next months would be: forget Teoma and Wisenut (if they survive, what you do well for Google, will do well for them if you do not forget to link out), hope for Fast and try to understand how to rank well there.

3:18 pm on June 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hedge your bets whenever you can. Don't depend on one or two sources to deliver the weekly groceries.
It seems that the changes I have to deal with today are ones based more on the greed of others. Today, something is better only if it makes more money than it did yesterday. To predict the future one needs only to look at the money angle to it.
4:26 pm on June 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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And yet the one constant (since day one) is good quality content that will attract good quality links. The rest is just details and hard work.
5:03 pm on June 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Brett >> Can the money I spend on a listing today, pay for itself in X amount of time? What if the service changes in 30 days? Am I out money?

This is so true now. I used to look at pay-for-inclusion listings to pay back in about six months, and hopefully much sooner. Now I look for them to pay back in thirty days, and hopefully much sooner, and I have to make assumptions about what is going to happen to the traffic (like on what date will AOL boot Inktomi, and will MSN follow suit?) over that thirty day period. Or will you run afoul of a search engines vague or hidden rules and loose your investment without having any say in the matter?

The search engines are desperate for our money, but are having trouble dealing with the conflict of interest it creates. Their loyalty is to the users, not to webmasters, but in most cases the user isn't paying. So it's a horribly unstable business environment, and a business model that lacks the essential win-win ingredients for success.

>> diversifiy our promotion expenditures and resources

And diversity our web presence, too, I might add. In my book, web sites have become an expedible commodity, a consequence of being booted once too often, without warning, and not really knowing why, and not having much success at getting off the black lists, or even knowing what to do to get off.


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