“People forget that traffic is the main reason they have a website. Search Engine Optimization is for those that remember this fact and want to draw in the crowds,” says SEO Consultant at Online Marketing Guys (Cape Town), Elton van Lingen, “SEO is the little patch of jungle in the world of sand because there are thousands of visitors but how to get them to come to your site?”
Since blogging, posting, commenting, tweeting, uploading and linking has now become such common everyday online norms, most of us are familiar with the term SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. For those that are new to the term, it is also known by the methods and techniques used to ensure that your website or webpage climbs the ladder of Google, Bing, Yahoo, or whatever search engine is used to research your related topic.
A small problem, however, has been born out of the goal to satisfy the Search Engine Spider (that crawls between website links and all Google, Bing, etc., searches and keywords that are inserted by web users). Nowadays, searches tend to spit out more and more slightly related (or completely unrelated) results to the keywords used for that search. This is a problem for search engines (like Google) who aim to give 100% search result accuracy and satisfaction, and an annoyance for those doing the searching. The reason for this annoyance is web-users that like to go SEO-overboard. But why is that a problem? And more importantly, how do we avoid going SEO-crazy on our web posts?
“You get penalties for abusing the system and trying to manipulate search results,” says van Lingen, “Basically, search engines want you to do what they say, but when you do what they say they tell you to do it less.”
The definition of SEO, according to Graphic Designer & Developer at Laragh Courseware (Cape Town), Tino Steenkamp, is “the process of filtering out the less likely search results in order to bring the popular results forward. (SEO users aim) to augment the visibility of a product, company or organization within the search results of a given search engine.”
Why, then, is it a problem to over-optimize webpages?
“One might struggle to find the mediocre or UN-popular information one is looking for,” points Steenkamp as the main downfall of too much SEO.
“People spend a lot of effort on creating a website exactly like they want it and sometimes they realise that they actually need visitors,” says van Lingen, “Suddenly they realise there are standards to comply with, many of which they have only learned about after building a fully dysfunctional website.”
How can we stop from overdoing the SEO?
Van Lingen recommendsthat those who are unfamiliar with the tricks of the SEO-trade should definitely either get some help from someone with SEO experience, or hire a SEO Consultant to take complete care of your SEO concerns and needs.
“The SEO Consultant’s task is to help search engines recognise what the information is that they are crawling.” says van Lingen, “to optimise websites and ensure a website stays in line with the best search engine requirements and practices in order for those search engines to correctly understand what information they present.”
If you would like to know if you’ve been going a little overboard with your SEO, or if you really cannot understand why your articles or websites are not climbing the ladders of search results (even when you type in the website title), then contact your SEO Consultant or Online Marketer. If you don’t have one yet, you can always contact Elton van Lingen at the Online Marketing Guys.