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SEO of the Tortoise and the Hare

SEO of the Tortoise and the Hare 7311-daily-golden-nugget-672Search Engine Optimization, SEO, for any website is a long and daunting task. The process is never ending for websites that are updated frequently. Even after you've optimized content, you sometimes need to go back and re-optimize it again and again when search engines make major changes in the way they rank websites.

Search engines are smart enough to know when you are trying too hard with your SEO efforts. They have ways to monitor changes on your site and measure if those changes are taking place too fast.

How fast is too fast? It seems to be a proportional ratio of the existing size of your website. If your jewelry store only has 10 pages on your website, it certainly would seem odd if you suddenly uploaded 100 new blog entries.

The slower SEO process usually wins over the quick SEO process. You need to plan out your SEO efforts in stages instead of trying to do it all at once. After each stage you should review how those changes affected your overall results.

The slow and steady SEO process looks natural, and when things look natural they are said to be more "organic" rather than "hired" or "paid" services.

Other than optimization tweaks to your website, the search engines also look for hints around the internet that could be hiring a company to quickly optimize your website.

The process of link building has come under heavy scrutiny in the last 12 months as one of those paid services that is quickly implemented. If a website visitor likes something on your website they might share it to their friends on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. They might also blog about it on Tumblr. To a search engine, each of those shares to a social network would appear as a single link in a single day; that's the organic process.

A hired link building company would probably create hundreds of new links to your website in a single day; which is an obvious non-organic pattern.

On the other hand, there are times when a sudden boost in linking does occur, but that's usually precipitated by something worthy of attention, like a news article. If The Huffington Post did a news article about your jewelry store, it would generate a lot of interest and there would be a huge spike in the number of people sharing your website.

But that spike would be short lived, and it has a traceable organic pattern.

I've been reading a few technical news reports recently about online reviews and how Google+Local and Yelp are removing suspected "spam" reviews. Both companies are using their own methods to determine if the reviews are natural.

When it comes to online reviews, the reality is that few people will make the effort to go online and write a review. Most local businesses have no online reviews, and many just have one. Unless your business is popular it will be a struggle to achieve five reviews unless you instigate them somehow.

Last month I wrote a nugget about getting better reviews and explained an employee contest that could attract more online reviews. When applying today's idea that SEO needs to be a slower process for smaller businesses you need to carefully review one of the concluding ideas I presented for that employee review contest.

Here's what I said:

"You can also create employee contest on days when all the employees are working. That would give all of them an equal chance to win."

The idea is that you would have a single day each month when employees would urge all customers to go online and write a review. You might only acquire a single online review from that single day. One new review per month should seem very natural to both Yelp and Google+ Local.

Remember that everything is proportional. If you have zero reviews today then getting 5 reviews in a single month looks very suspicious. But once you have 128 reviews accumulated those extra 5 reviews in a single month would seem very natural... as long as they were not written in the same few days.

Overall, no matter what search engine optimization technique you use, it needs to be done slowly over time.

AT: 02/19/2013 08:48:38 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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