I was taking a walk down memory lane a few weeks back, as I was perusing through the weekly column that I wrote in the early part of this century. It was called “Web Tips.” (Watch for it, I will post some archives, for fun, on this site. :)) It brought to mind the pre-blog era, when ezines ruled and there was an excitement and newness in the world of the web. In that, there was this new thing called “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO).
I was intrigued by the analytical requirements of SEO. I was fascinated by the ability to reach that first page of search engine results, and the challenge to get there before my competitors!
Oh, and the Free-For-All pages where you would submit your link, so that you had, basically, what we refer to as back-linking now. The concept was to submit once, and possibly return, daily to submit again. But, people would submit their site 20, 100, 1000 times to get the most “exposure.” Seriously, people, did any of us really look at all of those links, or did we just use it to try to get ahead?!
Back in the day, I found it relatively easy to reach that top 30, if not even top 10! I used to use software, like Web Position (before it became online only) to accomplish the goal. That was also in the day when techniques now termed “black hat” were used. For example, “cloaking.” Cloaking is when you create a keyword-rich page just for a particular search engine, in order to rank well with that search engine, when in reality, you are directing visitors to another page. Another technique is hiding key words by coloring them the same as the background page, or within unseen html code (i.e. div tags).
In today’s world, black hat techniques are frowned upon and most reputable search engine bots will penalize the site for using these techniques. There is more of an “honest approach” that is promoted.
In some ways, it seemed as if the techniques in the “days of old” were difficult because they were new, but yet easy because there was less competition than there is now. However, the techniques, now, seem more straight-forward, but harder because of the competition. There is a science to the process, but there is also an art, a “feel,” if you will.
SEO Desk talks about search engine optimization and developers, assisting us in some areas that will give us impact for little effort. Is there more you can do? Absolutely! However, this article gives you an idea of the challenges and some basic solutions, in our modern-day SEO travels. (Editor’s note: The article originally linked here has since been taken down at seodesk.org. However, I’m sure they have other material that you may find helpful.)
Another solution is to utilize the services of experts. A recent company that I found does just that, specializing in the techniques and current trends in search engine optimization. Click here to read about the services of Inbound Interactive.
So, you can sit down, with your favorite drink, and start the learning process, sometimes by trial and error, and enjoy the benefits of your hard labor with SEO, or, there is the option to go to your favorite coffee shop and let a group like Inbound Interactive. do it for you, and save the walk down memory lane for just that…a walk down memory lane.