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It seems to me that some sites are almost defying what the experts are saying and get #1 listings regardless.
Take this site for eg. example.com
(I am nothing to do with this site whatsoever)
It has no meta tag keywords to speak of except for its name. It has no h1 tag (css styled h) and yet it is listed as the first site when I search for website design.
I am not an expert but I've seen many sites that seem to defy all i read about the subject.
[edited by: heini at 1:47 pm (utc) on Mar. 4, 2003]
[edit reason] please, no urls / thanks [/edit]
If a site has the right content and has been put together properly it may not need to be optimised :)
Personally I think optimisation is a good thing to do, you may already have a gret site but spending a little bit of extra time can only help improve things further.
My 2 penneth :)
I am seeing a number of these sites as i take a look around. I wonder how much seo need is artifical.
I will continue looking at this subject.
Content is King, and the content interspersed across, an appropriate (easily crawled) navigational structure will always do well, and then loads of links to strengthen it.
The days of Meta's, H1's, etc. are dying. Their's probably life to squeze out of them yet, but i would'nt use them as a strategy to get high ranks.
In these same mystery cases I've often noticed that many of the pages the backlinks were on also had the keywords in the title and elsewhere on the page, leading me to believe (not confirm) that Google might give more weight to these links.